More or less fairly elected, operating a coup from within, the whole of South America, with the sole exception of Colombia, is now in the hands of the populist Left.
They have a number of characteristics in common.
First, they are anti-yanquista, opposing trans-American free trade.
Second, they are big spenders…
Third, they are demagogues…
Fourth, these new authoritarians have genuine charisma.
Fifth, they are anti-politician politicians: Bonapartists, if you like.
Six: They are nationalists, railing against the international order.
Why does any of this matter to us?
For two reasons, one immediate and the other more abstract.
The immediate problem is that Latin America is ceasing to be part of what we think of as the Western World. Chávez and Morales in particular have aligned their countries with our enemies: their closest friends overseas are Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba and, to a lesser extent, Belarus.
Second: Democracy can easily be taken down. During the 1990s, with the partial exception of Fujimori’s Peru, every state in the region was a stable, liberal democracy. Now, bit by bit, that is ceasing to be true.
Our media has been ignoring analysis of the changes in South America for the most part, but Daniel Hannan, a seasoned journalist covering South America, writes a clear summary in The Telegraph imploring us to wake up before it’s too late.