- Title: Latin American leaders congratulate Trump, worry about policies
- Date: 9th November 2016
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
- Embargoed: 24th November 2016 19:18
- Keywords: U.S. election Trump Clinton reaction Latin America policies
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA / LA PAZ, BOLIVIA / CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA / LA PAZ, BOLIVIA / CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00157Q7OZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Colombia on Wednesday (November 9) congratulated U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on his victory but his win caused concern among other Latin American leaders who worry about his policies towards the region.
The U.S. presidential campaign, which culminated with Republican nominee Trump's surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton on Tuesday (November 8), has been steeped in protectionist rhetoric, spooking many Latin American countries.
Colombian markets suffered in early trading on Wednesday.
The Trump victory prompted a market selloff in Latin America, including a more than 13 percent tumble in the Mexican peso.
The Colombian peso was down 2.81 percent to 3,038 pesos to the dollar from Tuesday's closing figure of 2,955.
Nevertheless, remaining diplomatic, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, congratulated Trump.
"I would like to congratulate Donald Trump for his triumph, here from this privileged auditorium and say that throughout recent years Colombia's relationship with the United States has been bipartisan. We have always wanted to maintain good relations with the Democrat and Republican parties," Santos said.
Trump has opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and favours raising tariffs on Chinese goods as well as major changes to the NAFTA pact with Mexico and Canada to protect U.S. jobs.
Trump has worried Latin Americans with his views on immigration and vows to expel illegal immigrants and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said Trump's victory showed the world was leaning towards the right, away from globalisation.
"This is the third blow, out of control globalisation, has received this last year. The first blow came with the economy in 2015. Local production grew above world trade. Since last year there is a kind of economic relapse of what has been called globalisation. This idea of absolute freedom of markets. It is a setback. A first economic blow that has not been spoken about a lot but economists are aware of what it means when production grows above world trade. This has happened for the first time in the last 30 years. The second blow was Brexit, the departure of Great Britain from the European Union, which is a kind of a retreat to more nationalist positions in the face of an idea of the dissolution of borders. The third blow to globalisation is this one and now comes from the United States," Linera said.
"This malaise is being orchestrated by the right, from the most conservative side. That is called a passive revolution and it is being done from the top, hampering popular mobilisation but looking to restore an old order. It's a psychological explanation I can give you about Trump's victory." he added.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles, said he hoped Trump would soften his rhetoric against Mexicans, Latin Americans and African Americans and cut down on his campaign threats.
"We are worried about all the rhetoric, everything said against Mexicans, Latin Americans, against African Americans during the election campaign so hopefully that is left behind and hopefully it was part of a rhetoric of an election campaign. It was a bitter electoral campaign and we're hoping there is full and absolute respect for all Latinos in that country, all our brothers who are there in the United States," Capriles said.
Trump's campaign style of picking fights and lobbing insults has drawn comparisons to late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, who won repeated elections but faced criticism for stifling dissent and creating a state-led economy now mired in crisis.
Maduro and opposition leaders are currently in a Vatican-mediated dialogue process meant to ease a simmering political confrontation after electoral authorities last month effectively scuttled an effort to recall the unpopular president.
The government of President Barack Obama has engaged Maduro in cautious diplomacy, sending a top diplomat to Caracas to help the dialogue process despite Maduro's frequent accusations that Washington is plotting against him.
Trump in a speech in Miami in September promised to support oppressed people in the hemisphere, and during the campaign had said Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would turn the United States into Venezuela.
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