Latin America looks ready to swing left
Last October Bolivia convincingly elected a socialist, kicking the U.S.-backed right-wing coup government to the curb.
It gets more complicated after that.
Last month a socialist won the first round of Ecuador's elections. Conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso barely managed (just 0.25%) to advance to the 2nd round over left-wing Indigenous leader Yaku Perez. However, while Arauz's party finished first in their legislature, Lasso's party finished a distant 5th, so barring something dramatic and unexpected, this race is over.
Something unexpected is what the ruling class had in mind.
Just a week prior to the first round, with Arauz ahead in most polls, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who is a fierce opponent of the UNES candidate, met with the notoriously interventionist Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, in Washington. This meeting raised suspicions that efforts were underway to prevent a return of the Citizens’ Revolution in Ecuador. On February 12th, the Attorney General of Colombia, Francisco Barbosa arrived in Quito to meet with his Ecuadorian counterpart, Diana Salazar, armed with a dossier that allegedly shows the campaign of Arauz had received funding from the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerillas in Colombia. Although no independent corroboration of such charges have been presented to back these allegations, the echo chamber of right wing fake news is already urging election authorities in Ecuador to disqualify UNES in a bid to prevent Arauz from participating in the second round of the presidential election.
This underhanded tactic ran into a problem - incompetence.
The attempt became an embarrassment on Sunday when Ecuadorean critics pointed Arauz didn’t register as a candidate until December 8, six weeks after the ELN guerrilla’s death.
Peru had a bad 2020. A GDP contraction of 12.9 percent in 2020—among the worst in Latin America—and the country reported the second-highest coronavirus death rate per capita in the world as of December. On top of that, a political crisis led to the presidency exchanging hands three times.
In six weeks are Peru's elections and it is wide open, and for good reason.
Former soccer player George Forsyth was leading, but was disqualified from the presidential election citing information that was allegedly falsified and excluded from his election application. Keiko Fujimori is in 3rd place, but she is currently awaiting trial on charges of money laundering, obstruction of justice, and other crimes. In 7th place is Daniel Urresti, a retired army general who managed to beat murder charges against a journalist.
Peru is proof that sometimes having more choices isn't better.
That leaves in 2nd place a centrist neoliberal, Yonhy Lescano. In 4th place a Chicago School neoliberal economist, and fan of Milton Friedman austerity, Hernando de Soto. And in 5th place Verónika Fanny Mendoza, the only legit left-wing candidate among the leaders.
There is less than 2% separating all three candidates.
Later this year is the most critical election of 2021 - Chile, birthplace of the fascist/neoliberal marriage.
Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any recent polling in Chile.