Monday, August 10, 2009

Newsweek Says Latin America "Swings" Rightward

Interesting article in Newsweek Latin America Swings Right Not Left

First off, I am not so sure that there is anywhere near a general "shift" to the center and/or right in that very broad and generic "general" Latin American electorate as this article suggests.

But I do agree with the articles contention that the "Washington Consensus" approach is very much alive in many of the principal countries of Latin America. I have been saying that for a long time. Fact of the matter is that countries which are better off like Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil have continued policies that favor trade, fiscal responsibility, macroeconomic stability, foreign investment, private sector dynamism, and are much more succesfull than "Caracas Consensus" countries.

In the new Latin America, party affiliation and ideological inheritance may be heartfelt, but they are lousy compasses to the political future. And while neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus may be still be maldiciones below the Rio Grande, they are hardly dead or even out of fashion. In fact, with the exception of Mexico—whose fortunes are tethered to the faltering U.S. market—the nations faring best in the global financial downturn are those that have hewed closest to the free-market reforms that have proved so politically provocative. If onetime left-wingers are in charge in a dozen Central and South American states, most remain leftists in name only.

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