A hollow cone
A Latin America asimmer with tension between Venezuela and Colombia is nothing new. Nor, sadly, is the region’s recent display of creeping authoritarianism, caudillos, and a coup d’état. Hopes for a new dawn of democracy and development are slowly morphing into resignation at a return to the past.--Financial Times
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Jefe de prensa de Shakira en Colombia le advierte al Gobierno Petro: “En ningún momento se ha autorizado por parte de la artista el uso del sencillo ‘El jefe’ en contextos políticos”
Escándalo: violaron a un menor de edad en el Parque Tercer Milenio; responsable sería de la minga indígena que llegó a protestar a Bogotá
Urgente: la carta de Amparo Cerón que pone en aprietos a Petro. Asegura que sacarla de la terna fue irregular y una “condena” que “mancilla su nombre”
Bogotá has sparked the easily ignited wrath of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, by offering the US military Colombian replacements for Ecuador’s Manta base. Mr Chávez is threatening to cut trade relations. Similar threats have proved empty in the past, but Colombia is wise to take them seriously: Venezuela is its second largest export market, and Mr Chávez is not a leader to mind the cost to his own people of a trade war with a neighbour he despises.
But north Andean skirmishes are just a symptom of a deeper problem: Latin America’s inability to get out of the rut in which it has been stuck for too long, held back in its development by strongmen and internecine rivalries.
US influence in the region is nowadays limited to anti-narcotics efforts that at best soften the effects of its own futile “war on drugs”. Other policy areas are neglected because of US priorities elsewhere or self-inflicted impotence earned by past US conduct.
US neglect could have proved benign – more so, certainly, than the activism that propped up right-wing dictatorships from Chile to Guatemala. But Latin America’s opportunity to shape its own destiny will be stillborn until one of its constituent nations takes up the mantle of regional leadership.
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