Networked Notes - 31 May 2016

By Southern Pulse Staff & Network

Outside of a very small group of governments including El Salvador, nearly the entire hemisphere has decided to ignore Brazil’s change of government, some eagerly and others reluctantly, the administration of Michel Temer in Brazil. While certain media, including Venezuelan-backed Telesur, have tried to portray the Temer administration as a U.S. plot, in reality, most of the hemisphere is de-facto accepting the interim president.

Venezuela itself is a solid case in point. The Maduro administration’s condemnation of Brazil’s “coup” that suspended Rousseff from the presidency and installed Vice President Michel Temer appears to be very limited. The country was forced to back down quickly from its early statements, with a meek comment that they are not looking to escalate tensions further. Venezuela needs Brazilian imports. Venezuela does not want to escalate this dispute to the OAS, where they are already under pressure and would almost certainly lose a vote to invoke the Democratic Charter, or to Mercosur, where a Macri-Temer ad hoc agreement could push the country out. 

##########

Top officials within the Keiko Fujimori campaign are under investigation for alleged money laundering and illicit enrichment. Speculation that candidate herself may be under investigation has been denied. Still, in an environment in which anti-corruption sentiment is running high across Latin America, there is something tragic about the fact Peru may potentially elect someone surrounded by corruption in the election next weekend. President Humala’s administration has been far from clean, but a Fujimori election could lead to years of corruption investigations right from the beginning.

######

The indictment of former President Kirchner and the potential involvement of many top officials within her government is a large win for President Macri. Several of his top opponents in the Congress appear implicated in the scandal, including Axel Kicillof. If true, Macri may find himself with a strengthened position in the legislature.