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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

English Spanish

External debt: Why don’t our governments do the obvious?

In spite of the occasional give and take, agreements and temporary advantages for some, the present balance of power and the deterrent effect of the debt trap in which the Latin American countries are confined involve extremely high costs for them. Nevertheless, the unpasses which are the consequence of continuing to pull on a rope which is strangling all of us correspond to a powerful logic which it is extremely difficult to break and replace with another more compatible with the essential interests of our countries. The author maintains, however, that this is not impossible: a prerequisite for achieving it involves facing up to the situation in which we find ourselves, as well as to the logic behind it and the strategies which derive from it for debtors and creditors. All the rest could depend on nothing more than the vision and audacity of our countries’ political leadership and their capacity to set out the real choices before their people, as well as the costs and risks involved in each of them. It is a highly significant fact that in the present extremely harsh economic and social crisis most political leaderships, be they in government or in the opposition, are democratic. Among other things this provides a hitherto inexistent capacity for dialogue. Such a dialogue, based on the patriotic and carefully considered search for a way out of the dilemma in which we are all trapped, would represent an important first step.

English Spanish

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