Venezuela's Weak Strongman
Chávez does not speak for the South American left.
12:00 AM, Aug 19, 2008 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
Have many countries elected candidates of the left? Sure. But it should be clear by now that Chávez does not speak for the South American left. In 2003, a center-left Chilean government signed a free trade agreement with the United States. In Brazil, the center-left Lula government has pursued a sound, market-oriented economic agenda and worked with the Bush administration to promote ethanol production. Peru's center-left president, Alan García, has embraced market reforms and free trade. In early 2007, the United States and Uruguay signed a "Trade and Investment Framework Agreement." Uruguay, too, has a center-left government, led by President Tabaré Vázquez.
Jaime Daremblum, former ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States (1998-2004), is director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the Hudson Institute.