Analysis & Commentary

WOLA Talks to NPR's "Morning Edition" About Venezuela's Department of Happiness

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde discusses Venezuela's Department of Happiness, noting that many Venezuelans are concerned by it.

Mounting Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

Members of Congress Call for Action
Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting a meeting to discuss the recent increases in migrant deaths, inadequate short-term custody conditions, and unsafe deportation practices.

NPR: "Why the Timing is Right for Uruguay to Legalize Pot"

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, WOLA's John Walsh discusses the details of Uruguay's new marijuana policy, including the country's plans to regulate its production and distribution.
Uruguay is poised to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to regulate the drug and scale back its black market. Steve Inskeep talks with WOLA's John Walsh about the country's plans for implementation.

Venezuela's Maduro Declares 'Great Victory' After Elections

In an interview with NPR, David Smilde discusses Maduro's economic war, noting that opposition candidates lacked a clear discourse on how they would improve the economy.
Following Venezuela's recent elections, President Nicolas Maduro pledged to deepen the socialist revolution and increase government control over the economy. WOLA's David Smilde talks with NPR's John Otis to discuss the effects of this strategy.

A Big Shift in Migration, and the Importance of Search and Rescue

Humanitarian concerns as more migrants, mostly Central American, enter south Texas instead of Arizona
The new epicenter of undocumented migration is in south Texas. The growth in migration is almost entirely Central American, not Mexican. Search and rescue efforts make a difference and should expand.

Promoting Human Rights-Based Drug Policies in Latin America

WOLA's Youngers Presents at Regional Drug Policy Summit
Presenting at a side event at CICAD, the drug policy arm of the Organization of American States, WOLA's Coletta A. Youngers outlines the foundation of a human rights-based drug policy

Shifts in Cultivation, Usage Put Bolivia’s Coca Policy at the Crossroads

In a briefing in the World Politics Review, WOLA's Coletta Youngers explains how Bolivia's innovative drug policy has placed the government in complex political waters, balancing the demands of coca growers while still reducing coca produced for illicit markets.

In Colombia, a Rising Tide Sinks all Ports

Free trade has failed to bring prosperity to Colombia’s largest port city
President Obama calls existing human and labor rights deficiencies in Colombia just details that need to be worked out. The reality on the ground is far more grave.