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Uruguay’s presidential hopeful Daniel Martinez of the leftist Broad Front during the June primary elections. Presidential hopeful Daniel Martinez of the leftist Broad Front casts his vote during primary elections, Montevideo, Uruguay, June 30, 2019 (AP photo by Matilde Campodonico).

Is Uruguay’s Brand of Pragmatic Leftism on the Way Out?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Uruguay, the small country wedged between South American giants Brazil and Argentina, has become something of a leftist icon in Latin America, albeit a calmer, more restrained one. While other countries caught up in the now-receding “pink tide”—both Brazil and Argentina, plus Venezuela, Ecuador and elsewhere—fell under the spell of charismatic populists, Uruguay engaged in politics and policies that have been decidedly short on leftist agitation. Instead, it was guided by a conciliatory and pragmatic progressivism, blazing trails without polarizing the nation. It is an approach that worked well for the governing coalition, the Broad Front, or FA, keeping it in power for 15 years.

With national elections now less than 100 days away, however, the FA is looking more wobbly as it seeks a fourth consecutive term. In keeping with Uruguayan voters’ considered approach to politics, the next government is all but assured to drift toward the center rather than to either extreme. ...

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