Univision Report Compares Trump to Latin American Populist Outsiders, Strongmen

In an evident attempt to help their viewers get a handle on the popularity of Donald Trump among the U.S. electorate, Univision’s principal evening newscast recently consulted two left-leaning, Washington-based academics who compared Trump to outsider, populist leaders in Latin America who have also recently successfully appealed to widespread voter dissatisfaction with politics as usual, corruption and the traditional political class.

Interviewed by Univision’s Lourdes Meluzá, Inter-American Dialogue President Michael Shifter and Woodrow Wilson Center Deputy Director Eric Olson pointed to how many voters in neighboring countries are also “angry” with traditional politicians who have failed to represent their interests, and have recently turned to outsiders and independents, such as the current frontrunning candidate for President of Guatemala, comedian Jimmy Morales, and the newly elected independent Governor of Nuevo León, México, Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez.

Though Meluzá pointed out that Trump “is not Hugo Chávez and the context is different” she concluded her report with Shifter’s assessment, drawing parallels between Chávez and Trump, including having similar campaign themes.

MICHAEL SHIFTER, INTER-AMERICAN DIALOGUE: Chávez was a totally anti-establishment, populist leader, and he also has a style somewhat similar to Trump, criticizing all the elites.

LOURDES MELUZA, CORRESPONDENT: He says Chávez supported a great Venezuela and Trump emphasizes claiming the greatness of the United States.

The cited experts noted that chronic corruption is one of the causes of the ire among voters in Latin America, a theme also shared in the United States by Trump as well as socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who from different angles denounce how American politicians are bought by financial contributions.

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Ecuador President Rafael Correa was also cited as exemplifying an allure similar to that of Trump. The report did not include any input on the subject from conservative-leaning scholars, much less Trump supporters.

The relevant portions of the referenced national newscast appear below:

Noticiero Univision 08/31/2015 6:30 PM

LOURDES MELUZA, CORRESPONDENT: What does Republican candidate, Donald Trump, have in common with President Rafael Correa, of Ecuador; the new Governor of Nuevo Leén, “El Bronco;” or Guatemalan comedian, Jimmy Morales? The anger of a segment of their voters, according to experts.

ERIC OLSON, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: But it is an unease that exists among people against politicians, parties, and elite systems that do not represent them.

LOURDES MELUZA, CORRESPONDENT: According to the experts, there are also differences in the causes of voter anger. They point out that in Latin America, it is frequently tied to corruption. They note that Trump alleges that the other candidates accept big campaign contributions and can be bought. And although Trump is not Hugo Chávez and the context is different.

MICHAEL SHIFTER, INTER-AMERICAN DIALOGUE: Chávez was a totally anti-establishment, populist leader, and he also has a style somewhat similar to Trump, criticizing all the elites.

LOURDES MELUZA, CORRESPONDENT: He says Chávez supported a great Venezuela and Trump emphasizes claiming the greatness of the United States.

MRC Latino Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Hispanic Media Univision Donald Trump Hugo Chavez

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