Latin America's Shift to the Left


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This is a slideshow I'm presenting to my class to go along with my lecture kicking off a 5-week series on Latin America's recent "shift to the left".

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Latin America's Shift to the Left

  1. 1. <ul><li>EXPLAINING THE REGION’S RECENT ELECTIONS </li></ul>Latin America’s Shift to the Left
  2. 2. José Machado ( Cuba VP) Manuel Zelaya ( Honduras ) Hugo Chávez ( Venezuela ) Evo Morales ( Bolivia ) Daniel Ortega ( Nicaragua )
  3. 3. 1998 •1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009
  4. 4. Venezuela: Hugo Chávez <ul><li>December 1998 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Brazil: Luiz Inácio (“Lula”) da Silva <ul><li>October 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>A factory worker with a 4 th grade education, Lula rose through union ranks to lead the Workers’ Party (PT). </li></ul><ul><li>He ran unsuccessfully in 1998, won a decisive victory (63%) in 2002, and was reelected in 2006. Lula has sought to continue Brazil’s economic growth while reducing the country’s high inequality. </li></ul><ul><li>Under Lula, Brazil has become a major regional (and potential world) power. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Bolivia: Evo Morales <ul><li>December 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Leader of Bolivia’s cocaleros (coca farmers) and outspoken critic of “neocolonialism.” </li></ul><ul><li>Won a decisive majority (54%) to become the country’s first indigenous president. </li></ul><ul><li>A close ally of Hugo Chávez, Morales has nationalized industries (oil, gas, mining) and pushed through a new constitution. </li></ul><ul><li>Up for reelection December 2009. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Chile: Michelle Bachelet <ul><li>January 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Served as minister of Health (2000-2002) and Defense (2002-2006) during the Ricardo Lagos government (2000-2006). </li></ul><ul><li>Won a second-round election (53%) on a center-left platform that promised to continue liberal economic policies, but with greater emphasis on reducing inequality. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega <ul><li>November 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Leader of the Sandinista government (1985-1990) and hero of the 1979 Revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Publicly “converted” and reconciled with the Catholic Church, as part of a move to the center. Narrowly (38-28-27) beat two candidates of the right. </li></ul><ul><li>Ortega is an ally of Hugo Chávez, who provides Nicaragua with significant economic aid. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Argentina: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner <ul><li>October 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Succeeded her husband (Néstor Kirchner), who remained in control of the Peronist party. </li></ul><ul><li>She won a decisive victory (45-22-12) on a platform critical of the IMF and promising to return Argentina to better times. Her campaign frequently alluded to the 2001 economic crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>The Kirchners are strong allies of Hugo Chávez, and frequently speak out against the US. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Populists </li></ul><ul><li>Social Democrats </li></ul><ul><li>Address economic inequality through radical economic redistribution </li></ul><ul><li>If existing institutional frameworks block social change, abolish or sidestep institutional guarantees </li></ul><ul><li>Constant, polarizing campaigns to mobilize political support for policies or to intimidate opponents (frequent use of “bully pulpit”) </li></ul><ul><li>Address economic inequality by expanding social safety nets, but without upsetting market economy </li></ul><ul><li>Work through existing institutional frameworks, even if this means changes are slow </li></ul><ul><li>Social, economic issues treated as technical matters and handled through bureaucratic institutions (distinction between “politics” and “governance”) </li></ul>TWO KINDS OF LEFTS
  11. 11. Social Democracy <ul><li>A political ideology that incorporates elements of both socialism and capitalism. This is usually done through comprehensive welfare programs and/or through significant state regulation designed to “check” the tendency of capitalism to produce social inequalities. </li></ul><ul><li>At right, logos of various social democratic parties in Europe. </li></ul>