Jorge Silva / Courtesy Reuters

Crude Calculus

Latin America's Risky Bet on Pricey Oil

Falling global oil prices are wreaking havoc on Latin America far beyond the economic mess in Venezuela. True, the near-60-percent drop in the price of a barrel of oil since June 2014 has compounded Venezuela’s problems—hyperinflation and deteriorating finances—that resulted from decades of mismanagement. But other countries with more prudent economic policies, including Brazil and Mexico, are also feeling the pinch.  For different reasons and in different ways, all three Latin American countries have bet big on high oil prices. Now they must deal with the consequences—and at a time when elected leaders across the region are …

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