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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: On Transatlantic Lessons
Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel looks at how France embraced change for the better while Venezuela still clings to the errors of the past.

By Beatrice E. Rangel

The past two weeks have brought plenty reasons to be optimistic about Latin America and to a certain degree Europe.

Two young figures have emerged as role models of two different generations that have faced the same never-ending dilemma: how can freedom be preserved?

And both stepped forward to face the challenge right on.

One succeeded in becoming the new leader of France, the other died under the grip of the most ferocious dictatorial repression ever to be exerted in Latin America.


Emmanuel Macron has been throughout his life a child prodigy.

From primary school to the Lycee Henry IV no one could seriously entertain the idea of surpassing him as a star-studded student.

At Ecole Nationale d’Administration -- the bureaucratic elite crib and training ground for successful politicians -- Macron excelled as a student, colleague and trainer for other students.

He then became a Supervisor at the French IRS where he learned to detect tax evasion and tax avoidance.
Again, he left his mark at the service as he pushed for greater automatization of procedures.

He became an investment banker at Rothschild and Cie where he acquired a global vision.

He was a member of the Socialist Party when appointed Minister for the Economy by Francois Hollande.

Macron took the post with the aim to conduct a much-needed institutional reform to create a more business-friendly economic environment.

As his reforms were sabotaged by the left and the right, Macron resigned to jump on the electoral waters once it was clear to him and to everyone in France that citizens were about to put their lot in the hands of Marine Le Pen in order to show disgust with traditional political parties and their leadership.

His political movement “En Marche!" was created September 2016 and now has over 200,000 members who follow their leader passionately.

Macron, in short, rose to the challenge and pushed France into the future when it was about to fall prey to an ugly past. With his strong support base enhanced by Republicans and Socialists, Macron was propelled into the Élysée Palace.

Miguel Castillo was too young to die.

But totalitarianism does not forgive dissent.

Miguel had excelled as a student at the Jesuit school San Ignacio, where he graduated in 2008. He then went on to study journalism.

Miguel was always ready to support fellow students that felt left behind. He was an enthusiastic participant in extracurricular activities that took him to the slums of Caracas to teach destitute youngsters. He had a flair for making fun of himself and friends. He was planning to get a master’s degree.

But he also felt that his dream of working as a publisher was never going to come to fruition under the totalitarian regime suffocating Venezuela. He knew that to have a future, the present needed to be shattered.

And he enthusiastically participated in every single protest march for 36 days until the bullet of hatred nested in his chest exploding his dreams.

Miguel, as Macron did, knew there was something profoundly wrong about the way his country was being ruled and decided to do something about. He paid his country the greatest tribute: surrendering his life in search of her redemption. For all those who loved him he has left a trail to follow: that of never comprising principles in the fight for freedom.

These two lives fill our hearts and minds with optimism.

In France, the people clearly chose the right path to change.

Faced with astounding decay in the institutional framework and needs to let change in, the French people searched and found the most able leader for the circumstances.

Faced with similar dilemma, the Venezuelan people made at the dawn of the 20th century the most inappropriate choice.

But that same people has produced a Millennial generation that is set out to rebuild the country from the ashes of corporativism and rent extraction even at the cost of their lives.



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

Beatrice Rangel: Rio -- Demystifying the Olympic Games

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?

Beatrice Rangel: On Dialogue and the Rules of Geopolitics in Latin America

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

Beatrice Rangel: Brazil's Lady in Her Labyrinth

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

Beatrice Rangel: On Health Alerts and the Long Arm of Justice in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory

Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year

Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

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

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

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

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

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

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

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

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

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

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

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

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!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

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

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


 

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