Right - wing governments dominate South America

Right - wing governments dominate South America

The election of Jair Bolsonaro marks a sharp shift to the right in South America, a reverse of the “pink tide” in the early 2000s when most of the region elected left-wing governments

After Mr Bolsonaro’s inauguration on January 1, at least 90 percent of the continent’s economy will be controlled by right-wing governments. The remaining left-wing countries, principally Venezuela and Bolivia, look increasingly like outposts.

The president-elect, 63, who will lead the world’s fourth largest democracy, has made it clear that he intends to build close alliances with other nationalist conservatives around the world. Already analysts are talking of a political “bromance” with President Trump of the US. Mr Bolsonaro’s team has said that the first foreign trip he will make as president will be to Chile, the most right-wing of his neighbours. He has also promised to move Brazil’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in line with US policy.

Brazil’s membership of Mercosur, sometimes seen as the Latin American equivalent of the EU, appears to be in doubt. Paulo Guedes, Mr Bolsonaro’s Chicago-trained economics guru, has criticised the union, saying that it restricts Brazil’s trade with other countries. The move away from Mercosur has been nicknamed Braexit.

Environmentalists have expressed concern that Mr Bolsonaro will allow greater destruction of the Amazon rainforest, although he may be limited by legal constraints. The week before his election he played down an earlier threat to withdraw from the Paris climate accord

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