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Author Topic: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System  (Read 3003 times)

morganism

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Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System

https://decisiondeskhq.com/peru-mexico-chile-ecuador-and-the-struggle-to-change-a-broken-system/

"Latin American democracy has never lived up to its ideals and values. Two months ago, Decision Desk Headquarters analyzed the unfortunate Latin American political undercurrents of corruption, political fragmentation, “Caudillo” politicians, and wide wealth gaps. We analyzed the Ecuadorian Presidential runoff, the first round of the Peruvian Presidential Election, and the then upcoming Chilean Constitutional Election. A common theme in these elections was the conflict between the electorate’s desire to shed the corruption of the current system and said political system’s resistance to any reform. Two more Latin American elections this week exhibited this tension."

sidd

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2021, 09:52:06 AM »
deutsch welle: socialist elected in chile

"Boric, 35, a millennial former student protest leader who has vowed to raise taxes on the "super rich" "

https://www.dw.com/en/chileans-take-to-the-streets-to-celebrate-leftist-borics-election-victory/a-60187979

Kissinger is still alive to see this.

sidd

Alexander555

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2021, 07:12:53 PM »
That will be the end for Chili. A sociale europe-like model. Half of south-america is a favela. It want be long before they will have to start printing money day and night. Half of south-america will move to Chili for free stuff. And half of the planet is already printing money day and night. Inflation will probably become the next global crisis.

etienne

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2021, 07:47:07 PM »
Well, I believe that Chile is more mature than Venezuela, Nicaragua or Bolivia. It could look more like what we saw in Brazil and worked fine.

johnm33

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2021, 10:00:43 PM »
That will be the end for Chili. A sociale europe-like model. Half of south-america is a favela. It want be long before they will have to start printing money day and night. Half of south-america will move to Chili for free stuff. And half of the planet is already printing money day and night. Inflation will probably become the next global crisis.
Before the Spanish arrived the Inca managed a 'socialist' economy that supported a population similar in size to the current one, without systemic poverty.

El Cid

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2021, 08:31:07 AM »
john

I lived in a Socialist country. Thanks but no thanks. SOCIALISM DOES NOT WORK. It sounds good on paper, it is terrible in reality. People always think "but this time we will do it better". However, people are not perfect (to say the least) and therefore the system never lives up to hopes - on the contrary, it leads to deprivation. See Venezuela, a mighty mess even with the bigges oil reserves in the world! Even Cuba - although a more successful realization of the socialis model - is a very poor country, people flee from there. Wonder why they all want to go to the evil, capitalis USA?!

An old joke here in Hungary: "Introduce socialism in the desert and soon they will run out of sand"

oren

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2021, 11:19:04 AM »
The title of socialist can mean many things, not necessarily a Soviet style economy.
" vowed to raise taxes on the "super rich" " doesn't sound like an extremely bad idea.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2021, 04:15:46 PM »
john

I lived in a Socialist country. Thanks but no thanks. SOCIALISM DOES NOT WORK. It sounds good on paper, it is terrible in reality. People always think "but this time we will do it better".

This is a silly over-generalization.  It's certainly true that quite a number of Marxist-inspired governments have horribly screwed up the lives of their people.  It's also true that quite a number of "socialist" governments have advanced human welfare within their borders.

Are the Social Democrats across northern Europe "socialists"?  If so, what's so bad about universal health care and a social safety net that protects its people from fear of hunger or homelessness in the event of becoming unemployed?   What's so bad about progressive taxation that reduces wealth and income inequality?

I would suggest that the important difference between a helpful government or unhelpful one is not so much Marxism/Socialism/Capitalism/Libertarian ideology as whether the political system gives real power to the people to choose.  One-party rule is generally an invitation to disaster--it doesn't matter whether that party is leftist or rightist.  One-person rule (dictatorships) have an even worse record.

Of course, two-party rule is only somewhat more democratic than one-party rule.  We see that in the US.

As for Chile in particular, it's interesting that electoral participation went up when people had a real choice.  It wasn't the choice many might have preferred, between too-right and too-left options.  But give the people real choices, and they will take their responsibility to choose seriously.  I suspect they chose well.  Time will tell.  Unless the new government degrades democratic principles, I suspect the nation will be fine.

Chile certainly has very good resources for bringing economic prosperity to it's people.  Great agricultural and mineral resources.  Given wise policies, the people may benefit enormously.

El Cid

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2021, 05:12:15 PM »
You are both right that Socialism is a broad and unwell defined term. However, the history of Latin America suggests that not much good will come out of it.

