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Latin America faces the danger of "populism", says Chilean former minister

Latin America faces the danger of "populism", which has led Venezuela to an "economic depression" with a 19% drop in gross domestic product last year, warned today former Chilean Felipe Larraín.

Cartagena (Colombia), Sep 1 (EFE) .- Latin America faces the danger of "populism", which has led Venezuela to an "economic depression" with a 19% "Larraín said." Unfortunately in Latin America we must say without pride that we are the parents of populism, "Larraín said. in Cartagena de Indias, where he attended the 2017 Congress of the Network of Chambers of Commerce (Confecámaras) concluded today.

"What danger do I see in Latin America, and what danger have we had and is still underlying? end up in a crisis. "Larraín, who was Chile's finance minister between 2010 and 2014, warned that populism" is not left-wing or right-wing, "but that there are" populist " both sides. "

In their view, the backing of populist leaders is due to the population seeking" different alternatives "in the face of low economic growth and "Populism is not only a charismatic leader, it is much more, it is basically a very proactive concept", said Larraín, who did not question the intentions of "those who they follow populist policies, "but rather the results, which he described as" appalling. "In that context, he noted that of all the populist experiments the region has had" the most dramatic "is that of Venezuela.

" It is an economically populist experiment, apart from everything it has meant in violating democracy, "he warned. has occurred in general "when populist leaders" submit to the verdict of the polls "is that they tend to" lose the elections. "On the other hand, when assessing the performance of countries Latin American countries after the "super-cycle" of raw materials, which ran between 2003 and 2013, considered the results to be better for the countries of the Pacific Alliance, mechanism

"It is true that we have slowed down, but some have slowed down more than others," Larraín explained, noting that Argentina "has returned to to grow after having had a recession, "while in" Brazil is practically flat economic growth. "However, he said that in Venezuela there is a" tragedy of proportions. "

" That's not a recession, that's a depression. economic development of which we have memory, "he stressed.

Regarding Latin America, Larraín considered that, after the rise of high commodity prices, the countries of the region began to differentiate between those who "managed to better fare" the situation, a group in which he mentioned the members of the Pacific Alliance, "and those who have not achieved "When one talks about Latin America, speaking about a large Latin American average, hides very different realities: there are countries that are very complicated, there are countries that are And while he said he had the feeling that the raw materials "have recovered in something," he warned that they will not return to the prices of " supercycle. "

" It would be a mistake to make future projections based on the fact that we are going to return to that price. grow at rates of between 3 and 4% in our region, "he added and said he has" moderate optimism "compared to projections in the region.

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