Thanks for a very good overview of the region and great issues. You mentioned the impact of the corruption issue. So while some people who support the government have clearly—are disaffected and have left, there’s still—there’s still a base of support. But that percentage of support is going to go down over the years. Politics, religion, and social issues might not belong at the dinner table, but these elements are certainly crucial to our lives. So what do you see as the likelihood that Temer will be able to stay in power? TAYLOR: Well, I agree with everything that they both said. Venezuela has seen an unprecedented—even by Latin American standards—crisis in economic, political, humanitarian terms. Richard Downey from Delphi Strategic Consulting. In other words, what has been launched and started can never be sort of put back in the bottle? John Yochelson, unencumbered by much knowledge of this region, here to learn. You know, I think that his visit her showed that that relationship is going to continue to flourish in a positive way under the Trump administration, which I very much view as a positive. Brazil, I’m not sure it’s a stalemate, but a deadmate, checkmate, something like that. And there’s Lava Jato, but then there is an investigation of the revenue service, and there’s an investigation of the meat-packing industry, and there’s an investigation of the pension funds. I think, though, at least among the elites in the business class, there continues to be a great amount of confidence in him and his team, in the way that, you know, his kind of troika of city of Buenos Aires, province of Buenos Aires, federal government is operating. And welcome to everybody. issue is very, very important at the outset—(audio break)—both from the United States in drug production. So having the United States with that environment, due to our own polarized politics right now, layered on top of the polarized politics in Latin America, that dynamic is one that, candidly, worries me. In m… And, you know, that can be good, but it can be just an echo chamber for some of these allegations, especially—you know, that can be good as long as it’s not as partisan, but when it becomes partisan and an echo chamber then, you know, it, I think, undermines democracy. So how far we are? Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American dialogue. But it’s a test in the sense that they’re—that you really have to get foreign ministers and presidents, and there is some suggestion of getting some sort of ad hoc coalition that comes out of this OAS meeting of a group of countries of Brazil, Mexico, of Argentina, of Peru, of Colombia, and others, really to exert much more pressure than we’ve seen so far. ARNSON: Well, I remember last year when Chile became—took over the presidency of the Pacific Alliance, the big news of that meeting was the presence of Mauricio Macri from Argentina. SHIFTER: Yeah, I think that, you know, we may know more this afternoon about the OAS, after this important meeting of foreign ministers, and what ultimately is the result of the role of the OAS in Venezuela. Or do you have to do what you were talking about before, political reform, which, at the end of the day—I mean, it is an opportunity, a justification—I’m not saying it’ll happen; it’s too hard of a nut to crack—but it is an opportunity to at least, I think, start talking about political reform in Brazil. And that’s really where he’s suffering, in that inflation is still high, wages are still relatively low. It could, but it would be a much different left than the PT governments of the 2000s when they had 70 percent support in congress, 80 percent support sometimes. SHIFTER: Well, I think that the region is coming a little bit more of the position of taking Venezuela much more seriously. And are there things we as a country could do to make it harder for people who are in business to be payors to these politicians? It is part of the greater Americas which include North America and Central America. TAYLOR: If I may jump—well, you can jump in too, but—(laughs)—. But one of the things macro that I worry about is, you know, the fact that, you know, yes, you’ve got a very polarized region. This really has put a lot of pressure on Temer. Despite Mexico’s economics strengths and its position as Latin America’s second-largest economy, businesses must be aware of heightened risks in the country in 2020 – including sluggish growth. This is a List of political parties in South America by country, linking to the country list of parties and the political system of each country in the region. You know, they’re sensitive to it. And what do you think are the prospects for his holding on the minority, or even expanding the number of seats that he has in the congress in the October elections? And so in terms of making progress on the ground on coca and other issues, demobilization, all the other things that you know better than I do are part of this agreement, it’s not the most propitious environment to make significant progress if you’re in the middle of an election campaign and the campaign has started. Maybe not formally, but the armed forces are the real—I think the real power at this point, in the government. But if there’s anything that we’ve learned through our own electoral process last year here in the United States, is that your macroeconomic indicators can be strong but if wages and employment are lagging, the political payment can still be pretty fierce. I’ll defer to Michael, but I tend to