European style social democracy / the "welfare state" created the best living environment in the world in my view (let's not forget that W.European/German Ordolibearlism was a reaction to the Communist threat from the East, they had to counterbalance classic capitalism with welfare to appease the population and avoid revolutions) but Latin America has a tendency (surely due to historical social patterns) to go hardcore Socialist, which in my book means taking other people's assets (and going increasingly autocratic and creating perverse incentives which lead to very low efficiency).

But as Thatcher said very well:"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.'"


(BTW, I consider myself a Social Democrat and agree with broader wealth redistribution)

 

etienne

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2021, 05:49:20 PM »
There was already in 2006  a socialist president elected in Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and it was fine. I don't think that there is anything to worry here.

As long as justice and the Parlament are independent of the government, there is not much to be scared of.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2021, 06:00:38 PM »
You are both right that Socialism is a broad and unwell defined term. However, the history of Latin America suggests that not much good will come out of it.

European style social democracy / the "welfare state" created the best living environment in the world in my view (let's not forget that W.European/German Ordolibearlism was a reaction to the Communist threat from the East, they had to counterbalance classic capitalism with welfare to appease the population and avoid revolutions) but Latin America has a tendency (surely due to historical social patterns) to go hardcore Socialist, which in my book means taking other people's assets (and going increasingly autocratic and creating perverse incentives which lead to very low efficiency).

But as Thatcher said very well:"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.'"


(BTW, I consider myself a Social Democrat and agree with broader wealth redistribution)

We would seem to agree more than we disagree.  A couple of points may still be worth discussion.

Why should being located in South America mean that a left-leaning government is automatically doomed to failure?  In truth, there's no shortage of examples of *both* left-leaning and right-leaning governments devastating the lives of their people in that continent.  Was Pinochet better than Chavez as a leader?  Personally, I have no idea, they were both disasters.

During the Cold War, the US exerted a very heavy hand in South America, propping up right-wing governments and undermining left-wing governments.  This doomed most left-leaning governments, regardless of how much better or worse they might have been for the governed.

The continent is *mostly* now freed from that heavy thumb on the scales.  Maybe Chile voted wisely, maybe they didn't.  Only time will tell.  I'm cautiously optimistic.  My main point is that as long as vigorous democracy remains intact, the people shouldn't have too much to worry about.

El Cid

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2021, 10:03:49 AM »
Unfortunately societies have a deep memory and their structure defines their relation to democracy. It seems that without a wide class of citizens who own assets / are entrepreneurial / have higher education and most importantly have the means to exist without dependence from the state - democracy is not possible. Ancient Rome already proved it (when the wide class of smallholders were wiped out during BCE 1st-2nd century, democracy collapsed).

I think this is the problem of Latin America: historically most of the people depended either on the state or worked in quasifeudal settings meaning that they always depended in their existence on a strong authority. This is why they are prone to authoritarian leaders be they left or right (and yes, I agree the US intervened during the Cold War there in very bad ways).

The same is true for Eastern Europe, a prime example is my homeland, Hungary, where an authoritarian leader with zero respect for democracy grabbed power and has been governing the country for 12 years now (authoritarians are ruling Poland, were ruling Slovakia in the 90s, and I wont even mention post-Soviet republics.

Our prime minister unchecked all the checks and balances and in effect created an autocratic system (and stole billions of euros of EU taxpayer money) where victory for the opposition is nigh impossible (although the 2022 spring elections are the greatest chance since 2010). This is only possible because 30-40% of the population supports him and the reasons go deep down in history: Hungary was occupied by the Turks for 150 years (not good for democracy), and after that was mostly a rural, feudal country with very few real citizens. The few we had (the town dwelling intelligentsia) was either Jewish (many killed during the Holocaust) or German (many repatriated to Germany after WW2). So we are a country of serfs - however harsh that may sound. Socialism did not help much to change this: to cope in that system you had to bow to authority.

This is why I think that Latam is very prone to go hardcore socialist and this usually does not end well, see eg Venezuela or Cuba

 

etienne

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2021, 01:39:51 PM »
Hello El Cid,
I feel that you are on one side pessimist regarding south America, Lula and Michelle Bachelet were both ok, and optimistic regarding Democracy in western Europe and north America. Crisis like COVID show us that modern democracy can also be very unfair.
Right now in Luxembourg, we have a government with a short majority and the laws are all voted 31 vs 29 without too much debate.
Your president is (was?) In the same political organization that Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron or Jean-Claude Junker, so we can't say that the EPP is undemocratic because of some examples that clearly are not. Same thing with the socialists. I never understood why political parties accept people who don't behave according to the message they want to carry in the political debate.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 01:57:24 PM by etienne »

El Cid

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2021, 04:40:42 PM »
The state of democracy - even with its numerous faults - is a thousand times better in Germany or France than in Hungary, that is for sure. If you lived here, you would not believe what is happening weekly. Any European government would instantly collapse from the scandals we have every week. It is quite amazing what has been gowing on here since 2010. Every week I can't believe my eyes and ears, and tell everyone that it can not get worse. It does. Why European taxpayers finance this is beyond me...

