Why is the Left succeeding in Latin America, but failing so badly in the U.S.?

As of this morning, a leftist candidate in Honduras (of all places) has a real chance to win the coming election. That candidate is Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of the former president that was ousted in the U.S.-backed 2009 coup.

She finished second as the vice-presidential candidate for TV personality Salvador Nasralla in 2017, a ticket that lost by 50,000 votes in a disputed vote that reelected President Juan Orlando Hernández. This year, she’s running again and has emerged as the opposition’s best shot at ending the ruling National Party’s 12-year hold on the presidency.

Castro’s campaign got a huge lift when Nasralla ended his own campaign on October 13 to back Castro. The smaller Innovation and Social Unity Party also joined the informal alliance endorsing Castro’s bid....
Polls gave Castro a shot even before the backing of Nasralla, who had been running in third. In a September CID-Gallup poll, Castro registered 18% support, not far behind the National Party’s Nasry Asfura at 21%. A few public polls showed Castro leading. In the single-round election, a mere plurality is enough for victory.

Castro is only a moderate leftist, but that is a huge contrast to the current right-wing, neoliberal, narco-state government.
Chile is also having an election around the same time. Leftist Gabriel Boric is leading in the polls, but since the election is certain to go to the second round, anything could happen.
Once again, this is in huge contrast to the right-wing neoliberal president who is now facing impeachment for corruption.
Brazil's election isn't until next year, but the polls show leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva absolutely crushing the current right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro.
Even Colombia appears ready to take a hard left turn in next year's election.

Combine that with moderate socialist governments already in Bolivia, Peru, and Venezuela. Plus moderate leftist governments in Mexico and Argentina, and you are looking at nearly an entire hemisphere, south of the Rio Grande, embracing a moderate leftist agenda.
Meanwhile, in the United States Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi considered "progressive". While Bernie Sanders is considered a "radical leftist".

So what's going on?
I happened to run across this article which at least partially explained the disparity in outcomes. It involves the churches.

In 2018, political scientist Javier Corrales termed the alliances between Evangelical churches and conservative parties in Latin America “a perfect marriage." Now, divorce might be looming with a new, more intriguing suitor in the game: the Left.

In the last few years, left-wing politicians in several countries have sought out alliances with Evangelical churches, leaders, and political parties. In Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and his party MORENA entered into a coalition with the Evangelical Partido Encuentro Social (Social Encounter party, PES), in preparation for the 2018 elections. In Venezuela, Maduro took to courting Evangelical leaders in the run-up to the 2020 elections. He granted concessions including commemorating the “Day of the Pastor,” establishing an Evangelical university, and donating thousands of musical instruments to Evangelical churches. Most recently, on September 15, Colombian presidential candidate and former guerrillero Gustavo Petro received the support of Alfredo Saade, an Evangelical leader from the Caribbean coast. Saade’s movement, Levántate, brings together over 400 Evangelical pastors from across the country.
The 2018 presidential election in Colombia highlighted this last dynamic. The Centro Democrático’s (Democratic Center) candidate, Iván Duque, defeated Petro with a margin of 2.3 million votes, winning a total of 10.3 million votes. The Colombian Evangelical parties MIRA and Colombia Justa Libres were key to his victory. These parties are estimated to have delivered approximately 1 million of the total votes for Duque.

Perhaps Petro was taking notes, because he was quick to seek Evangelical support for his 2022 presidential bid. At the launch of his campaign in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla, he referenced Jesus and several saints, and accused the Right of “dealing with the devil.” Shortly afterward, it came to light that the Evangelical leader Saade had helped organize the event, and he endorsed Petro’s candidacy publicly.

The right-wing has captured the churches, evangelicals in particular, for so long that people have forgotten that before the 1970's churches in America were just as likely to be associated with left-wing politics.
There is a lesson to be learned here. If you want a real leftist political movement in the United States, it doesn't start with the DNC. It starts with the labor unions, neighborhood associations, and the churches.

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is the truth and the way to a better future.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

zed2's picture

The US is a country thats totally captured by a corporate monster.

Thee really is no genuine left in the US, not like some would have us think. This is despite the fact that people want the changes that one associates with the left. Impovements in social srvices like healthcare and education. But the US op[poses such kind of public spending all arouyjnd the world, framing public services as thefts from corporations.

For things like public healthcare to happen in the heart of the opposition is simply unthinkabloe to any6body who knows anything about whats goin on. Probably a million have died because of thi8s suppression and dishonestly.

Also, frankly, Its forbidden by trade rules no for government to do the things people want. This is intentional. A huge deception revolves around hiding all this murder.

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There is no institutional left in the U.S.
But there are plenty of leftists that have no representation.

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro could face 11 criminal charges after the country’s Senate investigated his response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the senator in charge of the probe.

Renan Calheiros said in a radio interview the probe will recommend charges such as genocide against the country's indigenous population, malfeasance, irregular use of public funds, violation of sanitary measures, incitement to crime and forgery of private documents, Reuters reported.

Experts say Bolsonaro is unlikely to face the charges as they must be approved by the lower house, which most likely won’t happen.

Along with Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro's sons and his former Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello will likely be charged, according to Calheiros.

The report will be released to the Senate Tuesday with members voting on it Thursday, according to Reuters.

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Why do these crooks in power keep getting away with murder?
At least this Brazilian politician has a lot in common with the crooks in DC.
In this sense, we are morally equivalent.

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zed2's picture

The US's two right wing political parties are lacking in legitimacy and are only trying to make themselves rich. Its been like this since the 1980s. They have only worn their vocal cords out by repeating the same vacant promises, I would like to see them break free of the neoliberal babble for a change. The so called Washington Consensus is bad news and the two shamelssly corrupt parties, nomatter how in agreement they are are scammers and do not represent what any of the American people want.

BTW, apologists for the neoliberal coup thats in progress are insincere and trying to legitimize a fake opposition. By putting forward an agenda thats been taken off the table since 1995 by the GATS, they are revealed as part of of a chain of cover ups - a cover up of the vast GATS policy space theft. I 2016 and 2020 Neoliberal scammers Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden were annointed by the inner core of the neoliberal right in the US the DNC, Many found it telling that she did not face any Democratic opposition. Had she, iIT, not she would have won. Her old friend Donald Trump was not opposition. He was one of two hand picked diversionary tactics.

Molester in chief(?) Biden was also picked to impart a false legitimacy to a coup thats has successfully pushed the replacement of our former democracy with so called global economic governance organizations.

Hilary Clinton was also known for having defended rapists when she was a young lawyer. From weaolthy family, he could have afforded a non public attorney, as so many others have to pay for or go without. Starting a career which revolted around helping the well connected insider.

They could and would never allow democracy. We are like the turkey on the dinner at Thanksgiving being carved up with an electric carving knife (remember them?) by the Corporate State.

Its a total theft of democracy that has been planned since 15-20 September 1986 in Punta Del Este. Uruguay.

Whats in your wallet?

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zed2's picture


Contains an exhaustive analysis of the economics of key parts of histories from Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well as the ENSO climate oscillation that has caused so much food insecurity and starvation over the last four centuries (at least)

If we forget history it will be repeated.

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zed2's picture

The US government would not be allowed to let that happen if it could be considered to be a "measure affecting trade in services" under the definition in Article 1 of GATS".

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