think that the Colombians have so much on their plate with the peace deal that they may be a little bit more distracted and less laser-focused than the Chileans have been on promoting this trade agenda, although I hope not because I think—again, I think it’s a very positive factor. Challenges to the political order The economic and social changes taking place in Latin America inevitably triggered demands for political change as well; political change in turn affected the course of socioeconomic development. So it’s—I’m not saying that this is the solution. The Trump administration really hasn’t yet come forth with a policy of where they’re going to go, but what’s the way to go? So whereas the peace issue, there is a real partisan kind of incentive and motivation to push that for political reasons. In the 2000s, under Lula especially, under the two terms of the Lula administration and continuing, to a certain extent, under Dilma, Brazil was the rising power. And of course, the polarization means that at least one of the candidates, probably to get into the second round, will be a fierce critic and opponent of this peace deal with the FARC. And so you know, this is something that there was sort of a decline in the profile of Brazil on the international stage, even before all of these scandals began to emerge. And in Ecuador, protests grew so chaotic that the administration high-tailed it out of the capital city. Thank you. Two interconnected issues have thrown the country's political establishment into turmoil. Sure. And the problem with impeachment is, as you said, Cindy, there are so many people who are involved in this case that there aren’t many bodies left standing. And I think that the United States is now building on what happened under the Obama administration, Trump administration is applying individual sanctions at higher levels, including the Vice President El Aissami in February, and more recently to the eight members of the court that basically decided to dissolve the National Assembly. And it’s only two or—two people down the set of successions that you get to somebody who is not involved in a corruption—any kind of corruption scandal. The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. Obviously seeking support for the implementation of the peace agreement, at the same time that the traditional issue that has shaped U.S.-Colombian relations, which is drugs, is, you know, front and center with this massive increase in coca cultivation. But I would say, you know, throughout the hemisphere, there is a strong dedication to environmental issues. And that’s true in Colombia. It doesn’t help Macri that he really doubled down on the bilateral relationship with the United States, and now the United States is in a much different trade and investment policy stance than we were last year. Most started because of minor causes, like bus or subway fare increases, but pertain to broader public policy problems like corruption, access to education, health care or pensions. You’re sitting around the dinner table with your family, and then someone brings up the election. MercoPress, en Español. So if, you know, somebody who was against the peace agreement, you know, wants to win, that—they’re going to sort of make that the issue. Obviously, the scandal completely cuts the legs out under—from under that strategy. But it looks to me that the government has really lost all legitimacy in its actions, and the people are suffering, and—from the emails and things that I get from people I still know down there. HOCK: Yeah, I mean, I think the short answer to that is it’s very hard to govern a country effectively and keep the communists in a coalition. A lot of the promises that were made as far as what will happen if we enact an ambitious reform agenda vis-à-vis investment, et cetera—you know, a lot of that has not come to fruition, due to things that are, frankly, outside of his control. United States - United States - Secession and the politics of the Civil War, 1860–65: In the South, Lincoln’s election was taken as the signal for secession, and on December 20 South Carolina became the first state to withdraw from the Union. And that would—if they do that and they get the two-thirds votes to do that, that would mean a suspension of Venezuela from the OAS. So something is going on here that all the idea, the message of change is not changing at all. ARNSON: There’s a Brazil piece in there and an Argentina piece. And that polarization is reflected in how—the positions that different candidates are taking. You’ve got a review of Buy America. I think that Santos’ visit was in general a success. But I think if that’s not successful, it’s going to be a major problem moving forward. ARNSON: A hush falls over the room. And actually, when you look around Latin America, especially South America, what you see is a turn to stalemate. One of the first issues that, Michael, you addressed was Venezuela. And, you know, whether that move towards South America—(audio break)—come to this hopefully later, with the election upcoming in Chile, whether Chile will continue to play that role. Native American, Europeans, African. But you’re closer to it. ), U.S. Supreme Court Assesses Corporate Complicity in Child Slavery, by David J. Scheffer This is a country that saw massive numbers of people lifted out of poverty during the boom years of the 2000s, the expansion of the middle class, what appeared to be a consolidation of democracy after the transition from military