The Americas — Two Blessings, One Challenge

Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel on the three big elections in Latin America in 2018 -- Brazil, Colombia and Mexico -- and what the results so far mean.

Three game changing countries have presidential elections scheduled in 2018: Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

Two have taken place under quite stressing conditions: Colombia and Mexico.

In Colombia, the Santos Administration is concluding without consolidating the peace process and with a slow and rather weak economic recovery.

In Mexico, the presidential race speeded the tumbling of both traditional and contesting political parties. To be sure, PRI, PAN and PRD seem to have been sent to the dust bin of history by the Mexican electorate that clearly identified their pact for reform as a wheeling dealing among corrupt politicians to hang on to power.

The same sentiment ran in Colombia where the Liberal and Conservative parties where buried under an avalanche of votes for two unscripted and fresh leaders: Mr. Fajardo and Mr. Duque.

Mr. Duque was ultimately was elected to rule Colombia beginning August the 7th.

In Mexico, Mr. Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador was beneficiary of popular discontent.

Duque and Lopez Obrador as candidates inspired different sentiments.

The Colombian president elect was seen as the messenger of hope.

Mr. Lopez-Obrador as Mashhit, the angel of destruction who would level Mexico into the Middle Ages.

Fate has wanted it however that fears about Mr. Lopez-Obrador’s true colors have been exaggerated while Mr. Duque’s state-crafting talents underrated.

Mr. Lopez Obrador so far has announced public policies that make sense in terms of facing Mexico’s dilemmas which basically are: security, unbalanced growth and separation of powers.

To deal with the first he is proposing a refurnishing of the police and the return of the army to national security operations.

To correct unbalanced growth, he is promoting economic confluence between North and South through a tech-based agriculture relaunch.

To reduce the omnipotence of the presidency, he is proposing a repeal referendum and the creation of impeachment powers for the legislative.

These proposals make sense from the public policies perspective but also in terms of accelerating Mexico’s road to development.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duque in Colombia is painfully aware that any development efforts undertaken by Colombia are going to be vacuumed out by Venezuela’s melting down, and so he is facing this Hydra head on.

A Latin American agreement to prosecute the Mafiosi governing clique in Venezuela through the International Penal Court is emerging under Mr. Duque’s leadership.

Mr. Duque has also issued death sentences to multilateral institutions created by the late President Hugo Chavez in Chavez’s attempt to render O.A.S. and the U.N. irrelevant.

And he is also teaming up with Brazil, the Netherlands and even Guyana to create a sanitizing belt around Venezuela with a view toward providing care for the unfortunate citizens of the country that are fleeing death by starvation while making it quite difficult for the governing gang in Venezuela to continue carrying out their trafficking of every illicit substance there is to be found.

Taken together these developments unfolding in Mexico and Colombia have become the two badly needed blessings the region needed after the Bolivarian storm began pounding its democracy and freedoms. Lets keep our fingers crossed that the third comes from Brazil in October.

Published by on Monday July 16th, 2018

*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*