Is Latin America's leftist euphoria a thing of the past? After nearly two decades since the virus of 21st-century Socialism began to metastasize in Latin America, the weariness of the populist discourse by Fidel, Hugo and the like has become palpable. The economic results of the two countries leading this block are not inspiring others to follow their lead, so the growing trend among the rest is to discreetly shift to a democratic socialist model in which the word “Communism” is almost an obscenity.
The peoples of Latin America were seduced by leaders oozing nationalism, personal ambition, anti-imperialism and confused Marxist ideas totally divorced from reality, but who took advantage of favorable circumstances, promising more bread on the table, and education and health for all.
In the end the bread on the table is increasingly scarce, and the education and health for all are not free, but rather is paid for by the workers themselves. A big scam, as Peru's Eudocio Ravines would say, and all in exchange for giving up their freedom to some purportedly enlightened messiah. Socialism really turned out to be a bad deal.
Defeated in the parliamentary elections in Venezuela, the presidential elections in Argentina and, finally, the referendum in Bolivia, the 21st-century socialists are up against the ropes and about to throw in the towel. Not to mention Cuba, which makes false claims of growth even while nervously batting its eyelashes at its historical enemies to the north. Disarray amongst the Cuban ranks is rampant. "Where are we headed?" they wonder. They have not asked me, declares the former supreme leader, today a kind of tourist destination to be visited by Popes and presidents.
Nicolás Maduro continues to increase wages, create unproductive state enterprises, and more ministries; that is, more corrupt bureaucracy. He considers these measures "radicalizing the Socialist revolution." Another Cuba? Inflation, a lack of productivity, food shortages, black markets, corruption and crime are all that really grows as a result of these measures, as the former USSR demonstrated.
In Argentina leftist movements are struggling against the measures proposed by Mauricio Macri to redress all the waste and corruption under Kirchner, as union leaders, bureaucrats, hangers-on and other classes of revolutionary-Peronist-socialist louses, the great paladins of supposedly progressive ideas, want to continue culling from the public coffers.
In Bolivia, meanwhile, it looks like Evo Morales's time is up. Despite the strong results of his administration, another election is a bit too much. Cases of corruption in his immediate circle are coming to light. It is only natural for a sense of impunity to prevail and, even if it never became a dictatorship, the echelons of power would want more and more, the institutions would end up suffering, and the citizens would cease to be so, ending up as subjects of a leader and his party. Everything achieved by the Bolivian people in recent years would end with rationing cards and corrupt leaders.
Commentators on Cuban television reveal how little they know about how the real world works, when they question the electoral systems in the countries that decide to abandon the shining path of Socialism. These commentators blame their favorites' loss of votes on right-wing campaigns, the pressure exerted by the empire, economic and media wars, international conspiracies and any other kind of silly justifications they can come up with. Finally, they confess that if the Left wants to stay in power it must put democratic mechanisms aside and follow the example of Cuba.
These ideas, characteristics of the political savagery advocated by the Cuban revolutionaries, are incompatible with these times, shaped by new computer and communications technologies. Totalitarianism, which is the proposal, has never been a solution to social problems anywhere in the world, be it right- or left-wing. Totalitarian regimes have always failed, because they run contrary to human nature. Without freedom there can be no development.
This is the main mistake of dictators, current and aspiring. If his policies are so great, and successful, then why must everything be focused on maintaining the president in power? Those who claim to represent the people do not actually believe that they are capable of not voting for them, which indicates how very arrogant they can be.