Across Latin America, the winds that propelled Leftist regimes have died down. In Argentina, we saw the end of the Kirchner reign and the election of the centrist Mauricio Macri. Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff is fighting to stave off her own impeachment. And Venezuelans have been struggling to escape the grip of Marxism. Now, even Bolivia’s Evo Morales, long a favorite of leftists around the world, is finding that his popularity has limits. The Telegraph reports:
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has lost his bid to seek a fourth term, his first direct election defeat since taking office in 2006, according to official results released Tuesday.Morales, 56, has been in power for a decade, thanks largely to support from indigenous groups and grassroots organizations in one of the Americas’ poorest countries.
While refusing to concede until the very end, Morales has promised to respect the official results of Sunday’s vote on a constitutional reform that would let him run for re-election to extend his time in office to 19 years. His current term ends in 2020.
If there’s one place where President Obama’s restrained foreign policy might be said to have borne fruit, it’s Latin America. In the Obama era, it’s become more difficult for Latin American populists to blame Washington for their countries’ problems. But even if staying uninvolved in Latin America might have worked thus far, that’s already starting to change. President Obama himself plans to visit Argentina next month. And with political turmoil in Brazil and looming civil conflict in Venezuela, Obama’s successor will likely have to spend even more time looking south.