Jul 19, 2010

Latin American and Mexican Politics

Here are two current critiques of U.S. Latin American policy and a summary of the recent changes in the Mexican cabinet.

Oliver Stone Tells the Real Story of Leftist Latin American Leaders After decades of military dictatorships and IMF puppetry in Latin America, the southern cone of the New World is slowly but surely moving toward reformist, left-leaning governance. This all started in 1999, when Hugo Chávez was elected in Venezuela. Today, Chávez has left or left-center allies at the helm of Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and preceding him, Cuba. ... The good news is that Oliver Stone's new documentary, South of the Border, offers American audiences an alternative version of this continent-wide paradigm shift. The film traces the rise of Chávez, Lula, Evo, and all the other members of a new generation of political leaders who see participatory democracy, socialism, and mutual aid and cooperation between Latin American countries as the future. July 12, 2010, AlterNet. movie website at South of the Border

Calderon Reshuffles Cabinet President Felipe Calderón announced three changes in his cabinet, including the appointment of his fourth Secretary of Government. Secretary of Government: Fernando Gómez Mont resigned, and will be replaced by José Francisco Blake Mora. Gómez Mont quit the PAN last February in protest of the decision to form electoral alliances with the PRD; his open insubordination to the President ensured his departure sooner or later. Blake Mora is currently Secretary of Government in Baja California. July 14, 2010, Under the Volcano blog.

Military Rule 2.0 Over the past two decades, Mexico has been touted as a democratic success story. After decades of single-party rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as PRI, the country developed vibrant political contests, leading to the landmark election of several (sic) non-PRI presidents. But Mexico’s political system has also gone backwards in one key area: the role of its military. As the Latin American drug trade has blossomed and its neighbors have become less stable, the military has stepped in, and used its leverage to control an ever-widening sphere of the civilian political system. July 11, 2010, Boston Globe OpEd by Joshua Kurlantzick, Fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations and Shelby Leighton, a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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