Latin America

Populisms in America, more pain than glory

Omnes-June 16, 2016-Reading time: < 1 minute

The Bolivarian left is in retreat in Latin America, drowned by its own excesses: mismanagement of the State, corruption, abuse of power, personalism and the economic crisis. 

– Juan Ignacio Brito

The political star of the Latin American populist left is fading. A decade ago it shone brightly; today it has been driven from power, its hours are numbered or it is under severe threat in the countries where until recently it dominated without counterweights. The deterioration of the economic situation, the weariness of the population with a polarizing discourse, the rampant corruption and the exhaustion of personalisms have finally put in check a political tendency that promised to free Latin America from its chains and has ended up generating hatred and more poverty. It is not strange that the Bolivarian left has criticized the decision of the Brazilian Senate to open an impeachment trial and suspend President Dilma Rousseff for 180 days, denouncing it as a "coup d'état". This is a common accusation in the political vocabulary of progressive populism. Without going any further, Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan president, resorted to it to justify his decision to decree a state of economic emergency and call for a "coup d'état". "recover the productive apparatus, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie."through takeovers of companies. The objective, according to Maduro, is "defeat the coup d'état".

Juan Ignacio Brito is Dean of the School of Communication, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile.

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