concluded my previous column maintaining that there are great differences within the Latin American left and I offered to elaborate on them in this column. Perhaps none is as clear as the differences that exist around the issue of representative democracy.
For example, Evo Morales argued in November 2021 that the electoral farce through which Daniel Ortega was re-elected president of Nicaragua it was a “demonstration of courage and democratic maturity.” gabriel boricInstead, he then maintained that “Nicaragua needs democracy, not fraudulent elections or persecution.”
It could be argued that none of them was president when they issued those opinions, but then Evo Morales’s MAS governed Bolivia and his country’s foreign ministry welcomed Ortega’s election, highlighting the “participation and democratic vocation” that it implied. And, already as president of Chile, Boric referred to the recent municipal elections in Nicaragua in the following terms: “An electoral process that is carried out without freedom, reliable electoral justice and imprisoned or proscribed opponents is not democracy in any part of the world.” .
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. In turn, last May, when Lula He was already a candidate for the presidency of Brazil, expressed an ambivalent opinion regarding the invasion in an interview for Time magazine: “Putin should not have invaded Ukraine. But Putin is not the only one to blame. The United States and the European Union are also guilty. What was the reason for invading Ukraine? NATO? Then the US and the European Union should have said: ‘Ukraine will not be part of NATO’”.
In that interview, Lula also expressed his disagreement with Gustavo Petro’s proposal to forge a coalition of countries that commit to not granting new oil exploration permits: “Petro has the right to propose whatever he wants. But, in the case of Brazil, that is not realistic… as long as there are not enough alternative energy sources, we will continue using the energies that we have”.
In fact, the issues of authoritarianism and the differences around the so-called “extractivism” can divide the left within the same country. In Ecuador, for example, despite the fact that two thirds of Ecuadorians voted for leftist candidates in the 2021 presidential elections, Andrés Arauz (dolfín de Rafael Correa) lost the second electoral round. This is largely explained because the candidate who ranked third, Yaku PerezBeing from the left, he was opposed to Correa’s legacy. On the one hand, he was critical of his abuse of power (of which he was a victim, being detained some four times during his government). On the other, he was imprisoned during the Correa government precisely for opposing investment projects in mining and oil that he considered harmful due to their socio-environmental consequences. Due to these differences, the party for which Pérez ran (Pachakutik, linked to the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) called for a null vote in the second round. In other words, he refused to support a left-wing candidate, such as Andrés Arauz, despite the fact that he was led by a conservative banker who was a member of Opus Dei, such as Guillermo Lasso.
Perhaps the Latin American leftists continue to have issues of common interest, such as regional integration or their opposition to the removal of presidents for reasons of dubious constitutional validity (such as Rousseff’s in 2016 or Evo Morales’s in 2019). But the adverse circumstances (both politically and economically) under which they access the government would lead them to focus their attention on the internal problems of each country, and their differences will put some limits on their cooperation on foreign policy issues.