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The Whole Of Latin America Is Red Again, Is There A ‘Second Pink Tide’?: Latin America’s second ‘pink tide’: The victory of Brazilian leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is seen by many as confirming the resurgence of the left. Many say it is the ‘second pink tide’ in Latin America. Is it really so? Is Latin America moving to the ‘left’ again?

Lula’s victory is seen as confirming the resurgence of the left in Latin America

On Sunday (October 30), leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won Brazil’s presidential election against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. With Lula’s victory, many believe that the resurgence of the left in Latin America is confirmed. Indeed, from Mexico in the north to Chile in the south, the region’s political map looks like the zero decade of the 21st century again. At that time, almost the whole of Latin America trusted the left. Which is called ‘pink tide’ or ‘pink tide’. After Lula’s victory, many are calling it the ‘second pink tide’. Is it really so? Is Latin America moving to the ‘left’ again?

‘Pink Tide’

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the democratic countries of Latin America began to move away from neoliberal economies and towards the left. It can be said that the left and moderate left political waves were formed all over the continent. Its clothing name is ‘Pink Tide’. Which was led by the former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. He was elected president in 1998. Chavez, Brazil’s Lula and Bolivia’s Evo Morales are called the ‘Three Musketeers’ of the pink tide. According to economists, the market economy was in decline all over the world at that time. That is why Latin Americans turned away from the path of liberal economics. At the same time the Left was also increasingly leaning towards democratic processes. Leftist policies such as economic growth, subsidies and social welfare services gained enormous popularity.

Leaders of the Pink Tide

As mentioned earlier, Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998. Lula was elected in Brazil in 2003. Evo Morales in Bolivia in 2006. Ricardo Lagos in Chile in 2000, Nestor Kirchner in Argentina in 2003, Rafael Correa in Ecuador in 2007, Tabare Vasquez in Uruguay in 2005 – almost the entire map of Latin America turned red. There were differences between these leaders. Chávez differed from Lula in his approach to market economy. But each succeeded in improving the standard of living of the people of their respective countries. During Lula’s first term, 30 million people in Brazil rose above the poverty line. There was a constant effort by governments to combat social inequality. Economically there was also great progress.

tide pull

However, the following decade saw an ebb and flow in this pink tide movement. Commodity prices fell in the first decade of the 21st century. Which pushed export-dependent Latin America to near ruin. At the same time the left-wing governments of the pink tide failed to sustain welfare policies. Because savings were gradually decreasing, spending was excessive. As a result, fans were left with frustration. Which triggered massive reactionary changes in the political sphere. Leftist governments began to be rejected one by one. Chavez’s death in 2013 created a leadership crisis.

Conservative wave

Latin America’s turn to the left became even more evident in 2015. Leftist candidate Daniel Cioli was defeated by center-right Mauricio Macri in Argentina’s elections that year. Subsequently, Brazilian President and Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, was found incompetent and removed from office. In 2017, Rafael Correa’s successor and vice-president Lenin Moreno won by a narrow margin in Ecuador. After the election, however, he ‘betrayed’ Correa and trusted the right wing. And the victory of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s elections in 2018 was seen as the final nail in the coffin of the pink tide in Latin America.

Second pink tide?

But the wheel of history is turning again. In Argentina’s 2019 presidential election, moderate-left candidate Alberto Fernandez ousted right-wing candidate Mauricio Macri, favored by corporates. In October 2020, leftist Luis RK won the Bolivian presidential election. Leftist teacher leader Pedro Casillo won Peru’s presidential election last year. In March of this year, former leftist student leader Gabriel Boric became the youngest president in the history of Chile. And Gustavo Petro became the first left-wing president in the history of Colombia. So did a second pink tide really come to Latin America?

‘Rejectionist’ wave

It may seem that the map of Latin America is red again, this continent is leaning to the ‘left’ again. But, according to analysts, the trend this time is different. The tide in Latin America this time to the left is not ideological, but a ‘rejectionist’ wave. According to political analysts, the entire world-economy is now in crisis. The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the problem of poverty and social inequality. Most of the voters are facing economic problems. Ordinary people feel that they have been ignored and insulted by the ruling governments around the world. And so people are looking for alternatives. It is this search for alternatives that has pushed Latin America to the ‘left’. The whole of Latin America is hoping to save the right by bringing in the left. But, if this new generation of left leaders fails to live up to their expectations, people will not hesitate to throw them out in the next elections. International affairs experts think so.


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