(Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills – AP)
The most surprising — and hopeful — recent development in Latin America’s diplomatic scene is Mexico’s decision to champion the regional offensive to restore democratic rule in Venezuela. I could hardly believe it when I first heard about it.
Mexico’s new pro-democracy activism is a major departure from President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI) tradition of tolerance with leftist dictatorships.
If it’s more than a Peña Nieto strategy to court the Trump administration’s favor in anticipation of upcoming U.S.-Mexico free trade negotiations, it could have a big impact on the collective defense for democracy in the region.
“Mexico, followed by Canada, has been the leader of the new regional effort at the Organization of American States to bring back democracy to Venezuela,” says Jose Miguel Vivanco, head of the Americas’ division of the Human Rights Watch advocacy group. “That has a huge political weight in the region, because it is helping sway governments such as those of Brazil, Chile and Uruguay in the right direction.”
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