The Right-Wing in Latin America Corrodes Itself

By Emir Sader on October 8, 2019

The euphoric return of the Right to Latin American governments has now started to swing the other way resulting in the dramatic defeat of Mauricio Macri in Argentina’s primary elections; a state of emergency installed by President Lenin Moreno in Ecuador in his attempt to hold back the anger of the population against his neoliberal package; and the projection of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro as the world’s most ridiculous and hideous Head of State. These were the personalities who would allegedly put public finances back on a sound footing; recover our countries’ international prestige; end corruption; overcome populist governments; and achieve stability, development, and social welfare.

A few years have passed and these heroic personalities of the neoliberal restoration have become scorned figures: Macri, Moreno, Bolsonaro. Who believes in them? Does anyone think that Macri is going to turn results upside down in Argentina’s general elections next October 27? Who thinks Moreno is going to overcome the current Ecuadorean crisis unscathed? Who now thinks Bolsonaro is the future of Brazil?

The right wing took power in countries where there was growth again, where inequality had decreased, and where they maintained good cooperative relations with their neighbors. Countries that managed to have political stability; peaceful and democratic coexistence among political, social and cultural forces; with a State guaranteeing the rights of all.

Let’s look now at the situation of countries like Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador. They have surrendered to recession, unemployment, destitution, the loss of people’s social support, and loss of their governments’ legitimacy. The Right has made all legal and illegal efforts to prevent that left wing governments win the presidencies of those countries ever again.

Compare the Ecuador of Rafael Correa to the country managed by someone like Moreno who was elected due to the success of the former president and who betrayed everything for which he was elected, to do what the Right proposed and push the country to the brink of chaos, with military occupation throughout its streets.

Compare the Brazil of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, a country respected worldwide, with a president who finished his term with 80 percent of negative references in the media but 87 percent of the population’s support. Brazil had grown and distributed its revenues, overcoming the map of hunger. Compare it to what it is now in the hands of a President who is not respected by anyone, who has driven the country to misery and rampant violence.

Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez rescued Argentina from the worst crisis of its history, led the country to development again and to create employment. They managed to overcome the debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and to make the country be respected around the world again. Compare it to the country which Macri is shamelessly giving back to democratic forces, a country with recession for the third year in a row, with people suffering hunger and destitution.

But there is a logic in the madness implemented by the Right in these countries and in what they intend to do in others. First, their role is seeking to strip legitimacy and people’s support of their most important  leaders in those countries. These leaders have been transformed into the main enemies of local and North American oligarchies because with their policies they gained the confidence of their people and international privilege as well, prioritizing regional integration processes instead of free trade agreements with the U.S.

Second, the Right tried to replace economic policies which supported and promoted the domestic market with the return of fiscal adjustment policies aimed at fostering the interests of finance capital. They retrieved the neoliberal model, valid in global capitalism, despite it having led large powers to a deep and extended recession. Retrieving the anti-neoliberal model means finishing with an example of alternative economic policy which confirms that there is not only one path, as the Washington Consensus and the single way of thinking are trying to impose.

The Right in Latin America resumed the governments of countries like Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and they have confirmed that they did not learn anything from their previous failure and from the success of progressive governments. They are failing again, they will fail more, they are and they will be defeated again.

Source: Pagina 12, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau