September 5, 2016


South America has had enough of socialism (Deutsche Welle, 9/05/16)

When Hugo Chavez died on March 5, 2013, all twelve South American states - with the exception of Colombia and Paraguay - were ruled by socialists or social democrats. Now, three and half years later, after 18 years of socialism, the country is ruined. Child hunger has reached its highest level since the early 1980s and the political climate is marked by threats, spying and violence against dissidents.

Venezuela is an extreme example. At the same time, the mood in other South American countries has darkened as purchasing power is diminishing and people are looking for the culprit of the downturn. What peopled overlooked in euphoric times was the fact that many economies were based on the export of raw materials. In return, Latinos imported branded goods from the USA and cheap manufactured products from China. Finances dried up when the price of commodities fell and unfavorable exchange rates had the price of imported goods soaring.

Since the crash, leftist parties in South America have only managed to achieve narrow majorities at best. Of course many leaders try to brush off the blame for the crisis. But South Americans do not only blame the crisis on the promises made by leftist politicians. People are also disappointed because the champions of the average person are no less corrupt than the old elites.

The same holds true for Brazil's Workers' Party, PT. Their decline began before the crisis was tangible in people's wallets. In the Menselao scandal, high-ranking party members were tried and sentenced to years of imprisonment for buying votes in parliament; the revelations irrevocably shook the people's faith in the ruling party. Dilma Rousseff herself had nothing to do with it, yet as a supervisory board member of Petrobras, she obviously had turned a blind eye to the mass filling of key positions by PT officials. Now, the partially state-held oil company has become the hub of the next historic corruption scandal in Brazil.

The fact that Rousseff has been ousted from office on obviously unproven allegations of having tinkered with the stated budget to achieve her reelection shows how strong her political opponents have become. The fact that the majority of now highly politicized Brazilians supports - or at least, tolerates - the impeachment shows that they have awakened from the socialist dream of a just world.

Posted by at September 5, 2016 12:14 PM