An intense year concludes, marked by street protests over political or economic frustration in distant places like Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and as close as Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, and Puerto Rico.
In Latin America, many governments changed. They assumed as presidents Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Nayib Bukele (El Salvador), Laurentino Cortizo (Panama) and was elected Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay), who will assume next March. Spain and Israel were two clear examples of how complex government has become in parliamentary systems. Another political mess that seems to have been heading towards the end of the year is that of Great Britain: finally, after Boris Johnson’s categorical victory in the elections, Brexit is on its way to completion on January 31.
In Venezuela, while Nicolás Maduro clings to power after the fraudulent elections of 2018 and amid the economic and social debacle that leads to a historic exodus, Juan Guaidó was proclaimed by the Assembly as interim president in charge of ending the usurpation and achieve democratic elections. The attempt to perpetuate Evo Morales in Bolivia, mocking the constitution and in elections that the OAS described as fraudulent, resulted in protests and riots in the street and the resignation of the president who was exiled first in Mexico and then in Argentina.
In Puerto Rico, the infamous legacy of the Rossello political dynasty which began over two decades ago with Ex-Governor Pedro Rossello’s entire administration having been indicted by US federal agencies with charges ranging from misappropriation of federal funds, embezzlement to money laundering, ended with his own son Ex-Governor Ricardo Rossello being force out of office as a record number of citizens took to the streets in protest from a leaked chat of the governor and his confidents mockery towards the people while they suffered due to the economic crisis, Hurricane Maria and Irma which marked the longest lasting blackout in US history, a death toll of 4,546, the rein of an un-elected fiscal board appointed by the Federal Government controlling the island’s future with questionable ties to Banking Institutions. The island saw a total of 3 governors as Ricardo Rossello left, nominated for Secretary of State Pedro Pierluisi auto-proclaimed himself as Governor without Senate confirmation in a private ceremony his own sister’s home, only for the Justice Department to rule his self appointment illegal and leaving the succession to the Secretary of Justice Wanda Vazquez that became final standing official governor of an administration that was dismantle due to many federal indictments of corruption as history repeated itself.
Another political bomb was the decision of the United States Congress to initiate the political trial against President Donald Trump, which will take place over the next year, simultaneously with the presidential campaign.
There were serious forest fires in Brazil and Bolivia, but one of the great figures of the year was the Swedish girl Greta Thunberg, only 16 years old, who became the main alert for the environmental emergencies that the world is experiencing and in urgent need of attention.
Brazil was consecrated in the Copa América football that was held in their country and Flamengo again raised the Copa Libertadores after 38 years and Liverpool did the same with the Champions after 14 years. The final of the Club World Cup between the two was won by the English team in extra time. While the United States became champion of the World Cup in France, with a record audience.
It was also the year of the fire in the historic Parisian cathedral of Notre Dame, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper singing together and moving the world on the night of the Oscars and the birth of Archie, the son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who brought some peace in the tensions of the British royal family.