The U.S. is Ignoring Some Big Issues in Latin America, Says Ross Newland of TD International

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TD International announces head of Latin America operations; Ross Newland said that the public and policy community look only at the obvious big issues in Latin America while ignoring some potentially important ones such as the rise of violence in Central America and Puerto Rico, and planning for a Venezuela post-Chavez.

TD International (TDI), a strategic advisory firm, today announced that Ross Newland, a regional expert, will be responsible for its Latin American operations. Newland stated bluntly, “I am concerned with the relative lack of U.S. attention to Latin America, our traditional market and our natural allies. I believe too little attention is being paid to certain issues in the hemisphere.”

Mr. Newland has extensive experience in Latin America, both in business and with government. Newland pointed out that U.S. attention focuses on the role of Brazil as a regional power, and the violence in Mexico. 'These are the two most reported and most-discussed subjects related to Latin America," Newland said. Instead, he said, “we ought to be thinking about the relative success of the Mexican war against narcotics, and focus on the its effect, moving trafficking activity to Central America and Puerto Rico, where the violence is getting out of hand and where the authorities can’t cope.” In another example, Newland also said he is concerned people may see Argentina as a possible model for Greece in the latter’s effort to cope with austerity and a lack of foreign investment. “Argentine had a coincidence of a large agricultural exporting sector and high international commodity prices, which helped jump start their economy after they defaulted. Greece has no such sector,” he said.

Mr. Newland also shared his concern around the succession crisis in Venezuela. “If we assume Mr. Chavez’s cancer is as aggressive as people say, then we have to look at what sectors of Venezuelan society could provide some stability in a transition. And the only institution that can do that is one sector of the army, in alliance with the opposition parties. There are too many armed factions in society and corrupt elements within the army, so conflict is likely. Somebody has to maintain order. Meanwhile the Castros are trying to extend their influence in Venezuela to improve their negotiating position for the day when Chavez leaves, since Cuba is totally dependent on Venezuelan oil.”

Mr. Newland is currently an advisor to various TDI clients – both U.S. and foreign – on Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, addressing issues ranging from business development to mergers and acquisitions. He also provides strategic advice for policy development and has conducted sensitive due diligence investigations for private equity firms and law firms. Mr. Newland had a distinguished career as a Senior Intelligence Officer at the CIA. He can be contacted at newland(at)tdinternational(dot)com.


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