Is Populism Returning to Latin America?
Andrés Velasco,project-syndicate.org

This is a crucial year for politics in Latin America: the region’s three most populous countries are holding presidential elections. And in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, polarization is the name of the game, with populists of the right and the left the front-runners.

SANTIAGO – Until recently, it seemed that Latin America had eluded the great white shark of populism, just as North America and Europe swam toward it with eyes wide shut. Yes, Nicolás Maduro’s chavista regime continues to imprison citizens and wreck Venezuela’s economy. Evo Morales in Bolivia and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua keep changing the rules of the game so that they can be reelected indefinitely. But the electoral defeat of the kirchnerista variety of Peronism seemed to mark a turning point in Argentina. So did the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, and the replacement of her failed economic policies with an approach that recognizes that fiscal debts and deficits cannot keep growing forever.

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