The recent warming of US-Cuban relations and the fall in international oil prices raise the question of whether Venezuela can put national interests ahead of ideology.
Drug trafficking and extortion are expected to increase in Colombia as the government and FARC continue peace talks, and relationships between Guatemalan and Mexican drug gangs could strengthen.
Cuba had relied on Venezuela to prop up its economy. But with that support uncertain, the Castro brothers appear to have decided to come in from the cold.
Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro's ratings hit an all time low in recent polls, and more than 85 percent of Venezuelans say the country is on the wrong track.
Speakers from Latin America hit on global and regional themes, and scored some diplomatic points. Domestic politics shaped many speeches at the UN General Assembly, which continues today in New York.
President Maduro's changes to his cabinet did little to address pressing problems like the economy - and he may have increased the challenges facing his country.
Nobody else has either. The Central Bank has failed to release certain economic indicators, like Venezuela's inflation rate, for months.
The last time motorists saw the price at the pump change was 1996, when the government raised the cost of gasoline to about 6 cents per gallon.
Venezuela has faced increasingly tough economic and political times since the death in March 2013 of Hugo Chávez. President Maduro is promoting religious imagery related to the former leader and creating a 'civil religion' around his legacy.
El Universal was valued between $20 million and $35 million, but $122 million was an offer the owner couldn't refuse. Some wonder if the buyer has government ties.
Soccer has become the latest target for Venezuela's beleaguered political opposition as it tries to use the World Cup craze to keep pressure on embattled President Nicolás Maduro.
The airline announced it will cut services to Venezuela over unpaid debts. There are signs Venezuela is taking steps to prevent more airlines and foreign companies from doing the same.
Venezuela has been rocked by more than four months of anti-government protests and violent police crackdown. Dozens of Venezuelans have died and thousands have been arrested. But resolving the crisis still seems out of reach. Here are six perspectives on Venezuela's search for a peaceful path forward.
Maduro's popularity has dropped on every measure since November 2013, and two-thirds of Venezuelans polled don't think he can solve the country's problems - like shortages - in the next year.