Oaxaca: Democracy or Anarchy?

Behind the Protests in Mexico

By Zidane Zeraoui (for Safe Democracy)

Zidane Zeraoui explains that far from having anything to do with indigenous or democratic interests, the current conflict in Oaxaca is a classic struggle for power between section 22 of the independent syndicate of the magistracy and the state government. In provoking protests in one of Mexico‘s poorest regions, the syndicate leadership is looking for more than its traditional share of the power. Linked with the interests of the PRD, it seeks to destabilize the entire leftist region and further the legitimacy crisis that Mexico’s government has mired in since the presidential elections in July. In Zeraoui‘s opinion, the decision taken by Vicente Fox to act was not only legitimate, but also greatly needed.

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Lula’s Challenges

An Analysis of a Tremendous Victory in Brazil

By Julio Cesar Casarin Barroso Silva (for Safe Democracy)

Julio Cesar Casarin Barroso Silva examines the elections in Brazil and explains what unknown policies await the country after Lula’s overwhelming victory. Ruling out the possible radicalization of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, Casarin Barroso believes that it will be necessary to wait and see if Lula will be able to spur economic development and implement urgent income redistribution measures in one of the most unequal societies on the planet.

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Argentina’s Eternal Peronism

The past can reveal disturbing truths regarding the present

By Pedro G. Cavallero (for Safe Democracy)

Pedro G. Cavallero explains how, half a century after his downfall, General Peron, and the political movement he created, remain deeply rooted in Argentinean society. Recent research into Peron‘s inner circle has greatly facilitated the study of Peronism’s misguided understanding of leadership, and its disregard for democratic institutions. In Cavallero‘s opinion, while Peronism remains engrained within every aspect of Argentinean life, the negative aspects of Peronist government continue to influence Argentinean politics under the leadership of Nestor Kirchner. The study of the past can reveal some very disturbing truths regarding the present.

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Real Contention in Brazil

By Mauro Victoria Soares (for Safe Democracy)

Mauro Victoria Soares discusses the contention of the Presidential elections in Brazil, which have never been so clearly divided along economic lines: Geraldo Alckmin garnering much of his support from the upper classes, and Lula da Silva from the lower strata of society. Initial polls had predicted an easy victory for Lula in the first round, but due to the sensationalizing of a scandal involving Worker’s Party members, Lula‘s popularity may have been hurt. It remains to be seen whether Lula‘s popular and successful economic redistribution programs will be enough to win him a second chance at the Presidency against a tough opposition.

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Brazil and the Art of Politics

By Mario Toer (for Safe Democracy)

Mario Toer explains the complex political framework of Brazil, where 49 percent of the votes obtained by Lula and the Worker’s Party in the first round of elections represents a real accomplishment. In Toer‘s opinion, Lula will most likely win the second round, but if he wants to get anything done, he will have to give up his naivety and undertake skillful negotiations with the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. Toer explains who is who in the vast panorama of Brazilian politics.

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Comeback in the Andes

By Pedro G. Cavallero (for Safe Democracy)

Pedro Cavallero analyzes the recent return of Alan García to the Presidency of Peru and explains why, after 16 years, the Peruvians have decided to grant him a second term in the Palacio de Gobierno. García‘s previous five-year term left the country in an economic crisis, with poverty at an all time high, inflation rates through the roof, intensified social instability, and a complete lack of faith in the Aprista government. Nowadays, an apparently wiser García has made the people of Peru believe that this time he will pursue a more balanced approach to government. In Cavallero‘s opinion, hope that a new era is dawning in Peru may have reason to exist, if Garcia can use moderation in his decisions, and make good use of his second shot at the Presidency.

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Hugo Chavez and the Security Council

By Ricardo Israel Z. (for Safe Democracy)

Ricardo Israel Z. explains why the United States supports the nomination of Guatemala over Venezuela to one of the non-permanent seats on the Security Council of the United Nations. In Israel Z.‘s opinion, Washington has finally learned the lesson of Iraq, and will try to resolve its future polemic issues (with Iran and North Korea) within the Security Council. Chavez, meanwhile, is on a mission to spread his anti-imperialist struggle. Were Caracas to take a seat in the Council, it would be able to vote against the United States on issues considered by the White House to be of top priority to national security.

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La Paz: The View from the Top of the World

By Pedro G. Cavallero (from La Paz, Bolivia, for Safe Democracy)

Pedro G. Cavallero describes Bolivia‘s tumultuous political and social situation, which is causing the country to sink back into the rhetoric of the past. With the opposition to the Presidency of Evo Morales increasing in various regions, a chaotic Constitutional Assembly responsible for the drafting of a new constitution, and an erratic foreign policy, the Bolivian administration has begun reediting old scripts, and applying old cures to new problems. As Morales‘ government struggles to get off the ground, the images of undying guerrilla spirit, indigenous power, the integrationist dream, and Caribbean Leninism have been resurrected to flower over a far from attractive reality.

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Mexico: After the Elections, Now What?

By Ciro Di Costanzo (for Safe Democracy)

Ciro Di Costanzo analyzes the political and social panorama in Mexico upon the electoral victory of Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN). In Di Costanzo‘s opinion, the minute difference in votes that allowed Calderon to win will present some important political and social challenges for his presidency, and Calderon should be sure to incorporate some of the causes of the PRD and his opponent Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador into his government. If Calderon champions certain leftist policies, like the creation of viable economic development, and the fight against poverty, he will unite his government, make way for national reconciliation, and ensure that Mexico does not fall once again into the stagnation and immobility that characterized President Vicente Fox‘s time in office.

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