Latin America: Shaking off Washington's shackles

New axis of reason forges closer ties

Washington's legacy in Latin America is abominable. Witness to this is a string of fascist, repressive regimes spanning decades, mass graves, a human rights record which parallels Washington's own in Iraq and a sheer and total absence of democracy.Latin America

After Fidel Castro's Cuba stood firm as a shining example of what a progressive government can achieve – enviable social welfare systems and an education policy which is second to none in the continent – Latin America finds itself today facing a future in which Latin Americans themselves take control of their own destiny and face up to Washington on equal terms, not simply putting into practice what the firms around the White House and Pentagon dictate.

Despite the continued existence of fascist regimes, such as Alvaro Uribe's in Colombia, there is a growing wave of independence sweeping across the continent. Today, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela join Fidel Castro as leaders (or in the case of the former, President-elect) of socially progressive systems which focus on the need to create programs which serve the interests of the people, and not the corrupted super-rich clique of elitists living at Washington's beck and call.

While Argentina's Nestor Kirchner, Chile's Ricardo Lagos Escobar, Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez and Brazil's Lula da Silva cannot be classified as leftists per se alongside Chavez, Morales or Castro, nevertheless they pursue policies which follow their national interests first and not Washington's.

After a high-profile visit to Cuba (his first), Bolivia's President-elect is to visit President Chavez in Venezuela and Brazil's President Lula, in a 10-day trip taking in seven countries before taking office on January 22nd.

Reasons for the growth of the left

While Washington continues to adopt a confrontational, intrusive, meddlesome policy inside Latin America (such as supporting groups inside Venezuela which oppose President Chavez), there will be an appeal to back the regimes which the USA frowns upon.

The reason for this is perfectly simple: the monetarist-capitalist market-oriented economic policy pressed by Washington simply does not work either in theory or in practice. The fact that Washington has to keep the model alive by imposing tariffs on imports and granting subsidies to exporters to artificially control prices and markets is proof that it is flawed from the start.

The result of the imposition of this aggressive regime on Latin America has been dramatic: 100 million people in Latin America are classified as being extremely poor (less than 1 USD/day), while 220 million out of a population of 550 million are regarded as poor. GDP per capita has not grown in real terms for two decades (4.000 USD per capita) while income has not accompanied the rise in prices.

The fact that the leftist policies favour the people over the oligarch (whose soul is sold to Washington) means that the left will continue to expand in Latin America and elsewhere, as the farce which is the monetarist-capitalist model defended by Washington (in which corporate elitists even dictate foreign policy) is exposed for the lie it is.

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Author`s name Olga Savka