The Challenges of the Left in Latin America

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly
The Challenges of the Left in Latin America

A left-wing president in Mexico would not be good for the United States or even for Mexico, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said recently in Washington.

His statements came at a public hearing in the Capitol, where Republican Senator John McCain, without naming him directly, admitted that ‘if elections were held tomorrow in Mexico’, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) would probably win.

It would be the third time that Lopez Obrador runs for president, now leading the National Regeneration Movement, the youngest party that will participate in the 2018 elections.

AMLO leads the polls, although the candidates from the traditional parties that have historically struggled for the country’s political control have not been defined yet.

However, his force is benchmark of the left wing’s potentialities in Mexico, despite the perennial divisions due to which experts speak about the left wings, some of which are quite indistinct.

The truth is that the pre-election situation in Mexico shows that despite the setbacks in countries like Brazil and Argentina, the Latin American left and the progressive forces in the continent are called to gather momentum with the inspiration given by the victory of Lenin Moreno and Alianza Pais in Ecuador.

They also need to regain ground in Brazil and Argentina, where what happened does not represent processes in favor of the right wing, the Argentinean political scientist Atilio Boron told Prensa Latina in an interview.

The cycle that began with the triumph of Hugo Chavez in 1998 in Venezuela, which preceded what Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa defined as ‘a change of era’ in Latin America, is far from ending, Boron noted.

He recalled that in Brazil, constitutional order and the legality of the political system were violated by a coup d’état, ‘although they describe it as institutional’.

Boron added that the corruption surrounding Michel Temer and other key actors in the coup d’état against Dilma Rousseff might influence the early elections, with former President Lula da Silva as the best-positioned candidate.

The administration of Mauricio Macri is facing huge economic difficulties and has caused a new peak of popular demonstrations that seriously question its future stability, Boron said on the eve of the general strike that paralyzed Argentina on April 5.

For his part, Lenin Moreno will have to give a new boost to the process of changes, to foster unity and to face a staunch right wing in Ecuador, he noted.

We cannot forget that before that, President Daniel Ortega was reelected in Nicaragua, where the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) has consolidated its political power and has made achievements in social programs for the people’s welfare.

Another country with prospects for the progressive sectors is Paraguay, which has recently gone through acts of political violence and where former President Fernando Lugo leads the polls prior to the 2018 elections.

According to Medardo Gonzalez, general secretary of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the ex-guerrilla party rules in El Salvador amid a difficult balance of forces with the representatives of the oligarchy.

We are making achievements in social policies, in fighting insecurity, with the strategy and the effort to continue wining political support, he said recently at a seminar of political organizations sponsored by the Labor Party of Mexico.

Adan Chavez, the vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the minister of Culture in the cabinet of President Nicolas Maduro, also attended the meeting in Mexico.

In statements to Prensa Latina, he noted that the Bolivarian government overcame the most difficult test of the coup in 2016 and it is now on its way to recovery.

‘We got through the storm, we admit it, and today’s situation is one of achievements, above all thanks to Hugo Chavez’s legacy, which is embedded in the soul and mind of the majority of our people’, he said.

He mentioned the measures taken by the government in conjunction with popular sectors, including the implementation of the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP) to overcome the shortages of basic food and medicines as a result of the economic war.

Today, we outreach six million families throughout the country, thus multiplying the number of Venezuelans who benefit from the access to food and medicines, he explained.

Despite the difficult economic situation, including low oil prices, the Venezuelan government maintains social investment in education, public health, housing and in other sectors where the task is to be more efficient, he added.

Chavez noted that the attacks on his country within the Organization of American States (OAS) are not fortuitous. They want with a foreign intervention to achieve what the submissive opposition failed to achieve despite the parliamentary coup and the economic destabilization, he pointed out.

In Bolivia, the government of President Evo Morales shows social and economic achievements in a perennial battle against the oligarchy, which bets on taking over power again due to the impossibility of the head of State to run again for the post.

Cuba, even under the permanent sword of the U.S. blockade, continues to advance in the update of its economic model towards the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism.

Cuba’s case, among other strengths and peculiarities, is a benchmark regarding unity.

They are different experiences amid a class struggle that shows peaks, setbacks, even errors, and a difficult context, but where the progressive and left-wing forces are called to fight for their peoples.

By Orlando Oramas León – Prensa Latina Chief Correspondent in Mexico

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