Wed May 25: US-Cuba issues, Colombia plus other Latin America stories….click to listen….. https://t.co/5ByKFpuzMU
— Silvio Canto, Jr. (@SCantojr) May 25, 2016
All of a sudden, the lefties of South America are running for cover.
Let’s start in Argentina, where ex-President Fernandez has just been indicted:
A judge in Argentina on Friday indicted former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and other officials on charges of manipulating the nation’s Central Bank during the final months of her administration.
Mrs. Kirchner and the officials are accused of entering into contracts to sell the Central Bank’s dollars at below-market rates during her presidency in order to shore up the Argentine peso.
The judge, Claudio Bonadio, said that it was “unthinkable that a financial operation of this magnitude” could have been carried out without the explicit approval of “the highest political and economic decision makers of government.”
Judge Bonadio will now deepen his investigation, legal experts said, to decide whether the case goes to trial or is dismissed. Mrs. Kirchner can appeal her indictment.
Mrs. Fernandez followed her late husband Mr. Kirchner in the presidency. I guess that corruption finally caught up with them. At the same time, the couple has a lot of supporters in the public bureaucracy so don’t count your chickens yet.
By the way, Nestor and Christina Kirchner remind me a lot of the Clintons.
Over in Brazil, President Rauseff will be watching the Olympics from home rather than presiding over the opening ceremony as head of state. A trial has begun that could remove her permanently from the office. In the meantime, there will be an interim president.
Over in Venezuela, the situation has now hit the “expletive deleted” fan. President Maduro has declared a 60-day emergency because of what he defines as threats from the US government.
These 3 crises have a few things in common beyond the fact that the leaders where once the darlings of the left.
First, corruption is rampant, a natural consequence of concentration of power or using state resources to win elections. It worked great in Venezuela and Brazil as long as commodities and oil prices supported the inefficient state operations.
Second, the economies of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela are basket cases.
Brazil, one of the top 10 GDPs in the world, is mired in a deep recession.
Argentina is a better off but still paying the price of the Kirchner-Fernandez disregard for the rule of law.
And Venezuela is such a disaster that we won’t cite numbers because the country is indeed falling apart.
Argentina will be the first to improve because President Macri is already correcting the excesses of his predecessors.
Brazil and Venezuela could descend into chaos.
As my late father used to say, socialism is great as long as the subsidized get their subsidies. If not, the subsidized turn on the ones who made the promises, as is the case in Venezuela and Brazil.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.