Sunday, November 18, 2007

Beyond Hugo

Duncan Currie examines the good news from Latin America. An excerpt:

What about the blustery Chávez? Isn’t he attracting broad Latin American support? In fact, the Venezuelan gadfly has high negatives throughout the region. Of the seven Latin American nations polled in the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Survey, majorities in Chile (75 percent), Brazil (74 percent), Peru (70 percent), Mexico (66 percent), and Bolivia (59 percent) expressed little or no confidence in Chávez “to do the right thing regarding world affairs.” Even in Argentina, perhaps the most anti-American country in the region, 43 percent of respondents had little or no confidence in Chávez.

In the same poll, majorities in Venezuela (72 percent), Brazil (65 percent), Chile (60 percent), Mexico (55 percent), and Bolivia (53 percent), along with a plurality in Peru (47 percent), agreed that “most people are better off in a free-market economy, even though some people are rich and some are poor.” As Pew reported, “There is broad support for free-market economic policies across Latin America, despite the election in the past decade of leftist leaders.” Indeed, majorities in Venezuela (74 percent), Brazil (70 percent), Mexico (65 percent), Chile (63 percent), and Peru (61 percent), along with a plurality in Bolivia (49 percent), said that foreign companies were having a “good” impact on their countries.

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