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From issue: Memos to the President Elect (Fall 2008)

AQ Feature

Deal with the Left’s Resurgence

Felipe Bosch

"While the U.S. has been occupied elsewhere during the last eight years, Chávez has exploited his new oil wealth to win converts."

The landscape of Latin America has shifted in both political and economic terms in the last ten years. The Left, with its “one thousand faces,” has reappeared in a distorted and pernicious manner, without providing any solutions to the biggest problems in the region such as poverty, drug trafficking, contraband, and corruption, among others. In many of our countries, we have to start over again. The challenge awaiting the new president of the United States in developing new policies for the region will not be easy.

One of the key things he will need to do is deal with the resurgence of the Left in many countries. Authoritarianism, it seems, has returned to the region with certain versions of democracy. Far from solving the problem of poverty, which has been the popular discourse left-leaning governments use to achieve power, this scourge continues to grow, and corruption in the name of the poor has grown with it—even creating a new class of the rich. This has exposed inefficiency, particularly in governments that have received financial support from neighbors bent on creating ideological hegemony in the hemisphere. And their discourse and exercise of power corrupts the essence of democracy while leaving the rhetoric—even in some cases supporting terrorist groups.

Our real problems, far from disappearing, have increased exponentially…

 

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