Latin America, the left wind blows

  The three main factors affecting Latin America in 2021 are the new crown epidemic, elections in several countries, and the Biden administration’s continued provocation and suppression of China’s influence.
  The impact of the epidemic, from the death of Carlos Escud, a famous Argentine international relations theorist, on January 1, to the October 10, when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was accused by Congress of “crimes against humanity” for his passive anti-epidemic response. One spot.
  The executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) Barsena warned that the new crown epidemic has greatly exacerbated poverty and unemployment in Latin America, which may lead to a setback of more than a decade in the region; the region urgently needs to establish a new welfare system to reduce ” unsustainable” levels of inequality. This may be explained by the social climate for the resurgence of left-wing forces in Latin America in 2021.
Haitian blood, Honduras debt

  The hottest event in Latin American and Caribbean politics in 2021 is the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in his home. Dozens of people were arrested before and after the case, including 18 Colombian soldiers and three Haitian-Americans living in Florida, as well as the president’s top security executive. In mid-November, a former Haitian police chief suspected of involvement in the assassination died on the way from pretrial detention to hospital after showing symptoms of the new crown.
  Authorities are still investigating the motives of the mastermind. The former first lady, who saved her life, believes that the Haitian authorities alone cannot reveal the truth and that the Haitian people need an “independent investigation by the United Nations”.
  Two weeks after the incident, the interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who was questioned by public opinion, agreed to hand over power to Ariel Henry, a neurosurgery doctor nominated by Moiz before his death, to become foreign minister himself. The Speaker of the Senate becomes the interim president. Prime Minister Henry’s new cabinet was sworn in on 25 November. Henry, 71, said he hopes to hold new presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as a constitutional referendum, in early 2022, which have been delayed for months.
  According to the constitution, the President of Haiti is elected for a term of five years and cannot be re-elected. President Moise, who was a businessman, took office in February 2017 and was supposed to retire at the beginning of 2022 at most. Why would anyone still want to assassinate him? In addition to his political arbitrariness and suspected corruption, the outside world suspects that this may be related to his interference in the referendum to draft the constitution. According to reports, the new draft constitution aims to expand the power of the president, possibly abolishing the prime minister’s office, abolishing the Senate, and stipulating that the outcome of the first round of elections will determine the outcome of the presidential election.
  The constitutional referendum is very sensitive. The then president of another Latin American country, Honduras, Zelaya, went into exile because of a military coup d’état he pushed for a referendum on constitutional amendments in 2009. Since then, the country’s right-wing political party “Kuomintang” has been in power for 12 consecutive years.
  But the “Kuomintang”‘s ruling performance is getting worse and worse. In Honduras, drug lords and gangsters are rampant, and the murder rate is the highest in the world. In 2020, due to the epidemic and typhoon, GDP fell by 9%, and public debt climbed to 55% of GDP. Therefore, in the general election on November 28, 2021, Zelaya’s wife, Hiomara Castro, defeated the “National Party” candidate and the capital mayor Asfula with a lead of more than 20% of the vote. . She is expected to formally assume the presidency in January 2022.
  As the former first lady of Honduras, Hiomara Castro ran for three consecutive times because her husband lost his eligibility to run for president again. She had said in September 2021 that if she won the election, she would seek a “readjustment” of the national debt and establish diplomatic relations with China.
  The victory of Siomara Castro was internationally recognized. In contrast, the re-election of incumbent President Ortega of Nicaragua on November 7, another Central American country, was less convincing.
  Ortega served as national leader for a total of 26 years from 1979-1990 to 2006-2021. In 2014, he led a controversial constitutional revision to remove presidential term limits and expand presidential powers. After the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front announced in June 2016 that Ortega would run for re-election, the Supreme Court of Nigeria disqualified 16 members of Congress from the opposition party in July, and Ortega later appointed his wife Muhammad. Ryo was the next vice-presidential candidate, and both of them were elected.
As the former first lady of Honduras, Hiomara Castro ran for three consecutive times because her husband lost his eligibility to run for president again. She had said in September 2021 that if she won the election, she would seek a “readjustment” of the national debt and establish diplomatic relations with China.

