US - Latin America
Obama’s Visit to Latin America and the Political Conjuncture
After Havana, Obama came to Argentina. The world’s chief representative of vulture imperialism used his trip to reinforce the steps being taken to advance the United States’ “return” to Latin America. Of course, it never left – but today, the U.S. is finding opportunities presented by South America’s landscape of economic crises and reactionary winds to recuperate greater authority in the region.
March 31, 2016
Latin America’s rightward political shift is reflected in numerous ways: the triumph of new Argentinean President Macri who presents himself as Washington’s new Southern Cone agent; the offensives by oppositional reactionary forces in Brazil and Venezuela; and the spiraling disorder of the center-left nationalist governments, which have converted into executors of “gradualist” austerity plans (Dilma) and inflation (Maduro). These “progressive” governments have made the working class shoulder the weight of economic crisis; and when they lose power, they become guarantors of “governability,” making way for unhindered austerity policies and the selling-off of national sovereignty, much like the Kirchnerists in Argentina.
But this reactionary advance is taking place in a sea of contradictions. It’s one thing to make political gains “from above” and another thing to impose a change in the relation of forces “from below,” that is, to successfully strike at the working class and popular sectors in order to carry out its plans. This has already been demonstrated in the difficulties faced by the right wing in its efforts to impose its agenda in the profound political crisis in Brazil (the epicenter of the region’s troubles) and Venezuela.
In Brazil, Dilma’s government is against the ropes and is unable to eliminate the possibility of impeachment, but the opposition is entangled in multiple differences and has yet to come up with a unified plan.
In Venezuela, the opposition now has the upper hand in the National Assembly, but is unable to agree on how to unseat Maduro, who still lays claim on the support of the Armed Forces; at the same time, a significant social base continues to reject the Right.
In Argentina, only three months after Macri’s inauguration, despite union bureaucracy’s truce, the government and bosses’ attacks are generating some resistance. The social and political discontent was expressed in the massive mobilizations that took place throughout the country on March 24.
The general strike in Chile, strike actions and protests in Colombia, the hard-hitting conflict in Ucayali, Perú (days after the national elections, demonstrating the crisis of the bourgeois parties) are still more symptoms of a crisis that feeds the “reactionary winds” as well as political turmoil and social polarization.
The current bourgeois and imperialist offensives are making way for a new cycle of austerity and surrender – a test of forces of the working class in Argentina, Brazil and the entire region that may detonate great battles of working-class and popular resistance.
The continent-wide struggle against imperialism and capitalists demand an independent working class program and strategy. As a Latin American and international portal with editions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, México and elsewhere, sustained by sister organizations of the PTS, La Izquierda Diario Internacional / Left Voice is at the service of these tasks.