Anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continues to behave as expected, but he is no longer the biggest news in Latin America. Brazil is.
According to a recent article in Foreign Affairs: "After decades of stop-and-start growth and political disorder, Brazil today seems poised to finally fulfill its long-unrealized potential as a global player" (November-December 2008). Daniel Franklin in The World in 2009 predicted that "the shift in power to places such as Brazil, Russia, India and China will quicken. These countries will expect a bigger say in how the world is run."
The chief long-term danger to Brazil may be from Chavez's Venezuela. A headline in the Nov. 12, 2008, International Herald Tribune reported that "Caracas sets itself up as hub for world's leftists." Last October the capital city of Venezuela, Caracas, hosted a conference of leftists from many countries. Hopefully Brazil will be able to resist any attempted injection of left-wing poison from Caracas.