  In response to the 2021 general election, Ortega detained five main political enemies as early as mid-June, including the daughter of former President Mrs. Chamorro and the vice-chairman of the News, Christiana Chamo. Lo. On July 24, Ortega arrested a seventh opposition candidate, leading to the arrest of more than half of the country’s 12 candidates. The day after the electoral commission revoked the opposition Liberal Citizens Coalition’s candidacy on Aug. 6, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said the Nicaraguan election had “lost all credibility.”
  Founded in 1926, the newspaper is the only independent national daily newspaper in Nicaragua that still circulates print editions. However, on August 12, customs refused to release the paper imported by the newspaper, and the newspaper stopped publishing paper the next day.
Peru to the left, Chile to the right

  In addition to the above-mentioned three small countries in Central America and the Caribbean (Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti), Chile and Peru, the two countries with the longest coastlines among the Pacific countries in South America, are also undergoing election-related changes.
  Peru’s April 11 presidential election, a total of 18 candidates, the results of the highest votes turned out to be the two most extreme left and right. In the second round of the June 6 runoff, leftist candidate Pedro Castillo narrowly defeated center-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, was elected president and took office on July 28, becoming Peru’s fifth president in five years (including two interim presidents).
  Castillo, 51, declares that there will be “no more poor people in a rich country” and advocates deep economic reforms. Worrying for international investors, Castillo, who has advocated nationalizing the mining industry, has since changed his stance, vowing to revise tax and mining laws to finance health and education reforms from the mining industry. Copper mine revenue accounts for about 10% of Peru’s GDP and 60% of export trade.
  Since the inauguration of the president, Castillo has broken many traditions to establish a pro-people and pro-indigenous image. For example, he announced that he would not be working in the presidential palace in the capital, Lima, but would hand over the official residence named after the Spanish colonist Francisco Pizarro to the Ministry of Culture and transform it into a museum introducing Peru’s national history. “We must sever ties with these symbols of colonialism, thus ending the ties of domination that have existed for so many years”. Supporting his international friends, including former President Morales of Bolivia and former President Mujica of Uruguay.
  Indigenous former president Humala, who took office in 2011, also brought hope to Peruvians, but after he left office, he was jailed preventively by judicial authorities on charges of money laundering. By contrast, Castillo is in power in a global crisis with little room for economic manoeuvre, and relying on mass mobilization to govern, he needs to move quickly with the promised political and economic changes, or his government will fall into crisis at the speed Possibly faster than Umara.

  Not long after Castillo took office, Peru’s Justice Minister Torres personally announced on September 11 that Abimel Guzman, the founder of “Shining Path”, died early that morning at the Callao Naval Base Prison at the age of 86. People heard the news and took to the streets to celebrate. The “peasant president” Castillo also sternly condemned Guzman for “taking countless lives”, emphasizing that Peru is a democratic country that resolutely fights against terrorism. Ironically, his Prime Minister Belidore and Labour Minister Malawi were both accused of taking the “shining path” years ago.
  In the 20 years from 1980, the “Shining Path” caused about 38,000 dead or missing people, 600,000 civilians displaced, and economic losses of 22 billion US dollars, leaving a huge and profound fear in Peruvian society. Wang Youming, director of the Institute of Developing Countries at the China Institute of International Studies, pointed out that Guzman and the Shining Path organization he founded are the product of the intensification of political, economic and social contradictions in Peru, as well as the product of Peru’s political alienation. The essence of the so-called violent revolution is violent terrorism.
  In the 1990s, Peru’s Japanese-American President Kenya Fujimori not only saved the Peruvian economy from the brink of collapse, but also arrested Guzman on September 12, 1992. The heroic image he established thus enabled him to successfully amend the constitution for re-election. Subsequent Latin American presidents—from Chavez in Venezuela to Zelaya in Honduras to Morales in Bolivia—have used Fujimori’s re-election as an example, trying to move toward a sustainable path to power. This may have been unexpected by Guzman.
  Peru’s neighbor Chile, there were seven presidential candidates in the November 21 general election, and the two with the most votes were Jose Antonio Castor of the far-right alliance “Social Christian Front” and the opposition alliance “Yes”. Dignity” Gabriel Borrick, who won 27.9% and 25.8% of the vote, will enter the second round of elections on December 19.
  The clues of Chile’s general election can be seen in the election of representatives to the Constituent Assembly in May 2021. The Chilean Constituent Assembly is the first institution in the world with equal representation of men and women and the presence of indigenous peoples. 138 of its 155 members are directly elected by voters, and the remaining 17 are directly elected by indigenous voters. In the election results, the ruling right-wing coalition’s “Forward Chile” won only 37 seats, the former center-left ruling coalition barely won 25 seats, and the independents and the left-wing coalition performed unexpectedly, winning 65 and 28 seats respectively. Become “a clear stream” in the electoral field.
  Facing electoral setbacks, President Pinera acknowledged that “we are not aligned with the demands and aspirations of the people and we are being challenged by new expressions and leadership styles”.
From “Back Balcony” to “Front Entrance”