I do recognise the problems arising in the US and Europe though and most of it stems (I believe) from liberal economic policies enacted since the 80s that created income/wealth inequalities in these societies. If these are not taken care of, this could rip apart society for sure. I don't think we are there yet.

etienne

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2023, 10:05:29 PM »

morganism

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2023, 10:17:22 AM »
AOC urges US to apologize for meddling in Latin America: ‘We’re here to reset relationships’

Democratic congresswoman calls for acknowledgment of past intrusion in effort to restore trust in US leadership in the region

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent member of Congress and leading voice of the American left, has called on the US government to issue an apology to Latin American countries for decades of meddling in their affairs and causing instability in the region.

The Democratic congresswoman from New York was speaking after a visit to Chile in advance of the 50th anniversary of the coup against Salvador Allende, a democratically elected socialist president actively opposed by Washington.

“I believe that we owe Chile, and not just Chile but many aspects of that region, an apology,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Guardian in an interview at her campaign headquarters in the Bronx. “I don’t think that apology indicates weakness; I think it indicates a desire to meet our hemispheric partners with respect.

“It’s very hard for us to move forward when there is this huge elephant in the room and a lack of trust due to that elephant in the room. The first step around that is acknowledgement and saying we want to approach this region in the spirit of mutual respect, and I think that’s new and it’s historic.”

Since President James Monroe effectively announced a protectorate over the hemisphere in the early 19th century, known as the Monroe doctrine, the US has interfered in nations across Latin America, often in pursuit of its own commercial interests or to support rightwing autocrats against socialists.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the US helped overthrow Guatemalan president Jacobo Árbenz and Brazilian president João Goulart and made various attempts to assassinate Soviet-backed Cuban leader Fidel Castro. In the 1970s, Argentina and Chile launched brutal crackdowns against perceived socialist threats, often with US support.

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan’s administration supported anti-communist Contra forces against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, backed the Salvadoran government against leftist rebels, invaded Grenada after accusing the government of aligning with Cuba and invaded Panama to oust dictator Manuel Noriega.

And in what became known as Operation Condor, eight US-backed military dictatorships – Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador – jointly plotted the cross-border kidnap, torture and murder of hundreds of their political opponents.

Ocasio-Cortez believes a reckoning is long overdue. She said: “Latin America, I believe, due to its proximity, was absolutely unique in US interventionism during the cold war, and that was under [secretary of state] Henry Kissinger and President Nixon.

“I think a lot of Latin America is still very much grappling in the present day with the consequences of coups that were supported by the United States, with Operation Condor that Henry Kissinger helped largely lead. What we see is the ramifications of decades of those policies and how they shape US-Latin American relations today, I think primarily around trust.”

Successive US administrations have struggled to win back that trust. Washington was accused of giving at least tacit support to coups in Venezuela in 2002 and Honduras in 2009. When Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro claimed that the US was trying to orchestrate his overthrow in 2019, he knew the allegation would still have resonance in the region.

There are implications for everything from climate cooperation to immigration initiatives to trade relations. Joe Biden has faced criticism for neglecting Latin America as he seeks to rebuild alliances in Asia and Europe, even as the US faces growing competition from China for influence in the region. Democratic senator Tim Kaine told a recent Senate foreign relations committee hearing: “I struggle to see what this administration is doing in Latin America that has any heft to it.”

But Ocasio-Cortez was part of a congressional delegation – all Latino and Spanish-speaking – who recently travelled to Brazil, Chile and Colombia with the aim of opening a new chapter. In what she describes as a break from past US foreign policy, “we were sending a message not of paternalism or consequences or telling people what to do, but truly saying we’re here to reset this relationship in a new light”.

Climate diplomacy was a central focus of the visit. Brazil is a major driver of deforestation but Ocasio-Cortez – a member of “the squad” of progressives in the House of Representatives – said it was important to communicate that the Amazon is not Brazil’s responsibility alone.

In Chile, the group visited the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, which remembers the victims of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Ocasio-Cortez has introduced legislation to declassify documents that could shed light on the CIA’s involvement in the coup.

