Latin America's Left-wing trend

From Brian Turner <>
Date Sun, 18 Dec 2005 04:50:17 -0800 (PST)
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Many countries in Latin America are trending left or
center-left.  Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador have
center-left governments.  Mexico seems next up (the
left-populist mayor of Mexico City is leading polls
for next year's elections).  Venezuela has and Bolivia
soon will have (if Evo Morales is not upset in
Sunday's election) outright socialist governments. 
Cuba is still Cuba, shameful in some respects, but a
shining example in its farmer-run organic agricultural

Venezuela is implementing what I'd call authentic
socialist (in a 19th century sense) policies:  land
reform, democratic collective farms, worker-managed
factories, empowered local citizen councils,
nationalization of key resources, Maoist style welfare
programs, etc.  Bolivia seems ready to follow the same
model.  The Sandinistas keep drifting right, and keep
losing, one figures they'll cease going down the "me
too" WC road soon enough for the next elections.  

My question for the group is, will this have any
effect on China? With Venezuela being so attention
grabbing internationally, will it become harder for
China to refer to itself as a "socialist" country? 
Will the example of this model seep into discussions
about labor and agricultural policies?  Chavez is
calling the Washington Consenus the road to hell. 
Given China's sweatshop of the world reputation, is
this going to be the least bit embarassing?  I'm
guessing they could care less, right? (China seems
rather isolated from the discussions stimulated by the
world social movements).  

Can China still justify its rightist policies on the
grounds that it is the world trend, and TINA if the
Latin American examples are successful and spillover
to other regions? 


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