Maximiliano Borches explains how Evo Morales‘ government has come under attack by both the left and the right for its project to nationalize hydrocarbon in Bolivia. With separatist threats from several regions of the country, and growing dissatisfaction over the Constituent Assembly, the opposition has begun attacking the administration with increasing confidence. In Borches‘ opinion, Evo Morales must confront this political crisis by lowering his own objectives, proving to his country that he still has popular support, allowing open dialogue with the opposition, and strengthening democracy in Bolivia.
Bernardo Kliksberg explains how inequality has become inherent in all aspects of Latin American society from income, health and nutrition, to education, access to credit, and the possibility for advancement. And while many economists claim that this inequality is only a necessary step in development, Kliksberg believes that it is the primary cause of poverty in Latin America and that with proactive government planning a solution can be found. Government, business, and society must all unite behind the ideal of social responsibility in order to do away with corruption in government and corporations, and support equal opportunities, healthcare and education for all citizens, democratization of credit, and aid to small business.
Miguel Huezo Mixco recounts the history of massacres committed by the military in El Salvador in the 1980’s, explaining that during this period the government adopted policies designed to exterminate the civilian population, principally peasants. These government-sponsored crimes have served as precursors for the apprenticed violence of gangs and organized crime currently rocking Salvadoran democracy. In Huezo Mixco‘s opinion, the solution to violence does not solely depend on understanding the crime being committed today, but on recognizing the tragic impact that decades of trivialized crime has had on Salvadoran society.
Ciro Di Costanzo explains why the civil resistance movement led by candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (PRD), which is protesting the supposed fraudulent recent elections in the heart of Mexico, will fall apart over time. Di Costanzo believes that this civil resistance, Mexican style, lacks convincing arguments and proof and is merely a reaction of suspicion over an autocratic cultural tradition that no longer exists. The resistance is following a risky strategy, which could endanger Marcelo Ebrard‘s (PRD) entering government in Mexico City, and could harm the democratic institutions it claims to uphold.
Chimène Coste describes the current state of political and social paralysis provoked by Fidel Castro‘s illness, leaving the Cuban people with a vacuum of power. Through written statements, Fidel delegated provisional powers to his brother Raul and several other members of his cabinet, yet no high-ranking official has stepped up to publicly assume power. Despite the seeming normality and unity of the Cuban people, strong tensions are coursing as the society militarizes and prepares for the transition. In Coste‘s opinion the most important question to be asked now is: What will prevail? the revolution or the family dynasty?
Mario Toer explains how more than fifty years of denial has led to the current outbreak of violence and terror in San Pablo and Rio de Janeiro. In Toer‘s opinion, Brazil has one of the most polarized societies in the world, and so it is no wonder that given the age-old violence of the death squadrons that the poor and marginalized would create their own defense organizations. The process to end the violence will be long and arduous, but in the end the Brazilian government must find a way to reintegrate the marginalized back into society, take support away from the First Command of the Capital, and show Brazil‘s citizens that it is concerned about their health, education, and future.
Wenceslao Cruz explains how Castro‘s anti-Americanism has allowed him to stay in power by winning the economic and military support of the Soviet Union, by distracting the international community away from his regime’s abuse of human rights, and by establishing himself as a David to the Goliath of the United States. After more than half a century in power, other countries are beginning to follow Castro‘s example in order to establish themselves as antidemocratic, autocratic dictators. In Cruz‘s opinion it is up to the democratic world to stand up to the newly risen copycat dictatorships in countries like Venezuela, and to uphold the values of democracy above the economic interests.
Ricardo Israel Z. explains how, as long as Fidel Castro is alive, there will be no great transformations within the Cuban government. In Israel Z.‘s opinion, it is unlikely that the revolution will outlive the revolutionary, as Castro was a unique charismatic leader, yet in this time of uncertainty, the Cuban people will take refuge in order rather than in chaos. Cuba will most likely remain relatively calm until Castro‘s death, while the real confrontations take place behind closed doors, rather than on the streets.
Fabian Bosoer discusses how the ownership, exploitation, and allocation of natural resources has become the principal instigator of all conflict and negotiation in Latin America. And yet conflict is business for many people, and behind every one of the contentions, investments are being made and lucrative contracts being signed for weapons and security. In Bosoer‘s opinion, what distinguishes the inflammatory environment of Latin America now is the fact that all of the countries involved in deciding between unity and divergence are democracies. The question is what will they decide?