Taking Root

It's premature to proclaim the death of Latin American democracy--but the United States still needs to pay more attention to what happens there.

Issue: Winter 2005-2006

THESE DAYS, news reports from Latin America suggest that citizens throughout the hemisphere are fuming with anti-capitalist and anti-American rage. The recent elections of leftist presidents in Chile, Brazil and Uruguay, as well as the fulminations of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, are cited as evidence that the region has turned against Washington's "hegemony", including its despised and failed free market policies.

Are these impressions correct? Did the economic and political reforms undertaken during the 1990s impoverish Latin Americans, and is there a rising tide of anti-Americanism that jeopardizes the U.S. relationship with Latin America?

Assessing the Washington Consensus

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