Truth is, that with at least 11 elections in 2016, including the United States, democratic goverce will be at the center stage opening the possibility for Latin America to be considered a priority in the US Foreign Policy agenda; of course that would be my wish for 2016.
Latin American governments face political, security and economic crisis at home making them poor partners to improve regional governance, deter drug lords, stop arm trafficking, and boost development.
Future is uncertain and stakes are high, Latinoamericanos are anxious about forthcoming elections in their own countries, and of course the repercussions of the United States presidential election in the region; anxiety aside, truth is change brings opportunity.
The next U.S. president should move toward Latin America now more than ever, with more than 53 million Latinos living in the United States treating Latin America as a partner (and not as the backyard) will have a positive outcome in domestic policy, improve trade relationships, increase regional development and governance thus making the entire region thrive.
Besides my wishful thinking, I want to share with you Brooking Institution’s perspective on 2016 Latin America’s elections.
2016 will be the year when the political consequences of the change in the region’s economic fortunes play out. The region’s middle class, which has doubled in size since 2002, faces diminished opportunities, and many of its members lack the accumulated wealth and education to easily weather the present downturn. The region’s vulnerable classes, no longer in critical poverty but not part of the middle class either, face an even more difficult situation.