‘What People Want Are Results’: Frida Ghitis on South America’s Pragmatic Turn

Pedestrians walk past a mural depicting the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Leonardo Fernandez).
Pedestrians walk past a mural depicting the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Leonardo Fernandez).
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Over the past two decades, perhaps no region of the world has seen such a dramatic reversal of fortune as South America. Beginning in 1999, a political shift to the left combined with an economic boom allowed governments across the continent to make dramatic inroads in the fight against poverty. The region’s transformation was held up as a model of what governments can achieve when they make addressing inequality a central priority. But beginning in 2013, the end of the commodities boom led to slowed growth and, in some cases, political instability, calling into question the sustainability of the previous […]

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