With new market friendly governments in Argentina, Peru and Brazil and a looming collapse in Venezuela now is not the time for the U.S. to retrench its economic agenda in the region. Unfortunately, no one is standing up for trade.
With the Venezuelan economy in a free fall, massive shortages and President Nicolás Maduro renewing a state of emergency and calling for military exercises, the question of political upheaval and state collapse in Venezuela is no longer a matter of if, but when. And when it does happen, Venezuela’s neighbors will have themselves to blame for letting it get this far and this bad.
The net effect of these new bodies has been to create parallel forums more favorable to the interests of autocrats. That may be OK for Venezuela and others, but why are Brazil and other countries going along? And where are the media?
Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, inherits a host of problems and points of friction at home and abroad from his predecessors. But in contrast to the daunting domestic economic issues his new administration faces, the international hangover of nearly 13 years of Kirchner governments looks relatively easy to fix.
Even in Latin America, a region often thought to share the same democratic orientation and values of the U.S. and Europe, there are some striking differences among groups of countries regarding supporting norms and practices on human rights internationally, with some countries lining up more with autocratic countries of the Global South.