What’s The Way Of Latin America?

The past year was marked by numerous political events in Latin American countries. A “pink wave” has often been used by regional experts to describe the possible left-wing response in recent years. The team of former President Rafael Correa lost the elections in Ecuador, although not completely. In Argentina, Peronists were defeated by the extravagant financier and admirer of the United States, Javier Milay. As a result, this country fell into another crisis. Street protests have shaken major cities and the Argentine peso has become one of the worst performing currencies.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil and Gustavo Petro in Colombia cannot be classified as traditional leftists, despite appealing to voters with left-leaning views. They could be referred to as left-wing populists, although right-wingers are often accused of populism. Gabriel Borich, in Chile, called for progressive reforms while criticizing the traditional left, has referred to the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as “repressive dictatorships”.

Former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo failed to meet the left expectations, including the so-called progressives. He speculated on social themes and lost power about a year ago after attempting to dissolve Congress and impose curfews. And Dina Boluarte, who replaced him, couldn’t handle the crisis. Center-leftist Bernardo Arevalo won Guatemala elections this year and will take office on January 14, 2024.

In Paraguay, the right-wing continues to hold power and the April 2023 elections were won by Santiago Peña of the Colorado Party. Representatives of the same party took the most seats in Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Uruguay has a political dynasty, with the current president Luis Lacaye Pau being the son of former president Luis Alberto Lacaye, who served from 1990 to 1995. The National Party, which represents a strange mixture of conservatism, Christian democracy, and social liberalism, is in power.

Therefore, it would be more accurate to speak about the endeavors aimed at reassessing global and regional processes, asserting individual identity in light of various crises, including ideological ones. Using terms like ‘pink wave’ or a leftward shift is inappropriate to depict this phenomenon. And this shaking will continue.

El Salvador, Uruguay, and Mexico will hold general elections in 2024, while Venezuela will hold presidential ones. The situation in El Salvador is intriguing. The incumbent President, Naib Bukele, was unable to run for a second term, but found a legal loophole with the help of Supreme Court — he went on extended vacations and returned as a candidate. Most important, of course, are the elections in Mexico and Venezuela. Based on the available evidence and current political processes, it appears that continuity will be maintained.

The northern neighbor will experience the consequences thereof. Caravans of Central American migrants and shipments of fentanyl, cocaine, and other drugs will continue to flow into the United States. This will further undermine the economy, social policy, and security of America.

On the positive side, continuity in governance will continue in Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia (despite the split in the Movement Toward Socialism party between supporters of current President Luis Arce and former President Evo Morales), and Venezuela. All of them are members of the ALBA alliance, opposing the neo-imperialist hegemony of USA and actively developing relations with Russia.

Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez has been confirmed for a new presidential term in Cuba by the National Assembly. This helped to develop bilateral relations. Quite a few important agreements were signed with Cuba this year. A metallurgical plant has been launched on Liberty Island with the help of Russia. Railroad is being reconstructed, direct air travel has been restored, and the ‘Mir’ card has become operational. In June, during a visit by a Cuban delegation, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced several joint projects in military-technical cooperation. Additionally, Russia has assisted in delivery of petroleum products.

Nicaragua is actively cooperating with Russia in medicine, energy, communications, industry, trade, and security. In December, Laureano Facundo Ortega Murillo, who is the special representative of the President of Nicaragua for relations with Russia, visited Moscow. During this visit, new agreements were reached to expand the range of trade and for direct supplies.

In Bolivia, a multi-purpose nuclear research center was opened in 2023 with the participation of Rosatom. The center will provide the country with necessary radiopharmaceuticals and contribute to the medical, agricultural, scientific, and educational fields. Furthermore, a treaty has been signed with Russia for the extraction of lithium, a crucial element of radio electronics, space industry, and nuclear power.

The cooperation with Venezuela persists in oil and gas production. Additionally, there are plans to execute collaborative projects in agriculture, medicine, and trade. The Russian card ‘Mir’ is expected to function in Venezuela soon. Like Cuba, there is a direct air service between our countries, mainly used by Russian tourists.

In December of last year, many Latin American countries commemorated the 200th anniversary of Monroe Doctrine, that gave the USA the right to interfere solely in the affairs of Latin American countries. This led to numerous military interventions, blockades, and military coups of XIX-XX centuries organized by the CIA and State Department. There were also various economic scams and political stalemates. The USA continues to maintain a blockade against Cuba to this day.

And now Washington is trying to control the region. At the official level, projects like ‘Build Back Better’ are proposed. Originally part of Joe Biden’s campaign to improve American infrastructure, it later became part of foreign policy and was explicitly directed against China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. In smaller Caribbean nations, America is proposing various green energy projects. Nevertheless, the Pentagon’s Southern Command also employs hard power methods, including the fight against drug trafficking. Propaganda is conducted against certain countries and governments, while the USA also seeks to establish intergovernmental agreements to provide a legal basis for presence and data exchange.

Meanwhile, traditional partners across the region are increasingly losing trust in the USA. Rationality takes precedence over abstract formulations and vague promises of the State Department. Latin America, as Simon Bolivar dreamed, can become a center of world politics. This idea has taken hold not only among intellectuals and political elites but also in the streets.

What’s The Way Of Latin America?

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