Latin America on its way to Socialism?

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Democracy is the road to socialism.

-Karl Marx –

A new era

As my last posts indicated, Latin America is a vivid region with dramatic changes happening. While I focused on politics and its energy situation in my last posts, I would now like to discuss the economic orientation and especially its future development.

The Maya calender predicts a global “change in the nature of consciousness” for the 21st of December 2012, and indeed the world, or at least Latin America, is facing interesting times of change. The Calender in facts is symbolic for Latin Americans as one can observe in Bolivia.

In a symbolic rejection of US capitalism, Bolivia announced it will expel the Coca-Cola Company from the country at the end of the Mayan calendar. The Government states, that this will mark the end of capitalism and usher in a new era of equality. Last year, Bolivia became the second Latin American country not to have a single McDonald’s. The fast food giant finally gave up on Bolivia after being unable to turn a profit in the country for over a decade.

But are these just single, meaningless actions or actually symptoms of a radical change happening in Latin America? To understand that, one has to observe the region on a broader perspective.

Socialism in Latin America

In my previous posts I already discussed Latin Americas jump away from democracy towards other systems. In the same way economy is changing in several countries.

  • The Cuban state adheres to socialist principles in organizing its largely state-controlled planned economy.
  • At the recent re-election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Chavez announced the “socialism of the 21st Century” would be realized during his mandate in Venezuela.
  • Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, already started a cultural revolution, as he, the leader of the “Movement for Socialism” was elected to be the first indigenous president of this country, which inhabits a majority of indigenous people. Quickly he also managed to negotiate the contracts for the exploitation of gas fields in favor of his new country.
  • Recently the left presidential candidate Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua won the presidential elections. Both announced, that politically and economically they wanted to be closely orientated on Venezuela and Bolivia by leading their countries to socialism.
  • Even Brazil, Argentina and recently Chile are currently being discussed in the media, to represent countries with left-wing governments. That is leading the media talk towards speculations of a general shift of the continent.

End of Capitalism?

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In my post about the Resource Based Economy, I already made a clear statement about what is wrong in our current economy. Inequality and other social problems are not just a “third world country” problem but rather affecting all states including leading economies like the US.

Occupy Wall Street,  The Venus Project and other Post-capitalism organizations might in fact be the indicator of the predicted “change in the nature of consciousness“. People finally start to realize that our current systems are not working out at all.

There will be more posts offering alternatives to capitalism like the Resource Based Economy and discussing Latin Americas situation. For now I would like to leave it open for discussions. Feel free to leave a comment. How are you interpreting the changes happening in Latin America? could the Mayas have been right all along?

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