Many Americans will be unconcerned by this development”as we tend to be by most occurrences south of our border, unless they send us hordes of refugees. This attitude has always been unwise, and never more so than now.
The election of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires as Pope is an earthshaking example of Latin America’s ascendance on the world stage. Where the birthrate of the native-born in Europe, North America, and Australia continues to plummet, that of Latin America continues to grow, albeit not as swiftly as in years past. The presence of Argentina shows their increasing economic importance”and from this arises the call for Brazil’s admission as a permanent member of the UN’s Security Council.
It is in the vital self-interest of the Western nations that Latin America’s people be governed by economically sane leaders firmly grounded in their national traditions. Those in North America and Europe charged with determining their governments’ relationships with the Latin American nations need to study the history and current conditions of those lands carefully. This is necessary even though the religious, social, and cultural views of these worthies may run counter to those held in the West’s presidential palaces, chanceries, and parliaments.
Perhaps the ballot box has become incapable of producing leaders with the vision necessary for national survival. But if this is not the case, let us hope that Maduro permits a recount and either governs in a more conciliatory manner than his hero did, or else he allows Capriles to take power peacefully. The last thing Caracas, the United States, or the world at large needs is a civil war in Venezuela. A bloody disruption of another oil-rich country would be disastrous.
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