London 28.01.06 | Recently Canadians booted out the liberal, and corrupt, government of Paul Martin and elected Conservative Stephen Harper. After bearing witness of a marked decrease of Canada's international preponderance and 12 years of rather dull internal politics, the electorate chose a new option. Bush-bashing has proved to have limited mileage amongst intelligent people, especially if not accompanied with sound policies. For some, like myself, is reason to joy. However this victory does not mean that Harper will have an easy ride. Parti Quebecois managed a record 54 seats in the House, and their attempts to have yet another referendum to decide on Quebec's sovereignty can be counted on, in spite of the unexpected turnout of federalists in that province. It remains to be seen whether they will succeed on getting the much needed 50%. Nonetheless if Harper plays his cards right, i.e. a meaningful compromise with Jean Charest, it could well be the end, for now, of the separatists Quebecois' dream.
Down South, parties aligned with the Chavez pseudo revolution in the Netherlands Antilles, have suffered a tremendous defeat in yesterday's elections. The FOL (Workers’ Liberation Front) went from 5 seats to 2 and the PLKP (Labour Party People’s Crusade) from 3 seats to none. It is to be noted that Errol Cova, leader of the PLKP made overtures in the past to re-enact chavista mischief in the Antilles, which got him into trouble. Emily Jongh-Elhage's rather conservative PAR (Party for the Reconstructed Antilles) of Curaçao won majority.
In Peru, Conservative Lourdes Flores has a sound 10 point lead over Chavez's man, Ollanta Humala, of the racist Etnocacerista movement, whose brother Antauro is doing time for leading an uprise. Elections are scheduled for April 9.
Undoubtedly hope and patience of Venezuelans are running at an all time low, after 7 years of rampant corruption, unabated crime, abuse of power and human rights violations by chavismo. If transparent elections were to be had today, probably the Venezuelan electorate would castigate Hugo Chavez the same way Canadians did to the Liberal party. The tragedy, for our country, is that it hasn't a credible right-of-center political platform. Brazilians will not favour Lula but Colombians seem sure to re-elect Uribe. Bolivians will soon learn the meaning of having an apátrida at the helm. In sum, sooner or later, the backlash will come.
The US on the other hand appears firmly set in the hands of the Republican party. It seems unlikely that Hillary Clinton, or the Democrats, are going to make it, although Soros' power, as the separatism of the Party Quebecois further North, is a force that needs to be reckoned with. For as the saying goes "money talks..."
However if the intentions of the US administration to recoup the lost leverage in Latin America are sincere, it should be throwing its weight behind those with whom they share ideological and political stances. This does not mean in any manner to doctor or fabricate candidates, but rather to support what's already in the ground, whilst revising carefully policies vis-a-vis the OAS and their own 'pro-democracy' outlets, read USAID, NED, etc.
The time is due for Latin Americans to get a true sense of what capitalism means, in their own countries. Immigration data shows that it is indeed the USA, and its capitalist system, the prefered destination when the time to emigrate, either legal or illegally, comes. As good old Hernando De Soto argues "no one moves to Cuba" or to Venezuela, I may add, lest of course terrorists, drug cartels and the world's pariahs.