Is the Political Pendulum Swinging to the Right in Latin America?

Corruption and economic woes are fueling the shift in some countries in South America.

By Rhonda FanningMay 25, 2016 11:17 am

During much of this century, the political left has been ascendant across Latin America – the “Left turn” as it was once called: Brazil’s Lula da Silva. Venezuela’s Chavez. Argentina’s Kirchners.

But now, some are wondering if an era is over. Raul Madrid is with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin – he says it isn’t as much as an ideological shift as it is a desire for new and different leadership.

“It’s about governmental performance, and some of the leftist governments haven’t performed that well lately – in part due to factors out of their control,” Madrid says. “They don’t control the international prices of commodities, and so that certainly hurt them. But there also have been a number of important corruption scandals … so it’s not so much that people are voting for the right as they are voting for change”

What you’ll hear in this interview:

– What’s behind the dissatisfaction with leftist leaders

– Factors driving economic woes

– How Washington views Latin American politics now versus how it has in the past