A majority of South American presidents would prefer to see former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House, while a few believe whoever wins will make not much of a difference for the continent. Nevertheless be it Hillary or Trump there is mostly respect for US institutions.
In Brazil, president Michel Temer, a constitutional professor was rather diplomatic and said he was concerned with the result of Tuesday’s presidential election, but “no US president can do whatever he pleases”, since in the United States institutions work with an effective system of checks and balances.
Likewise Argentine president Mauricio Macri said that “the United States is far greater than any name and we expect to continue with the excellent relations between the two countries, whoever wins”. Nevertheless Macri admitted that if Hillary wins, there “will be a continuity in current affairs”.
But in Bolivia the indigenous leader Evo Morales said he was indifferent to whoever wins on Tuesday and is the next US president, since “there are no differences between candidates”. In an interview with El Deber, Morales claimed that “the US has an only policy which is intervention and meddling in other countries affairs, and whoever wins makes no difference since elected presidents do not rule, this is done by the big banks and business people”
Michelle Bachelet from Chile has no doubts about her complete support for Hillary Clinton. “We have developed a good friendship” and she is a very capable, intelligent and committed woman, and “we need more women presidents in the world”. However she also apologized for having such a partial opinion, “she’s a friend”
In Ecuador Rafael Correa was a bit ambiguous in his interpretation of Tuesday’s vote and its impact on Latin-American. Why shouldn’t a Trump presidency be good for the region? asks Correa. “When did progressive governments reach office in the continent, with Obama or with Bush?…the same could happen with Trump, why not?”. However admitting a close relation with the former Secretary of States the Ecuadorean leader said that for the good of the US, “I wish Hillary wins”.
Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, leading a conservative government has been the most critical of the Republican candidate. “Mr. Trump wants to build a wall, which is a crime”, said Kuczynski who admitted having told US president Obama in a private phone call that he was concerned “about one of the candidates”.
Venezuela’s controversial Nicolas Maduro openly supported Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democrat primary, but following on Hillary’s victory he pointed all his heavy guns on Trump calling him “mentally ill”, “bandit” and “witch doctor”. However he did not support Hillary, rather the contrary, “we can’t expect nothing good from any of the two candidates. Nor Trump nor Clinton will arrive with good wishes and interests for Venezuela or Latin America”.
Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos has had no qualms about expressing a negative opinion on the Republican candidate. Admitting he does not know Trump, Santos argues that his announced policies “are not in accordance with what Colombia expects from the US and what Colombia wishes from the rest of the world: free trade and immigration policies which are convincing to all countries”. Santos also recalled that President Clinton launched Plan Colombia, “which has been very useful in achieving what we have achieved” and has been supportive of peace talks with the FARC guerrilla. “As far as I know, Hillary offers more guarantees” concluded the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Finally Paraguay’s Horacio Cartes and the Uruguay’s Tabare Vazquez have not made public statements on the issue or special preference. Who did talk was ex president Jose Mujica who said, what if Trump wins?…“I don’t know because so far there is no escape gate to Mars”.
However, “I’m not scared with Trump but with the people who support him. The image is so grotesque that one feels certain affinity with Mrs. Clinton, who I must admit is quite conservative” underlined Mujica.