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35 West


The CSIS Americas Program podcast looks at the politics and policies of the 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere. It especially focuses on U.S. engagement with the region, whether on trade, diplomacy, or security issues like drugs and terrorism. Guests include top policymakers from the U.S. and other countries.

The CSIS Americas Program podcast looks at the politics and policies of the 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere. It especially focuses on U.S. engagement with the region, whether on trade, diplomacy, or security issues like drugs and terrorism. Guests include top policymakers from the U.S. and other countries.


United States


The CSIS Americas Program podcast looks at the politics and policies of the 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere. It especially focuses on U.S. engagement with the region, whether on trade, diplomacy, or security issues like drugs and terrorism. Guests include top policymakers from the U.S. and other countries.




Rooting Out Reasons to Migrate

The number of Central Americans fleeing their countries for the U.S. has skyrocketed in the last few months. On the latest episode of 35 West, Rick Jones of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has some answers. With close to 30 years of experience in the region, Rick also details how CRS has helped build alternative futures for young people mired in poverty and violence.


Cloudy Days for Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau is in trouble for meddling in a criminal investigation and dumping his attorney general. Mr. Canada, a.k.a. Chris Sands of Johns Hopkins University, is back to explain the details and how they could affect Canadian politics sooner rather than later.


Mexico’s Melting Pot

As global forced migration increases rapidly, Mexico has transitioned from just an exporter of people north to a transit and a recipient country all in one. While significant challenges remain, Mexico has an opportunity for regional leadership on migration. Erol Yayboke, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development, and CSIS Americas’ Moises Rendon discuss their recent research trip to Mexico City and Tapachula. They focus on how Mexico’s government...


All in the Family

Ambassador Jay Anania, born two blocks from the State Department, was drawn to the U.S. Foreign Service partly by the examples of his NSA dad and CIA mom. His 30-year career started in Tijuana and ended in Paramaribo, with stops along the way in Amman, Havana, Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Baghdad. He and host Richard Miles discuss changes on the U.S. southern border as well as the effectiveness of the Organization of American States, where Jay served as the senior management official...


Who’s on First, What Comes Next?

Juan Guaidó, the 35-year old legitimate head of the Venezuelan National Assembly, is facing off against Nicolas Maduro, who clings to his illegitimate power. Venezuela experts Moises Rendon of CSIS and Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas are back to describe the role of the United States, the international community, and the Cubans. Guaidó himself, according to Moises, has a promising political future and may be the rarest of creatures in the Bolivarian Republic; someone who can...


Coming Home

Images of migrants charging the U.S. border obscure a larger trend. Many Mexican and Central American migrants are returning home, whether they want to or not. Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, returns to talk about who is coming and who is going. What are the governments of Mexico and the Northern Triangle doing to handle this reverse influx and what does it mean for U.S. immigration policy? Finally, will Americans support an immigration deal anytime soon?


North of the Border

Texas is greatly affected by tariffs, trade, and travel across the U.S. southern border. Matthew Rooney, director of the Economic Growth Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, gives us the view from the Lone Star State. He also explains border infrastructure, supply chains, and the long-term economic effects of trade barriers on North America. He and Richard also trade predictions on the art of an immigration deal before the 2020 elections.


Party Like It's 2018

Democrats now run the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Does it matter for Latin America? According to former Bush official José Cardenas, apart from Trump’s Wall there is remarkable bipartisan consensus on what needs to be done in hotspots like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and even Central America. On migration and border security, Cardenas argues against a “Fortress America” mentality if we want to preserve a dynamic economy. Finally, he predicts the eventual assimilation of Latin American...


The Slippery Slope of US-China Competition: A Conversation with Wu Xinbo

This episode explores the significant increase in friction between the United States and China since the Trump administration came to power in 2017, and analyzes the implications for both countries and the rest of the world. Our guest, Dr. Wu Xinbo, examines the issues in the bilateral relationship where both sides do not see eye to eye, such as trade, Taiwan, the South China Sea, and the international order. He also offers his views on the essence of US-China competition and the future...


Who’s Hispanic Here?

