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Thursday, September 14, 2006

COLUMN: IN LATIN AMERICA, POPULISM AND OIL PRICES GO TOGETHER

There are two ways of reading today's headlines about Latin America: You can say that this week's Movement of Non-Aligned Nations meeting in Havana illustrates the triumphal return of radical leftist regimes in the region, or you can say that it marks the beginning of their end. Read the full column to find out which of the two I think it is. What do YOU think?

7 Comments:

Blogger doppiafila said...

Hi Andres, I agree with you that the meeting and its political attempts will be less important in the future than commodity prices. Nevertheless, I also believe that Latin Americans need to explore all possibilities when learning how to choose their leaders, without external interference. A Morales will not ruin Bolivia (already pretty ruined) more than Garcia did ruin Perú, and Chavez is as populist as Uribe...
Still, one thing is true: with high commodity prices, everything is easy down here - for the left and for the right!
Regards, Doppiafila

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thorsen
PThorsen240@aol.com

I support Evo Morales 100% in what he is doing. I can't say enough about his efforts to take back Bolivia from the Spaniards and to return to native, indigenous language and practices. Native societies in what is now Latin America rivaled any of the great European empires for its time. Ever since the Spaniards came they have known nothing but poverty and despair. I say Bravo Evo!!!!!!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Camilo Pino said...

Not sure about the relationship between populism and high energy prices.

Oil rich countries are not necessarily populist. Norway and Mexico, for instance.

Can you comment on Perón and the Argentine economy?

I understand Perón ruled under harsh economic conditions (created by himself). He is
the definition of populism.

The one point I'd make about Venezuela is simpler: When oil prices go up Venezuela´s strategic value increases. The country has the largest oil reserves in the world (heavy crude).

10:53 PM  
Anonymous José Alejandro Amorós said...

I believe this is the beginning of the end. NOAL is irrelevant as a world movement. After Fidel sided with the USSR when he looked the other way in every occassion (Checkoslovakia,Afghanistan,Poland) the Ruskies acted imperially it is hard to understand what credibility he has left other than this is a gathering of the usual suspects of "blame the U.S. for everything wrong in their countries" crowd.

The meeting of NOAL has become a mutual commiserating group therapy for little tyrants around the world whose population wish their countries were aligned with some country with money!

10:56 AM  
Blogger roberto e said...

Commodity and Politics are cycles
Just like one's Love Life
Example AMLO'almost victory may
cause a centrist/reform approach with Social Responsibility
AlanGarcia's is a repeat of Venezuela'sCAP's second term disaster
would your marry-the same one you divorced for infidelity and theft ???Only in Latin America
Commodity ups and downs are a love affair with Growth and Goodies
You can binge, bust or repeat the cycle

Chavez wishes to be elected indefinitely
for life ,at 25 a barrall he is gone at
80 he is a genius!! Its the cycle not the Politicos !!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chavez was elected with the oil price at US$12(#).
He ran a populist platform and won the elections when the oil price was in a low cycle.

Again, I can't see the relationship populism-high commodity price.

Of course, if the oil price is high Venezuela has more international leverage. But this would happen regardless of the government nature.

http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Historical_Oil_Prices_Table.asp

10:00 PM  
Blogger roberto e said...

Correct Anony.it was around 12
but the debt and the country was in crisis I think Mr O means the cycle starts during the POpulists rule and if times are good they re-elect
Similar concept to Price forcasting
using charts(technical analysis)
Regards

12:10 AM  

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