[Current Issues & Policies] No. 2020-53
Foreign Affairs Outlook for 2021
Latin America Standing at the Crossroads in 2021:
COVID-19 Pandemic and Deepening Social Inequality
Dr. SON Hye-hyun
Research Professor, Korean National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA)
The problem of social inequality, a chronic problem in Latin America, is expected to become more serious due to unemployment and increased poverty amidst severe human casualties and a serious economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The possibility of a social uprising, a possible regime change, and the rise of populists are expected to prompt the changes in the political landscape of Latin America in 2021. The resilience of Latin America in the post-COVID-19 era will vary depending on the dependence of the U.S. and China, and Latin American countries will take a pragmatic stance amid heightened geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China in Latin America. The relationship between South Korea and Latin America will mark a turning point centered on public health and digital cooperation, and efforts should be made to utilize the elevated status of South Korea in Latin America in South Korea’s Latin American diplomacy.
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※ Translator’s note: This is a summarized unofficial translation of the original paper which was written in Korean. All references should be made to the original paper.
※ This article is written based on the author’s personal opinions and does not reflect the views of the Sejong Institute.