This video by CaspianReport discusses the political, economic, and trends in the Americas for the year 2019. Home to one of the worlds most powerful countries, the two continents that make up the Western Hemisphere are contrasts to each other. Whereas North America will be preoccupied with internal political matters, the events in South America will be highly influenced by the ongoing crisis in Venezuela that reached its boiling point last month with the Trump Administration’s recognition of Juan
In the US, President Donald Trump faces a complicated political climate, with the Democrats holding the House of Representatives, and the Republicans having a decent-sized majority in the Senate. Due to this divided Congressional make-up, President Trump will have a difficult time at best with pushing through parts of his agenda such as tax cuts and immigration policy changes. Additionally, this difficult political climate may result in Trump increasingly using executive powers to implement controversial policies, which he may then use as a bargaining chip to convince a reluctant Congress to go along with him, as well as a tool to rally his rabid, ignorant supporters. Furthermore, the ongoing US economic expansion will likely be nearing its end in 2019, with the stock market, unemployment, and energy prices near historic lows. While the next economic recession is several years away, its impact will likely be felt throughout the globe.
Despite having a relatively quiet domestic policy scene, the Trump Adinistration will have its hands full regarding foreign policy in 2019. Some of the major issues the Trump Administration will face in the coming year include a renewed arms race with Russia, potential retailiation by China due to the implementation of new tariffs, and tensisions in the Middle East regarding President Trump’s hardline anti-Iran and pro-Israel/Sunni policy. Perhaps the biggest challenge Trump Administration currently faces in the foreign policy realm is the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
Although domestic in origin, the ramifications of the political crisis in Venezuela will have a global reach. The desperate need for revenue has forced the Maduro government to seek revenue from illicit sources including illegal mining, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. These activities have spread beyond Venezuela’s borders into countries such as Colombia and Brazil and threaten to destabilize the entire region. Additionally, some 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country, thus placing an enormous strain on many countries in the region. In response to these challenges, the Trump Administration has developed a policy meant to isolate the Maduro government and bring about “regime change.” in Venezuela. Thus far, President Trump has implemented stringent sanctions against the Venezuela government and is also considering placing Venezuela on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list as well as intervening militarily in the country. All three of these policies are ill-advised at best and will make an already difficult situation within the country much worse. Additionally, the crisis in Venezuela is further complicated due to Venezuela’s close military alliances with Russia, Iran, and China, who may intervene militarily in response to US pressures on the country.
In contrast to the US, Mexico and Canada are likely to experience a relatively active year in terms of domestic policy changes. Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is planning in fulfilling his campaign promises of reducing corruption, poverty, and crime within the country, as well as eliminating the ban on legally binding referendums, which many critics view as a way to for AMLO to increase his own political power. In Canada, Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau us up for re-election in October of 2019 and is expected to face off against a resurgent Conservative Party led by Andrew Scheer. Additionally, the leadership of both Canada and Mexico have pledged to work with President Donald Trump to implement the new NAFTA agreement and work together to promote poitical stability within the Americas.
Overall, 2019 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in terms of politics in the Americas, with the crisis in Venezuela expected to be a focal point of most foreign policy decisions. Here is the link to the full video: