The new banana republics


Licenciado en Historia y Periodista

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Countries like the US and the UK are pushing terrible political policies, like the Border Wall with Mexico and the Brexit, generating horrendous economic and political outcomes.

 For decades, the use of the term «banana republic » was a derogatory way to call countries, especially from Latin America and from the so call “third world”, that where consider politically unstable, impoverished and under develop. The use of the concept was also a way from the rich countries to mark a line between the develop and underdeveloped world, there for, a way to determine a superiority between the «civilized» countries and the «uncivilized» ones. 

Nowadays, it seems that the world is upside down, and the world powers that in the past were models of democracy, development and good public policies, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, are now showing a very serious and undeveloped face , by promoting terrible public policies, such as, for example, a border wall with Mexico and the withdrawal of its membership in the European Union (EU), respectively.

Those policies, incredibly, won fair and square in the ballot box, the first through the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the US and the second as a result of the 2016 referendum on the permanence of the UK in the EU. Therefore, their own governments are been trying to carry them on, generating an unprecedented division and confusion in the economic and political spheres. 

That has generated, the US is been hijack by an erratic and unserious President, that making things worse, in many occasions have been accused of enriched himself and his family during his presidency. The UK, in the other hand, it’s been under unprecedented political instability after the resignation of former Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Snap elections of 2017 that generated a divide parliament, who have placed PM Theresa May in a permanent precarious situation.

Another consequence of this type of political decisions and governments of a «Banana Republic» has been the partial Shutdown of the government in Washington (the longest in the history of the United States) and the defeat of the Brexit transition plan in the House of Commons last Tuesday. The first one, had generated that 800,000 government workers do not get pay and that important federal agencies are forced to be reduce their crucial duties.  The second, it has been translated into a growing uncertainty of the markets[  in London. Something understandable, to the extent that the Brexit will cost to the UK more than 128,000 million a year for 2030 and a decrease of GDP by 3.9% for that year.

If the trend keeps by this XXI century, countries such as the US and UK cannot try again to teach the rest of the world how to behave and to develop. The border between the «civilized» and «uncivilized” world will be redrawn for the next times to come and the Anglo-American model won’t’ be the example no more.

*Imagen de cabecera propiedad de The Daily Beast.

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