Arguably no state is more politically important than Florida, which has become an electoral microcosm for the whole country. But Hispanic voting patterns in the Sunshine State - and the definition of Hispanic - is very different. Ana Quintana, an expert at the Heritage Foundation, explains the results of the 2018 midterms on statewide races. She and Richard also discuss the importance of the immigration issue to Mexican voters, and the effect it will have on both parties for the 2020...


One Woman’s Story: Smashing an Oil Industry Glass Ceiling

Kim McHugh, Chevron Vice President of Drilling and Completions chats with Beverly Kirk about being the first woman in the energy industry to hold her job, how she encourages young women to pursue STEM careers, and why she strives for “work-life integration,” not “work-life balance.”


Who Moved My Monopoly?

Mexico’s government has surrendered its monopoly on the use of force, while large Mexican companies exert one in the marketplace. So argues Francisco González of SAIS in this week’s episode of 35 West. Along the way, Francisco covers 50 years of Mexican politics, Mexicans’ support for democracy, and the prospects for reducing violence and the flow of drugs to the U.S. Finally, he predicts stability in the US-Mexican political relationship, at least until the Mexican midterm elections in...


Maduro’s Deadline: January 10th

January 10, the date a new presidential period begins, represents an unprecedented opportunity for the international community to help halt Venezuela’s collapse. Despite the refusal of nearly 50 countries to recognize the May 2018 Venezuelan presidential elections, Nicolas Maduro plans to be sworn in. The implications of so many nations not recognizing Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate president after January 10 have yet to be determined. CSIS Senior Advisor Mark Schneider and Venezuela...


What Will AMLO and Bolsonaro Do To Energy Markets?

New leaders in Mexico and Brazil may mean big changes to their respective energy sectors. Energy expert Lisa Viscidi of the Inter-American Dialogue says a Mexican delay on offshore bidding could have a major impact, but that Brazil is likely to maintain the status quo. Finally, Venezuela may eventually run dry, given the massive investment required to reverse declining oil output.


Cryptocurrency v. Authoritarianism in Venezuela

Cryptocurrency use is increasing amongst everyday Venezuelans. The Maduro regime has been tightening controls on the economy and continues to reject humanitarian aid. However, independent cryptocurrencies (as opposed to regime-controlled petro) are enabling censorship-resistant peer-to-peer digital cash transactions. Alejandro Machado, Founder of Open Money Initiative, joins CSIS’ Moises Rendon.


What’s Left in Venezuela’s Policy Toolkit?

Current international pressure on the Venezuelan regime has not been enough to help restore the country’s democracy – at least, not yet. Venezuela is enduring the worst humanitarian crisis in the region, which is having an overwhelming impact on neighboring countries, including unprecedented waves of migrants and refugees. Fernando Cutz, a former National Security Council advisor at the White House, joins Moises Rendon for a discussion on what options are left for helping Venezuela.


Will We See More Caravans?

Caravans from Central America. They were big news for a while, now not so much. But they are sure to return to the front pages. Manuel Orozco, Director of Migration at the Inter-American Dialogue, joins Richard for a discussion on what is causing Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans to leave their countries. He argues that bad governance, not just gang violence, is a big contributor. Do U.S. policymakers have any good options?


Welcome to My House

Gone are hopes for a swift congressional ratification of USMCA with the House returning to the Democrats in January. Is Canada worried, and if so, why? Christopher Sands of Johns Hopkins University is back to help us empathize with our northern neighbors, as well as the changes in the post World War II global order.


Troika of Punditry

The Axis of Evil is out, the Troika of Tyranny is in. Are Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba the prisms through which U.S. policy in Latin America can be seen? Pedro Burelli, a former director of Venezuela’s state oil company, Moises Rendon of CSIS, and host Richard Miles talk dictators, despots, sanctions, and regional stability.


Free Fallin’

Bolsonaro in Brazil, migrants in Mexico, plebiscites on planes, and (assistant) Secretaries of State. Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and host Richard Miles go down the alliterative alphabet of the atlas, inferring implications for U.S. politics and policy. Also, check out our cool new intro by producer Ribka Gemilangsari.