President Mauricio Macri of Argentina was a successful businessman for many years before becoming the Mayor of Buenos Aires then the President of the country in 2015. He proposed plans to guarantee economic stability, but thus far the success has been moderate. Changes in the coming months, like increased prices for utilities and gasoline, will exacerbate the rising public discontent, and the position of the dissident Peronists will likely strengthen. Unrest is growing particularly quickly among particular sectors, like farmers, who were waiting for Macri to cut the tax on soy as promised. Now, there is no sign Macri will cut the tax, and this example illustrates a larger trend in the implementation of Macri’s economic plans. Read more in my recent report for the Geopolitical Intelligence Services, “Argentina’s Macri in the Crosshairs.”
Several weeks ago, I spoke with Veinte Manzanas from the online newsmagazine Nuevos Papeles about Donald Trump’s victory, what will come of his campaign promises, and implications for his foreign policy, given his lack of specificity about policies.Read the published text of the interview in Spanish here.I explain that his victory should not come as a complete surprise, considering the Republican Party is supported by around 40% of the electorate, thus, any candidate from their party will be competitive in an election. It is also important to acknowledge that his supporters are more than simply racist whites. Rather, Trump also appealed to voters who were angry with the current federal government. Many of his supporters are members of the working-class who have been increasingly discontented by globalization, the widening inequality gap, and the lowering of salaries for workers. Clinton did little campaigning in states where these groups of people dominate the electorate.As for international relations, Trump’s supporters are not especially concerned with foreign policy. During his campaign, Trump broadly stated that the U.S. needed better relationships with their allies, but he did not elaborate specific policies. When he mentioned other countries, he highlighted Mexico, China, and the Middle East: he proposed building a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border; he declared that China is advancing more quickly than the U.S. and stated he intends to negotiate more aggressively with China; and he vilified the Middle East as the source of ISIS. Regarding relations with Latin America, the policies under Trump’s administration will be largely shaped by his advisors.
Commentary on the Venezuelan Economic Crisis with Prof. Luis Ricardo Davila of Universidad de la Andes, Venezuela.