What’s wrong with the left in South America?


Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment seems to mark a right-turn in Brazil’s politics, and many are ready to bet that the “pink tide”, the coalition of leftist Governments ruling South America since the 2000s, is now on its deathbed.

While in fact the situation might not be yet so defined, it is undeniable that the South American left movement is living one of its gloomiest periods in its recent history.

Argentina has elected in 2015 Mauricio Macri, a neo-liberal President, after more than one decade of Justicialist Governments, led by Néstor Kirchner and his wife Cristina after him.

Venezuela, after the death of Hugo Chavez, is growing more and more distant from its new President, Chavez’s designated successor Nicolás Maduro, and the country, strained by social and economic issues, seems to be on the verge of collapse.

Bolivians have decided, with a referendum held last year, not to allow their current President Evo Morales to run again for an additional mandate; Rafael Correa in Ecuador is likely not to bid again for the Presidency at the end of his term, due to the deep dive in his popularity in the last months.

Uruguay, instead, has chosen another leftist President to replace Pepe Mujica, who during his mandate enhanced profoundly the country’s civil rights, by legalizing abortion and gay marriage. However, new President Tabaré Vázquez, who already ruled the country from 2005 to 2010 before Mujica was elected, is much more centrist-oriented than his predecessor, whose political decisions he often opposed publicly and vehemently.

If is not yet time for the South American left to sing its swan song, it is undoubtedly a moment to reflect on what went wrong.

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