Photo credit to AFP.
I write for The National Interest on Friday that, despite the progress among civil society groups in Guatemala and Honduras and the resignation of Guatemala’s president Otto Pérez Molina under a cloud of corruption charges, it’s too simplistic to refer to a ‘Central American spring’:
[T]he region’s democracy didn’t suddenly spring into existence in 2015. As the former Soviet Union and the Middle East have so painfully shown us, we should by now be wary of mad-libs punditry that falsely declares a rainbow’s worth of color revolutions, always overeager to set calendars to springtime. The full story of Central American governance today is one of gradual change and the development of mature political institutions only in fits and starts – it was only in 2009 that a military coup ousted Honduras’s left-wing president Manuel Zelaya. After nearly two centuries of war, imperialism and autocracy, Central America’s countries have enjoyed relative peace, democracy and full sovereignty only for the last quarter-century.
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Moreover, I argue that policymakers might be too optimistic that the current victory for civil society institutions will translate into ever-stronger gains for Guatemala: Continue reading Yes, progress in Central America, but don’t call it ‘spring’