But now, 18 years into our once-highly anticipated century, Venezuela and Bolivia are led by men who make little effort to hide their “president for life” aspirations. Presidents of Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador left office only with extreme reluctance. All face post-administration legal charges. Increasing crime rates in large cities are prompting citizens to tolerate heavy-handed government responses. Political parties that helped to usher in democracy are being swamped by populist, personalist parties whose leaders promise wealth for all, in return, of course, for more government power.