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Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

LATIN AMERICA TILTING LEFT

The recent elections in Nicaragua confirm a general trend in Latin America -- the leftward tilt of politics.

The Sandanista Front swept to victory in local elections, including capturing the mayoralty of Managua, the capital city, and 151 other towns. By itself, this event may not be significant, but it is part of a region-wide development.

Last week, Uruguay elected its first socialist president, Tabare Vazquez. Uruguay thus joined other states in the cone of South America in having leftist governments: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay. Think also of the left-leaning president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, recently confirmed in power by defeating a recall attempt.

Until recently, Castro stood alone as a lefitist leader in Latin America. That is changing, and it will change more and more.

This development promises moves against globalization, free market economics, and pro-US policies. Latin America will join the coalition of the unwilling, the bloc of countries that object to the US being the sole global power and exercising power unilaterally.

Who will benefit from this leftward move in Latin America? China. Watch for China to start moving in on Latin American markets as US influence in the region falters. That is one development stemming from the exclusive focus of the US on the Middle East.

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