Venezuelan flag Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

Het moment van Latijns-Amerika

NEW YORK – Een groot deel van de aandacht van de wereld gaat begrijpelijkerwijs uit naar de ontwikkelingen in het Midden-Oosten, Europa en Azië. Deze regio's vertegenwoordigen het overgrote deel van de mondiale bevolking en welvaart, hun geopolitieke activiteiten roepen de meeste spanningen op (en hebben zeer veel gevolgen), en in recente decennia – zo niet eeuwen – hebben ze het grootste deel van de wereldgeschiedenis voor hun rekening genomen.

Maar een onbedoeld gevolg van deze aandacht is dat veel regeringen, ondernemingen en mensen een groot deel van wat er gaande is in Latijns-Amerika over het hoofd zien. En veel van wat er momenteel gaande is in Latijns-Amerika blijkt toevallig heel goed te zijn.

Dit is wellicht niet vanzelfsprekend. Brazilië, het grootste land van de regio, bevindt zich middenin een ernstige politieke crisis; de zittende president, Dilma Rousseff, moet misschien voor de rechter verschijnen, terwijl later deze zomer de Olympische Spelen in haar land plaatsvinden. Intussen is de economie in 2015 met bijna 4% gekrompen, en zal zij dit jaar naar verwachting met een soortgelijk percentage krimpen. De invloed van het Zika-virus is in Brazilië groter dan waar dan ook elders ter wereld. De corruptie is endemisch en heeft vrijwel iedereen in het openbare leven in haar greep.

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