Cross-Currents in Latin America

The Cross-Currents in Latin America basically refers to the trends at which democracy was attained or consolidated was mixed or influenced by non-democratic tenets or features. Many countries in Latin America and other parts of the world which have attained democracy have at one point in time going through or experienced socio-economic and political instabilities or crisis which dents the democratization process in these countries.

 Most of these countries experienced military coups or civil war and so on. For instance Guatemala, Venezuela, among others in Latin America though they have elections and or democracy at large but have still faced some political crisis that affected their democratization process. Guatemala is also a democratic country in Latin America but had civil conflicts that negatively affected the democratization process in the country as it has led to the destruction of lives and property. This is common with other African countries like Nigeria, Liberia, Congo, South Africa, and so on have destroyed their democratic institutions as a result of war or political and socio-economic instability. In the case of South Africa, students recently demonstrated for high increase in college charges thus school fees, and the xenophobia situation form part of the issues or events that adversely affects political stability hence democratization.

However, the attainment and consolidation of democracy cannot be fully attained at a go. Countries are therefore bound to face lots of challenges as mentioned above in the maintenance of democracy. Even the most developed nations like the United States and Canada strive to maintain democracy despite the challenges they encounter or are faced with. The outcome of these difficulties they are faced with maybe consolidation of democracy itself. For instance, with all the economic and political challenges Mexico faced over decades, were still able to accommodate or maintain democracy. Even though the government was corrupt in diverse ways and one single political party stayed in power for many years, elections were still carried out which is the basis of democracy and provide for peaceful change of government.

Guatemala, Haiti, and Paraguay are among the nations in Latin America with weak economy viz-a-viz poor living standards which mitigates the ability to establish and strengthen democratic institutions. Such as the police, military, civil service, anti-corruption commission, and the likes. This adversely affects the process of democratization in these countries, however, they still continued their democratic move through the conduct of elections. Therefore the situation of their economy limits the ability to maintain democracy but cannot stop or erode democratization.

According to Scott Mainswaring and Anibal Perez-Linan (2015), certain countries in Latin America (Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina etc.) and Africa (Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda, etc.) have defended elections as a source of legitimacy for achieving states power.

I therefore argue that with all the democratic deficits evidence in the democratization process or trends in Latin America and other parts of the world, states are still able to maintain democracy as a universal system of government. That is to say, all nations are opened to accepting or embracing democracy regardless of their political, economic or social weakness.