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.

Engagement of India with Latin American countries

Last modified: September 14, 2017

Recent projects

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
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
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
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.
Latin-America-gaza Courtesy: news.yahoo.com
5 August 2014 Gateway House

Latin America takes a stand

The sharp Latin American response to the Israeli bombings in Gaza, on the back of solid support from the U.S., is attributable to the memory of the atrocities committed by past Latin American military dictators with similar U.S. backing. Their strong response is also a sign of the increasingly independent and assertive Latin American voice on the global stage
RE_2 Courtesy: Real Instituto Elcano
24 July 2014 Real Instituto Elcano

India and Latin America: a new perception and a new partnership

R. Viswanathan, Distinguished Fellow, Latin American Studies, Gateway House in an article for Real Instituto Elcano, talks about the new paradigm of perception and of growth in the relations between India and Latin America which should lead towards a longer-term partnership.

MercoPress Courtesy: Merco Press
17 July 2014 Merco Press

IBSA, as important if not more than BRICS for India

R. Viswanathan, Distinguished Fellow, Latin America Studies and the former Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, in an article for Merco Press, writes about how IBSA is as important if not more, than BRICS for India.

economic times Courtesy: The Economic Times
15 July 2014

IBSA, as important if not more, than BRICS for India

R. Viswanathan, Distinguished Fellow, Latin America Studies and the former Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, in an article for the Economic Times writes about how IBSA is as important if not more, than BRICS for India

IBSA Courtesy: Gateway House
15 July 2014 Gateway House

Time to revive the IBSA Dialogue Forum

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brazil for the BRICS summit is an opportunity for India to intensify its engagement with South America and reactivate the long-dormant IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) grouping. This grouping is a promising partnership comprising of different models of democracies spread over three continents
Ceren Courtesy: BBC
27 June 2014 Gateway House

El Salvador’s new president

The election of Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a leftist ex-guerilla fighter, as president of El Salvador, is a reflection of the maturity and inclusiveness of the Latin American democracies. With his compassionate and pro-poor policies, Ceren has the vision and compassion needed to reduce poverty and break the vicious cycle of crime and violence which has paralysed El Salvador