Posts Tagged ‘neoliberalism’

Ecuador: Rafael Correa and the change of epochs

Friday, November 29th, 2013

correa[Translation of a column from Carta Maior of São Paulo for November 21, 2013. See original here.]

by Emir Sader

As soon as he was elected in 2007, Rafael Correa declared that Ecuador was joining the departure from the long dark night of neoliberalism and that it was a matter not just of an epoch of change but of a change of epochs. After having five successive presidents brought down by popular mobilizations, Ecuador, with the support of immense popular mobilizations, was choosing a young economist to lead the country.

“Policies that could be sustained on the basis of deceit and anti-democratic attitudes on the part of their beneficiaries, with the total support of multilateral organizations, who disguised a simple ideology as science,” thus Correa characterized the neoliberal politics that had dominated the entire continent for three decades. In effect, what characterized these policies was that “they benefited big capital and above all finance capital.” (more…)

Chile: An economic plan drawn up 40 years ago

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

x chile copperNeoliberalism in the extreme

[Translation of an article from Punto Final for September 6, 2013, as republished in Clarín of Santiago on September 8. See original here.]

By Paul Walder

It’s been 40 years since the coup d’état. A period that has passed with the slowness of social paralysis, of frozen consciences. A period that has allowed for the installation by force of the most unbridled capitalism on the planet, a model that was later to be adjusted and perfected until its consolidation.

It has been four decades divided into two great stages, the first under the harshness of dictatorial violence, the second marked by the seductive pleasures of consumption. If in other places and other epochs those 40 years were long enough for several wars and revolutions, Chile after the coup and the repression fell into a heavy sleep that left the way clear for counter-revolution and the collapse of all its social and labor conquests. Chile, which at the beginning of the ‘70s of the last century passed through a singular revolutionary process without a shot being fired, began the next century with an economic and social structure more fitting to the 19th century. The oligarchy, made up of a few traditional families and other more recent arrivals, took possession of the country, of its natural resources and of the lives of millions of workers and consumers. (more…)

Peru’s economy grows but support for the government declines

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

x Ollanta HumalaA bittersweet reckoning for Humala

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for July 29, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Carlos Noriega

In the midst of protests on the streets and a significant fall in the polls, President Ollanta Humala yesterday celebrated the second year of his five-year term in office. Humala comes to his second year with 32% support, which represents a troubling decline of 20 points in three months. While Humala was delivering his address to the nation from Congress, the unions, the universities and the citizen movements were demonstrating against his administration, but also against the political class as a whole. The streets of downtown Lima were heavily guarded by more than 5,000 police officers and the area was cordoned off to keep the demonstrators away from the Government Palace and Congress. More than 10,000 people demonstrated in Lima on Saturday and Sunday, and thousands more demonstrated in cities in the interior of the country. The mobilizations were repressed by the police. (more…)

What is going on with Mexico?

Monday, June 17th, 2013

[Translation of a blog from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for June 15, 2013. See original here.]

By Emir Sader

Mexico was in the vanguard of neoliberalism in Latin America. Among the first on the continent to apply that model, it linked it with the first regional adhesion to a Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, signed in 1994 with the US and Canada.

It thought it was going to profit immensely from its border with the greatest economy in the world, distancing itself from a Latin America with a poor showing in the 1990s, and definitively joining North America. Since then, more than 90 % of its foreign trade is with the US; it has practically no trade with China or India and very small exchanges with South America — the most dynamic axes of the world economy. (more…)

Peru: Humala and the neoliberal system

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

[Translation of an essay from Generacción of Lima for June 8, 2011. See original here and related article here.]

by José Suárez Danós

Once the democratic triumph of Ollanta Humala as president elect of Peru was known, even before the official vote count was finished, the first thing heard in national and international circles was the unhappiness over his win felt by the transnational forces of the defeated neoliberal system. And what better way to express it than to sound the bugles of war for their hostility and vexation over the interruption of 20 continuous years of unhampered feudal exploitation of the Peruvian economy.

With the goal of suggesting that real political power in Peru still rests with “The System,” and that they intend it to be so, they have taken it upon themselves to send early messages, both open and veiled, through diverse entities and members of their economic, political and media clergy on the continent.

