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Dr. Joseph S. Tulchin
Uruguay scores perfect tens
on civil liberties and the electoral process in the World Bank’s rule of law
index – matching Norway and New Zealand, and far outstripping its larger Latin
American neighbors. The country’s internal stability is buttressed by an
ambitious social welfare system. However, that presents Uruguay’s leaders with
a nasty problem: how to reinvent the economy to keep financing an expensive
faces economic uncertainty as global trade alliances are thrown into disarray.
The new government in Santiago, led by free-market conservative Sebastian
Pinera, has a weak position in the legislature. On top of the daunting
challenge of diversifying Chile’s copper-based economy, President Pinera must deal
with social unrest at home. This situation calls for first-rate leadership that
ventures beyond routine governance.
Dr. Catherine Conaghan
After Rafael Correa became president of Ecuador in
2007, he used windfall profits from petroleum revenue to drive economic growth
with aggressive public-sector spending on huge infrastructure projects,
much-needed social assistance and ballooning government bureaucracy. The
2014-2015 global downturn in oil prices made that strategy unsustainable. Since
May 2017, the country’s newly elected President Lenin Moreno faces an anemic
economy, unchecked corruption, pent-up opposition demands and tensions inside
the ruling party. Shadowing him is Mr. Correa, who is plotting a return to the
bribery, graft and political corruption plague many countries in South America,
but the region’s rising middle class and its renewed democratic institutions give
reasons to expect that the problem will result in strengthening democratic
institutions and the rule of law.