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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Ignoring the Butterfly Effect in Latin America Can be Truly Dangerous
Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel explores the "butterfly effect" in nation's throughout Latin America, from Mexico to Brazil to Argentina.

By Beatrice E. Rangel

Physicists and meteorologists know that the wind generated by the soft movement of butterfly wings can eventually cause tornados and thus seek to use this event to induce positive change. Indeed, chaos theory surmise "butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state."

Accordingly, they work hard on identifying and isolating this energy to create progress and control chaos and destruction. Or even better, to turn destruction into creation.

In the Americas we have great practitioners of the Butterfly Effect. These include Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay. These three nations embraced the rule of law mantra a long time ago as a development tool and little by little have
created societies where civility reigns and development proceeds without surprises and insoluble riddles.

Unfortunately for the hemisphere the Butterfly Effect does not seem to be able to take hold in the largest democracies of the Americas.

Brazil, for instance, is in the midst of the presidential race apparently looking for a savior that provides the people with the generous transfers encompassing bolsa Brazil while bringing back stability and certainty. This favors Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva who is remembered as the Good Times President.

Most, of course, ignore that the good times were not brought about by Da Silva but by a world economy that demanded ever growing quantities of commodities produced by Brazil. But as China, the engine of that growth model shifted gears to begin nurturing internal demand, there is no engine now to pull the Brazilian wagon.

Consequently, all Brazilians need to start moving their wings to produce the forward movement towards development.

As the presidential election date draws closer and Da Silva subjects the country to a cliffhanger experience by maintaining his pretentions to be candidate up and until the 11th hour, the development debate is held back. This is detrimental to the strengthening of the rule of law and favorable to autocratic leaderships that drive the country away from civility. Worse this suppresses the deployment of the Butterfly Effect to capitalize on the many competitive advantages that Brazil has in this new development wave.

In Argentina sheer fear to the devastating power of the violent groups armed by the Kirchner couple has held President Macri back from adopting public policies that would disarm populism and strengthen democracy.

As a result, he is trapped in the dilemma of choosing between macro-economic stability and political gain.

This could lead to a defeat in the 2019 elections in favor of a bolder leader that is ready to bury the past through the relaunching of rule of law. Macri who won through a Butterfly effect would then be the victim of an unregistered political tornado.

In Mexico the people have performed a Butterfly effect to vote out traditional parties. They however have placed their lot not on the citizen energy that achieved such a result but on the energies of a messianic leader that could easily turn into yet another Aztec King. Political development would then be suppressed, as rule of law would be straight jacketed.

Should however Mexico turn the AMLO mandate into one of democratic redemption then perhaps we could see the Latin American future more promising with several democracies extracting energy from that Butterfly Effect. Notably among those impacted by Mexico would be all nations in Central 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.


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