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Pink Tide

The Volatility Of US Hegemony In Latin America, Part III

US and other western central banks – what Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega calls the “gang of assassins who control the global economy” – maintained low interest rates for much of the last decade which encouraged countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to take out large loans. Starting around 2021, interest rates were slowly raised. Coincident, the pandemic hit and developing countries were forced to go further into debt to fund Covid measures and cushion the effects of the economic dislocation. In these volatile times, the value of the US dollar has increased on international markets. For developing nations, this has meant higher interest payments coupled with capital flight to US financial markets in particular.

The Volatility Of US Hegemony In Latin America, Part I

Latin America and the Caribbean have again began to take on a becoming pink complexion, all the more so with June’s historic electoral victory in Colombia over the country’s long-dominant US-backed rightwing and a similar reverse in Brazil in October. These electoral rejections of the rightwing followed left victories last year in Peru, Honduras, and Chile. And those, in turn, came after similar routs in Bolivia in 2020, Argentina in 2019, and Mexico in 2018.  This electoral wave, according to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, speaking at the Climate Summit in November, “open[s] a new geopolitical age to Latin America.” This “Pink Tide” challenges US hemispheric hegemony, whose pedigree dates back to the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

National Lawyers Guild Calls For Solidarity With Colombia

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) joins statements concerning the upcoming presidential elections in Colombia. We implore the current government and its functionaries to abide by the will of the people and ensure the safety of members of El Pacto Histórico regardless of the election outcome. We also reaffirm our solidarity with progressive organizations and individuals doing accompaniment and electoral observation work in Colombia. This historic election will take place on May 29, 2022 and is part of a highly contested race in which el Pacto Histórico presidential candidate Senator Gustavo Petro, and his vice-presidential running mate, Afro-Colombian Goldman Prize winner Francia Márquez Mina, have emerged as the front-runner in the polls.

Petro Bulletproofs Campaign Amid Assassination Fears

With just two weeks until the election, Colombia’s leading presidential slate is making an international appeal after receiving death threats on the campaign trail. The Pacto Historico ticket penned a letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in which they ask for guarantees, after receiving death threats and intimidating which have been dismissed by Colombian officials. On May 2, Gustavo Petro suspended scheduled visits to the coffee going region for security reasons, citing information he received on a possible assassination attempt from the criminal organization ‘La Cordillera’. The letter also states that his VP pick received three death threats in early April.

2021 Latin America And The Caribbean In Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again

US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia. Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity.

Arce-Castillo Socialist Alliance For South America, Part II

Arce in Bolivia and Castillo in Peru face some similar challenges: paralyzed economies, the exhaustion of some sources of income such as natural gas and the emergence of others (e.g. lithium); the pandemically-related rise in poverty; deep social divisions between rich and poor and between well-endowed areas and areas less fortunate; a historical legacy of ruling class entitlement; health and education systems in great need of additional resources, especially in the poorer and more remote regions; environmental challenges such as the destruction of the Amazon rain forest; the insistent pressure for access and profit by multinational corporations, especially in the extractivist industries; the need to fortify and expand national institutions and the role of the State in the national economy; the always looming threat of the regional hegemon, the USA and its allies, both local and global, which, when angered sufficiently stifle economic and political development through the application of sanctions and financing of local “pro-democracy” movements.

Arce-Castillo Socialist Alliance For South America, Part I

On July 28, 2021, Pedro Castillo, son of illiterate Andean peasants will be inaugurated as President of Peru, celebrating the victory of his socialist party Perú Libre in the elections of June. Peru has strong historical ties to other regional powers, most notably Ecuador and Bolivia. Castillo’s victory follows by two months the swearing in of Guillermo Alberto Santiago Lasso Mendoza as President of Ecuador in May. Although Lasso is center-right, he will be constrained by the continuing hold over Ecuador’s 137 seat assembly of allies of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) which maintains the largest bloc with 49 seats, and the leftist Pachakutik party which has unprecedented indigenous influence, holding about 45 seats in alliance with the center-left Democratic Left party.

Lawfare Threatens To Derail Presidential Election In Ecuador

On February 7, the progressive presidential candidate for the Union of Hope Alliance (UNES) party, Andrés Arauz, won first place in Ecuador’s presidential election; this is uncontested. Arauz garnered 32.71% of the vote; right-wing former banker Guillermo Lasso 19.74%; and the “Indigenous” candidate, Yaku Pérez  19.38%. Since Arauz’s margin of victory was less than the required 40% plus at least ten points more than the closest competitor, a runoff is scheduled for April 11th. With the UN calling for transparency and Pérez contesting the outcome, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has agreed to conduct a partial recount to verify the second place contender. 

Ecuador: Presidential Elections Could Bring Back The Citizens’ Revolution

On February 7, Ecuador will hold elections for President and for its legislative body, with 137 positions to be decided for the National Assembly. Though 16 presidential candidates participated in the debates, there are three major candidates. Andrés Arauz and his vice presidential candidate, Carlos Rabascall, represent La Unión por la Esperanza (The Union of Hope, UNES), what was Alianza País led by former president Rafael Correa before the party split in 2017. Guayaquil banker Guillermo Lasso and Alfredo Borrero are the candidates for the conservative alliance Creando Oportunidades (Creating Opportunities, CREO). Carlos “Yacu” Pérez is the candidate of the indigenous Pachakutik Party.

Maradona: The Bolivarian Soccer Genius

The fighting peoples of the world lost a humble legend yesterday. Diego Armando Maradona was 60 years old. Arguably the greatest soccer player to ever grace the pitches, the spirited striker combined unparalleled skills in his sport and an unflinching outspokenness before oppression. No other sports figure’s public statements and transformation has equally captured the changing momentum across Latin America. The hundreds of thousands of tributes being paid throughout the world portray a particular image: Maradona in close solidarity with the biggest progressive leaders of the social reformist wave embraced by the peoples of Latin America, the so called Pink Tide.

Talk Of Another Pink Tide

The election of Luis Arce in Bolivia last month has been much celebrated in circles where people of humane good will gather. This is as it should be: Arce was economics and finance minister in the socialist government of Evo Morales and was the violently deposed president’s chosen successor to lead his Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS. Arce’s victory, by a thumping 52-percent to 31-percent, reversed one of the bolder and nastier of the many right-wing coups in Latin America the U.S. has led, cultivated, fomented, instigated, what-have-you since the early decades of the last century.
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