Shifting gears in Latin America


Bertelsmann Foundation

The failure of attacks on American democracy shows the value of strong institutions, says an adviser to President-elect Joe Biden. If the United States can overcome such assaults, it may be able to help its Latin American neighbors do the same, the Economist suggests:

Democracy is in retreat. The Bertelsmann Foundation, which ranks countries’ democratic strength on a ten-point scale, finds that the scores of seven democracies in Latin America have fallen by 0.8 points or more since 2010. Recently Peru’s Congress unseated the second of two presidents within 30 months. Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s president, has laid the groundwork for dictatorship. Elections in 2021, including in Ecuador, Peru and Nicaragua, could bring populists to power or consolidate authoritarians’ rule.

“Bidenworld thinks it wrongheaded to confine democracy promotion to three countries [the left-wing “troika of tyranny”—Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela],” the Economist adds. “It shares the pre-Trump consensus that the neighborhood’s stability depends on the rule of law, a strong civil society and fairer capitalism.”


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