Alianza and Frente Amplio: not the same animal (was Re: Latin American Marxist writers)

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Mon May 15 18:56:04 MDT 2000

En relación a Latin American Marxist writers,
el 15 May 00, a las 14:35, Sam Pawlett dijo:

> I'd say these days Progressive is to the left of NACLA. P does publish
> Marxist stuff; Zinn, Adolph Reed, Manning Marable. NACLA is sad, it is
> like the Nation. It used to support LA socialist movements, now it is
> a mouthpiece for Clintonesque NGO's and LA "think-tanks" whose
> politics are oriented towards orgs like the Chilean Socialist
> Party(sic) and the quasi popular front in Uruguay and Argentina.

This is a new thread, between Chris and Sam, on the relative merits
of American political groups. I will, therefore, try not to meddle
into ohter people's debates (particularly because I read nothing from
the groups that they are mentioning). But I must take exception to
Sam's equalization of Uruguay and Argentina "quasi popular fronts".
I guess he is speaking of the Argentinian Alianza, and the Uruguayan
Frente Amplio. Though there are some formal similitudes between both,
they are structurally very different and in certain -decissive-
respects they must be understood as the negation of the other.

The Alianza is a gathering of petty bourgeois liberals and
"progressive liberals" under conservative, colonized, hegemony. It
has no support from the workers nor the unions, and it poses no
threat to the imperialists, save those deriving from their weakness.
There is no "Left"  in the Alianza, if we are thinking of the FREPASO
as the "Left" in the Alianza: the leaders of the FREPASO, vice
President "Chacho" Alvarez in particular, are now, in fact, to the
right of the progressive Radical Raúl Alfonsín, and in a sense of De
la Rúa himself. The Frente Amplio in Uruguay represents the poorer
layers of urban petty bourgeoisie and the workers, is strongly linked
with the unions, and displays a variegated menu of Leftist, truly
Leftist, parties.

In Argentina the Alianza represented an agreement between the petty
bourgeoisie, fractions of the higher classes, and a parcel of
imperialist powers, to win an election against Menem, who is a
traitor, but a traitor to Peronism (that is, in a sense, he was still
too much of a Peronist!).  In Uruguay, the Frente Amplio generated a
new breathing space against the traditional parties (the Blanco and
the Colorado). There is a strong Montevidean -that is, Colorado-
tradition in the Frente Amplio, but it is not a Colorado (liberal)
party in the way the Alianza is basically a liberal party. The
Argentinian equivalent to the Uruguayan Frente Amplio was the short
lived Frente del Sur, which was blasted from inside by the "Chacho"
Alvarez and his friends immediately after it proved it could have
become a rallying point for a truly Leftist opposition against Menem.
Then, with the dead carcass of that corpse, they drifted along
Argentinian mediatic politics to finally become what they, in fact,
had never ceased to be: the formally Leftist, actually conservative,
expression, of the Alianza.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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