|Lula, Chavez and Kirchner in happier times|
For anyone seeking to make sense of the once promising, now precarious political situation in South America, Nikolos Kozlof's uncharacteristically substantive Huffington Post essay serves as a more than adequate starting point. It begins:
From Venezuela to Brazil to Argentina, the political left is crumbling, raising real questions about the durability of South America’s so-called “Pink Tide.” In Caracas, the future of Chávez protégé Nicolás Maduro remains unclear amidst plunging world oil prices, rampant inflation, power shortages and scarcity of basic goods. Opposition politicians have collected almost two million signatures calling for a recall referendum which could oust the president from power. In Argentina meanwhile, voters recently rejected Kirchner protégé Daniel Scioli in favor of Mauricio Macri, thus shattering the Peronist party’s lock on power. Macri disdains the foreign policy maneuverings of his predecessors, that is to say power couple Néstor and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who lined up behind Venezuela and Cuba. By contrast, Macri is seen as much more partial to the United States. ... Though certainly significant, such developments pale beside tectonic change in Brazil, which up until recently was the largest ostensibly leftist country in the wider region. There, lawmakers ousted Workers’ Party President Dilma Rousseff so as to place her on trial for alleged financial wrongdoing.While the information presented at the above link is worth knowing in and of itself, Kozlof doesn't stop with just providing a pretty good debriefing on the situation and detailing some of the disturbing implications; he spends the latter half of his article lambasting the US/UK journalistic response (such as it is) by pointing out how "the establishment press is already pouncing on the left’s failures in order to push its own wider hemispheric agenda" and, perhaps more troubling still, how there's been almost no "wider debate" on the "left circuit" over South America.
Of course, Kozlof is not one to indulge in parapolitical musing, so his commentary is free of the type of analysis that would take into account either the effects of, or the reasons for, the ongoing artificial deflation of global oil prices at the behest of The Powers That Be.
Our old pal ACD, whom old-timey Daily Dirt readers are sure to remember, recently told me in an email back-and-forth about this topic: "Thus ends nearly 20 solid years of gains for the poorest of the poor in the affected countries. Now Hillary or Trump will preside over a worldwide dismantling of said gains. Maybe Belgium and Denmark's middle class will survive. Canada's won't."
Let's hope our old pal, brainy as he's proven himself to be over the years, is wrong on this count.