One by one, the leftist populists who swept to power in Latin America in the 2000s are being shown the door. Cancer did for Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, elections for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, impeachment for Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. In the case of Rafael Correa, leader of Ecuador’s "citizens’ revolution", it was a law preventing him from serving a fourth consecutive term. It is tempting to see an end to a cycle in Latin American history in the flagging political fortunes of these leftist leaders — the more so as their torchbearer in Cuba, Fidel Castro, has gone now, too. Daniel Ortega, a former leader of the Sandinista guerrillas, is still firmly in charge of Nicaragua. But of the remaining members of the club, Evo Morales in Bolivia is fighting an uphill battle against retirement after losing a referendum that would have allowed him to stand again. Nicolás Maduro relies on repression to maintain his tenuous hold over a collapsed Venezuela. Ecuador’s elections mark ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now