Popular Power in Latin America

Inventing in order to not make errors

Published on ZCommunications.org, by Marta Harnecker, July 11, 2009.

(I Introduction 1. to 4.) …
II. Latin America today

Latin America – pioneer in the rejection of neoliberalism

5. Latin America was the first region where neoliberal policies were imposed. Chile, my country, served as a testing ground before the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher applied them in the United Kingdom. But it was also the first region in the world where a process of rejection of these policies emerged; a rejection of policies which had only served to increase poverty, deepen social inequalities, destroy the environment and weaken the working class and popular movements in general.  

6. It was here that the first revolutionary wave occurred after the fall of socialism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. After more than two decades of suffering, a new hope began to emerge.

The emergence of left governments

7. We saw the emergence of left governments, more or less committed to the struggle of the people. Let’s recall that in 1998, when Chavez triumphed in Venezuela, this country was a solitary island in the middle of a sea of neoliberalism across the whole continent. But, soon after, in 2000, Ricardo Lagos triumphed in Chile; in 2002, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil; in 2003, Nestor Kirchner in Argentina; in 2005, Tabare Vazquez in Uruguay; in 2006, Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina; in 2008, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay; and recently, in March 2009, Mauricio Funes in El Salvador.

Candidates from left parties

8. For the first time in the history of Latin America—and with the crisis of the neoliberal model as a backdrop — candidates from left parties were able to win elections by raising the anti-neoliberal flag in the greater part of the countries of the region.

Popular movements: the great protagonists – Emerge out of the crisis of the legitimacy of neoliberalism

9. … (full long text – from 9. to 153.).

(This closing lecture was given at the XXVI Gallega Week of Philosophy, at Pontevedra, on April 17, 2009 – Translated by Coral Wynter and Federico Fuentes).

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