Right and left
Dutch journalist Jan-Albert Hootsen on Latin American politics:
One of the reasons I am so fascinated by Latin America is its politics: the left and the right are still, from an ideological point of view, ´traditional´ and not nearly as opaque and blurry as they are in the United States or Europe.
Politicians can be very ´classic´ in this region of the world. There are filthy rich, cynical right-wing hawks such as Álvaro Noboa, hardline militarists such as Otto Pérez Molina, socialist firebrands such as Hugo Chávez and their archaic overminds in the Castro brothers, classic neocons such as Felipe Calderón or leftist-liberal brainiacas such as Michelle Bachelet and Tabaré Vázquez. They are poster childs of their respective movements and far easier to define than many of their European equivalents, with the notable exception of the peronists, who reamain as inexplicable as they have always been.
One question I´ve been asking myself lately is: what constitutes the ‘real left´ in Latin American politics? Is it the confrontational, rebellious and nationalist branch championed by Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa? The archaic dogmas of Castro´s Cuba? Or is it the more intellectual and moderate variety of Chile, Brazil and Uruguay? And is the kirchnerist branch of peronism even leftist at all?
What you can certainly say about Latin America, is that it proves Francis Fukuyama wrong: the left is energetic and vibrant in this part of the world, and there certainly is an alternative to neoliberalism and free market capitalism.