What is the political outlook in Latin America? Will Brazil’s Congress continue to govern independent of the erratic, but somewhat business-friendly President Jair Bolsonaro? Will Mexico’s nationalist-leftist president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (popularly known as AMLO) try to extend his power? Will Argentina’s new president Alberto Fernandez govern independently of his vice president Cristina Kirchner? Will Colombia become a new Chile in terms of riots? What will happen in Chile this year? And will Peru be able to return to political stability? Michael Shifter discussed in this interview with Latinvex.
Michael Shifter, Christopher Sabatini , Joachim Bamrud
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday completed his first year in office, one marked by international controversy over the Amazon, a slight economic recovery, political spats within his own party, as well as some significant legislative wins, including comprehensive pension reform. How well has Bolsonaro fared in his first year as Brazil’s president, and has he met voters’ expectations of change? How well is his government handling economic matters, and what should it focus on in the year ahead? To what extent has Bolsonaro’s confrontational political style helped or hindered his effectiveness in working with Brazil’s Congress?
Peter Hakim, Nerea R. García, Jorge Zaverucha, Fábio Kerche
On December 10, 2019, the Inter-American Dialogue, hosted an event titled “New Leadership in Argentina & Bolsonaro’s First Year.” The panelists were Matias Spektor, Rut Diamint, Bruno Binetti, and Monica de Bolle. Rafael Mathus, correspondent for La Nación, moderated the event.
La 32ª reunión del Grupo de Trabajo sobre América Latina (LAWG por sus siglas en inglés) tuvo lugar el 9 de diciembre en Washington, DC. En esta reunión, el grupo prestó especial atención a los disturbios y protestas que se vieron en la región en 2019.
Michael Shifter, presidente del Diálogo Interamericano, habló en el programa La Tarde de NTN24 sobre la crisis social y democrática que vive Latinoamérica en los últimos meses. Comentó en particular sobre las protestas en Chile y también sobre la salida de Lula da Silva de la cárcel.
The fires in the Amazon expose the very heart of the greatest collective action problem that humanity has faced, and it foreshadows harder battles to come. The actions of each individual country have consequences for the global climate, yet perpetrators are loath to make sacrifices when others, especially those with equal or greater responsibility, are not doing the same. The fact that threats of economic punishment seem to have shifted Brazil’s behavior suggests that a similar approach could be taken to address climate change on a larger scale. But it will not be easy, especially where the biggest emitters are concerned.
As wildfires rage in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro finds himself under increased international scrutiny. Program Director Lisa Viscidi comments for BBC World News on Bolsonaro’s policies toward the Amazon.
Rather than building a robust partnership with the United States, Bolsonaro’s current trajectory may end up with Brazil facing a largely indifferent Washington. Yes, Trump did declare this week that he wants a free trade deal with Brazil, but even if Brazil can find a way around Mercosur’s rules and begin to pursue a bilateral accord, negotiations will take several years to complete. A successful outcome is not out of the question, but it will require to thoroughly overhaul its highly protected economy, which is among the most insular in the world.
Brazil has vast oil reserves, but can the Bolsonaro government get the energy to market? Lisa Viscidi tells Richard Miles of CSIS that reforms are already in place that will enable oil production “to take off.” The real obstacles are the financial stability of Petrobras, the shaky state oil conglomerate, and the monopoly that the state has on most aspects of energy production, delivery, and even retail sales.
Lisa Viscidi, Richard Miles
˙ Center for Strategic & International Studies
Michael Shifter sat down with CEBRI to discuss the major political issues in the region, including the crisis in Venezuela, the Central American migration crisis, and the rise of populism in Latin America.
Revitalizing Brazil’s energy sector will be key to Jair Bolsonaro’s success as president – but so far, he’s had mixed results when it comes to getting reforms through Congress. Unless Bolsonaro learns to work with legislators and ease turbulence within his government, Brazil’s missing energy reforms will continue to threaten its economy, and its politics.
Peter Hakim spoke with Al Jazeera to analyze the political impact of accusations that Brazilian justice minister Sergio Moro conspired with prosecutors to jail former president Lula while Moro was a judge.