It is tempting to view the win in Argentina by far-right libertarian economist Javier Milei followed by the first-place finish in the Netherlands by the anti-Muslim firebrand Geert Wilders as evidence of a global movement. But it would be a mistake to view these two earthquakes as part of the same tectonic pattern.
The political and humanitarian crises that have sent Venezuela into a death spiral for the past several years has now spilled over into neighboring countries and become a flashpoint in international affairs. But the protracted fight for control of the country has only meant additional suffering for its citizens. Is there any end in sight for Venezuela’s crisis?
The big question hanging over Argentine President-elect Javier Milei’s term in office is whether he can turn around the country’s crisis-stricken economy. But if Milei’s control over Argentina’s economic fate is limited, he’ll have free rein over the country’s foreign policy, where he is also planning some very large shifts.
Fears of a commodities trap are once again inflaming politics across Latin America. The latest illustration of the tensions and tradeoffs at the heart of these confrontations comes from Panama, where recent protests have forced the country to restrict new mining projects and may shut down a globally significant copper mine.
Most international coverage of Panama’s drought focuses on shipping delays through the Panama Canal. Locals are more worried about its impact on potable water. More worrying is the fact that Panama is not the only Latin American country currently facing water scarcity. To the contrary, the entire region is in the grips of a dry spell.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro knew some of the candidates he had backed were faltering ahead of Sunday’s local elections. But when the votes were counted, the results were much worse for the president than almost anyone expected. The outcome was such a decisive setback that the elections looked like a rebuke of his presidency.