Reprinted from Investig-ActionAfter the lost decades of the 1980s and 1990s that saw Latin America falling into extreme poverty, mass unemployment and the explosion of public debt, the continent has since raised its head and has become an ambitious laboratory experiment for new social and economic policies. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina " austerity cures imposed on some countries in the region by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have been abandoned in favor of stimulus policies where the state has taken up a key role in managing the economy.
While some Latin American countries regain their dignity and sovereignty, in Europe, it is the opposite : austerity has wreaked havoc. Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece " no country is spared. While the GDP is collapsing, poverty, unemployment, and exploding debt continue to increase. The anti-social austerity policies have provoked popular uprisings that have shaken the powers that be. The parties of the radical left, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain (who say they want to follow the directions taken by Ecuador or Argentina about the burden of debt), are leading in the polls and producing alarm in Brussels and the financial markets. In addition, there are countless associations, unions, political parties and alternative media in Europe who are applauding the Latin American success. There is a new euphoria in the European radical left, which contrasts with the vision of reactionaries, grotesque, crude and misleading, wanting to ensure that things do not change.
But lately, things have started to reverse with regard to Europe's economic attractiveness. While there are still some Latin Americans trying to reach Europe to better their social and economic conditions, the situation has changed in recent years. The political changes that occurred in many countries of the Bolivarian continent slowed the mass exodus that characterized the years 1980-1990 and early 2000. The innovative economic and social policies driven by some countries of the region in order to bring their people a more dignified life have prompted many people to stay in their country rather than emigrate. Especially now that the story has turned around and today it is Europe that suffers austerity policies. The high levels of unemployment experienced by Spain and Portugal have made ""those countries less attractive. The Europe that once dominated and had been so contemptuous of its former colonies is now sick and now longer inspires. The situation is so dramatic that many Latin American citizens, including Argentinians, who emigrated in the early 2000s to escape the terrible economic situation have decided to return home.
History is being reversed slowly but surely. Thus, the devastation caused by austerity policies in Europe coupled with the fabulous success of social policies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador as well as the considerable weight of emerging countries such as Brazil have enabled Latin America to attract sympathy and admiration of those in Europe who are fighting for an alternative economic system and a multipolar world in which each country would play its partition so equal in the community of free nations. Of course they are not trying to copy or emulate the Latin American experience in Europe, but they are inspired and follow the example of countries are achieving significant growth rates, a significant decline in their debt, a dramatic decrease in poverty, and in Venezuela and Bolivia the outright elimination of illiteracy.
Latin America, a threat to the dominant ideology
The least we can say is that the transformations that have taken place in Latin America have not been emulated across the Atlantic. Although the European radical left has praised Latin American transformations, the major parties of the European governments and the media have engaged in a continuous war against the rebellious Presidents of the subcontinent.
Beginning with Venezuela and then followed by other countries that have started to stand up to the Western imperialist powers and multinationals, these countries have become recurrent targets of the European mainstream media. Le Monde, Liberation, El Pais, La Repubblica etc., all these powerful media in the hands of wealthy businessmen did everything to give a disastrous image of the new experiences that mark Latin America. Journalistic ethics was dropped to make room for invective, lies and vile caricatures. The media were professionals at propaganda, trying everything they could to give a negative image of the Presidents Chavez, Morales, Correa " Often they have purposely ignored successes in economic and social policy of the countries concerned, preferring to treat their presidents as "dictators" or "populist". At the same time, the imperialist powers have strongly supported the fascist opposition, first to President Chavez and now to his successor, Nicolas Maduro.
The same thing happens in other countries, with the North American financial support for the Bolivian or Ecuadorian oligarchy for example. We now know the fundamental role played by Western governments, including Washington, to destroy the socialist wave that is sweeping the continent of Bolivar. Why do they attack democratic and sovereign countries ? Why are there so many media lies ? This distrust of Western nations to what is happening in Latin America is due to the fear aroused by regional and international contagion of Latin American revolutions. The masters of the world economy tremble in the face of a possible "domino theory." Of course such a change is still far away, but the violence with which the media and the Western powers attack certain Latin American nations speaks volumes about the danger they pose to the global economic and geopolitical order. After the disappearance of the USSR, the United States had become the masters of the world and could act with full impunity. The neoliberal economy was imposed everywhere and the "end of history" was declared. But the awakening of the peoples of Latin America came as a shock a system that believed itself to be all powerful and immune to revolts. The experimental attempts in alternative economic systems to overcome capitalism and the rise of emerging powers have given Latin America a new status and a new will in the world. Now, the continent has its say and is no longer submissive, at least in some countries, to the imperialism and neocolonialism of the United States and European Union. The continent struggles day after day to ensure its economic independence, its "true and final second independence" as the commander Chavez proclaimed.
The road is still very long and the fight against internal and external enemies will not happen without damage. The contradictions inherent in the process of change that affects the continent constitute major challenges for the future.
Difficulties, contradictions and challenges remain on the agenda. In this sense, if we want to help the process of change, if we want the revolution of the Latin American peoples to deepen and radicalize and to overcome not just the neoliberal system but the entire capitalist system, it is necessary take on these challenges and to take ownership of them.
Today, considering the desperate situation in Europe, we tend to idealize the Latin American process of integration. Yet the difficulties and contradictions inherent in the process do exist. They are natural and suitable for any process of social change. The countries of Our America more than ever need our solidarity and to be regarded as equals. A friendly attitude would therefore be to point out the risks and challenges that exist without the paternalism and arrogance so characteristic of the European colonial past. We need to facilitate conditions for the deepening of policies for the transition to a new post-capitalist paradigm to the Latin American socialism of the 21st century. The historical responsibility of the European Left should be that of interpreting what is the need of concrete solidarity at every moment, in a world dominated by misinformation and propaganda that grows every day before our eyes. Our goal is simple : to show the world a revolution in Latin America is working. Yes, it is a revolution that is abnormal and sometimes inconsistent, but still it is a revolution that seeks to upset the economic and political order that destroyed their continent. It is a revolution that represents hope and an alternative for all the South, a revolution that is currently contributing to widespread social progress. In this period of systemic crisis of global capitalism, Latin American social policies should inspire other parts of the troubled world, including Europe and North America, to overcome austerity, insecurity and social degradation. So yes, to acknowledge the challenges and contradictions of this process is a fundamental duty for all of us. We need to understand the features and thus be able to argue, demonstrate, in support of a solid foundation and knowledge, that yes, an alternative is possible, yes, the struggle against imperialism and neoliberal havoc is on, to build a world of peace and social justice. As we saw earlier, the situation and the socio-economic conditions in the countries affected by this process have certainly improved. Important political reforms have emerged in most of these countries, promoting increased participation of the population (including indigenous people) previously excluded from the life and political action, and now possessing a "political consciousness", enabling them to have a major impact. Promoting interculturalism and plurinationality were also a reality, as evidenced by the introduction of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and its new Constitution