Could Trump Succeed Where Chavez Failed and Unite Latin America Against the U.S.?

Could Trump Succeed Where Chavez Failed and Unite Latin America Against the U.S.?
Heads of state at the V Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Bavaro, Dominican Republic, Jan. 25, 2017 (AP photo by Tatiana Fernandez).

In the past four years, Latin America’s so-called pink tide—the much-reported electoral shift to the left—has receded, after populist governments came under siege amid corruption scandals and economic disasters wrought by extravagant spending. The result has been a new wave of either more conservative governments hewing to an agenda of free trade, as in Argentina or Brazil, or the possibly imminent rejection of governments carrying on the legacy of their forebears, as in Bolivia, Ecuador and—should elections and other democratic conditions ever return—Venezuela.

But just when Latin America’s populists had exhausted themselves, Donald Trump came along, appearing to embrace many of their largely failed policies. With his surprising election as U.S. president, the populist program that Latin American voters have either rejected or are struggling to overcome is now on the table in Washington, at least rhetorically: broad, unexplained policy initiatives, profligate spending initiatives, autarky and trade barriers.

Ironically, if Trump’s anti-immigrant, protectionist and nationalist rhetoric continues, his administration may succeed where the leader of the pink tide, former Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, failed—by uniting Latin America and the Caribbean against the United States.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.