“The first element of it is just acknowledgement,” she said. “We’re not even at the point of an apology because we haven’t even gotten to an acknowledgement, and that’s why I believe the declassification of these documents is going to be so critical to our relationship to Chile, as well as also acknowledging the unified rightwing movements that the US has very much historically been exporting to Latin America. I don’t say that just in a governmental respect. I say that in terms of the rightwing movements that are growing in the United States.”

Ocasio-Cortez notes that Steve Bannon, a longtime adviser to former president Donald Trump, has convened far-right figures from around the world and coordinated with extremists in Brazil. Bannon’s playbook was in evidence in the 8 January 2023 attacks on government buildings in the capital, Brasilia, she says.

“I think we’re seeing something similar happen in Chile, where there is a concerted effort to erase history and a concerted effort to manipulate public perception of what happened in the 11 September 1973 coup against Salvador Allende and for the United States to declassify these documents, in addition to their diplomatic significance, could also be inoculative against those who seek to erase the history of what has happened in this region.”

A cross-border alliance of rightwing populists has emerged over the past decade to share ideas and pool resources. Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and former Brexit party leader Nigel Farage have all addressed the US Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, also a politician, said he and Bannon “share the same worldview”. Tucker Carlson, a former host at Fox News, has lavished praise on Orbán.

Asked if the left needs to build a counterweight network, Ocasio-Cortez, whose trip to Latin America was branded “AOC’s socialist sympathy tour” by Rupert Murdoch’s conservative Wall Street Journal newspaper, replied: “I absolutely believe that the battle for democracy must be transnational and it must be global, and it especially must be hemispheric.

“What we are seeing is not just a progressive left that must unify. I think we are also talking about basic principles of defending democracy. As we’ve seen with Bolsonaro and of course with the very recent history of Pinochet, Chile just began to make its steps into democracy in 1990. That is just when they first started taking these steps out of an authoritarian rightwing regime.”

That means finding a way through the messiness of multiparty democracy to prove it can produce results that autocracy cannot. The congresswoman added: “At the end of the day, for democracy to prevail, democracy must deliver, and I believe that’s where progressive politics come in. We must secure material improvements to the lives of working people, from healthcare to the climate crisis.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/02/aoc-us-apology-latin-america-coup-chile

morganism

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Re: Peru, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and the Struggle to Change a Broken System
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2024, 12:11:13 AM »
How the Biden administration helped avoid a coup in Guatemala


After a reform-minded professor won the presidency of Guatemala — one of the Western Hemisphere’s most notoriously corrupt countries — governments around the world watched the fallout with alarm.

Guatemalan authorities seized ballot boxes on dubious claims of fraud. They tried to dissolve the party of the winner, Bernardo Arévalo, and investigate him criminally. With months to go before he took office, the beleaguered president-elect warned of a “slow-motion coup.”

On Sunday, Arévalo is to be sworn in, in what could be a turning point for a nation that’s hemorrhaged migrants to the United States. He’s reaching Inauguration Day in large part because of the determination of Guatemalan citizens fed up with corruption. But U.S. diplomats played a key role, in one of the Biden administration’s most aggressive campaigns to shore up democracy in the hemisphere.

How TikTokers and Swifties became political power brokers in Guatemala

Behind the scenes were career U.S. bureaucrats with decades of experience in Latin America — the sort of briefcase-toting professionals who melt into the crowds on the D.C. Metro. They targeted Guatemalan politicians and influential business people with a blizzard of sanctions, stern public statements and quiet arm-twisting.
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“I don’t think we would have made it if the U.S. didn’t get as involved as they did,” said Dionisio Gutiérrez, one of Guatemala’s richest business executives and an outspoken critic of corruption.

The Washington Post interviewed 11 current and former U.S. officials, as well as analysts and business people in Guatemala, to understand the Biden administration’s maneuvering. Several people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities.

With grim predictions of waning U.S. influence around the globe — due to China’s rise and America’s own political dysfunction — Guatemala may emerge as a rare success in promoting democracy.

That such an effort occurred in Guatemala is particularly remarkable. In 1954, the CIA backed a coup to oust the country’s democratically elected leftist president, Jacobo Árbenz. President Ronald Reagan praised a military dictator, Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, who was later convicted of the genocide of Indigenous people allegedly sympathetic to Marxist-led guerrillas. (The conviction was eventually overturned; he was being retried when he died in 2018.)

Guatemala’s outgoing president, Alejandro Giammattei, has responded to the recent pressure by protesting foreign interference in his country’s affairs. “The countries of the European Union jumped all over us, the big bosses of the North [United States] jumped all over us,” he said in a speech on Monday He denied a coup had been in the works.
(more)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/12/bernardo-arevalo-guatemala-inauguration-biden/