Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — When Latin America’s bloody military dictatorships became unsustainable, US imperialism opted to replace them with neo-liberal democratic governments that would ensure Washington’s continued influence in the region. As a result of the failure of neo-liberalism and the worsening of living conditions in these countries, left-wing, progressive or nationalist parties have come to power in most Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Faced with successive defeats at the ballot boxes, the Right has devised a new kind of coup d’état: the so-called “soft” or “parliamentary” coup, a maneuver aimed at placing a civilian government in power that will restore neo-liberal policies. The people, however, are becoming more and more politically aware and it is harder to fool them these days.
In Venezuela, they managed to secure the support of a small group within the military and came close to assassinating former President Chavez, but the majority within the army and revolutionaries, who took to the streets, brought their president back to power.
In Honduras, the military, at the service of the local oligarchy and US imperialism, kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya and took him to Costa Rica, where he was forbidden to return to his country on threat of death.
In Paraguay, President Fernando Lugo was the victim of a parliamentary coup on false accusations, against which he was not allowed to defend himself.
A coup was attempted in Ecuador, using the discontent among police officers as a pretext, but the courageous attitude of President Rafael Correa and the intervention of the army thwarted these plans.
I have mentioned the four most evident examples of the desperate counteroffensive being waged by the pro-imperialist Right. I could add the attempts to divide Bolivia, which also failed, and the destabilization of Venezuela through the so-called guarimbas (popular demonstrations), aimed at plunging the government of Nicolas Maduro, who was democratically elected following the death of Hugo Chavez, into a crisis.
In Venezuela’s case, after seeing their attempts at destabilizing the country fail, the Right has turned to truly fascist methods, assassinating the young Member of Parliament Robert Serra and his partner, and attempting to do the same with other government officials.
It comes as no surprise that the Latin American Right should resort to such fascist methods. It is, after all, the same Right that, for years, supported military dictatorships that used these same methods, torturing, killing and disappearing hundreds of thousands of people. That is what awaits those people who, confused by the avalanche of propaganda they are subjected to by the media, owned by the Right, vote for the candidates these media advance.
If, as the opposition, they are capable of assassinating their political rivals, what can we expect from them once in power?
The peoples of Latin America have learned their lesson: only with progressive governments have they had access to their country’s redistributed wealth, have seen poverty decrease, have received free medical attention and education and can look to a future with more hope.
Before the desperate attempts by the fascist Right to take power and manage countries like their own, personal estates, in order to become richer than they are today, people can only close ranks and join the Left and its social movements, so as to prevent the possibility of happiness being taken away from them again. This is the only way of defeating the counteroffensive being waged by the Latin American Right.