rule. And one of the critiques that Lula’s defenders have made is that they are essentially being pilloried for crimes that other parties have been committing as well, and that they’re the only ones who are targeted by prosecutors, by judges, and by the media. And it would help to have somebody of stature and authority representing the United States at the OAS, I think, to really push on some of the reforms that need to take place. Obviously, there’s a lot of the corruption investigations still going around that swirl around her and a number of her colleagues—former colleagues from the government. I think we’re about out of time for the panel before we turn to your questions. Now, as if the country’s other pressing problems weren’t enough, the Constitutional Court’s failure to resolve a standoff at the heart of his dismissal has added a new item to Peru’s “to do” list: constitutional reform. How do you see this affecting relations with respect to environmental and economic issues in the hemisphere? Vizcarra’s Ouster Puts Constitutional Reform on the Agenda in Peru. They become angry because they feel they have lost status at the expenses of others. In many cases, this results not so much from industry as from the massive concentration in 1-2 urban areas in each country. And, obviously, there’s preparations ongoing now for APEC and ASEAN later in the year. © 2020, World Politics Review LLC. TAYLOR: I can. It shouldn’t be, but my concern is that might be, although the corruption issue is clearly going to be there. But I would also point to the fact that the OAS has taken—today is behaving and performing in ways that are much improved by comparison to where it was even in the not-so-distant past. Political _____ issues caused many people to emigrate from Nicaragua. Simeon Tegel Friday, ... and an end to a year of political turmoil that followed Morales’ ouster. Security Issues May Hurt Development in Latin America For the sixth consecutive year, Gallup's Law and Order Index shows residents of Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014 were the least likely in the world to feel secure in their communities. Kellie, in South America, and to focus or capitalize on your expertise in the trade realm, there are two major trading blocs, if you will—the Pacific Alliance, which also includes Mexico—of course, there’s an important part of NAFTA—but Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile. And so there is a question here what that’s going to do to the economy, and so there’s some pushback from the business community saying, you know, it’s one thing to investigate corruption, it’s another to completely destroy the economy. What Can Biden Do? Two of them are very political. But as I said before, I think there are things that can be done to sort of create the—create some of the division within the government. It reduces South American policymakers’ ability to anticipate, shape and adapt to global developments. December 9, 2020, 2020: The Year’s Historic News in Graphics, by Amelia Cheatham In Argentina, Cristina in this moment nationally has around 40 percent of approval. His numbers are excellent. This is bad for everyone. Again, here everybody has their own perspective on this. Venezuelan opposition leaders and the governments that support them just saw their strategy for dislodging President Nicolas Maduro culminate in failure. Time for your questions. There’s certainly with Temer’s administration, under both Jose Serra and Aloysio Nunes as foreign ministers, there’s been an attempt to go kind of I would call it the Macri route. ‘What People Want Are Results’: Frida Ghitis on South America’s Pragmatic Turn, How Biden Would Change U.S. Policy in Latin America, Why a Tiny Guerrilla Group Has Paraguay’s Government on the Ropes, In Colombia, Police Brutality Fuels Deadly Unrest as Protesters Demand Reform, Bolivia’s Political Paralysis Is Imperiling Its Response to COVID-19. And how is that possibly going to change over these next years? But you know, there is an enormous division and polarization in these societies. And so, you know, all in all, you know, mildly optimistic going forward. That’s one possibility. And we live in a—in a fractured hemisphere and region. So you know, it does create an opening for further integration, liberalization to take place, and for it to be, for once, their idea, not our idea, which I think is a positive. So I’m wondering what the perception is, both among governments and among—if there’s any thought about the OAS among citizens and civil society. But my sense is that the U.S. should work with the region that belatedly, but happily, is beginning to step up and play a more important role. Now, the—now, the extreme case that Venezuela could do—I mean, the OAS could do is to invoke the Democratic Charter, which was approved on September 11th, 2001, in Lima, Peru. So I think, you know, what more forceful measures? And I think it should focus on what its mandate is, which is as a political forum dealing with democracy and human rights. I feel like we are not very far. The following is a compilation highlighting unique initiatives taking place in every South American country, each with its own unique approach to common challenges faced by investment promotion agencies. There’s the expectation that the former president, Sebastian Pinera of the right will be reelected. It’s—I don’t this is likely, but it’s not inconceivable that we could begin to see a coup. So I think that’s going to be an issue, and it’s