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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: Why Ecuador Matters!!
Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel on why the election in Ecuador represents a key linchpin in development and drugs.

By Beatrice E. Rangel

We just witnessed part 1 of the presidential race in Ecuador, where thanks to a divided opposition, the government-backed candidate Lenin Moreno secured participation in the run-off election scheduled for April 2nd.

Guillermo Lasso, a former banker representing the much-divided antigovernment camp, was able to attract about 29% of the vote. It is expected that he will be able to galvanize most voters behind his candidacy to do away with yet another member of the Latin American populist alliance established by the deceased president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez.

Should he fail to achieve such goal then the democratic revival in Latin America may slowdown.


Many would ask why would such a small and rather inconsequential country carry such weight in regional politics.

The reason of course is geopolitics. Geographically speaking, South America is an immense island divided into three different and well separated regions.

The Eastern Region with its boundaries created by God and nature with the Amazon jungle. This region encompasses Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The Northern region encircled by the last spell of the Andean Cordillera which encircles Venezuela and Colombia.

The Southern part which is skinny and long goes from Ecuador to Chile. In this third region, only Ecuador is a populist fan. Peru and Chile are working, vibrant democracies constantly building a middle class while deepening freedoms.

Should Ecuador remain populist then economic integration would stall.

Without integration, probabilities for the region to raise competition to standards of pacific nations are rather low.

Populism would also stand in the way of following Peru's leadership in its savvy approach to the United States and in its no nonsense approach to development.

As a result, the Southern part of South America would fail to consolidate the much-needed development pole that can positively impact the Eastern region of South America.


But where perhaps the results from the Ecuador presidential race will weigh strongest is in the Northern Region.

Because an axis of evil seems to be emerging in that corner of the South American island.

This has to do with the most successful illicit endeavor ever undertaken in the Americas: drug trade.

As drug production, distribution and marketing began to experience the beneficial impact of globalization, the activity initiated its unstoppable march towards economic integration of Venezuela and Colombia. Globalization resulted in more effective communications means, access to lethal weapons to defend the trade and exuberant financing to engage in wholesale bribery.

Little by little the logics of the business took over the institutional framework first of Venezuela as its leadership embarked on an alliance with the FARC whose business model sprang from drug exploitation.

But now the process is about to get to Colombia through elections in which FARC-backed candidates will enjoy a financial support not available to any other organization.

Should Ecuador elect Mr. Lenin Moreno -- whose close relations with FARC have been well-documented -- the Northern Region of South America would become the new Vice Royalty of New Granada integrated through drugs.


Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.



Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

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Beatrice Rangel: The Luddite Syndrome in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Venezuela's Unexpected Transition

Beatrice Rangel: We Now Have a Wider Canal But Has Our Wisdom Expanded???

Beatrice Rangel: From Brexit to Tesla, Progress is Made by Leaders!!!

Beatrice Rangel: As the World Goes Latin, Latin America Gets Logical

Beatrice Rangel: On the Difficulties of Fighting Barbarism in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Impending Age of Housekeeping!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: What Happened to All Those Rosy Forecasts for Latin America?

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Beatrice Rangel: The Ides of Wisdom in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Populism

Beatrice Rangel: Three Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Trump, Lula, Kirchner and the Last Tupi-Guaranis

Beatrice Rangel: Time for Departures in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: A Contrarian View on the Panama Papers

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Beatrice Rangel: Back to a Divided Home!!!

Beatrice Rangel: A Historical Take-Off in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: A Skipped Journey, a Reaffirmation and a Clearing of Path in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Demise of Civility in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Americas from Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Ban Ki Moon

Beatrice Rangel: The Pope's Difficult Stopover in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”

Beatrice Rangel: 2 Diseases in Latin America -- Different Prescriptions, Very Different Outcomes

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Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

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Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

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Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

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Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

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Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

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Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

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Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

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Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

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