"The slow rollback of South America’s 'pink tide' is laying bare the endemic corruption that was hidden beneath the economic success once enjoyed by the region’s progressive governments. Voted out in democratic elections in Argentina, expelled by what almost conclusively looks like a palace coup in Brazil or tottering on the brink of social meltdown in Venezuela, a league of like-minded progressive presidents has been broken apart in the space of six months," Uki Goni writes for the Guardian.
"Venezuela’s government, with its low popularity and one of the world’s worst economic collapses, is facing a growing chorus accusing it of doubling down on authoritarianism. President Nicolas Maduro this month called a state of emergency that expanded his powers against opponents. Venezuela's Legislature, controlled by rivals of the country’s governing leftists for the first time in more than a decade, has been stymied by government-backed courts. And protests to recall the president in a referendum have been quashed with tear gas and security forces," Nicholas Casey writes for the New York Times.
"Beneath all the chaos that now characterizes daily life in Venezuela, one question rings forth: Why did the country with the largest fossil-fuel resources in Latin America, and among the largest on Earth, decide to generate its power with water, a notoriously unreliable substance? Contrary to what we might assume, in today’s sustainability-minded world, the choice did not arise from a noble commitment to renewable energy. The main reason that Venezuela has invested in hydro above all else is to preserve as much of its oil as possible for export. Yet power generation, and especially generation that relies on renewables, requires diversification; Venezuela has failed to design its electrical infrastructure in a way that accounts for the natural unpredictability of energy sources like hydro, solar, and wind," Gretchen Bakke writes for the New Yorker.