going to be a major test for Santos, if he’s able to bring those levels down. The other problem is the polarization within Colombia itself, which makes any kind of sustainable sort of support more difficult, more complicated. I mean, let’s not—you know, I don’t think we should kid ourselves. And, broadly speaking, perhaps you can compare the challenges facing U.S. media with the challenges facing South American media. I think there’s sort of a broad level concern. And I think, frankly, however this turns out is going to be fundamentally a product of what happens within Venezuela. My name is Cindy Arnson. And it was such a long list, including to try to keep the more left-leaning aspects, you know, of her coalition on board, that you end up kind of over-promising and underdelivering. On the corruption scandals, how much of a focus is there on the payors as opposed to the payees? South America is a continent made up of 12 sovereign countries including Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil. But a test meaning that there is a—first of all, there are more countries at a higher level that are much more forceful. It should have been a long time ago. And there’s a real test of, you know, do the governments want to take it seriously, consider it an effective instrument, especially on political issues, on democracy and human rights issues. Of course, making political tradeoffs to obtain majorities in Congress is common practice worldwide, but it often leads to corruption. And if he doesn’t, what happens in political terms? I’m a journalist from Argentina, so I play like a local a little bit. Promptly the other states of the lower South followed. But certainly, you know, the congress isn’t going to make his life any easier in the coming months. We can divide the environmental challenges into those that are already apparent and those that will become more so through the 21st C. (World Bank, 2016) Among the former, the most obvious one is the pollution that mars many cities in Latin America. We’ve been saying it’s unsustainable for the last couple years, and it just—it keeps going. Q: Mike Barnes, Center for International Policy. I think there’s broad support here. HOCK: Maybe Michael, for you, but my view is that, you know, the Venezuela situation and the reliance by not just the U.S. but a number of the countries—you cited them earlier—leaning on the OAS to kind of get us through this process has been really revitalizing in a way. So why don’t we turn—. And this is supposed to go to judgement beginning June 6th, so next week. But I think it’s worth a try, and I think the OAS is a place where that could produce something like that. So, if he’s impeached, he would be replaced temporarily by the speaker of the House, who’s also implicated in the corruption scandal. I’ll jump in after if that’s fine. HOCK: Sure, please. Bachelet’s popularity is very, very low. HOCK: Yeah, and which I guess begs the question, you know, can you have a 26-state democracy with over 30 political parties and have that survive without corruption? Most of the people in Latin America can trace their ancestry back to the following three groups. But I think the message was delivered by both Congress and the administration that the drug issue really has to be addressed a lot more effectively moving forward. And I’m wondering overall, as people who are concerned with democracy and democratic governance, what this is going to mean for representation for political parties, for all sorts of things going forward. And I think Temer, who has always been a rather wily politician, very quickly tried to eliminate any consideration of the possibility of resignation. Mexico is emerging from a disappointing first year of the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). I think, you know, in many of the larger countries of Latin America, the media is extraordinarily concentrated, and what that typically means is that you have a fairly partisan media in some countries. The COVID-19 pandemic brought travel around the world to an abrupt halt in 2020. SHIFTER: Yeah, thanks. And now we’re at a point where, once again, if governments don’t deliver, then people are going to vote them out. You know, they were pragmatic when they voted for Hugo Chavez. And if they’re dissatisfied with what they have, they’re going to try something else. I want to—considering some of the things that have been said here, and following all the news that I do—and I speak to all the government people in South America all the time—how far we are for a return of the populist governments? We have the bank that deals with economic and social development. SHIFTER: —a replay of Noriega, no. It’s touched maybe a dozen other Latin American companies, mostly through the company of Odebrecht. I think these measures are symbolically important. HOCK: Yeah, Argentina is a bit of a bright spot. And I’m wondering the effectiveness of the OAS. We’ve seen it. ARNSON: OK. Just a question to ponder in our heads as we, you know, think about what’s going on in the region. And so you have a bit of a rejection, as you do in many of the countries in Latin America right now, against the political class overall, such that the normal kind of left-leaning coalition—you know, their leading candidate is someone who really doesn’t have a political background at all, which is primarily why Pinera is, you know, so favored going into the elections. You can’t—you can’t turn the page on what’s going on in Brazil right now and staunch