Left-wing politicians of South and Central America who reject the concepts of "liberalism without frontiers" and call for the construction of a "social state" are becoming increasingly stronger as the United States seems to be too busy exporting revolutions to Southwest Asia and countries of the former Soviet Union.
Those politicians include Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez, Chile's president Ricardo Lagos, Brazil's president Luis Inacio Lula de Silva, Argentina's president Nestor Kirchner, and Tabare Vazquez, president of Uruguay.
Cuba was the hotbed of "leftist" and anti-American policies in the past. Nowadays Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, is causing a major headache to the White House. Mr. Chavez is a "destabilizing influence" on Latin America, according to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It would be hard to disagree to Dr. Rice's assessment since it is Mr. Chavez who foiled the attempted coup d'etat and established closer relations with Fidel Castro. He also launched an active propaganda campaign to spread the social ideas among the political leaders and populations of Latin American countries. He even dared object to U.S. policies in Southwest Asia and pledged his support to the plans of Iranian leadership "to continue the development of nuclear energy sector and conduct research in that field." Moreover, Venezuela's president recently put an end to military cooperation between Venezuela and USA by saying that American military personnel "involved in subversive activities against the Venezuelan authorities and the national military command" should leave his country.
The regime in Ecuador toppled on April 21st. U.S.-backed president of Ecuador Lucio Gutierres was dismissed by national parliament following a wave of popular protests that swept across the country shortly after Mr. Gutierres disbanded the Supreme Court on April 15th and declared the state of emergency in Quito, the country's capital.
Millions of people took to the streets in Mexico City on April 25th. The Mexican government actively implements neo-liberal reforms and supports U.S.-sponsored globalization policies. The protesters filled the streets following the news about the abuse of power charges brought against Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mayor of Mexico City who is also the left-wing opposition leader. The National Assembly of Mexico decided to strip Mr. Obrador of his duties at the recommendation of the Prosecutor General’s office on April 7th. However, three weeks later a court of first instance was reported to have overruled the prosecutors’ request to arrest the mayor. His powers as the Mayor of Mexico City were later confirmed by members of the legislative body of the capital who refused to obey the orders of the federal parliament. Finally, millions of people in Mexico City joined the "march of silence" to support the mayor. According to Mr. Obrador who already announced his candidacy for the 2006 presidential election in Mexico, the recent attacks against him were staged by Mexican President Vicente Fox and certain political groups in Washington which want to keep him off the presidential race. Recent opinion polls show that Mr. Obrador has good chances to win the election. Today up to 60% of Mexican electorate are reportedly ready to cast votes in favor of Mr. Obrador.
The charges against Mr. Obrador could seriously challenge his plans to run for president since the Mexican law prohibits a person under investigation or trial from seeking positions with a governmental office. The administration of the Mexican president repeatedly stated that the government had nothing to do with the legal problems of Mr. Obrador. But the statements had no effect on the mayor’s supporters who keep saying that the authorities orchestrated the attacks on Mr. Obrador. They claim he was acting for the benefit of the people when he started the construction of a hospital road on the land that was later found to be somebody’s private property. He allegedly encroached on private property by ordering the construction company to go ahead. His instructions resulted in legal action taken against him by the authorities.
Experts say that a conflict involving the federal government and the politician supported by more than a half of the population could lead to political instability in Mexico. However, Mr. Obrador made it quite clear that he was ready to hold talks with President Fox and therefore he would rather avoid any revolution or political unrest. Under the circumstances, it would be to his advantage if he could wait for the election time so that he would come to power in a legal manner. Given a broader swing to the left in public opinion in Latin America he could in all probability be elected Mexico’s next president. On the other hand, such an outcome would be a great disappointment to the United States whose influence on Latin nations has been on the wane.
U.S. administration still has a chance to correct the situation by staging another coup d’etat like the Americans did in Chile in 1973 or set off a controlled destabilization just like in Salvador or Nicaragua in the 1980s. They might as well send U.S. Marines to enforce "law and order" the way they did in Panama and Grenada. They might plot something similar to "the orange revolution" in Paraguay that ousted its president in March 1999 following the public protests sparked off by the assassination of the vice president. The public protests were organized by Youth for Democracy, a youth movement that seems an identical twin to Pora and Khmara youth movements of today's Ukraine.
A new political trend seems quite obvious no matter how the latest developments in Ecuador and Mexico are going to end up. USA is beginning to lose in Latin America while being far too busy propagating democracy in the Eastern Hemisphere.
On the photo: U.S.-backed president of Ecuador Lucio Gutierres was dismissed by national parliament following a wave of popular protests that swept across the country