Week 13: Towards an Uncertain Future

As the course comes to an end, we must wonder: where is Latin America going?

Max Cameron’s video seems to propose that the region is headed towards a more egalitarian, prosperous and independent future, led by a plurality of leftist governments. He speaks about Evo Morales in Bolivia, who, rather than coming to power as part of a political party, road the wave of support from a multitude of social movements. His policies have increased Bolivia’s economic sovereignty, and most importantly, have greatly improved the rights of indigenous peoples. Yet, as his two terms come to an end, what does the country’s future look like? It seems to be that there are a few options. First of all, it is possible that he will manage to choose a successor who will continue along his path and the country will continue to improve. For this, It seems that his most viable option is his vice president Álvaro García Linera, who seems to be a very intelligent man. Yet, one major obstacle to his appointment is that he is not indigenous, which i i believe is  of great importance to the social movements from which they base their power. The second option is that Morales refuses to step down, by legitimately or illegitimately passing a referendum to remove all term limits. This could quite possibly lead Bolivia towards a more authoritarian country. The third option is that they follow the path of Argentina and Brazil and move back to the Right. At the time that Dr. Cameron made this video, I feel that the region was looking more hopeful that it is today. Since then, in Brazil Dilma Rousseff has been impeached, and Michel Temer has taken her place, marking a clear shift to the Right. In Argentina, the Kirchner’s party has lost to Mauricio Macri, also signaling a shift to the Right. Furthermore, it seems highly likely that Chile’s centrist government will lose the upcoming elections to the Right wing party. Venezuela, which has been the leader of the new Latin American Left, has also taken a turn for the worse. After the death of Chavez, and even before then, Venezuela has slid towards authoritarianism. It is my belief that the upcoming presidential elections will be a critical juncture in the future of Venezuela. If the PSUV manages to win the elections legitimately, there is still hope for the Chavista dream. Although, it would take much luck for this to happen, as their greatest source of weakness is their reliance on oil, which of course is subject to fluctuations in world prices.

 

Over all, it seems that Latin America is headed for another period of repression and inequality. However, the pendulum of Latin American politics is in constant motion from left to right, and with the foundations laid over the last 15 years,  it is possible that in the long run, the region’s future is bright.

 

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