foreign aid

Episode 25: Is diplomacy for development in Venezuela still possible?

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

Venezuela has been in an economic crisis for years but the situation heightened when the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, was declared interim president by the assembly as a response to current President Nicolas Maduro's management of the country. Since then, the country has been the scene of a dire humanitarian crisis and the pawn of a geopolitical hand at play. Yet while the country's politics goes on, millions flee the country and basic human needs aren't being met. Can diplomacy in international development save Venezuela? Is there a role for NGOs and either state or non-state actors to engage to provide relief and aid for the Venezuelan people? On this episode, we invite Temir Porras Ponceleon (former Foreign Affairs Advisor to Hugo Chavez and former Chief of Staff to Nicolas Maduro), Daniel Lansburg-Rodriguez (Director of Latin America for Greenmantle LLC and Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern Kellogg), and Ryan Lloyd (Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sao Paulo) to discuss this crucial question - is diplomacy in international development still possible in Venezuela?

NB: This episode was recorded on Monday, 29 April. On 30 April, Juan Guaido declared to have military personnel switch loyalty to declare an end to Maduro. Maduro retains the majority of the Venezuelan army’s backing. However, the situation is still ongoing and still remains unclear. Much of the uncertain and potential for what could occur was forecasted in this podcast.

Episode 19: Trump slashes US foreign aid budget - why it's a bad idea

On 11 March 2019, US President Donald Trump slashes the 2020 Budget to US foreign affairs and international aid. This was done in effort to make room for costs to accommodate his proposal of the US-Mexico wall which led to the 35 day US government shutdown early this year. But in his attempt to make America 'great again', he's actually making it much worse, especially in regards to the power which USAID and development programs can yield for American image abroad. We dive in further into today's episode to explain why.