Author: Juan Martin González Cabañas – 09/06/2021
In the Middle of a Region Convulsed by Economic Recession and the Pandemic, a Politically “Hot” May ends in Latin America
Un “mayo caliente”
A politically atypical month ends in the region, marked by social unrest where several relevant processes were observed simultaneously. The dynamism observed in these current processes is outstanding.
Social (economic and political) systems have been cracking for several years in Latin America and especially South America, but the pandemic seems to have given them “the coup de grace”.
ECLAC warns that in a context of previous economic and social crises (and now by the Covid-19 health) have been aggravated, and if corrective actions are not taken the region could face “another lost decade” in its economy.
The systemic crisis of representation does not simply comes from Neoliberalism (which had its annus horribilis in 2019 with the protests in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and the electoral defeat of Mauricio Macri in Argentina) but also its present in the traditional left, the wave of progressive governments (the pink tide) that marked the beginning of the century in the region.
To mention a representative case, in the last elections this May in Chile (where in addition were elected the constitutional delegates who will have to draft a new “fundamental law”) one of the great losers was the traditional Chilean left, La Convergencia.
In Colombia there has been a May marked by massive and intense protests whose detonator was a government project that modified tax policy, but whose causes are structural. In Ecuador, after a surprise ballotage, on May 24 Guillermo Lasso (of apparent neo-liberal-conservative tendencies) took office as president in the midst of one of the worst health and economic crises in the last decades in the country’s history.
In El Salvador, Nayib Bukele has become an earthquake that not only shakes the traditional Salvadoran political map, but also that of the region’s international relations, when his government is in dispute with the United States, and having strong gestures of rapprochement with Russia and China. Following the plot in Central America, in Nicaragua everything seems to indicate a victory of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinismo in the November presidential elections.
The current progressive and multipolar axis in the region seems to be formed today mainly in the southern cone by Argentina and Bolivia both with good harmony with the Mexico of López Obrador in the North of the region. In a few days, Mexico will have a referendum in the legislative elections of June 6, amid a wave of violence, in which several candidates have been killed.
The two questions on the South American chessboard would be Peru, whose presidential ballotage will be on Sunday June 6, and which, like Mexico, faces an election in a scenario of polarization and resurgence of violence, and Chile with its presidential elections in November.
2022 will have the decisive Brazilian presidential election, the dynamism of the events and processes that took place in the South American giant must be considered:
Lula da Silva no longer has legal restrictions to compete in the presidential elections of 2022 and with good prospects in the polls, he has recently stated in this May that he will be presidential candidate next year, and was recently seen in a meeting with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Lula’s former rival, but who currently maintains his distance from the Bolsonaro government, the meeting between these two leaders could perhaps mark the prelude to an anti-Bolsonarist coalition. Only days after this news were released, massive protests took place throughout the country in rejection of the Bolsonaro administration, which ended the Brazilian May.
As old structures are exhausted, new configurations and protagonists are taking shape in the region, and therefore new categories, concepts will be needed to approach the regional and global scenarios with their respective social phenomena
As we have observed, so its ends this month which resembles a thriller in Latin and South America. Multiple chessboards are played simultaneously in the region which extends from Rio Bravo to Tierra del Fuego.
Other articles by Juan Martin González Cabañas published in Vision & Global Trends. International Institute for Global Analyses’ website:
- Economic briefing on Latin America: perspectives for post-pandemic recovery
- Alberto Fernandez in Latin Europe
- “Eurasia and Latin America in a multipolar world” by Andrés Serbin
- Public perception of the Sputnik V vaccine in Argentina and Latin America
- Vaccination: Market Commodity or Public Good?
- Vision & Global Trends presence at Latin American conference
- The world order after the US elections
- SAOCOM 1B: Italy and Argentina partners in outer space
- The slow decline of Catholicism in Latin America
- Latin America – Russia: An Agenda for Constructive Cooperation in the Post-COVID-19 Era
- Synthesis and analysis of the IEES Panorama of geopolitical trends Horizon 2040
- International Relations: a Critical Theory from the South American periphery
- Argentina in the Multipolar Order
- The War for the Web
- Old roads and new paradigms: on the last BRI Summit
- The second return of Marco Polo to Italy
- Huawei case: high tech war, strategic competition, geopolitical tension
- The South American and Venezuelan Uncertain Horizon