Friday, November 03, 2006

Regarding COHA’s October 10 Op-Ed: “Pragmatism vs. Populism in South America”

  • The foreign policies of South American countries reflect the intricacies of national interests rather than any overarching ideology
  • Correspondingly, the perception of Washington among the South American public is characterized by substantial diversity
The reemergence of populism and the intriguing if possibly brief half-life of the left-leaning “pink tide” movement in South America have facilitated a somewhat misleading perception that the continent as a whole is headed towards an era of leftist, anti-U.S. policies. While the hostility between Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the Bush administration reached a new high at the 61st UN General Assembly session, most of the other South American nations have taken a decidedly more pragmatic stance with regards to Washington, essentially sitting out the spat now taking place around them. In fact, the majority of South American leaders often play both sides – cooperating with left-leaning Latin American stalwarts while accommodating themselves, at important junctions, to U.S. priorities. Thus the challenges posed by Hugo Chávez and often Evo Morales could represent the exception rather than the norm.

Full article...

~ Gentlemen: One of the things we need nowadays is objective information. Utilizing the term Populism is playing up to the detractors of a system for Social Justice, it is a tool to adhere the subterm "ism" to anything in order to get it installed in the minds of the public as an idelogical brother of "communism", "fascism", "nazism", et al. Please cooperate to a better and clearer understanding. Riggin Dapena, La Corunha, Spain

COHA is always ready to cooperate and we will consider the point that you made. Please remember that the “populism” piece was put in the dissent section and does not represent COHA’s official position.

Larry Birns
COHA Director

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