The decline of populism in Latin America

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)



Something remarkable is happening in Latin America: The left-wing’ populism which has ruled for years several some of the Latin American countries is currently experiencing a very serious crisis. In Brazil, the last week the Brazilian Senate approved to divert from office to the President Dilma Rousseff, during 180 days in order to promote her political judgment and whose most likely will result in her final dismissal. The Workers Party (PT) will leave the country’ political reins, after a political management characterized by her unpopularity and corruption scandals. Her ideological buddies in some of the other Latin American nations are experiencing similar circumstances: Except in Cuba, the Soviet-style dictatorship which has already lasted almost 60 years, in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua or Argentina, the populist model is vanishing.

In Venezuela the situation is critical today. The “Chavismo“, now led by former bus driver, pro-Castro and placed in office by Hugo Chavez’s finger, with whom he shared devotion to Santeria and black magic, Nicolas Maduro is at his worst. The opposition is promoting a Revocation referendum to remove him from office. The president is using all of the state’ resources to keep the control and delay the validation of the signatures which the opposition has collected for that purpose. Venezuela’ security is deteriorated and it is a matter of concern for the rest of the world. The opposition has demanded to Maduro his resign from office after the state of emergency declared last Friday, which is threatening the human rights of the population and it is being used to repress the peaceful demonstrations against this harsh situation.

Rafael Correa in Ecuador maintains a political tight control. He applies a strong hand on any critical media: impossible fines to pay and threats of imprisonment against anyone who publishes something that he does not like, such as the poor management made by his cabinet on the April’ earthquake: the reception of aid offered by the United States was delayed, and the fact that he placed inexperienced people in charge to manage the crisis. Because of the adverse social climate, the president has announced that he will not go to re-election, although the law was changed and this possibility should be allowed.

In Bolivia, the economy keeps falling down. Evo Morales faces against serious corruption charges for helping to make business to an ex-lover, Mrs. Gabriela Zapata, arrested and prosecuted for influence peddling and illicit enrichment. Furthermore, Evo Morales lost the referendum to change the constitution in order to remain in power, although he denounced fraud in the process, of course.

In Argentina the end of populism is a fact. The Argentine ballot dismissed to Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, after leaving a ruined economy and being splattered by corruption’ issues. The new President, the conservative Mauricio Macri, has launched a campaign against corruption and currently some senior members of the former cabinet and her husband’s, Nestor Kirchner are being charged. She is trying to protected herself from Justice calling for demonstrations among her faithful followers, whose, inexplicably she still has some.

In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, one of the former leaders of the Sandinist Revolution and pro-Soviet communist, has reconverted the Chavista populism to survive politically and remain in office. He also faced the scandal of sexual abusing of his step daughter, as she informed to the press in 1998. Nicaragua depends on the Venezuelan oil to survive: It is the second poorest country in Latin America.

The “assault to the Heaven” has become a big failure. Populism has not helped the underprivileged who voted for its leaders: furthermore, they have ended up with the civil rights and freedom and they have been more corrupt than those who preceded them. We must learn in Europe about the others’ mistakes.


One thought on “The decline of populism in Latin America”

  1. Pues todavia hay quien niega la evidencia, y muchos quienes creen que España nunca podría ser un estado como Venezuela…eso espero y deseo! Hay que tener cuidado con los populistas emergentes aquí, porque son ruines, miserables, y muy agresivos! Tanto que incluso apoyan a ETA!!!
    No nos gustaría ver a nuestro país en una situación similar a la creada por Chavez, así que no hay que contribuir a ello.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *