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Column 112210 Brewer

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Popular Theme of Revolution in Latin America Fizzles

By Jerry Brewer

The traditional moniker of revolution continues to be
interpreted in the violent replacing of governments, officials,
and regimes in repudiation or overthrow. Too, those
ideologies spark flames with the winds of iniquity in
denouncing a multitude of political and economic systems, as
well as some ethnicities in fanning the flames for radical
change.

The case for revolution in Latin America must revolve around
the necessities of human rights, dignity, and respect for human
life and freedoms. Education, healthcare, and a viable
economic system in which people can eat, sleep, work, and
socialize without fear from repression and out of control and
spiraling criminal violence must be the priorities of
government. That is a revolution to fight for.

Revolutions are clearly in the eyes of the beholder. To
Mexico, revolution is currently one made of radical and
pervasive change resulting in a desperate plea for safety from
the murderous drug traffickers and other organized
transnational criminals occupying their soil. A drug traffickers'
revolution fueled by many currently unknown (but suspected)
transnational players and facilitators dominates a sovereign
nation‟s day to day life and immediate future.

Cuba‟s revolution, once essentially isolated from the majority
of Latin America, was one of vehement recrimination against
the United States and democracies within the hemisphere.
Much of Fidel Castro‟s armed revolution sparked by guerrilla
movements such as the late Argentine revolutionary Che
Guevara‟s.

Cuba‟s Castro revolutionary wisdom of violence and
insurgency ultimately met with a U.S. embargo and sanctions
that last to this very day. Was it a successful interdiction?
Although Fidel and Raul Castro have shown some (but few)
concessions to attempt to persuade the U.S. to move ahead
with lifting restrictions, many U.S. officials assert that Cuba‟s
problems are not due to the sanctions and embargo, but rather
a result of “socialism and incompetence” in government. The
surprise response from Fidel Castro, who remains head of the
Communist party, suggested in September that the Cuban
economic model was no longer working.

Cuba continues to be perceived by some U.S. officials as slow
or unwilling to make significant transformative changes in
policies on human rights and freedoms. U.S. President Obama
“continues to stress a „wait and see‟ approach in which
Havana will have to earn the right to be a negotiating partner.”

Unfortunately for Latin America, the once isolated Cuban
revolution has been revived by another anti-U.S. leftist regime
in Venezuela led by President Hugo Chavez Frias and his
Bolivarian Revolution. Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua leftist
regimes were quick to follow suit with Chavez. These openly
elected socialist-styled governments remain close to Chavez
and continue to perpetuate similar philosophy and agendas.

Nicaragua recently celebrated 30 years of the Sandinista
Revolution. In 2009, El Salvador elected the first left-wing
government in its history. Although Cuba inspired the armed
Latin American Revolution and has now admitted its failure,
these leftist regimes continue to perpetuate an ideology of
revolution that does nothing to nurture a free, democratic and
united Latin America.

Last year‟s alleged coup in Honduras, in which President
Manuel Zelaya was accused of violating his nation's
Constitution by sponsoring a referendum that was ruled illegal
by the Honduran Supreme Court, brought anger by Hugo
Chavez and a movement of troops on the Nicaraguan and
Honduras border by President Daniel Ortega.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has been accused by his
older brother, Fabricio, of trying to turn his country into one
modeled after Venezuela, saying the nation is being “directed”
from Venezuela in an effort to impose “a political and fascist
model” that is widely rejected. Recently, many officials in
Venezuela‟s Bolivarian military, security and intelligence
entities have been described as actively engaged in drug
trafficking, kidnapping and money laundering.

Armed revolution in Latin America apparently has not
disappeared, but sometimes it is cleverly described in political
rhetoric. Ecuador‟s recent alleged coup attempt by police is
evidence. Recently President Chavez warned that his
“calculations and intelligence reports reveal some groups are
launching the idea of a coup around Christmas” as being
feasible. He warned the opposition that there will be no
tolerance if they try to oust him, and they will be met with a
countercoup.
Venezuelan voters, in mass numbers, turned out last
September for parliamentary elections and they achieved
impressive gains against the Chavez regime, in a form of their
own revolution at the ballot box. Perhaps Chavez saw that as
a coup.

One must wonder if there really is such a thing as a peaceful
revolution.

——————————
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International
Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered
in northern Virginia. His website is located at www.cjiausa.org
TWITTER: cjiausa