The Communist Party USA sees great hope in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are excerpts from an article from their “People’s Weekly World” reprinted in the Communist Party of Australia’s “Guardian” of 20th April, 2005.
This was written before the socialist victories in Chile and Bolivia and of course, the possible socialist victories looming in Mexico and Peru.
“Uruguay’s recent election of Tabare Vazquez, the leader of a left-centre coalition that includes Socialists, Communists, Social-Democrats and former Marxist Tupamaro guerrillas, to the presidency was remarkable in at least two respects. First, it broke a 170-year-long, right-wing grip on the country’s government. Second, it was but the latest in a string of such successes throughout the region.
Left or left-leaning leaders now govern more than three-quarters of Latin America’s 355 million people.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has proposed building a working people’s “axis of good” to eliminate poverty across the region, involving Chile’s Ricardo Lagos, Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and other emerging centre-left leaders.
In Nicaragua, there is a possibility that the left-wing Sandinistas may regain power following their improved fortunes in recent municipal elections. The next few months could bring similar leftward shifts in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia.
These developments represent a break from the pro-Washington, neo-liberal “free trade” policies that have been pursued by numerous Latin American governments. Voters have concluded that such a policy orientation leads to corruption and the enrichment of a small number of people at the expense of the overwhelming majority.
Hillbourne Watson, a professor of international relations at Bucknell University, told the People’s Weekly World, “People have felt the impact of these [neo-liberal] policies and the strategies in very profound ways — declining wages, decline of standards of living, erosion of health and the broad social context of people lives. They are searching for alternatives.”
A similar trend is evident in the English-speaking Caribbean. In some instances, former leaders of the revolutionary democratic movement of the 1970s and 1980s have merged into the fold of established parties — in some cases assuming leadership and winning national elections — as in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Lucia.
In Grenada last year, in an election marred by irregularities, the conservative ruling party managed to barely retain office against a revived centre-left coalition by a mere six votes. In Guyana, a coalition led by the Marxist-oriented People’s Progressive Party has retained power in successive elections.
With respect to Cuba, Watson said, “for the Caribbean region, Cuba’s role extends beyond support for the national liberation movement in Africa [of the previous era] but [today] provides socio-economic and technical support and scholarships in a variety of disciplines.”
The government of Dominica (English speaking), for example, reports that socialist Cuba has given the country more scholarships and other assistance since 1978 than Dominica received during the entire colonial period.
The recent victories in Latin America and the Caribbean represent a simultaneous defeat of US efforts to isolate Cuba and a vote against neo-liberalism. The vote tallies also indicate a desire for better living conditions and for greater regional economic integration, which can only be good for the working people Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Communism is dead. Yeah right!