Freedom making a comeback in Latin America?

(Image: The Economist)

Support for democracy has risen in Latin America, according to a new poll from Latinobarómetro. In Peru, for example, support for democracy has peaked at 61 percent, after a low of 40 percent in 2005. In Uruguay, nearly 80 percent of respondents are satisfied with the way democracy works in their country. And in Venezuela, 84 percent believe that democracy is preferable to any other form of government.

Equally promising (but not surprising) is the corresponding rise in support for free market institutions. According to The Economist:

A more robust economic performance is reflected in rising support for private enterprise and the market economy: some 71% of respondents across the region say that private enterprise is indispensable for development, up from 56% in 2007. . . Some 58% agree that the market economy is the only system that will make their country developed, up from 47% last year. Interestingly, 62% of respondents in Venezuela hold that view (and 80% there back private enterprise). . .

While it is too early to tell if the trend is sustainable, this upswing in attitudes bodes well for the near future of Latin American economies and democracies.

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