Latin America Needs Free Trade & Drug Legalization


In the 1990s, it seemed as if individual rights, deregulation, free trade, and sound currency were taking hold in Latin America, a region finally on the rise after decades of coups, repression, and violence.

But in the 21st century, left-wing strongmen have made a comeback: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Ecuador's Rafael Correa. Other countries in the region are headed in the wrong direction. Authoritarianism has been on the rise in Argentina ever since the economy collapsed (yet again) in 2002. Mexico's violent drug war is escalating. In Cuba, the transfer of power from one Castro brother to the other hasn't helped the economy or stopped human rights abuses.

What went wrong?

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie sat down with Mary Anastasia O'Grady, a member of the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board and a Journal columnist specializing in Latin America, to talk about the outlook for the region—and how free trade and drug legalization would go a long way to solving Latin America's problems.

Approximately 6 minutes.

Produced and shot by Jim Epstein and Adam Jensen. Edited by Epstein and Joshua Swain.

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