November 9, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Latin America election roundup

Speaking to reporters in Washington prior to a meeting with President Bush, Mexican president-elect Felipe Calderon, who belongs to the conservative National Action Party, expressed hope that bilateral relations will improve now that the conservative Republican Party has lost control of the U.S. Congress. Now there's a paradox that cries out to be explained... Obviously, he wants looser U.S. immigration policies, to take the heat off his government. See Washington Post. When you read "between the lines" you will realize that conservative leaders in both countries are operating in a hostile ideological climate, forcing them to make painful compromises on major issues. At least there are no armed insurrections or cities in flames on our side of the border, so far...

In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega's electoral victory has been confirmed. Even though he received only about 38 percent of the vote, the fact that he had more than a five-percent edge over the second-place candidate Eduardo Montealegre was enough to qualify for a victory without going to a second round. Remarkably, there were no charges of fraud from the conservative candidates or their staffs. The former (?) Marxist-Leninist Ortega will have to make solid commitments to the private sector if he wants to maintain the economic progress his country has experienced recent years.

As expected, the U.N. General Assembly approved Panama as a member of the Security Council for the 2007-2008 term. See It remains to be seen whether Venezuela will mount another high-profile campaign to gain a seat next year, or if Guatemala will. See the U.N. Security Council chronology.