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Optimism about Mexico's political and economic future
The future of Mexico | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Optimism about Mexico's political and economic future

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here. A happy Monday to you and a Quick Take to kick off your week. I'm just back from Mexico, Mexico City myself, and lots of fascinating meetings, lots of takeaways. Thought I would give you some of my sense of what is happening there, Mexico and Mexico's context in the world.

First thing I would say is I come away pretty optimistic about where the country is heading overall, and some of that is the context of Mexico in an environment where China-US relations are getting a lot more challenging. There is some significant national security and strategic decoupling that is happening at the behest of US administration, governors, members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. And also, there's a lot more uncertainty about doing business in Xi Jinping's China itself, given the rapid and sudden changes on COVID, on how to do business as a technology company, on rules and regulations for the private sector, rule of law and its absence, local competition, you name it. And so, even though I still fairly strongly believe that China's going to become the largest economy in the world by 2030, the idea that US corporations will be able to take as much advantage of that is increasingly uncertain. Almost any business leader you talk to in the United States is saying, "Yeah, China is an important market for us, but we are being more cautious about how much we want to invest there, going forward. At the very least, we're putting a pause on some of the big decisions we're making." And in many cases, they're starting to reduce some of that forward looking exposure.

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Iván Duque: I should have been more forceful with US on drugs
Iván Duque: I Should Have Been More Forceful With US on Drugs | GZERO World

Iván Duque: I should have been more forceful with US on drugs

Iván Duque has few regrets from his time as Colombia's president. But if he could go back and do better on one thing, perhaps he should have been more vocal on the War on Drugs.

For Duque, there's too much focus on the supply side of the problem — Colombian cocaine — and too little attention on the demand side: Americans hungry for the drug.

In a GZERO World interview, Duque tells Ian Bremmer that he brought this up with both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Maybe, he adds, he should have said it more and raised his voice.

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Can there be capitalism without freedom? No, says Iván Duque
Can There Be Capitalism Without Freedom? | Former Colombia President Iván Duque | GZERO World

Can there be capitalism without freedom? No, says Iván Duque

Should the US still try to engage with countries run by regimes antithetical to its own?

For former Colombian President Iván Duque, the democratic consensus in the Western Hemisphere means that "there's no space for autocracies or for dictatorships." That means not imposing democracy on everyone but defending democratic values everywhere, he tells Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview.

Meanwhile, capitalism is coming under pressure — including from authoritarian regimes like China, which is selling its own brand of state-led capitalism as opposed to the free-market capitalism prevalent in democracies.

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Annie Gugliotta

Five choices

We have lots of big elections on deck in 2022. Today we’ll preview five that will feature high international stakes and especially colorful candidates.

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Demonstrators take part in a protest against the tax reform of President Ivan Duque's government in Bogota.

REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Don’t tax the dead: Colombia’s crisis

There's never a great time to impose higher taxes on funeral services — but doing it in the middle of a raging pandemic is an especially bad move. Yet that was one of a number of measures that the Colombian government proposed last week in a controversial new tax bill that has provoked the country's largest and most violent protests in decades.

In the days since, the finance minister has resigned, the tax reform has been pulled, and President Iván Duque has called for fresh dialogue with activists, union leaders, and opposition politicians.

But demonstrations, vandalism, and deadly clashes with police have only intensified. Two dozen people are dead, 40 are missing, and the UN has criticized Colombian police for their heavy-handed response.

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Colombia's President Ivan Duque looks on during the announcement of the granting of legal status of temporary protection to Venezuelan migrants in Bogota.

REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Colombia’s Angela Merkel moment

Colombian President Iván Duque earlier this week announced that as many as 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants currently in Colombia will now be authorized to live and work legally in the country for ten years.

As humanitarian gestures by world leaders go, it's hard to find something on this scale in recent history.

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Colombia's humanitarian gesture for Venezuelan refugees merits US support
Colombia's Help For Venezuelan Refugees Merits US Support | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Colombia's humanitarian gesture for Venezuelan refugees merits US support

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

Number one, why did Colombia's president grant legal status to 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants?

Well, because they have them, first of all. Because given the extraordinary economic collapse and the human rights abuses of Venezuelans under the Maduro presidency, not to mention the coronavirus crisis making their lives even worse, they've been fleeing, and most of them have ended up in Colombia. Not providing legal status means they can't work, means they have no path for a future. Some of them have even fled back to Venezuela or returned to Venezuela, and again just shows just how critically difficult their life has been. It's a humanitarian gesture of pretty staggering degree. It makes an enormous difference in the lives of these people. Think about how the United States under Biden now preparing to accept 125,000 refugees per year, up 10 times from what it was just a year ago, the world's most powerful country. The wealthy countries never get overwhelmed with refugees the way the poorest countries do. It's states in Sub-Saharan Africa and it's South and Southeast Asia and it's Latin America, and in the Western hemisphere, it's been Colombia.

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Colombia’s President Iván Duque on early pandemic response: “Multilateralism didn’t work as it should”
Colombia’s President Iván Duque on Pandemic Response: “Multilateralism Didn’t Work” | GZERO Media

Colombia’s President Iván Duque on early pandemic response: “Multilateralism didn’t work as it should”

In an interview with GZERO Media, Colombia's President Iván Duque discusses early missteps in global coordination on pandemic response that he feels exacerbated the spread of the virus. "If we all had acknowledged what was really going on in Asia, maybe we would have taken faster draconian measures to protect the world," he told Ian Bremmer.

While Colombia was initially praised for a swift and successful approach to COVID-19, infection rates and cases have spiked in recent weeks as lockdown restrictions ease in order to alleviate strain on an already battered economy. In the conversation, Bremmer and Duque also discuss the Venezuelan refugee crisis, and how economic fallout of the pandemic has forced at least 100,000 to leave Colombia and return home.

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