Skip to main content

Right wing turn in Latin America?

No shame

Slow posting during the Thanksgiving break. Just a brief follow up on my recent post on Argentina. By a relative small margin the right wing candidate, Mauricio Macri, won the election. As noted in the previous post the most dangerous result would be an attack on the human rights policies followed by the current government, that have led to jail more than 400 human rights violators (noted that several were acquitted by lack of proofs as it should happen in a civilized society; so this was not witch hunt).

La Nación, the main conservative daily, that benefited economically from the last dictatorship and supported it, had an editorial demanding an end to 'revenge.' They called the left of center militants the true terrorists of the 1970s, even though the vast majority had committed no violent crime (and even those that did commit crimes should have been prosecuted according to the law, not tortured, and summarily executed). Macri has suggested that he will not stop the judiciary system from prosecuting human rights violators. But he made it clear that this will not be part of government policy.

Devaluation is in everybody's minds, and is likely to happen, although no run on the peso for now. There is an external restriction now (and for the last couple of years, but as I noted before there is no external crisis per se, so a maxi-devaluation is a question of choice, not necessity). Also, while it is true that the neoliberal policies of the 1990s are back with the new administration, it is worth remembering that the conditions now are very different than back then. The neoliberal turn in Latin America and Argentina in the 1990s followed a lost decade, with low growth, high unemployment and even higher inflation. Worse, ideologically the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet bloc had given legitimacy to neoliberal ideas, and the notion that history had ended. Only market friendly policies worked.

This time around the right turn in LA comes after a global crisis of capitalism, from which we have not completely emerged, with the US and Europe, in particular, in dire straits, and in the case of Argentina with a society organized and ready to defend its interests after a decade of growth and improving income distribution. Let alone that congress is in the hands of the opposition. My two cents for now.

Will post more on this later.

Comments

  1. Apelaremos a la memoria histórica y resistiremos cualquier avance sobre derechos adquiridos

    Ya empezaron a revolotear algunos "yo no lo vote", deja vu de cuando el turco allá por el '95 pero ahora parece ser un reacomodamiento hormonal de algunos

    Veremos

    Saludos

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What is the 'Classical Dichotomy'?

A few brief comments on Brexit and the postmortem of the European Union

Another end of the world is possible
There will be a lot of postmortems for the European Union (EU) after Brexit. Many will suggest that this was a victory against the neoliberal policies of the European Union. See, for example, the first three paragraphs of Paul Mason's column here. And it is true, large contingents of working class people, that have suffered with 'free-market' economics, voted for leaving the union. The union, rightly or wrongly, has been seen as undemocratic and responsible for the economics woes of Europe.

The problem is that while it is true that the EU leaders have been part of the problem and have pursued the neoliberal policies within the framework of the union, sometimes with treaties like the Fiscal Compact, it is far from clear that Brexit and the possible demise of the union, if the fever spreads to France, Germany and other countries with their populations demanding their own referenda, will lead to the abandonment of neoliberal policies. Aust…

A brief note on Venezuela and the turn to the right in Latin America

So besides the coup in Brazil (which was all but confirmed by the last revelations, if you had any doubts), and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, the crisis in Venezuela is reaching a critical level, and it would not be surprising if the Maduro administration is recalled, even though right now the referendum is not scheduled yet.

The economy in Venezuela has collapsed (GDP has fallen by about 14% or so in the last two years), inflation has accelerated (to three digit levels; 450% or so according to the IMF), there are shortages of essential goods, recurrent energy blackouts, and all of these aggravated by persistent violence. Contrary to what the press suggests, these events are not new or specific to left of center governments. Similar events occurred in the late 1980s, in the infamous Caracazo, when the fall in oil prices caused an external crisis, inflation, and food shortages, which eventually, after the announcement of a neoliberal economic package that included the i…