Archive for September, 2014

Rafael Correa: “Conservative restoration” threatens progressive governments of Latin America

Saturday, September 27th, 2014
((Photo by Miguel Romero))

((Photo by Miguel Romero))

Ecuadorian president calls for limits on for-profit communications media

[Abridged translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 22, 2014. See original here and related article here.]

by Beto Almeida, Emir Sader and Valter Xéu

On a recent trip through Brazil, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa granted an exclusive interview to Brasil de Fato. In addition to journalist Beto Almeida, representing newspaper and television show “Cidade Livre” of Brasília, journalist Valter Xéu of the web page Pátria Latina and sociologist Emir Sader also took part.

Correa, who has presided over Ecuador since 2007 and intends to run for re-election in 2017, was in Brazil to take part in a meeting of Unasur (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas), made up of South American countries, with BRICS, consisting of China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and India. (more…)

Environmentalists move to the right in politics

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for September 20, 2014. See original here and related article here.]

By Emir Sader

Originally, environmentalist demands sprang from within leftist parties, thus enriching and expanding their platforms. Leaving behind the narrow vision that a resolution of the contradiction between capital and labor would resolve all others, demands about gender, about ethnicity, about the environment, came to rejuvenate the Left.

But this process also affected the traditional leftist parties. Some, like the social democrats or the nationalists, supported variants on neoliberalism; others,in particular the communist parties, were directly affected by the fall of the USSR. Within this context, social movements and even NGOs participated actively in resistance against ascendant neoliberalism. (more…)

Lacalle Pou and the New Right in Uruguay

Sunday, September 14th, 2014
((Luis Lacalle Pou))

((Luis Lacalle Pou))

[Translation of an article from Tiempo Argentino of Buenos Aires for September 7, 2014. See original here and related article here.]

By Juan Manuel Karg

Next October 26, Uruguay will hold new presidential elections. The Frente Amplio (FA) will try for another term in office, this time with the combination Tabaré Vázquez / Raúl Sendic to replace Mujica / Astori, current president and vice president. According to the polls released so far, the ticket headed by the former president [Vázquez] will win, although, like it or not, there will probably be a runoff with the young Luis Lacalle Pou, the surprise on Uruguay’s new political map. What are the main points of the Frente Amplio’s current campaign? What are the proposals of their opponents, represented principally by the candidacy of Lacalle and the Partido Nacional?

((Tabaré Vázquez))

((Tabaré Vázquez))

The Frente Amplio platform for the 2015-2020 term as published is striking in its review of conditions in Uruguay before 2004, when Tabaré Vázquez first won the presidential election for the FA. “We were handed the government of a country with one of the highest levels of per capita debt in the world, with a stagnant productive apparatus and with poverty and destitution at the highest levels in history,” the introduction reminds us, in a portrayal that was quite similar to every other country in the region. Then, before moving on to specific proposals for the new term, it points out the achievements by the two consecutive administrations: sustained growth of the gross domestic product, real increases in salaries and retirement pay, decreases in the rate of unemployment and an expansion of social policies to attack poverty and destitution. (more…)

The conservative restoration in Latin America

Monday, September 8th, 2014

[Translation of an editorial from Página12 of Buenos Aires for September 6, 2014. See original here.]

By Emir Sader

The failure of the military coup against the government of Hugo Chávez in 2002 left the Latin American Right practically disarmed in the face of the proliferating progressive governments of the continent. Since then, it has managed to regain only two governments through bloodless coups – those of Honduras and Paraguay – where the processes of change had not yet managed to gain strength.

But there are signs of a rebuilding of conservative forces in countries on the continent with progressive governments. The threats to continuity in countries like Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as the problems faced in Venezuela, and, in a different way, even in Ecuador, indicate a phenomenon of this kind.

What do these conservative attacks consist of and how are they carried out? (more…)

Brazil: A platform to please the bankers

Monday, September 1st, 2014
((Marina Silva))

((Marina Silva))

An ecologically correct Thatcherite in the court of candidate Marina Silva

[Translation of an article from Página12 of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for August 25, 2014. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Dario Pignotti

Ever since the environmentalist leader announced she will run in the presidential election, the only person in her entourage to offer details on her platform has been María Alice Setúbal, of the dynasty that founded and still runs the most important private bank in Brazil.

((María Alice Setúbal))

((María Alice Setúbal))

María Alice Setúbal has promised that if Marina is chosen in the October 5 election, the future administration, beginning on January 1, 2015, will do away with President Dilma Rousseff’s heterodoxies, detested in the financial community, where she is described as a “statist and interventionist.”

Marina Silva (of the Brazilian Socialist Party) is diametrically opposite Dilma (of the Workers’ Party), Setúbal explained, since the ecologist’s economic plan “focuses on clear points, stressing tax reform and fiscal responsibility,” to be achieved by cutting expenses and shrinking the state. Marina, in second place in the polls, with 21 percent of the intended vote, 15 points below Dilma, was named candidate last Wednesday shortly after the death of former Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos in an airplane crash in São Paulo. (more…)