06-05-2021 Latin American Weekly Report
Bukele steers El Salvador towards dictatorship
Like much of the rest of the world, the eyes of political leaders across Latin America have been trained on the unfolding drama in the US as one of the most divisive electoral contests in the country’s history plays out to a conclusion. There is a lot at stake for governments in the region. Latin Americans are all too familiar with maverick populist presidents bridling at constitutional constraints on their power, seeking to delegitimise democratic institutions, espousing crude nationalism, stoking racial and ethnic divisions, and encouraging vigilante violence - just not in the White House. Dealing with President Donald Trump has posed challenges for friends and foes alike. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, looks like eking out a narrow victory. A change in style would be assured under Biden, but not necessarily in substance. Without the expected emphatic repudiation of Trumpism or control of the senate, and faced with a supreme court stacked with conservative judges, Biden would be hamstrung from the outset.
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