In 2011, when Sebastian Pinera showed up for his first 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States meeting, it was a lonely affair for the right-leaning billionaire Chilean president: Most of his counterparts were part of the “pink tide” sweeping the region. Now he fits right in at the annual presidential summits, with market-oriented leaders at the helm of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and beyond.
South America’s new like-minded leadership opens the possibility of cooperation on a host of issues, as long as these leaders aren’t consumed by their own internal policies and politics.
We are already seeing action on Venezuela, the region’s biggest foreign policy and humanitarian crisis in decades. Together the members of the 14-nation Lima Group (Mexico’s leftist government the exception) have recognized Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as interim president and called for a transition to democracy through new elections.