Radical Populism in Latin America with a keynote address by Francis Fukuyama, followed by a panel featuring Jorge Gestoso, Anibal Romero and Julio Cirino.
Latin American populism has now taken a radical turn. To analyze the roots of this phenomena, and its staying power, Hudson Institute's Center for Latin American Studies, in conjunction with the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, hosted a conference with leading experts in the field. How are leaders of the radical brand, namely Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, coining the populist image and using it to their advantage? Could this resurgent populism be replicated elsewhere in Latin America? Is there a distinctly Latin response to the challenge of populism?- Hudson Institute
Julio Cirino is a historian, journalist, blogger, and Director for International Relations with the Fundacion Pensar in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has published numerous articles and books on Latin American politics, international relations, and security affairs.
Dr. Francis Fukuyama
Professor Francis Fukuyama has worked at several prominent think tanks and public policy organizations, he has served the U.S. Department of State in posts related to Middle East affairs, and is a 2002 appointee to the President's Council on Bioethics.
Until 2010 Francis Fukuyama wass Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Director of its International Development Program. He is now Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow and resident in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
He is the author of The End of History and the Last Man.
Jorge Gestoso is an award winning journalist, President of Gestoso Television News, and former Chief Latin American anchor for CNN.
Anibal Romero is a professor of political theory at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela, has published various books and articles on Venezuelan politics and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Luis Rubio is the president of the Center of Research for Development in Mexico City, is a prolific writer on Mexico as well as Latin American economies. Rubio has served as a fellow on the CSIS Mexico and Americas Program and as an adviser to Mexico's Secretary of the Treasury.
I particularly liked Mr. Fukuyama's discourse as he was the only panelist to mention real causes of the current LA political situation; poverty and inequality. People are tired of it, they are tired of being poor, they are tired of being marginalized in their own country, and the are tired of being discriminated against.
70% of the people in most LA countries do not resemble the people who govern them. Their governments have looked like your panel and seated guests ... there is the biggest problem. Representation. It is only now that there are two non-white Presidents ... in centuries.
Populism, Radical Populism is the reason the USA is what it is today. It is the reason France is what it is. How soon we all forget. It is an idea. One of the seated guests, the lady with the British accent, asked about how this can be countered. Immediately I thought to myself, I'm certain the King of England asked himself the same thing in the 1770's.
Also mentioned was the economic situation. Indeed most people in these countries are poor, most living off the equivalent of 2-3 US dollars a day. Yet, there are also billionaires and millionaires in countries. How did this get to be?
Destabilization. Absolutely this is a problem. Stop some of that foreign backed toppling of elected persons and maybe there will be a little more stability. Pinochet? Sure he helped with the infrastructure while at the same time he busied himself with murdering opponents. For this very reason the US is hated in LA and I dare say other parts of the world.
On Chavez. I think he is popular because he acknowledges the existence of the poor. A majority in Venezuela. Morales, he is popular for the same reason, acknowledging the existence of the forgotten. Correa, same thing. Yes, this would make them anti-US. In LA the US is seen as not exporting Democracy but exporting Capitalism ... something which is thought to exploit the poor.
Interesting panel, it was an eye opener to listen to your opinions on LA. I think the way of thinking is too different for there to be an understanding by the West. Trying to push Western thought has not worked. There is a disconnect.
In order to change anything in this world, you HAVE to understand how people think. After that, you can get on with economic situations, etc.