Unrest in the Caribbean and instability in South America

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When armed men broke into the private residence of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise, the leader had just enough time to make several, desperate phone calls for help. It wasn’t enough and moments later, Moise was dead and his wife lay critically injured.

Haitians were shocked at the audacity of the President’s assassination and the world watched as the country teetered on the edge of chaos.

Several days later in nearby Cuba, tens of thousands of protestors gathered in cities and towns around the island to demonstrate against widespread shortages and government dysfunction. The marches were an unprecedented outpouring of frustration with the Cuban government and have forced the Biden administration into reviewing Cuban policy.

Political instability is nothing new to either country, but the timing spotlights the widespread instability in Latin America. Problems are at a boiling point in many places, compounded by the economic effect of COVID shutdowns and fiscal failures.

Evan Ellis, Ph.D., is a research professor of Latin American Studies with the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. He studies the region and joins Smart Talk Thursday to discuss the strategic trends happening in Latin America, as well as the increasing involvement of China in many countries.

In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, Haitian President Jovenel Moise arrives for an interview at his home in Petion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Moïse was assassinated in an attack on his private residence early Wednesday, July 7, 2021, and First Lady Martine Moïse was shot in the overnight attack and hospitalized, according to a statement from the country’s interim prime minister.