Choking Chain of Neo-liberalism Broken in Latin America

Each country has its own history of political disputes.
Recent events in the region reflect the first international popular reaction to the neo-liberal politics adopted in the nineties. The process, conducted by democratic means, has been crowned last weekend by the outstanding victory of the Brazilian left-wing Partido Trabalhista (Workers Party) in the national elections.

However, the nomination of Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva as president of Brazil is not the only retreat of neo-liberalism in Latin lands. The whole region faces extraordinary changes towards the future, as public opinion polarizes between those who want more market reforms has clearly weakened and those who look for more just and equitable societies.

In a variety of scenarios, civil society is waking up from its false paradise of privatization and artificially high valued local currencies. Today, many look for alternatives to the ruling speech about the benefits of market freedom. The Argentine crisis in December last year sounded the alert. In Venezuela, Chavez's policies have been strongly backed after the frustrated coup led by the Army and right-wing forces, and he now prevents any another attempt to remove him from power.

Uruguay, in its turn, appears to follow Brazilian steps, after the consolidation in polls of the center-left Frente Amplio. The FA, led by Tabare Vazaquez, is a political organization based on a similar structure as Lula's PT.

Ecuador has also drowned the attention of the international community after the victory of Lucio Gutierrez in the first round of the presidential elections. Gutierrez, a former colonel who led the uprisings in 2000, heads a center-left coalition in clear opposition to the neo-liberal reforms of current President Guillermo Novoa. He stands a good chance of being elected President in the runoff next Sunday.

With this background, the Chilean Socialist Government of Ricardo Lagos advanced during the investigations of human rights crimes during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Northwards, in Peru, President Alejandro Toledo dramatically decreases in popularity due to the implementation of an old fashioned neo-liberal program very much resisted by an impoverished population.

Each country has its own history of political disputes, and it’s impossible to have equal processes everywhere. However, more than a decade of blind obedience to the International Monetary Fund proved to be a poor medicine for the endemic problems of the region. Moreover, it usually aggravates them. During the nineties, the national public debt of Latin American countries went haywire, unemployment scourged their main cities, local industries went into bankruptcy, poverty increased, and the social situation became worse as the public sector dismissed its historical obligations.

This real time bomb first exploded in Argentina during the social uprisings that shook the world in December of last year. This South American country is now an example of what shouldn’t be done to fall into chaos. Its crisis was a signal for other populations among the region, leading to a general disbelief in the neo-liberal policies designed by Washington.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

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