By Beatrice E. Rangel
This was a rather generous Christmas season in the Americas. South America seems to have come back to its senses and has chosen to enhance democratic freedoms while starting the rough yet rewarding process of building viable economies.
The US approach to collective leadership in world affairs seems to have begun to take ground.
Rule of law could perhaps flourish in the near future should nations in the Hemisphere continue to fight impunity.
In ancient times, Viking kings would gather their people around burning logs beginning the day of the solstice and repeating the ceremony for twelve days. The heathen festival was known as Yule.
Every day a petition would be presented to the Sun God whose return was expected with hope and joy. Petitions were meant to preside each month for the upcoming year.
Depending on the righteousness of community members, petitions would materialize or fail to do so.
Failures demanded sacrifices to appease the Gods. Petition receipts, on the contrary, would trigger celebration. So let’s celebrate the Yule gifts received this year by Latin America:
- Mexico conquered politically complex structural reforms in the key development areas of education; energy and telecoms. Whatever drawbacks of the Pena-Nieto administration, reforms guarantee passage into history;
- The US quietly and effectively built consensus around climate change thereby initiating the long march towards the new and rewarding age of green development;
- The Caribbean is finally realizing that structural reforms are unavoidable and desirable. Jamaica is already cropping benefits from initial reforms. Stay tuned for Trinidad, Barbados and the Lesser Antilles;
- Colombia continues to be an investment grade economy in spite of enhanced and persistent efforts by the FARC and ELN to jeopardize economic performance;
- Cuba will soon trade heavy Venezuelan crudes for US cracked and fracked sweet light crudes;
- In a break with its past, Panama is cleaning up government from secular corruption and repositioning its oceanic lane;
- With the support of the World Bank Group, competition authorities were able to decartelize economic activities in several Latin American countries reducing by 30% the cost of low income family living baskets in those countries;
- Uruguay started judicial proceedings against Eugenio Figueredo, the uncontested king of Copa America in the aftermath of FIFA’s indictments. This ends the reign of impunity among leaders of the beautiful game;
- The Transpacific Trade Partnership saw the light creating a trade corridor that is bound to surpass NAFTA in 5 years, as it brings together the economies of 12 nations representing 40% of world output or US $28.5 trillion. Canada. The US, Mexico, Peru and Chile are the winners in this deal;
- Brazil’s anti-corruption drive triggered by graft at Petrobras is paving the road for an upcoming era of institutional development and economic growth;
- Argentina decided to give itself a good government, choosing Mauricio Macri as president so that he acts as the very much needed Peronist exorcist;
- Venezuelans started the long, bumpy and sacrifice-riddled road to reconquer democracy with -– for a change -- the support of the international community which had been enthralled for a decade by the Scylla and Charybdis of Bolivarian mythology.
Taken together, these blessings could perhaps give hope to those who believe that Latin America is about to truly take-off in terms of economic and political development, so as to resemble more the Chilean model than the Banania model.
We should be grateful to Yule 2014!! 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 seriesBeatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis
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
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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
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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
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