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Is Latin America Turning Toward Free Markets?

Sebastian Pinera’s triumph in Chile’s recent elections would seem to confirm that Latin America is turning against statist left-wing populism.

First, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri unseated the Peronists, who had turned an emerging country into a fourth-world disaster. Then Bolivia’s Evo Morales lost a referendum in his effort to overcome constitutional term limits. (He is going ahead anyway but is encountering tough resistance.) Then Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was impeached amid a national revolt against corruption and was succeeded by her vice president, himself under suspicion, who is bent on reversing decades of profuse government interventionism. Then Ecuador’s new president, Lenin Moreno, denounced his predecessor and one-time mentor, Rafael Correa, a demagogic admirer of Venezuela’s dictator. And now, after four years—during which the country’s center-left, for decades an example of “vegetarian” moderation, let loose some of its “carnivorous” instincts—Chile has opted for Sebastian Pinera, a staunch defender of a (relatively) free economy, which has placed Chileans within $5,000 per capita of becoming a developed country.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa is Senior Fellow at The Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute. He is a native of Peru and received his B.Sc. in international history from the London School of Economics. His Independent Institute books include Global Crossings: Immigration, Civilization, and America, Lessons From the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, and Liberty for Latin America.

From Alvaro Vargas Llosa
GLOBAL CROSSINGS: Immigration, Civilization, and America
The erosion of national boundaries—and even the idea of the nation state—is already underway as people become ever more inter-connected across borders. A jungle of myth, falsehood and misrepresentation dominates the debate over immigration. The reality is that the economic contributions of immigration far outweigh the costs.