Latin America sees major political shift in 2016

Global Business

Latin America sees major political shift in 2016

From Cuba to Argentina, Latin America is seeing a dramatic political shift in 2016 from populism to pragmatism.

Leftist governments have been replaced with technocratic, pro-business leaders. They’re promising political reform and economic growth- but facing challenges on both counts.

CCTV’s Katie Sargent reports.

Latin America sees major political shift in 2016

From Cuba to Argentina, Latin America is seeing a dramatic political shift in 2016 from populism to pragmatism. Leftist governments have been replaced with technocratic, pro-business leaders. They’re promising political reform and economic growth- but facing challenges on both counts. CCTV’s Katie Sargent reports.

The sound of Venezuela in 2016 with an unending wave of protests against that the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

The latest unrest is over his decision to pull the widely used 100 bolivar note out of circulation. Maduro said it was to stop currency smuggling. The highest inflation rate in the world had made the notes practically worthless.

Despite the country’s economic collapse, Maduro is still in power.

Elsewhere the so-called “pink tide” of left wing governments that washed over Latin America early in the century appears to be receding.

Brazil’s former president Dilma Rouseff was impeached for breaking federal budget laws and forced out of office. Her vice president Michel Temer replaced her – promising a new era of government. But his proposed austerity measures have been unpopular.

And now Temer is facing his own political crisis – allegations he took illegal campaign contributions – alongside Rouseff – from a major Brazilian engineering firm. He’s denied accepting illegal donations.

That same scandal is tarnishing the centrist presidency of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in Peru.

The former Wall Street banker took office with a razor thin mandate after a tough election battle against the daughter of a former president. Prosecutors are now looking into whether he took kickbacks to help secure contracts when he was prime minister.

In Argentina, Mauricio Macri promised he would get the economy dancing again and spur economic growth when he took office in 2015 – replacing his predecessor’s socialist program with a more business-friendly one.

But the economy sunk into recession. Now he’s shaking up his economic team – asking the finance minister to resign and reorganize the ministry into two divisions.

The turnover in Latin American leadership will continue in the new year.

Ecuador’s Rafael Correa is set to step down.

Chile will elect a successor to Michele Bachelet, who cannot run again after her term ends in 2018.

Cuba’s Raul Castro said his current term – which also expires in 2018 — will be his last.

Over the next two years, nearly half the countries in Central and South America will hold presidential elections- testing whether the region’s turn to the right is a temporary detour or a new political direction.


Laura Carlsen on Latin America’s political shift and its economic impact

To find out more on Latin America’s political shift and its economic impact, CCTV America’s Susan Roberts spoke to Laura Carlsen, director of Latin American Rights and Security at the Center for International Policy.