Governments considered “left-wing”

Jul 19, 2023 | Articles, Publications |

The report written by Paula Ballesteros analyses left-wing governments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The main objective of the report is to examine the particular characteristics of each country and explore the similarities and differences between left-wing governments in the region.

According to the author, left-wing governments in the region share several commonalities in their political and social approach. One of the main characteristics is their interest in implementing social programmes with the aim of improving the quality of life of citizens. These programmes seek to reduce economic, gender, ethnic and racial inequalities, and promote the inclusion of diverse identities and groups in society.

In addition, left governments emphasise respect for sovereignty, democratic values and human rights. They consider it important to safeguard institutions and defend them from constant attacks by the opposition, which is generally composed of right-wing political forces. This institutional defence becomes even more relevant given the high degree of polarisation in the region.

In terms of Latin American integration, most of these governments agree on the need to generate common strategies to address the challenges facing the region. Although there may be differences in the types and organisms of integration preferred in each case, there is a general consensus on the importance of working together to overcome common problems.

It is notable that many of the left governments of recent years have emerged from movements made up of organisations and representatives of minorities and dissidents. This reflects a trend towards inclusion and representation of groups that have historically been marginalised or excluded from political decision-making.

An additional point of commonality between these governments is their confrontation with “lawfare” or political warfare through the judicial system. In many cases, the instrumentalisation of judicial institutions has been used to manipulate the democratic process and persecute left-wing political leaders. Notable examples are the cases of Lula Da Silva in Brazil, as well as trials in Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela.

The cases of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba merit special analysis due to the different opinions they generate in the region and the international community. These countries face criticism for violations of human rights and democratic rule, while other neighbouring countries and some international actors support them for their commitment to the defence of minority rights and their social programmes.

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