Following the Latin American Program's Elections in Latin America event, speakers Cristina Eguizábal, Manuel Torres y Rafael Piñeiro participated in this discussion moderated by Club de Prensa's Julio Marenco. During the discussion, filmed at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the speakers analyzed the upcoming elections in Latin America and the new administration in Honduras.
Eguizábal suggests that a second round is very likely to be needed in the election in El Salvador. She also says that a low turnout will benefit FMLN, which has a larger base of committed voters than ARENA. With regard to a lack of citizen security, Eguizábal observes that every candidate recognizes the problem, but that none have explained what policies they would adopt to combat this. In her opinion, this lack of information is the most serious issue, and citizens need to be informed.
Responding to a question about whether the new administration in Honduras will be able to effectively improve citizen security, Torres suggests that militarizing the police is not the correct response, even though this type of rhetoric was popular during the election.
In Piñeiro's view, the Left's experience in Uruguay is only partially replicable in other countries in Latin America. He notes that Uruguay's Left is the product of its own electoral system, and doesn't necessarily corrrespond to that of Central America. Piñeiro also discusses the legalization of marijuana in Uruguay.
The speakers also describe the Venezuela's influence in the elections, in particular its cooperation with parties on the Left. Eguizábal notes the division between political and more purely economic influence, and Piñeiro emphasizes the distinction between parties that are more populist and parties that are more Social Democratic. Torres observes that during Chávez's lifetime Venezuela's influence made some national conflicts into international conflicts.
Watch the full discussion here.