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BTL:Latin American Left Continues to Win Electoral Victories

by Between the Lines' Scott Harris Monday, Dec. 11, 2006 at 6:39 AM
betweenthelines@snet.net BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut

Interview with Laura Carlson, director of the International Relations Center's America's program, conducted by Scott Harris

Latin American Left Continues to Win Electoral Victories

Interview with Laura Carlson, director of the International Relations Center's America's program, conducted by Scott Harris

Over the past five weeks, candidates of left and center-left political parties have won a string of presidential elections in Brazil, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Venezuela. The year began with the stunning electoral triumph of Evo Morales, an Indian activist and advocate for the poor in Bolivia and ended with the re-election of President Hugo Chavez to another six-year term in oil-rich Venezuela. These leaders join incumbent progressive heads of state in Argentina and Uruguay. Powerful left parties are thriving in many other Latin American nations, including Mexico, where the ongoing dispute over a July presidential election has mobilized hundreds of thousands to protest what many believe to be a tainted vote count. There, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of Democratic Revolution and his supporters have carried out a campaign of civil disobedience to underscore their contention that the election was stolen.

During what some observers describe as Latin America's "Pink Tide" revolution, the Bush administration has been unable to exert much influence to reverse the progressive trend. The White House effort to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement to the entire hemisphere in the Free Trade Area of the Americas Treaty has failed. And while President Bush unsuccessfully attempted to blackmail voters in Nicaragua to prevent the election of one-time Cold War foe Daniel Ortega, Washington and Paris together succeeded in ousting Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004. An earlier Bush administration effort to overthrow the elected government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002 was stopped by an outpouring of popular support for Chavez.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Laura Carlson, director of the International Relations Center's America's program. Reached in Mexico City, Carlson examines the economic conditions that have empowered left parties across the hemisphere and the challenges ahead for progressive governments looking to develop a set of alternative development policies outside the control of Washington's free-market orthodoxy.

Contact the International Relations Center's America's program in Mexico City by calling (505) 388-0208 or visit their website at www.Americas.irc-online.org.

Related links:

Foreign Policy in Focus at www.fpif.org

The Democracy Center at www.democracyCTR.org

Council on Hemispheric Affairs at www.coha.org

North American Congress on Latin America at www.nacla.org

International Forum on Globalization at www.ifg.org

Washington Office on Latin America at www.wola.org

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories & interviews with activists & journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national & regional political, economic & social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics & to check out our text archive listing topics & guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET & Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April & October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link & weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe@lists.riseup.net
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2006 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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