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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN SOUTH AMERICA

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RECENT POLITICAL TRENDS
IN
LATIN AMERICA
OUTLINE
•
•
•
•
Political and economic considerations
Regional integration
External role players
Conclusion
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
CONSIDERATIONS
• Rise in election victories of leftleaning/progressive governments
• Factors linked to the rise of left-leaning
governments
• Categories of left-leaning governments
Political and economic considerations
cont…
• Examples:
– Presidents such as
•
•
•
•
•
Hugo Chavez (Venezuela)
InГЎcio Lula da Silva (Brazil)
Evo Morales (Bolivia)
Michelle Bachelet (Chile)
TabarГ© VГ zquez (Uruguay)
Political and economic considerations
cont…
• Factors linked to the rise of left-leaning governments:
пѓ� Oppressive and corrupt governments
пѓ� Failure of military and subsequent governments to deliver on
socio-economic policies
пѓ� Continuing Poverty
Political and economic considerations
cont…
пѓ� Inequality and social exclusion of the majority and indigenous
people
пѓ� Wave of state democratisation
пѓ� Dissatisfaction with implementation of neo-liberal economic
policies
пѓ� Resentment of the US domination of the region
пѓ� The need to reinforce autonomy from external influences
Political and economic considerations
cont…
• Categories of left-leaning governments
пѓ� First Category: Leaders and movements that originated from
communist and socialist ideology.
пѓ� Emphasis on social policies that include education, antipoverty programmes, health and housing, amongst other
things.
пѓ� Represented by Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Panama and Peru.
Political and economic considerations
cont…
Second Category: considered nationalistic and populist in
orientation.
пѓ� Prioritises the importance of national sovereignty and
government’s involvement in controlling state resources
пѓ� Represented by Bolivia and Venezuela
Regional integration
• Brazil is one of the leading countries in the region together
with Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico.
• Countries have actively engaged in efforts to reduce economic
and trade dependence from the US and the EU. There are
different approaches in integration efforts.
• Challenges in integration efforts lie mostly on how to move
the integration process forward.
• Challenges are attributed to contending country interests,
principally between Brazil and Argentina.
Regional integration
• Integration is a very complex puzzle. In addition to Mercosur,
CAN and SACN, there is the Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas (ALBA).
• ALBA initiated and supported by President Chà vez .
• Notwithstanding differences, there is possibility for
convergence between Mercosur, CAN, SACN and ALBA.
External Role Players
CHINA
пѓ� Pursuing robust policy towards Latin America.
пѓ� Interested in gaining access to mineral resources through trade and
investment.
INDIA
пѓ� Considered as a new emerging market with new opportunities.
пѓ� Relations not yet at the desired level but growing .
пѓ� Possibility to escalate economic relations into political alliances at
multilateral forums.
External role players cont…
AFRICA
пѓ� Growing presence of the African countries in the region and vice versa.
пѓ� Brazil and Colombia have the largest number of African Diaspora.
пѓ� Developing cooperation between the two regions.
Conclusion
• The emergence of progressive governments in Latin America signals the
possibility of a shift in the global configuration of power, in favour of the
South.
• This then has a potential to boost the advancement of certain common
issues of the South at the multilateral fora.
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