No Shock Therapy: Macri Takes Gradual Approach to Reform
Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and his coalition have reasserted their position as the party of government following last month’s mid-term elections. The first conservative to win the presidency since democracy was restored in 1983, his supporters won majorities in thirteen out of 23 provinces. They have also taken charge of five of the most populous districts in the capital Buenos Aires.
Yet Macri’s party, Cambiemos (Let’s Change), still doesn’t have a majority in Congress, which helps explain his step-by-step approach to reforming the economy. Read more
Venezuela has plummeted to new depths. In an act of blatant disregard of the separation of powers, the Supreme Court has stripped the opposition-controlled National Assembly of its lawmaking power and revoked immunity from all assembly members after accusing parliamentarians of “contempt”.
This latest step toward authoritarianism was denounced as a “coup” and “a final blow to democracy” — not just by opposition parties, but by the international community and even some within the government (the state attorney general). Read more
Trump Could Bring Enemies in South America Closer Together
The alliance between Cuba and Venezuela has lost prominence in recent years as the former normalized its diplomatic relations with the United States while the latter doubled down on a self-described anti-imperialist policy.
Now Donald Trump’s presidency threatens to bring the two countries closer together again. Read more
Colombia’s Santos Seeks Revised Peace Deal with FARC
There was little hope left in October of bringing Colombia’s 52-year old conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to an end, when voters narrowly rejected a proposed peace plan in a referendum. Fears swelled that violence would break out again.
President Juan Manuel Santos, however, was undeterred and set about piecing together a revised peace deal.
Six weeks on, gloom and uncertainty have made way for cautious optimism. Read more
Colombia’s Referendum: Has the Best Chance for Peace Gone?
On Sunday, the people of Colombia unexpectedly rejected what had been dubbed an historic peace deal between their government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). 50.2 percent voted down the proposed accord in a referendum. The peace deal is off.
The 297-page agreement, signed last week after four years of negotiation, was meant to end a conflict that spans back to 1964 and has claimed an estimated 260,000 lives.
In speech after speech, President Juan Manuel Santos has extolled the peace accord’s historic nature. Confident of the referendum’s outcome, he staked his presidency on it. His future is now in doubt as well. Read more