No, the Latin American Map is not Dyed in Red

By Katu Arkonada on March 1, 2023

After Lula’s victory in the second round on October 30 in Brazil, social networks were flooded with maps showing almost all of Latin America dyed red, in a sort of second wave of the Latin American progressive cycle that began in 1999 with the inauguration of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, followed by Lula himself in Brazil, Nestor Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, among others.

As if that were not enough, the Latin American countries where the right wing governs, coincidentally have a reduced geographical extension, as is the case of Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador or El Salvador.

This second wave began in 2018 with the victory of López Obrador in Mexico in 2018, the return of Kirchnerism and Peronism to Argentina in 2019, or the electoral victories of leftist, progressive or national-popular forces in Peru, Chile and Honduras in 2021, added to those of Lula and Petro in Colombia in 2022.

The problem is that the left tends to a half-schizophrenic duality. Most of the times it feels more comfortable in a position and aesthetics of defeat and barricade, than managing the contradictions that government implies in the mud of the real, and other times it sings victory before its time as it has happened to us after Lula’s victory.

If we review the red colored map of the Latin American subcontinent, we see that it begins to fade before its time.

In Peru there was not even time to savor Lula’s victory, because a week later, the defeat of the popular forces that had brought Pedro Castillo to the government was consummated and the scales were tipped on the side of a pro-Fujimori parliament. The result, more than 50 demonstrators killed, Pedro Castillo imprisoned, and a dying democracy.

If we look at the Southern Cone, the blue of Uruguay is joined by an increasingly faded pink in Boric’s Chile, which not only lost its bid for a Constituent Assembly to leave Pinochet’s Constitution behind, but while criticizing Nicaraugua’s Daniel Ortega, continues to repress Mapuches and students every day, without anything seeming to have changed in the Israel of South America. And in Argentina, before the faded red of Alberto Fernandez, the only doubt is whether on October 22 we will paint it light blue in case the doves arrive (Larreta) or dark blue if the hawks arrive (Bullrich). It seems that the bet is on pink with Massa as a minimum consensus candidate between Kirchnerism and Peronism.

Between the north of South America and the south of North America we have 3 countries that are in the red but we must consider them in transition. A Colombia that at least in Petro’s speech, bets for peace with social and environmental justice, the great pending tasks of the left; a Honduras that after resisting a coup d’état in the streets for 8 years, arrives with a Xiomara to the left of Mel Zelaya, accompanied by a young and very capable government; and the Mexico of López Obrador, so far from God and so close to the United States, whose final color will depend if he ends his mandate in 2024 with more or less poor than Peña Nieto had in 2018.

In the heart of Our America, two countries that give hope. The Plurinational State of Bolivia, divided (and also worn out) in a dual power between President Luis Arce and the historical leader of the process of change Evo Morales, but leaving behind in an accelerated manner a coup d’état and growing again at Chinese rates (in this post-pandemic 2022 it will be at 4%); and Lula’s Brazil that is projected (together with Petro if he wants) as the main Latin American leader. If he fulfills his promise that no Brazilian man or woman will lack a plate on the table at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and deepens Latin American integration (CELAC) and that of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa), we will be well served.

And on the margins, and without being able to examine their political processes and economic distortions with the same yardstick as the rest of Latin American governments, two revolutions, the Cuban one of Fidel, Raul and Diaz Canel, and the Bolivarian one of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.

In front, a new right wing that rearticulates itself to paint the map blue again, with the brushes of the media and the judiciary, and a Southern Command that assumes the destabilization role played until now by the State Department.

Therefore, a new Latin American map with more colors and shades than those seen at first sight is coming.

Source and translation: Resumen Latinoamericano – US