the bleeding and stop the economic decline unless, in my opinion, you actually get at the root of the problem, which at the end of the day involves those two issues. Not only small, Caribbean states, but you look at a country like Peru, where you have the major metropolitan area of Lima basically in a desert, the major population center. I don’t necessarily agree with that perspective, but I think that you can imagine the effect that has on the standing of the media, and therefore on the beliefs that people hold about the information that’s circulating in those democracies. And I think, unfortunately for the Brazilians, they are having some difficulty getting heard, in part because of what’s going on at home. Here we go again. TAYLOR: That’s a great question. And if that were to happen, the congress could approve his removal with a two-thirds vote. I think that’s what the region—that’s the way, at least, that I think is useful to understand the region. And, you know, the other piece is, you know, to really start talking about government procurement and how that’s handled. I am going to start with Michael. It’s not quite—well, let me—let me just frame the question. And there needs to be some sort of negotiation with—I think it would have to be with the armed forces. There’s enormous uncertainty. So the other two options are a court case, which is currently ongoing in the electoral court—the supreme electoral court. Even though there’s financial part of the United States, there’s no—there wasn’t an ambassador for a good part of the Obama administration to the OAS. And it’s not just the Odebrecht case, because now we have this meat packing case, and there are many other cases that are likely to have international legs. There are a lot of different scenarios. And this was a joint settlement between Brazil and Switzerland and the United States. Economic issueshave played a significant role in the widespread dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, in Latin America, prejudices and stereotypes from the past remain and cases of harassment or street violence against women continue. And just thinking of the executive orders that have an impact on the countries of the region—or could, depending on how the actions linked to those executive orders come out, you’ve got a review of the country we have deficits with. I think the solution, whatever it is—and hopefully it will come soon, and hopefully it will be democratic—will be a product of what happens internally. And I think there is a lot of goodwill towards the Colombian government and President Santos from members of Congress, from both Democrats and Republicans—(audio break)—to the extent that it’s nearly at the level that it was when Plan Colombia was adopted in 2000 by the—by the Congress, after it had been—(audio break)—concern. Second of all, we’ve see just the dramatic, accelerated deterioration in Venezuela. And that obviously would have tremendously troubling implications and consequences. Vivian Lowery Derryck, the Bridges Institute. So that’s one scenario, that basically things continue as we’ve seen them—as terrible as they are and as much as all of us say this is unsustainable. The successful garrison coup of Gen. Fulgencio Batista in Cuba in March and the forceful overthrow of the junta governing Bolivia in April are vivid warnings of how uneasy is the political situation in many countries to the south. If you look at Peru, we haven’t talked about, Chile looks like it’s going that way. So there’s a lot of uncertainty about the domestic politics. (Applause. The second possibility is direct elections. And I think it’s important to remember that this is a—this is a corruption scandal that hasn’t only touched Brazil. CFR breaks down 2020’s biggest news with graphics. I want to ask Michael, President Santos was just here, visited the White House, made the rounds on Capitol Hill. I’m the director of the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and it’s my pleasure to be presiding over this discussion. We’ve mentioned it in the context of the Pacific Alliance. I’d like to circle back to the—to the role of the media in South America. But I—you know, drawing on the Brazilian case, there are essentially three to four big media outlets, and much of the local media draws on their reporting and on their stories and on their investigative work. South Africa's political crisis appears to be coming to a head. And so there’s been a reemergence partly because some of the competing institutions in the hemisphere, like UNASUR, have not been competing as heavily. And then Mercosur, Brazil and Argentina, with those two economies being dragged down, and Uruguay and Paraguay trying to, you know, find some space within that. You have the biographies of the speakers, so I’ll introduce them just briefly, starting with Kellie Meiman Hock, who is a managing partner at McLarty Associates and former director for Brazil and the southern cone of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The other is that the Brazil—that the military plays a role to kind of preside over some transition and calls elections, and there are elections. Read the latest Political News and in-depth analysis from Latin America and Mercosur region. The news this morning, reports that our president has decided we will join Nicaragua as the only two countries in the hemisphere that are not participants in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. That could turn into an indictment in the supreme court.