Since 1995, extreme poverty, defined as individuals earning less than $2.50 per day, has been cut in half, to 13% from 26%, according to World Bank figures. The drop comes with a major caveat: “The largest segment of the region’s population still remains vulnerable to falling back into poverty, with 40% of the population living with incomes above the poverty line” of $4 per day.
I don't consider myself a glass half empty person, but rather from years of studying Latin America it's obvious that proclaiming success is a dangerous game. Everyone wants to do so badly--Chavistas and free marketeers alike feel a pressing need to prove that their ideas have resolved long-standing challenges and therefore are superior.
Just yesterday Gabe Aguilera tweeted in response to my blog post about Enrique Krauze's op-ed, and it applies here too:
@aguilera1: @GregWeeksUNCC Things are bad. Especially in Central America and the Caribbean Basin. Paradoxically, they have also never been better...
In other words, better but still terrible.