|Authoritarian Venezuelan |
Pres. Nicolas Maduro.
Similarly, in Ecuador Pres. Rafael Correa tried to maintain power by selecting his own succesor. But that man, Lenin Moreno, also rebelled against his mentor, saving Ecuador's instituations from becoming puppets of a strongman.
But Argentina did appear to be falling victim to a personality cult under the corrupt Kirchner dynasty - until Argentineans finally voted against them and elected Pres. Mauricio Macri, who is trying to clean up the Kirchners' mess.
|Nicaragua's authoritarian president-for-life Daniel Ortega |
and his wife, who is also his vice president.
Now, some fear that Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, a
leftist populist admirer of Cuba's ex-dictator Fidel Castro who will have few checks on his power and who appears to believe more in himself than in democratic institutions, will weaken Mexican democracy, which has just suffered through a presidential term marred by flagrant corruption and is under strain from chronic drug violence.
|Jair Bolsanero, potential|
dictator of Brazil?
who patently does not believe in democracy is setting a deplorable example for nations which once looked to the U.S. for democratic guidance, and Brazil, which is about to elect a racist, homophobic misogenist and unapologetic admirer of military dictatorship, as president.
Brazil's importance can hardly be exaggerated. It is the largest nation in Latin America and the world's fourth-largest democracy. It is also the protector - if it can be called that - of the Amazon, one of the planet's treasures of biodiversity and storehouse of carbon dioxide. And if virtual Brazilian Pres. Jair Bolsonaro is even more extreme than Trump, Brazil's institutions are much weaker.
It's all enough to make one wonder whether Latin America (and even the planet's) brief experiment with liberal democracy was only that, and experiment, which is failing.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours