October 2, 2023

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New pink wave?  Of the 12 countries in South America, only four have right-wing rulers.

New pink wave? Of the 12 countries in South America, only four have right-wing rulers.

Petro’s victory in Colombia led to the left’s rise once again on the continent. Elections in Brazil may be crucial to crowning that presence, say experts

Juan Barreto/AFP/nna Moneymaker/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP – Patrick T. FALLON/AFPLeft leaders in South America: Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia, Alberto Fernandez, President of Argentina, and Gabriel Borek, President of Chile

The Gustavo Petro’s victory On Sunday, the 19th, during the Colombian presidential election, he ran an alert in South america: Are we witnessing the re-emergence of a new rosy wave? Of the 12 countries in the region, only four, including Brazil, have a right-wing ruler. The rest are led by the left. The scenario refers to the recent past, the first decade of the twenty-first century, when leftists in most countries were presidents. However, despite the fact that history seems to be repeating itself, experts have heard it before pan youth They warned that recent victories have more to do with the opposition’s role than with the political agendas themselves.

Arthur Murta, professor of international relations at Pontifical Catholic University (PUC), explains that the so-called rose wave became known as a group of left-wing, left-wing and progressive governments that were “using money collected from goods to do political and social redistribution”, but notes that Although left-wing candidates have won the recent confrontations, he does not see “Latin Americans with left-wing desires”. For Morta, what is today in Latin america In South America, “people are dissatisfied with the current government and give preference to the opposition.” Insper professor of international relations, Leandro Consentino, agrees, explaining that this discontent “paves the way for the advance of the left.”

latin america political map

However, this is not the only point to bear in mind. The economic crisis worsened as a result of the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19, allowed left-wing candidates to take advantage of this scenario to make promises of a “quieter life and greater redistribution of resources,” explains Consentino. This social agenda was “a smooth path for the left to climb”. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projects 1.8% growth for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022, despite increased poverty (from 29.8% in 2018 to 33.7% in 2022) and extreme poverty (10.4% in 2022). 2018 to 14.9% in 2022), especially in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Paraguay.

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In an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), Jason Marczak, of the Adrien Archt Center for Latin America, said, United StateHe declared that Petro’s election “is a reflection of people’s frustration with the traditional political class and people’s concern that democracy does not respond to the most basic needs and desires” and that “this concern has been amplified by the pandemic and the consequences of the war in Ukraine” that “lead to” soaring food and fuel prices. and inflation.”

left turn

Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president, was elected with a promise to strengthen the state to improve health and education, raise taxes for the rich, and prioritize clean energy. However, before Colombia, the left returned to power in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Mexico. In most cases, far from the more radical wing that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela follow. Although the phenomenon echoes the “pink wave” that colored the regional map two decades ago, analysts point out the differences.

leave in power

Alberto Fernandez, President of Argentina, and Gabriel Borek, President of Chile, at the Summit of the Americas

There are currently two left-handers, Consentino explains: the new and the ongoing. “In the case of Chile, it is the latest with different DNA, while in Brazil and Argentina it is the same as it was.” In an interview with AFP, Rodrigo Espinosa, a political analyst at Diego Portales University in Chile, stated that “a different left than the left that prevailed in Latin America after Hugo Chávez’ victory in 1998, Lula (2002). Ricardo Lagos (1999)) and Michel Bachelet (2006) in Chile and Kirchner (2003) in Argentina”. In turn, Marta sees this as a good opportunity for “the left to prove that it can respond to this request” made by the voters.

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However, analysts are of the opinion that the rulers will face a very different situation from the situation we witnessed in the early 2000s. “In 2010, there was a lot of money coming into South America because of the demand for goods,” explains Murta, noting that the demand for products has remained high in the region. “Emerging countries have been interesting for foreign investors,” says the PUC professor. “The economy is not doing well and there are no signs of a quick recovery.” The professor also cites another problem: the fact that countries are “more divided than they were in the 2000s. 21st.” In his view, another challenge is to deal with “an increasingly authoritarian right, governments that are courting the far right and becoming increasingly democratic.”

Is Brazil crowned the rise of the left or not?

The Brazilian presidential election will be crucial to the rise of the left, as it is the most important country in the region. According to experts, if Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) defeats President Jair Bolsonaro (PT) in October, as evidenced by voting intention polls released so far, the idea of ​​a new rosy wave will culminate. Arthur considers that the narrative will be broken should Bolsonaro win, because “Brazil is a key element and central to thinking about South American politics.” According to a Datafolha poll published Thursday, 23rd, former President Lula has 47% of voting intentions, compared to 28% for Bolsonaro, indicating a 19 percentage point difference between the pre-candidates Which attracts the presidential race and the chance of winning in the first round.Consitino points out that if Lula wins, “there could be big changes and it will be a different dynamic to notice.” However, it is necessary to wait for the Brazilian presidential decision to see what happens in the short term. and average.

Bolsonaro and Lola

Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are the most cited candidates to win Brazil’s presidential election ONIELSON ALMEDA/AFP – Evaristo Sa/AFP.

Despite the constant victories of the left, the only thing that can be noted is the division of the population, because in any election the candidate did not win by a large margin compared to the opponent. Constino explains that we are witnessing a “moment of sharp polarization”. Even with the rise of the left and the strengthening of the far right, experts do not believe that South America is going in the opposite direction to the rest of the world, since Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in France and Joe Biden was elected. Against Donald Trump in the United States. The losers were extremists. As social inequality progressed and poverty rates increased, left-wing candidates emerged and moved closer to power, as voters sought candidates who would champion progressive agendas, in defense of social and societal rights. environment.

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