What kind of governments does Latin America need?

What kind of governments does Latin America need?
Credit: UNAM

Latin America is experiencing a boom in anti-politics; that is, traditional parties are in crisis, together with the loss of credibility of institutions, considered the director of the Center for Global Thought of the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Edgar Vieira Posada.

For the specialist, this area is running out of governance, without institutions, nobody believes in anything, which is why social protests are easily generated. It cannot be expected in our countries that caudillismo or hyper-presidentialism will take them forward.

Participating in the webinar "Latin America 2023. A new leftist cycle and the responses of the right. The arrival of Gustavo Petro to power in Colombia and the situation in Venezuela", the also Ph.D. in Latin American Societies Studies from the Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III University, pointed out:

"They only want to make their personal appropriation figure in each of the issues, it is serious that only right or left, why not center, why not non-polarizing political positions?".

In the seminar organized by UNAM's Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CIALC) -moderated by UNAM researcher José Briceño Ruiz-, academics from higher education institutions in Colombia and Venezuela analyzed the situation in these nations.

According to Beethoven Herrera Valencia, professor emeritus of the Universidad Externado de Colombia in Bogota and professor emeritus of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, his country is atypical, since for a century it has had "monetary stability, but maintains great inequality and poverty persists; what President Gustavo Petro proposes with his tax reform, as well as his policy towards the elderly and free education for young people, is a great and necessary challenge".

However, the president only has 20 out of 105 senators with similar views, and it is "absolutely impossible by arithmetic" for any reform to pass through his own votes, so he initiated a message of conciliation and even met with leaders of other political factions, he added.

On issues such as drug trafficking and peace, he has said that the fight against narcotics is lost, as he recently stated at the UN. "Colombia has paid a huge price for it, and consumption in the United States and Europe continues and nothing happens".

Meanwhile, Alejandro Gutiérrez of the Universidad de los Andes Venezuela, exposed that the majority of the inhabitants of his country "have an aversion to politicians, and this complicates the road to a return to democracy."

For example, he said, in the polls that are formulated on what would be the option for someone to govern the country, "None" obtained 51 percent.

"The opposition not only failed in its intention to remove President Nicolás Maduro from power, together with its international allies, but it is also very fragmented, very divided, and also enjoys the rejection of the population," he explained.

In addition, the territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine changed world geopolitics. Venezuela has 30 billion barrels of oil certified in the subsoil, which require investment to be extracted, and the West needs fossil energy.

"The United States has been softening its stance towards Nicolás Maduro because it requires oil with its NATO allies. Joe Biden has turned around and there are direct negotiations between Maduro and the United States", he said.

In turn, Claudio Briceño Monzón, also from the Universidad de los Andes Venezuela, recalled that the mismanagement of oil revenues and the global drop in crude oil prices resulted in the current financial situation of his country, which the common citizen suffers the most.

For example, allegedly here it takes 16.22 dollars (just over 300 pesos) a day to live, and a tenured professor with degrees gets only 40 dollars a month (approximately 800 pesos); in addition, crime increased, power outages continue, in 2015 migration was 24 percent and in 2019 we reached 82 percent, he concluded.