The New Latin America

March 2008 • Volume 2, Issue 3
Will radicals or moderates triumph?
By Roland Flamini

Introduction

A couple in Caracas, Venezuela, celebrates the unexpected defeat of a referendum that would have removed presidential term limits and expanded presidential powers. The defeat of the Dec. 2, 2007, referendum marked a major setback for President Hugo Chávez.  (AP Photo/Howard Yanes)
A couple in Caracas, Venezuela, celebrates the unexpected defeat of a referendum that would have removed presidential term limits and expanded presidential powers. The defeat of the Dec. 2, 2007, referendum marked a major setback for President Hugo Chávez. (AP Photo/Howard Yanes)

Latin America is struggling to re-define its soul. The region's once ubiquitous military dictators in dark glasses have been replaced by a new generation of democratically elected leaders. Under their tutelage Latin America is enjoying steady growth and trying to bridge the notoriously deep chasm between the rich and the poor. Wealth and global trade have brought a new sense of cohesion and an unprecedented regional identity, while newly empowered women and indigenous and mixed-race populations are transforming the political landscape. Amid these positive signs, experts ask whether the future belongs to the more moderate, market-oriented democracies — such as those in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina — or to the more radical, left-wing populism inspired by Venezuela's bombastic socialist leader Hugo Chávez. Meanwhile, with the United States preoccupied in Iraq and elsewhere, the European Union, the Gulf States and China are increasing their economic presence in the region as U.S. influence declines.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Latin America
Jun. 05, 2012  China in Latin America
Mar. 2008  The New Latin America
Jul. 21, 2006  Change in Latin America
Mar. 14, 2003  Trouble in South America
Nov. 09, 2001  U.S.- Mexico Relations
Sep. 19, 1997  Mexico's Future
Jul. 19, 1991  Mexico's Emergence
May 05, 1989  New Approach to Central America
Mar. 06, 1987  Soviets' Latin Influence
Dec. 26, 1986  Pinochet's Chile
Nov. 08, 1985  Troubled Mexico
Apr. 10, 1981  Latin American Challenges
May 05, 1978  Central America and the U.S.A.
Sep. 23, 1977  Mexican-U.S. Relations
Jun. 04, 1976  Relations with Latin America
Oct. 21, 1970  Chile's Embattled Democracy
Jun. 24, 1970  Mexico's Election and the Continuing Revolution
Apr. 02, 1969  Economic Nationalism in Latin America
Jul. 19, 1967  Guerrilla Movements in Latin America
Dec. 28, 1966  Militarism in Latin America
Oct. 20, 1965  Common Market for Latin America
Aug. 04, 1965  Smoldering Colombia
Jun. 23, 1965  Inter-American Peacekeeping
Dec. 11, 1963  Progress of the Alianza
Oct. 05, 1962  Arms Aid to Latin America
Dec. 13, 1961  Land and Tax Reform in Latin America
Jul. 26, 1961  Commodity Agreements for Latin America
Jan. 11, 1961  Revolution in the Western Hemisphere
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Jan. 13, 1960  Expropriation in Latin America
Jul. 02, 1958  Economic Relations with Latin America
Mar. 02, 1954  Communism in Latin America
Jun. 20, 1952  Political Unrest in Latin America
Sep. 18, 1950  War Aid from Latin America
Oct. 31, 1947  Arming the Americas
Jul. 24, 1946  Inter-American Security
Jan. 02, 1942  Latin America and the War
Jul. 10, 1941  Export Surpluses and Import Needs of South America
Jun. 04, 1941  Economic Defense of Latin America
Jun. 25, 1940  Politics in Mexico
Nov. 01, 1939  Pan American Political Relations
Oct. 10, 1939  United States Trade with Latin America
Apr. 07, 1938  Protection of American Interests in Mexico
Mar. 04, 1936  Peace Machinery in the Americas
Sep. 27, 1933  Trade Relations with Latin America
Oct. 16, 1928  Pan American Arbitration Conference
Jan. 12, 1928  The Sixth Pan American Conference
Jan. 10, 1927  American Policy in Nicaragua
Dec. 27, 1926  Relations Between Mexico and the United States
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean