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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

By Beatrice E. Rangel

Fort Lauderdale was shocked to see an aircraft bound for Caracas, Venezuela, burst into flames minutes before take-off. Mercifully for everyone involved, the incident did not produce casualties or property damage except for the aircraft itself.

But as the twisted black flames filled the autumn sky, one could not help but think of how allegoric the image was of the airliner’s destination: Venezuela. A country otherwise destined to reach development is nowadays imploding under the pressure of flawed economic policies and civic exhaustion.

For the second time in its history, an oil boom has been dilapidated. For a fourth time in history, corporativist culture cum economic stagnation have generated institutional collapse. And for the fourth time in history, the economy is destroyed in the name of backward ideologies. Like that aircraft, Venezuela will sometime fly again, but it will take at least two generations to create a development platform capable of successfully reinserting Venezuela back into the world economy.

Meanwhile, in the southernmost tip of South America, a Tsunami was in the making.

Like the natural phenomenon, the Argentinean harbor crashed silently and unexpectedly over the Kirchner Administration.

In its march, it washed away civic fear of reprisal by the government and expressed loud and clear the discontent of Argentineans with a decade and a half of Kirchner public policies.

Indeed, Argentina is perhaps the sole country in our hemisphere that could continue to operate under conditions of autarchy. It has enough energy resources, agricultural land, water and wilderness to support middle class living standards for all its inhabitants. Further, until very recently it could boast to have one of the best educational systems in the world.

But in spite of these development inroads, Argentina today is a country facing scarcity. Exports suffocated under the weight of excessive taxation; imports are rationed; public services deteriorated as prices were controlled; and the natural inventiveness of Argentineans was doped by means of dispensing little thought-out subsidies.

As a result, the once upon a time seventh economy of the world became the 28th economy of the world. Argentineans decided that enough was enough. Mr. Macri, the Mayor of Buenos Aires almost defeated the government backed Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires Mr. Scioli in the first round.

By so doing he showed his countrymen the path towards reinvention and will most certainly become the next President of Argentina.

And while this position will entail the adoption of painful decisions to correct distortions and abuses, the good news is that the people of Argentina seem to be willing to support the effort.

Maria Eugenia Vidal, Macri’s candidate for Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires seat vacated by his ruling-party competitor Scioli, was elected by a historic landslide that left little room for doubt about who has earned the respect of the portegnos.

Up and until her run for the governorship, Ms. Vidal was the Minister of Public Health of the City of Buenos Aires. Under her mandate, 80% of facilities were upgraded while coverage increased by a full 30%. In the end management quality and public policy content rode the wave of change. Great prognosis for South America!!

Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.

Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


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