Fw: (CP of Brazil) "New trends in Latin America"

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Tue Dec 3 23:51:20 MST 2002

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Subject: CP of Brazil, Article by J.R. Carvalho - New trends in Latin

New trends in Latin America
José Reinaldo Carvalho (*)

Important political changes are taking place in Latin America. In Brazil,
the front formed by a center-left coalition under the leadership of the
Workers Party and the Communist Party of Brazil that stood behind
a program of change, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva won the Presidency of the
Republic of the largest country in the continent, arousing a strong feeling
of hope in the 170 million Brazilians who - according to the phrase coined
after the release of the results of the election in October 6 - overcame

In Ecuador, where political and economic instability prevails - combined
with a shocking deterioration of the people's living standards - ex-colonel
Lúcio Gutiérrez, who also led a broad coalition of political and social
forces, won the presidential election, leaving behind candidates
representing oligarchies and imperialists. Gutiérrez is known for his
participation in the Indian-popular rebellion in January 2000, an extensive
and deep civic-military movement that brought down the government, giving
room to a perspective of revolutionary change in the
Andean country.

Brazil and Ecuador, each one with its own particularities, constitute
eloquent signs of a strong trend that will certainly mark the political
scenery in the continent for a long time. Such trend points to the growth of
the struggles and the cry for deep changes in the state of affairs. It was
manifested in a different way and by different routes in Argentina in the
occasion of the thundering demise of the administration of Fernando de La
Rua and in the appearance of a new social movement, a distinct and
progressive trait amidst the open chaos and the ruined institutions; in the
memorable Bolivian electoral campaign of Evo Morales, the convergence point
of the national and popular will, particularly of the Indian peasantry,
against the domination of the oligarchies and the country's dependency; in
Venezuela, where the coup attempts, sabotage and direct interference of the
United States still were not able to stop the changing impetus aroused in
the population by the Bolivarian revolution; in Uruguay, where the Broad
Front became the main political force of the country with great chance of
also winning the government; in Paraguay, a country lacerated by successive
crises with tragic endings, where the peasant movement, the urban struggles,
the regrouping of the left-wing forces and the military all objectively join
forces; in Peru, where true popular uproars were staged against the
privatizations and where Toledo's populist administration has just suffered
a severe defeat in the elections; and in Colombia, where the generalized
attack perpetrated by Uribe's right-wing administration against the civil
liberties with the pretext of fighting the guerillas make it even harder to
find a fair and lasting solution to the conflict
that worsened during more than four decades.

Add to all that the unified movement that is being built against the FTAA
based on the same national consistence that repudiates the privatizations
and the payment of debts to the expense of the famine of peoples. The two
referendums held in Brazil - in 2000 regarding the foreign debt and in 2002
regarding the FTAA and the Alcântara Rocket Lauch Center -paradigmatically
characterize that feeling.

It is certain that the trend of changes in Latin America needs time to take
roots as it is also marked by the intermediary character of the most
distinguished political forces. It is variegated in its tangible form and
routes, its rhythm is uneven in different countries and its intensity still
corresponds to a relation of forces conditioned by the defeat of socialism
as a world system and by the exercise of hegemonism by the American
superpower. But the developing phenomenon is revolutionary in its core.

Latin America undergoes the end of a cycle that coincides with the crisis of
neoliberalism and an unfair and iniquitous international order that must
perish in order to open the way to social progress. The dramatic degradation
of the living standards of our peoples is and expression of that fact.
According to ECLA, more than 210 million people live in poverty in the
continent, of which 90 million are considered to be mendicants. Stagnation,
dependency and foreign vulnerability constitute the main characteristic of
the economic situation.

The arguments of the early 90's, reproducing the clauses of the Washington
Consensus», are past. Demanding from Latin American countries
and peoples more open markets and privatizations, permanent fiscal
adjustments and the strict payment of foreign debt is throwing fuel to the
fire. The limit of the bearable was reached and only non-economic measures,
such as the incursion in an anti-democratic and interventionist drifting
from the United States, could refrain the objective trends in course. That
is clear in the Venezuelan crisis and in the behavior of the Colombian
administration. And that is what is
suggested in the veiled threats found in the eclarations of Otto Reich
regarding Brazil and Ecuador: «Lula and Gutiérrez may be leftists, but
as long as they are democratic and ready to be friends with their neighbors
and the United States, we can work with them to contribute to the liberty
and safety of the hemisphere.» These are threats that we must take into
account and only the struggle of the masses can curb them.

The left-wing forces are trying to tune up with the new trends. The
Hemispheric Meeting of Struggle against the FTAA that takes place this week
in Havana and the 11th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum in Antigua, Guatemala,
may be moments and environments suitable for thinking over the sense of the
current changes and for improving the understanding of the processes of
creating new political and economic alternatives to neoliberalism, now in
crisis, and also for resistance against the hegemonic US policies, for
gathering forces and for the formulation of contents and methods adequate to
the demand of granting broadness and a mass character to the struggle for
democracy, independence and social progress in Latin America.

(*) Jornalist. Vice-president of the Communist Party of Brazil - PcdoB,
responsible for International Relations

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