(Photo: David Fernández – EFE)
Here’s a scenario that seemed highly unlikely only a few weeks ago, but that has a 50 percent chance of happening in light of the political earthquakes that are rocking Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, and that could mark the end of a 15-year-old leftist populist cycle in South America.
It would go like this:
Argentina’s center-right opposition leader Mauricio Macri, bolstered by his unexpectedly strong performance in the Oct. 25 first-round presidential elections, wins the Nov. 22 runoff elections. Macri would lure an avalanche of foreign investments and spur hopes of a dramatic economic recovery after several years of economic downturn.
An open critic of populist authoritarian regimes, Macri has said that if elected, he would demand that Venezuela abide by regional commitments to democratic rule. His election would make big headlines everywhere, and turn him into an important regional figure.
(A milder version of this scenario would take place in the event of a victory by Argentina’s government-backed candidate Daniel Scioli. He is more moderate than outgoing president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and would not be as close to Venezuela as she is.)
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