Bolsonaro: Will his victory stop the 'pink tide'?

Jair Bolsonaro comes to power in one of the most influential countries in the region to stop the political left in Latin America

Bolsonaro: Is his victory what it takes to stop the 'pink tide'?

Jair Bolsonaro represents the radical right and is the new president of Brazil, the eighth largest economy in the world and one of the most influential countries in Latin America.

Leer en español: Bolsonaro: ¿Es su victoria el freno a la marea rosa que tanto promovió la izquierda?

The arrival of a former soldier after the rejection by the Brazilians to the Workers' Party (PT) and the last 10 years of corruption puts a brake on what we know as the 'pink tide'. This term coined by a New York Times reporter refers to the presence and influence of the political left in Latin America.

It began with Hugo Chávez in 1999 and expanded throughout the region during the governments of Lula Da Silva, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales and, others, both left and center-left.

The left came to power in Latin America through the progressive groups that took power from the revolutionary feeling. They relied on the popular discontent of what they called 'neoliberalism' and created a battle against foreign assets to put privatization aside.

They were called 'pink tide' because in practice they were not as communist as they established in their theory. Some political analyzes ended up calling these governments as "left neoliberalism" and that, although the lower class and workers had great benefits, these political leaders continued to create social inequalities, accumulation of power in elites and taking advantage of patronage and income to exist.

Certainly, the political left was not able to reduce those inequalities and complaints that came from neoliberalism, but there was no right-wing alternative that was politically attractive for the region. However, in recent years the new right began to arrive in South America with emblematic cases such as the victory of Mauricio Macri in Argentina, the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, the triumph of Sebastián Piñera in Chile and now the arrival of Jair Bolsonaro to the legislative branch in Brazil.

This translates into political, diplomatic and economic isolation for those who still maintain a leftist policy in Latin America and that is not only won through the ballot box. These remaining left governments have done indoctrination work for their permanence over time. Therefore, the influence of the situation in Venezuela generates a great political change and a total rejection towards the left throughout the region.

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The new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, is a right-wing conservative with somewhat controversial political proposals for Brazilians but representing a major strategic advance for Latin America. "Bolsonaro can be the Duterte of Latin America," said Steven Levitsky, a government professor at Harvard University, an expert on authoritarianism and democratization in Latin America for the BBC, referring to the Philippine politician known for the violation of human rights in his battle against drugs

It is similar to the scenario that was experienced in the United States with the election of Donald Trump and the political growth that the right has had in the United Kingdom through Brexit. What is the great difference between these cases to those that occur in the region? Justice remains a delicate and easy subject to corrupt in Latin America.

The first statements of Bolsonaro as president were "I will govern next to the Constitution" and it is a clear message for a Brazil whose domestic conditions needed a political change. Beyond their ideas, the challenge is that they work hand in hand with the institutions because the success of their policy is this fundamental moment to end the influence of the 'pink tide' in Latin America.



LatinAmerican Post | Diana Ramos

Translated from: 'Bolsonaro: ¿Es su victoria el freno a la marea rosa que tanto promovió la izquierda?'

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