R. Viswanathan

R. Viswanathan

Former Distinguished Fellow, India-Latin America

R. Viswanathan is the former Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay (2007-2012). He was earlier the Ambassador to Venezuela and served as the first Consul General of India in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has headed the Ministry of External Affairs’ division on Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as its Investment and Trade Promotion Division.  He has specialised in Latin America since 1996 and has been a regular contributor to newspapers and business journals, besides giving lectures on the subject at think tanks and universities across India, Latin America and the United States. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese. A self-confessed Latinophile, Ambassador Viswanathan is an avid reader of Latin American literature and admirer of Latino culture. He is fluent in Tamil, Spanish, English, Portuguese and Portuñol.
Expertise

Engagement of India with Latin American countries

Last modified: June 20, 2017

Recent projects

Features
Fidel Castro with Nixon Courtesy: Getty Images
19 December 2014 Gateway House

Cuba: end of isolation

The U.S. has finally ended its outdated policy of isolating Cuba. It is a triumph for the proud and courageous Cubans who have withstood so many overt and covert destabilisation attempts by the U.S. It is also a victory for Latin America which has opposed the U.S. embargo and advocated normalization of relations with Cuba
Features
Uruguay elections_Tabarez Courtesy: Matilde Campodonico/AP
12 December 2014 Gateway House

Left consolidates in Latin America

The reelection of the Left in the Uruguayan election highlights a re-consolidation of the power of the Latin American Left. The pro-poor policies of the Leftist governments in much of South America have lifted millions out of poverty. The result: the creation of a middle class that has strengthened the region’s democratic stability and created more opportunities for business
Features
evo m Courtesy: Alrio.com
22 October 2014 Gateway House

Evo Morales wins Bolivia again

The re-election of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president in the recent elections is a recognition of his success in emancipating the poor indigenous people of the country and economic management of the country. It is also an inspiration and matter of pride for the indigenous people of the whole of Latin America, as well those of the world

Features
brazilelections Courtesy: Wikimedia
10 October 2014 Gateway House

Brazil elections: turning left or right?

Since none of the candidates won the required 50% majority in the Brazilian presidential elections held October 5, there will be a second round on October 26 between the centre-left President Dilma Rouseff and centre-right Aecio Neves. As of now, polls predict a Rouseff win - but like India, the Brazilian electorate is known for throwing up surprises

Blogs
marina silva Courtesy: wikimedia commons
10 September 2014 Gateway House

The rise of Marina Silva

Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff's bid for re-election has been ambushed in just two weeks by activist Marina Silva who is now predicted to win the October elections. If elected, Marina is likely to continue with the pro-poor policies of the current government, and she has already shown a keen interest in foreign policy. PM Modi will find Marina more proactive and forthcoming than Rouseff
Blogs
images Courtesy: fcpamericas.com
4 September 2014 Gateway House

Poverty and politics

The credit for significant poverty reduction achieved in the last decade in Latin America goes to the pro-poor policies of the leftist governments. The Left is expected to be voted back to power in the October elections to be held in Brazil, Uruguay and Bolivia. The increase in affordability power is good news for the Indian companies who are exporting goods to the region
Features
Argentina protests Courtesy: wikimedia
22 August 2014 Gateway House

Washington and the Argentine default

The Argentines blame the 'Washington Consensus' for the default in 2001, and the New York judiciary and vulture funds for the 'artificial default' in July this year. These are challenges not just for Argentina; they endanger the global debt restructuring system and contradict U.S. domestic laws

Features
porto alegre Courtesy: wikimedia\commons
14 August 2014 Gateway House

Federalism, swaraj and Brazil

Brazil follows a more decentralised form of federalism and gives special importance to the municipalities. Porto Alegre’s successful 'participatory budgeting' is a role model for the world. India can learn from both the positive and negative aspects of the Brazilian system
Blogs
VenProtests-2014 Courtesy: durdaneta/Wikimedia
8 August 2014 Gateway House

Latin America slowdown

Latin America’s economic growth has slowed down in 2014. But the region’s fundamentals are relatively strong, and have the resilience to absorb external shocks and increase growth in the coming years. However, Argentina and Venezuela face continuing uncertainty and deterioration.