BUENOS AIRES -- Those Europeans tempted by populist politics should see in Latin America an avoidable future: the empty shelves in Venezuela while its government finds funds to support populist party Podemos in Spain or the stagflation in Argentina that hurts the poor while the sitting vice president is twice indicted for embezzlement. These are not accidents; they are the logical consequences of authoritarian regimes that think themselves beyond reproach or term limits.
South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
From its security policy to suspicious, crony nationalizations, and down to its corrupt officials still in office, the Argentine president refuses to learn when she has lost. Without admitting defeat, ideology is left naked to face undeniable reality. Today this ideology is only useful to protect the corrupt and hide scandals. Power is never eternal, and for Kirchner it is finally running out.