With roughly a year to go before general elections, Panamanians are frustrated with the country’s current conditions and skeptical of the major political parties’ ability to deliver change. While domestic issues are dominating debates, the election’s outcome will also have major implications for Latin America and the U.S.
Central America Archive
U.S. policy in Latin America is now strongly shaped by the question of China’s involvement and influence there. But while the U.S. will not convince countries to turn away from Beijing, it could help governments negotiate a better and more fair playing field, for China and other foreign powers operating in their countries.
Instead of the major economic crisis that was previously predicted, Latin America appears to be in a period of stagflation—growing too slowly to meet populations’ needs, with high but not crisis-level inflation. But several presidents are now questioning the independence of the central banks, a potential warning sign to the region.
Friction between Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and the Catholic Church is not new. But tense relations reached boiling point during Easter celebrations last week with further arrests in Ortega’s latest brazen crackdown, putting the devout in the middle of a power struggle between two mighty forces.
Former President Donald Trump’s indictment last week may have left the U.S. in uncharted waters. But the rest of the Western Hemisphere provides plenty of lessons for what happens when a former president is indicted. While a successful trial and conviction is possible, not all cases end the political careers of former leaders.