North American Congress on Latin America
A Short Talk With Fernando Henrique Cardoso
by Samantha Eyler Reid
Brazil’s former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso visited Cornell University on April 7 to give a lecture, talk to the press, and receive yet another academic award. The onetime Marxist sociologist, now the political leader of the centrist Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), and one of the North’s favorite neoliberal statesmen, Cardoso commands boundless respect in the international arena. He frequently airs his views in editorial pages and lecture podiums all over the world, but back in Brazil, Cardoso inspires rather less awe, which could have an impact on Brazil’s upcoming election.
Bolivia’s Lithium Challenge
by Emily Achtenberg
Proclaiming its lithium deposits to be a permanent reserve of the state, the Bolivian government last month authorized a new state company to undertake “the full chain of lithium production,” including “exploration, development, industrialization, and marketing.” At issue is the future of Bolivia’s vast Uyuni salt flats, the world’s largest untapped lithium reserve, holding at least 5.4 million tons—almost half the world’s known supply. Also at stake is a potentially significant source of wealth and an alternative development model that, if successful, could bring substantial benefits to Bolivia’s impoverished population.