While a significant portion of the Latin American left continues to be driven by an anti-U.S., personalistic agenda, Lenin Moreno represents a principled branch of that left. The U.S. can and must learn to deal with leaders like him in a constructive fashion.
Like their conservative predecessors, left-leaning presidents in Latin America have shown a tendency to fall for the vice of corruption. Recent studies argue the causes stem from more than just an absence of ethics but also high levels of inequality.
Ecuador still has a long way to go to recover from a polarizing ten years under populist Rafael Correa, but the first eight months of Lenín Moreno’s presidency have re-confirmed the importance of succession and regularly held elections.
President Moreno may not be a newfound ally for the U.S., but he is a reminder that today the greatest challenges to U.S. interests in the region aren’t ideological but criminality, poor governance and populism.
Let’s be clear: NATO isn’t encroaching in the hemisphere, nor does China represent a stable path out of dependency for Latin America. The former is a convenient, traditional boogey man and the latter an ahistorical pipe dream.
After a series of electoral setbacks for leftist candidates and incumbent coalitions over the past two years, Lenín Moreno, the candidate of the ruling left-wing Alianza País coalition will get the largest share of the vote.
In recent elections across the world, incumbent candidates have faced an uphill battle. Ecuadoreans might buck the trend in the upcoming election of February 19. Yet, if there are lessons to be learned from recent upsets, the last weeks of a campaign is when surprises begin to pop up.