Political experiences in Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia

by Dave

Mexican president Felipe Calderón (left) and B...Image via Wikipedia

Canadian Dimension Blog

In Latin America, if we exclude Cuba, we can point to three general categories of governments. First, the governments of the right, the allies of Washington, that play an active role in the region and occupy a strategic position: these are the governments of Álvaro Uribe in Colombia, Alan García in Peru and Felipe Calderón in México.

Second, we find supposed “left” governments that implement a neoliberal policy and support the national or regional bourgeoisies in their projects: Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Nicaragua and the government of Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, from Argentina’s Peronists. They are governments that implement a neoliberal policy that favour grand capital, covered up with some social assistance measures. In effect, they make it a bit easier to swallow the neoliberal pill by applying social programs. For example, in Brazil poor families receive a bit of help from the government, which assures them popular support in the poorest region of the country.

Some of these governments are attempting to improve their relations with Washington, especially with the establishment of free trade agreements with the United States. Chile signed one and Lula, in Brazil, is also seeking an agreement with Washington around a series of political issues. But at the same time great differences of opinion persist between the government of Lula and the United States. These differences include defence of the interests of the Brazilian bourgeoisie in agriculture and a series of industrial sectors, especially those that export, who do not accept the protectionism of the United States.

In the third category of countries we find Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, which are confronted by the active opposition of important sectors of the local capitalist class and Washington. Cuba is, by itself, a fourth category.