A more humane set of leaders for South America?
With the election of a socialist medical doctor--who looks uncannily like my Mom!--Chile has another opportunity to do well by its people. And my Mom would definitely tell me to let everyone know she is no leftist in any way...
Anyway, with the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia, the continuing rule by the still-possibly-Peronist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Lula hopefully getting his act together in Brazil, South America may finally begin to unshackle itself from the chains of international corporate power.
The interesting thing to me is this: The Terrible President must be gnashing his teeth at these developments in South America--knowing US troops are still bogged down in Iraq. One wonders whether an unintended salutary effect of the bungled and misguided adventure in Iraq is that the Terrible President can't invade any of these nations in South America. James Baker, a friend of the Terrible President's father and leading adviser to the international coporate set, was lukewarm at best about the Iraq adventure. Baker must be positively outraged at the Terrible President and Mr. Other Priorities at this point.
For those of us who favor New Deal sorts of political leaders, however, it is a very hopeful sign that people in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and now Chile have stood up at election time and rejected the corporate-colonial leadership in those nations. However, we should also remain somewhat wary that, in Venezuela especially, the sort of pro-human economic policies we may applaud may still end up as a prelude to a dictatorship that mouths leftist rhetoric of "equality" and "justice"--or getting overthrown by a military coup, with coup leaders claiming they acted in the interests of "security" and "traditional values."
Michelle Bachelet's election in Chile, however, is very promising for for vast majority of Chileans, who have learned the hard way that privitizing retirement systems benefits the rich while beggaring much of the rest of the population.