Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Cristina Kirschner of Argentina (and Nestor, her husband and predecessor as President) have been the most powerful opponents of the United States in South America for the past decade. The Bush Administration tried to ignore them. The Obama Administration tried to mollify them.
Both Administrations' policies erred. But, never mind. "Historical necessity," as the Marxists say, seems to be catching up to the two bullying regimes. This not only is encouraging for the cause of freedom in the Western Hemisphere, but a potential blow to Iran, Cuba and other pals of the two South American far leftists.
The latest examples of political decay and financial impotence are Chavez' decision Friday to devalue the Bolivar by 50 percent and the failure of the Kirchners--so far--to force out the chief of Argentina's Centeral BAnk, Martin Redrado. (Redrado has refused to let President Kirchner raid foreign-currency reserves for her own agenda.)
It is one of the ironies of economics that these ardent foes of capitalism-- Chavez and the Kirchners--suffer when their adversaries do, only perhaps worse. Their governments are even more reckless and spendthrift than ours. And our recession leaves them in even worse shape.