These have ranged from the fierce measure of bringing down by force their own stock market, the Bolsa de Valores of Lima, and the country’s macro-economic indicators the day after Humala’s win, to bringing in a media chorus of news agencies who predict “great fluctuations” in the economy because of his indisputable electoral success, which would continue until a stangely alluded political “stabilization” was achieved. (more…)

Chile: The neoliberal labyrinth

Monday, April 18th, 2011

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for April 13, 2011. See original here.]

by Pedro Carrano

As though in a passage from Greek mythology, Chilean activists are in a labyrinth, trying to find their way by following the scattered threads of the popular and workers’ movement, almost forty years after the coup d’état and the coming to power of General Augusto Pinochet in 1973, an event that shattered President Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity and debilitated popular organizing in the areas around Santiago de Chile. It destroyed the sense of belonging to a class. With full force, it brought in neoliberalism.

Even when the dictatorship gave way to elections and the Pinochet era came to a close in 1988, the 23 years of government by the Concertación that followed did not lead the country out of the neoliberal labyrinth. The resources and the raw materials of the earth were handed over to transnational enterprises. (more…)

Chile: Resources plundered in broad daylight

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

An interview with economist José Manuel Flores

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato for March 5, 2011. See original here.]

by Pedro Carrano

Since 1973, the Chilean economy has traced a long path, beginning with the coup headed by General Augusto Pinochet against the popular government of Salvador Allende, and today is being consolidated into an economy controlled by large domestic and foreign businesses that holds the line on exportation and keeps the internal market strangled – despite representing only one percent of the productive capacity of the country. So they control 80 percent of the internal market and provide jobs for only 20 percent of the population.

This is the analysis of Chilean economist José Manuel Flores. In a country in which neoliberalism has gained hegemony and has brought about a radical alteration in the economy, the export of copper is central, a target of control and export. “Before, copper was exported and now copper concentrate, its raw material, is being exploited. Transnationals control 76 percent of Chilean copper,” the economist calculates. In an interview with Brasil de Fato, Flores talks about the relation between natural resources and the Chilean economy, the failure of the Concertación as an alternative government after Pinochet’s departure, and now as the opposition to the government of rightist Sebastián Piñera, in office for a year. In this scenario, popular movements take on a new importance. The recent popular revolt in the province of Magallanes against an increase in the price of gas demonstrates this. (more…)

Governments agree to continue neoliberal policies

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

They favor reducing social projects, increasing taxes

[Translation of an article from the May 19 edition of La Jornada of Mexico City. See also “Massive protest held in Madrid,” below.]

by Claudia Herrera and Armando G. Tejeda

Madrid, May 18 – Declaring themselves “global partners,”  heads of states from the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean today closed their sixth summit by stengthening commercial ties. In the Madrid Declaration, they committed themselves to “improving energy efficiency” and reducing contaminating emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The Latin American leaders conveyed to their European counterparts their concern over possible consequences of the crisis confronting Europe as a result of the threat of bankrupcy in Greece and its possible contagion to Spain and Portugal, considering that exports from Latin American countries to Europe could be affected as well. (more…)

May Day: Workers of Latin America condemn neoliberalism

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Confrontations leave 15 injured in Colombia, 66 arrested in Chile

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 2 with material from Agence France Presse and Deutsche Presse Agentur.]

Thousands of workers in different Latin American countries marked workers’ day on May 1, with massive demonstrations in Venezuela and marches in Colombia that left 15 injured and, in Chile, at least 66 arrested.

With an eye toward the May 30 presidential elections, Colombian unions

Bogota, Colombia

marching in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Pereira, Neiva and Popayán pressed candidates for the creation of “more and better jobs and for curbing violence against union activists and society.”

Amid demands on the leaders in election polls, independent Antanas Mockus and governing-party candidate Juan Manuel Santos, a number of disturbances and explosions of homemade bombs were reported on Saturday in Bogotá and Bucaramanga.

Fifteen were injured, including five reporters. Also affected were presidential candidates Rafael Pardo of the opposition Partido Liberal and leftist Gustavo Petro, who were forced to leave a plaza in central Bogotá because of teargas launched by police when incidents broke out after a march. (more…)