Sometime we forget how politics in the southern portion of our hemisphere will affect us.
The Washington Post has an editorial on what has been happening while we were pre-occupied with other news. I think it is part of the trend that seems to taking Europe to a more conservative point of view.
By Jackson Diehl
While the world has been preoccupied with the crisis in Haiti, Latin America has quietly passed through a tipping point in the ideological conflict that has polarized the region — and paralyzed U.S. diplomacy — for most of the past decade.The result boils down to this: Hugo Chávez’s “socialism for the 21st century” has been defeated and is on its way to collapse.During the past two weeks, just before and after the earthquake outside Port-au-Prince, the following happened: Chávez was forced to devalue the Venezuelan currency, and impose and then revoke massive power cuts in the Venezuelan capital as the country reeled from recession, double-digit inflation and the possible collapse of the national power grid. In Honduras, a seven-month crisis triggered by the attempt of a Chávez client to rupture the constitutional order quietly ended with a deal that will send him into exile even as a democratically elected moderate is sworn in as president.Last but not least, a presidential election in Chile, the region’s most successful economy, produced the first victory by a right-wing candidate since dictator Augusto Pinochet was forced from office two decades ago. Sebastián Piñera, the industrialist and champion of free markets who won, has already done something that no leader from Chile or most other Latin American nations has been willing to do in recent years: stand up to Chávez….…. The outcome is a victory for the United States, which was virtually the only country that backed the democratic election that broke the impasse. Honduras is the end of Chávez’s crusade to export his revolution to other countries.