Washington's right-wing neoliberal project in Latin America is failing
The right-wing imperialists had some big victories in recent years in Brazil and Bolivia, but the Big Enchilada is Venezuela, and the window of opportunity for neoliberals is closing.
All are signs that, despite a triumphant world tour including a White House meeting with President Donald Trump, opposition leader Juan Guaido is further away from ousting Maduro than he was a year ago when he announced that plan and won wide international support.
... Then a year ago, the U.S. smacked Maduro with sanctions on oil. His country took a big hit and many believed he couldn’t survive. But the doubters didn’t realize how much help he’d get from key allies to evade sanctions or how he’d adopt a version of Chinese-style state capitalism.
“The economies of the countries that have helped us are capitalist -- China, Turkey and India,” said David Paravisini, a lawmaker in Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly associated with Maduro.
This Yahoo news article is written from the perspective of "capitalism is winning", but China and India are anything but allies of the imperialists in Washington.
What is happening is that foreign investment is stabilizing Venezuela's economy, and the people are noticing.
Meanwhile, fewer Venezuelans are leaving, according to two polling firms, Datanalisis and Delphos...
Of those who’ve emigrated in the past five years, 17%, or about 1 million, have returned over the same period, the data show. Maduro’s government says it’s overseen the return of more than 17,000 since 2018 through the “Come back to the fatherland” plan.
Something getting even less news coverage is what Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO) is doing in defiance of neoliberalism.
While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in...
López Obrador’s goal, he says, is to construct a “new paradigm” in economic policy that improves human welfare, not just increases gross domestic product.
To deliver on that promise, in July 2019 AMLO converted the publicly owned federal savings bank Bansefi into a “Bank of the Poor” (Banco del Bienestar or “Welfare Bank”). He said on Jan. 6 that the neoliberal era had eliminated all the state-owned banks but one, which he had gotten approval to expand with 2,700 new branches. Added to the existing 538 branches of the former Bansefi, that will bring the total in two years to 3,238 branches, far outstripping any other bank in the country. (Banco Azteca, currently the largest by number of branches, has 1,860.)
In California they are struggling to set up a couple public banks that just service the government. AMLO is busy setting up thousands of banks.
Thousands of kilometers to the south, Argentina's new president has gone and prioritized people over banks, after the last neoliberal president ran the economy into the ground.
Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said on Saturday that the government will not pay “even half a cent” of its debt back to the International Monetary Fund before the country has exited recession.
“If there is a recession no-one will pay even half a cent and the way you exit recession is through a lot of state investment.”
Dealings with the IMF are key as Argentina hopes to avoid a default amid a currency crash, steep inflation and a contracting economy. An IMF technical mission is expected in Buenos Aires next week to discuss obligations owed to the fund.
Fernandez de Kirchner said Argentina should get a “substantial haircut” on its IMF debt.
Since Argentina has already experienced a currency crash, steep inflation and a contracting economy, a default isn't very scary.
The right-wing neoliberal imperialists in Washington may be losing, but they are still trying in Nicaragua.
A far-right opposition figure in Nicaragua has boasted that the country’s unpopular opposition forces are meeting with representatives from the US embassy and European Union, who have pledged them support in their bid to oust the ruling leftist Sandinista Front government.
According to this rightist Evangelical leader, the US government and EU are pressuring Nicaragua’s badly divided opposition to unite in the lead-up to the 2021 election, with the goal of unseating the Sandinistas.
They are also working hard in Bolivia.
Interim Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez, who came to power in November, has rejected claims that her predecessor, Evo Morales, was ousted in a coup — while cracking down on dissent and calling for new elections to solidify the rule of conservative opposition forces that seized control of the government in Morales’s absence.
As many critics have noted, the cycle bears a striking similarity to the coup d’etat that ousted Honduran President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya a decade ago. The left-wing leader was whisked out of office by the military, only to be replaced with an interim government led by right-wing opposition forces that swiftly consolidated power through a controversial election process.
The parallels were apparently not lost on the Bolivia’s new rulers. The Áñez government has retained the services of the same Washington, D.C., consultants hired by the Honduran interim government to build American support.
I wonder how one arrives at that career path - doing PR work for murderous coup governments?