go to top
French President Francois Hollande and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signing bilateral agreements, Bogota, Colombia, Jan. 23, 2017 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

How Hollande Revitalized French Policy in Latin America

Friday, Jan. 27, 2017

While Donald Trump spent his first week as president of the United States rapidly upending ties with Mexico, undermining major free trade deals, and flaunting his protectionist ambitions, outgoing French President Francois Hollande visited Latin America, where he signed a host of bilateral agreements with Chile and Colombia. In Chile on Sunday, he warned against creeping protectionism, which he called the “worst response” that “impedes trade, hinders growth and even affects employment, including in countries that advocate for it and implement it.” The comment was an indirect jab at Trump and other populists on the rise, not least Marine Le Pen, who is expected to be a frontrunner in the race to succeed Hollande in May.

With unprecedented unpopularity at home, Hollande is not running in the upcoming election. He will leave office with a troubled legacy not only in France but abroad, including a spotty record in Africa, a major focus of French foreign policy. But while it may have been harder for Hollande to break with the complex and often corrupt nature of French policy in Africa, Latin America carries less baggage than France’s former colonial sphere of influence. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.