Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Latin American Elections Analysis

Taylor Kirk, The Latin Americanist, gives us Latin America: Elections in Review. His conclusion, after discussing various upcoming elections, is more optimistic than my current analysis.
It is possible that Hugo Chavez’ prominence in the U.S. media has given many the impression that Latin America is once again becoming a problematic neighbor of the U.S. Chavez has adopted a belligerent attitude towards U.S. policy and is very publicly rallying Latin American countries to wean themselves from dependency on their northern neighbor. The impression of Chavez applied to the rest of Latin America is flawed, however, and is due more than anything to Chavez’s flamboyant personality, his love of publicity, and the discomfort in the relationship between him and U.S. President George W. Bush. His antics should not blind Latin America-watchers to the fact that much of the region is consolidating democratic political institutions and growing economically, albeit slower than desired. Elections throughout Latin America will demonstrate how each nation is approaching these processes in individual ways that don’t constitute a feared ‘pink-revolution’ that will cause the region to regress.
I hope he is right and I am wrong. (This website looks very promising. Check out "Links & Organizations" under "Links".)