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Argentine President-elect Mauricio Macri at the botanical gardens, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Ricardo Mazalan).

Macri’s Argentina Election Signals Rightward Shift in Latin America

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015

When Venezuela’s charismatic revolutionary, the late Hugo Chavez, won the presidential election in his country for the first time in 1998, he launched a new political era in Latin America. For the next 17 years, leftist politicians—many of them emerging from humble beginnings, as Chavez had—rose to power through democratic means in a region where that path had seldom been successful for the left or the poor. Chavez’s model of modified socialist economics and modified democratic governance soon spread to a number of countries and became the dominant political phenomenon of the 21st century in Latin America.

That period of leftward momentum and the broader trend of modern Latin American socialism—a hybrid of market economics, redistributive socialism, populism and democracy with authoritarian tendencies—is now entering its final chapter. ...

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