Chavez Was The Left’s Fullback

11 Mar

Chavez and Mr. DangerAs American attention shifts for a brief media second to Venezuela, it’s Latin America’s time to take a bow on the world stage.

Firstly, there’s the intersection of growth and social equity that is so different than the austerity that characterizes Europe’s and America’s response to the 2008 banking crisis.

Secondly, Latin American grievances against North American arrogance are deep, and the interests that are derived from those resentments are not merely rhetorical, even if problematic. Then there’s this embarrassing fact for American foreign policy about “benign neglect”..

Chris Hayes: …an amazing thing happened, this period of benign neglect happened with U.S. policy toward Latin America and either coincidentally or causally, a real transformation happened in the continent’s politics which I want to look at that which is one of the most remarkable stories in the globe in the last 10 or 15 years.

Thirdly, in this period of “benign neglect”, taxes from commodities have spurred growth in both left-and-right-oriented states and a continental consensus on equity. But, this is all still dependent on a commodity boom.

Greg Grandin: …the basic lesson just in moral terms that a government should serve to make the country more humane and the country’s resources should be put to that. There’s different ways of doing it, different context. Peru and Brazil and Venezuela, they represent different experiences. They operate in this framework that has emerged out of the ruins of the Washington Consensus that also being able to control your taxes, control your commodities so it isn’t all geared toward keeping the bond markets happy in Washington or having the U.S. single market, single source of credit. There’s been a diversification. There hasn’t been a break with the model but a diversification of credit and capital and Brazil and Venezuela have led.

Yes, North Americans can learn from Chavez and Lula.

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