Editorials | Opinions
|The Popular Theme of Revolution in Latin America Fizzles|
Jerry Brewer - mexidata.info
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November 22, 2010
The traditional moniker of revolution continues to be interpreted in the violent replacing of governments, officials, and regimes in repudiation or overthrow. Too, those ideologies spark flames with the winds of iniquity in denouncing a multitude of political and economic systems, as well as some ethnicities in fanning the flames for radical change.
The case for revolution in Latin America must revolve around the necessities of human rights, dignity, and respect for human life and freedoms. Education, healthcare, and a viable economic system in which people can eat, sleep, work, and socialize without fear from repression and out of control and spiraling criminal violence must be the priorities of government. That is a revolution to fight for.
Revolutions are clearly in the eyes of the beholder. To Mexico, revolution is currently one made of radical and pervasive change resulting in a desperate plea for safety from the murderous drug traffickers and other organized transnational criminals occupying their soil. A drug traffickers' revolution fueled by many currently unknown (but suspected) transnational players and facilitators dominates a sovereign nation’s day to day life and immediate future.
Cuba’s revolution, once essentially isolated from the majority of Latin America, was one of vehement recrimination against the United States and democracies within the hemisphere. Much of Fidel Castro’s armed revolution sparked by guerrilla movements such as the late Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara’s.
Cuba’s Castro revolutionary wisdom of violence and insurgency ultimately met with a U.S. embargo and sanctions that last to this very day. Was it a successful interdiction?
Although Fidel and Raul Castro have shown some (but few) concessions to attempt to persuade the U.S. to move ahead with lifting restrictions, many U.S. officials assert that Cuba’s problems are not due to the sanctions and embargo, but rather a result of “socialism and incompetence” in government. The surprise response from Fidel Castro, who remains head of the Communist party, suggested in September that the Cuban economic model was no longer working.
Cuba continues to be perceived by some U.S. officials as slow or unwilling to make significant transformative changes in policies on human rights and freedoms. U.S. President Obama “continues to stress a ‘wait and see’ approach in which Havana will have to earn the right to be a negotiating partner.”
Unfortunately for Latin America, the once isolated Cuban revolution has been revived by another anti-U.S. leftist regime in Venezuela led by President Hugo Chavez Frias and his Bolivarian Revolution. Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua leftist regimes were quick to follow suit with Chavez. These openly elected socialist-styled governments remain close to Chavez and continue to perpetuate similar philosophy and agendas.
Nicaragua recently celebrated 30 years of the Sandinista Revolution. In 2009, El Salvador elected the first left-wing government in its history. Although Cuba inspired the armed Latin American Revolution and has now admitted its failure, these leftist regimes continue to perpetuate an ideology of revolution that does nothing to nurture a free, democratic and united Latin America.
Last year’s alleged coup in Honduras, in which President Manuel Zelaya was accused of violating his nation's Constitution by sponsoring a referendum that was ruled illegal by the Honduran Supreme Court, brought anger by Hugo Chavez and a movement of troops on the Nicaraguan and Honduras border by President Daniel Ortega.
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has been accused by his older brother, Fabricio, of trying to turn his country into one modeled after Venezuela, saying the nation is being “directed” from Venezuela in an effort to impose “a political and fascist model” that is widely rejected. Recently, many officials in Venezuela’s Bolivarian military, security and intelligence entities have been described as actively engaged in drug trafficking, kidnapping and money laundering.
Armed revolution in Latin America apparently has not disappeared, but sometimes it is cleverly described in political rhetoric. Ecuador’s recent alleged coup attempt by police is evidence. Recently President Chavez warned that his “calculations and intelligence reports reveal some groups are launching the idea of a coup around Christmas” as being feasible. He warned the opposition that there will be no tolerance if they try to oust him, and they will be met with a countercoup.
Venezuelan voters, in mass numbers, turned out last September for parliamentary elections and they achieved impressive gains against the Chavez regime, in a form of their own revolution at the ballot box. Perhaps Chavez saw that as a coup.
One must wonder if there really is such a thing as a peaceful revolution.
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at www.cjiausa.org.