In the final edition of “De cara al mundo” in Onda Madrid, we have the participation of Rogelio Núñez, researcher at the Real Instituto Elcano and doctor of contemporary Latin American history from the Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, giving us the keys to the proliferation of left -wing Latin American governments.
Do the military maneuvers of Russia, China and Iran in the Latin American countries mean that they sided with this era of confrontation with the United States in the European Union?
Obviously yes, because they are with countries that are directly at war with the United States, such as Nicaragua and Venezuela. We have to recognize that the United States and Venezuela are in the process of making a series of very interesting rapprochements, because they can break with the dynamics that have followed so far, everything is very changeable and quickly evaporating, in Latin America and the world. In the same way, it is a question of actions with a high level of symbolism.
Can we imagine that in recent years there has been a concerted strategy prepared by someone to bring the left to power in these countries? Of course, every country has its peculiarities, but in recent months we have been talking about Peru, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, we will see what will happen in Brazil … Is there a strategy orchestrated by a people, through social networks and street conflicts, to change these governments?
I assure you that not, obviously there are groups that are more in the networks and that seek to have more or less influence, but what happened in Latin America, that I don’t qualify as a shift to the left, is this so there are many and different ones, sometimes even incompatible. What we have seen in Latin America for almost 10 years is a permanent state of “satiety”, and this turmoil is focused at the ballot box against those in power. Ten years ago it was important to vote against left-wing governments and there was time for the arrival of right-wing leaders with different conditions such as Bolsonaro, Piñera, Kuczynski, and others. …. because these governments have not produced good results, this anger, which is growing, is directed at those in power, who are currently the right and the center-right. This is why so different and so changing the left reigns. There is no conspiracy behind these developments, but even more growing unrest among citizens.
What we observed in Madrid was that many businessmen from these countries took refuge in Spain …
It is true that the situation is marked above all by great instability and a lot of uncertainty. To be a little optimistic, even if the region is in a more complicated situation, we need to recognize that the Boric and Petro governments are sending signals of calm to the economic and social right. Currently, they are appointing orthodox finance ministers, they are appointing a series of ministers in other areas who follow a more reformist line than the left. Actions are plausible, but the fact is that in addition to very widespread coalitions, which also include the most radical sectors, the situation is very complicated.
Maybe the political parties, left and right, will resort to populism and demagoguery because the citizens are not happy …
You have made a very good analysis, I want to qualify a point about the problems faced by the political parties in Latin America. Political parties are almost powdered in every country, look at the fact that in the last election in Colombia, Rodolfo Hernández was not even a political party and did not even campaign, he did everything through Tiktok and social networks. However, Petro is the leader of a large coalition of small social forces, some of which are parties, but actually have few roots. There are no political parties and this is a big problem because this is what Western, liberal democracies, parties are based on.
What is Iran looking for in Latin America or, conversely, is Venezuela looking for Iran?
It was clearly a marriage of ease between two countries that were ideologically unrelated to each other but against the United States, and there they found themselves. The two countries are also separated and this is another meeting point, because they need each other and this is an old relationship that started in the time of Hugo Chávez. On the other hand, the oil cause clearly binds them together, but as I said, it’s a marriage of ease between two “international puers”.
As far as Spain, its political weight a few years ago has unfortunately declined, Spanish companies continue to bet and invest in Latin America, but should it regain greater weight and presence in Latin America?
Politically, Spain has lost a lot of weight in the region, but it is true that, from a commercial, social and cultural point of view, it remains a major power. I want to remind you that the time when Spain invested in Latin America is over, we continue to invest in Latin America, but it is also Latin America that invests the most in Spain. Obviously, I wouldn’t reveal anything to readers if I said that Spain has been going through a multifaceted crisis for many years and if you’re weak at home it’s hard to be strong abroad. For many years Spain had many difficulties in forming a government and this fact, compounded by economic crises, meant that we were losing power outside our borders. In addition, Spain has little and little to offer Latin America because it has to find its role regionally, politically, and I believe Spain has yet to see what it can do in Latin America.
Are you surprised that in recent years the United States has not been concerned, at least as in the past, of having its own field, which is Latin America?
Yes, it’s a bit of a surprise, but the recent Summit of the Americas shows once again how limited and narrow America’s agenda is. I understand that the Biden administration is concerned about the issue of immigration, from a human point of view and from the perspective of homeland security, more of a concern, but betting everyone on immigration policy is a mistake. . What immigration policy sends us is a message that there are serious structural problems in Latin American countries that are pushing citizens of these countries to migrate. Until these structural problems are resolved, everything to be done about immigration policy can only be rectified.