  In the aspect of foreign relations in Latin America, Carlos Escud, who was 72 years old, published Peripheral Realism in 1992, and put forward a new theory of international relations with citizens as the center and economic development as the goal, pointing out that Argentina and the United States Long-term confrontation is a strategic mistake. Because he served as an adviser to the foreign ministry in the 1990s, Ditra, the foreign minister under Carlos Menan, was influenced by him to propose a foreign policy of “physical relations” with the United States. In recent years, due to the increasingly close relationship between Argentina and China, “peripheral realism” and its derived “physical relationship” theory have once again sparked discussions.
The “peasant president” Castillo also sternly condemned Guzman for “taking countless lives”, emphasizing that Peru is a democratic country that resolutely fights against terrorism. Ironically, his Prime Minister Belidore and Labour Minister Malawi were both accused of taking the “shining path” years ago.

  For the United States, the immediate urgency of Latin American affairs is the illegal immigration of Central American North Triangle countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras) to the United States, which has caused problems such as drug trafficking and the proliferation of weapons. Therefore, in early June 2021, US Secretary of State Blinken and Vice President Harris will each have a trip to Central America.
  The Financial Times called the crises in Cuba and Haiti “uninvited guests” on Biden’s foreign policy to-do list. On April 19, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected leader of the Cuban Communist Party, replacing 89-year-old Raul Castro. The Castro era in Cuba came to an elaborate end, but a severe economic recession led to the largest protests in decades in Cuba in July, sparking solidarity in U.S. political circles. “We stand with the Cuban people and support their call for freedom,” Biden said. Later, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against the Cuban defense minister and the “black beret.”
  In early August, US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan visited Brazil and Argentina. The choice of the two major South American countries certainly has regional significance beyond the bilateral relationship, but Uruguay, a small country between the two countries, may become a new fulcrum in China’s geostrategy.
  Uruguayan President Lacalle revealed in early September that he was studying a trade deal with China and would submit it by the end of the year. Delgado, an adviser to the Uruguayan government, said Uruguay’s goal is to become China’s “gateway to the Mercosur” and that “this is the ultimate goal, and perhaps the most important goal.” The Chinese side is pleased to see Uruguay, as a potentially important node of the Belt and Road Initiative facing the South Atlantic, achieve a magnificent turn from the “back balcony” of Latin America to the “front door”.
  Another event that demonstrates China’s influence is the official apology issued by Mexican President Lopez on May 17, 2021 for the massacre of 303 Chinese in Torreón by the Revolutionary Army in 1911. Lopez mentioned that Chinese people were dismembered during the massacre, and their bodies were even hung from telephone poles. He believes that discrimination was introduced into Mexico because of “the most vicious and offensive stereotypes”, and stressed the need to ensure that similar incidents will never happen again. He also thanked China for its assistance to Mexico in fighting the new crown epidemic.
  On September 16, President Lopez presided over the Independence Day event and faced the Cuban President and the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico who were invited to attend, calling on the United States to end the embargo against Cuba, because “no government has the right to make other peoples and countries bow their heads.” Compared with publicly challenging the United States, the Mexican president apologized to the Chinese, which can be regarded as China’s enjoyment of the achievements of its diplomacy in Latin America.

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