“Latin American politics and worldwide relations” – some factors I made in my lecture at Jadavpur College, Kolkata, on 20 July 2022
Latin American politics and worldwide relations are extra vibrant, eventful, thrilling, explosive and distinct from different components of the world. The historical past of Latin American politics is stuffed with dramas, comedies and tragedies. The area is thought for loopy caudillos, bloody navy coups, brutal dictators, superb revolutions, lethal guerilla wars and fierce ideological competitors between Marxism, Maoism, Leninism and Trotskyism. The truth is, Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico Metropolis in 1941.
A Bengali revolutionary MN Roy had added to the color of Latin American politics. He was a co-founder of the Communist Get together of Mexico earlier than he got here again to discovered the Communist celebration of India. He spent over two years in Mexico from 1917 to 1919. When he travelled to Russia for a Communist convention, the Mexican authorities had given him a diplomatic passport with the false identify of Roberto Vila Garcia to keep away from the British and American harassment because of his communist actions. Roy known as Mexico as ‘the land of his rebirth’.
The politics of Latin America has advanced in 4 phases:
First- Period of caudillos and oligarchs from the Nineteen Twenties to 1950.
Second – Period of chilly conflict politics 1950-1980. Within the identify of the conflict on communism, tons of of 1000’s of leftists had been hunted, detained, tortured and killed by the navy dictatorships supported by the US. The defining moments of this period had been:
1954 overthrow of the democratically elected leftist president Arbanz of Guatemala and set up of a navy dictatorship
1959 Cuban Revolution was an inspiration to leftists within the area. The enduring leaders Fidel Castro and Che Guevara had influence and affect all over the world.
1973 overthrow of the leftist authorities of Allende adopted by the brutalities the Pinochet dictatorship was a shock to the area.
1979 Sandinista Revolution in 1979 and the overthrow of the US-backed Somoza dictatorship was one more second of celebration of the Left.
Third- Transition interval 1980-1990 when the navy dictatorships ended and democracies had been restored. However the fragile democracies had been subjected to imposition of neoliberal insurance policies of the Washington Consensus. This had worsened the poverty and inequality within the area.
Fourth- Period of Pink Tide since 2000. Within the elections held within the first decade of the century, individuals voted for leftist leaders like Lula, Lugo, Vasquez, Correa and Chavez who had agendas for the poor. The excessive commodity costs and world demand had definitely helped the leftist governments who had introduced down poverty ranges. Nonetheless some leftist governments had been voted out within the second decade due to problems with corruption and abuse of energy. Rightists had been elected in some international locations equivalent to Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. However in the previous couple of years, the Left has bounced again. Mexico and Colombia have elected leftist governments for the primary time within the final seven a long time. In Brazil, Lula is anticipated to come back again to energy within the October 2022 elections. It will full the Latin American circle of the left. That is the primary time that the seven largest and most vital Latin American international locations with the most important markets – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Venezuela – will all be dominated by leftist governments. That is unprecedented within the historical past of the area.
The leftist authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua must open up, reform and develop into democratic. Till then these international locations can be black marks for Left within the area.
The democracies of the area have now develop into extra steady and stronger. Political energy has moved out of the barracks and oligarchic mansions to the streets. Prime-down politics has given technique to bottoms-up. It’s the new empowered lots who matter essentially the most within the elections and who drive the political and financial agenda of the area. Clearly they elect these leaders and events who’ve the agenda for his or her welfare. If the elected presidents fail to meet their guarantees, the lots vote them out within the subsequent elections. In just a few circumstances, the lots have introduced down elected presidents by agitations and protests even earlier than the completion of their phrases. This had occurred in Brazil in 1992, in Argentina in 2002, in Bolivia in 2003 and 2005 and in Ecuador in 2000 and 2005. That is good for the long run stability of democracies within the area.
The democracies have develop into extra inclusive and consultant. Beforehand excluded sections of the society have now come to energy. Essentially the most emblematic of that is the election of Evo Morales because the President of Bolivia in 2005 and his reelection in 2009 and 2014. That is the primary time within the historical past of Bolivia and in South America, a local Indian had develop into President. Though 60% of the Bolivians are native Indians, they had been stored exterior the political and financial positions within the final 5 hundred years. The election of Morales is a second of satisfaction and honor for the 40 million native Indians in Latin America. For the primary time Afro-Latinas have develop into vice presidents within the area in Costa Rica and Colombia.
The Latin American leftist presidents are a challenge to the standard hegemony of US.
Costa Rica has made historical past on the earth by having abolished its armed forces in 1948. It’s a civilisational advance. Costa Rica has remained as a beacon of stable and vibrant democratic stability and maturity in Latin America within the final seven a long time The nation proclaims proudly that they spend their cash on training and healthcare as an alternative of arms.
The resurgent pink tide in Latin America is nice information for India for the reason that leftist governments, on the whole, search nearer cooperation and partnership with India to deal with frequent developmental challenges in a democratic approach. They’re eager to import extra Indian generic medicines to cut back the price of well being care. They invite Indian IT corporations to open extra software program centres within the area to assist with employment and skilling of their human assets. India’s success tales in poverty alleviation, affirmative actions for empowerment of underprivileged and emergence as an IT powerhouse resonate extra with the leftist leaders. The leftist governments can be extra prepared to collaborate with India in UN, WTO and different multilateral fora within the spirit of South-South solidarity. So it is time for India to accentuate its engagement with the area.