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There's a trend that Latin America is on a 20-year cycle of democracy/totalitarianism.  If you look through history, starting roughly at independence, the number of democracies vs the number of totalitarian states fluctuates reciprocally about every twenty years.  Today, every nation in the western hemisphere except Cuba is democratically elected.

However, we're nearing the end of the democratic crest.  (I guess it's a western bias that I say democracy is at the crest and totalitarianism is at the trough--but theoretically that would be a feminine trait.  Good thing I'm in touch with my feminine side or that might offend me enough to go to war.  :)  Joke...that was a joke.  Calm yourself.)  Anyway, if this trend holds true, we'll shortly see the decay of democracy in South America and the return to totalitarian governance.  Considering some of the recent/current rulers, this may very well hold true.

Fujimori certainly wasn't the most democratic ruler, though he recently stepped down.  What's in the future for Peru?

Chavez is taking many "undemocratic" actions that make many western investors uncomfortable, and he's causing grumblings within his own state for the same reason.  He's still in power, but his economy is extremely dependent on oil.  What happens if his economy goes belly up...it's generally the case that a good economy is necessary for stability, and stability is necessary for a functioning democracy.

Ecuador had a close call with their presidential crisis, with the military ovethrowing the ruler.  However, they rather quickly ceded power to Vice President Noboa.  Still, it was a coup.

Colombia is struggling to maintain their open democracy, but the FARC has stalemated the government.  If they happen to take control, will they implement the socialist ideals they used to espouse?  Or will they continue to let capitalism run their lives--the way they do now with narcodollars now?  Even if they do return to socialism, will they do it to the extent that we would consider it totalitarian?

What do you think?  Are we headed for totalitarianism on the southern border?  Are there enough moderating influences to prevent the fall of democracies--influences that were not present previously?  Will investment in the region skyrocket as investors seek new markets?  Will this have an impact upon the types of government?  Given the different "degrees of democracy" is this argument a moot point?  Is the trend flawed because many nations are democracies in name only, like the PRI was in Mexico?

Good enough to start...let's argue!

Jeff

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