Spanish – Once again, Latin America is brimming with socialism. There are elections in Bolivia and Argentina this month, and in both countries, it is almost certain that the left will win. It is also almost certain that in both countries, an economic crisis that will wreck millions is on its way.
In Argentina, Mauricio Macri won the presidency in 2015, after more than a decade of Kirchnerism in power. They made it easy. Cristina Kirchner and her husband stole in heaps and left the country in crisis. So people, even those who were still left, were already tired.
For example, a few weeks ago, Macri re-established exchange control and placed limits on the purchase of dollars. Nothing different from the socialist measures of Kirchnerism. Moreover, last week, he even surpassed his predecessors: he dared to publish a list of citizens who “exceeded” the purchase of foreign currency.
Those who exceeded the limits set by the Government appeared on a list displaying their documents and relevant information. They were publicly singled out as if they were criminals, but above all, they were endangered. Anyone can access these Argentines’ information. Not even the Kirchners dared so much…
After four years in office, Macri didn’t make the country any better. At the moment, year-on-year inflation is over 50%. In the first half of this year, more than a million people fell into poverty. 35.4% of Argentines are poor, 8.1 percentage points more than a year ago, and 7.7% are destitute. While the devaluation, so far this year, already exceeds 37%.
Macri can’t say he didn’t know or that nobody warned him. Very important economists and media outlets in Argentina, such as Javier Milei or Diego Giacomini, have told him time and time again that the problem is enormous state spending. Macri, we don’t know if out of ignorance or fear of the political cost of making all the necessary cuts, has ignored these recommendations.
Today, Argentina has a united left under the leadership of Alberto Fernandez, who has Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his vice-presidential running mate. Their coalition won 47.37% of the votes in the primaries against Macri, who obtained 32.30% of the votes. The difference is of over 15 percentage points. It is practically impossible to overcome.
The blame for the return of Peronism and Kirchnerism to power this month, to a large extent, lies with Macri and his people. They had four years to make the necessary changes, but they later restricted the little that they liberalized, in the beginning, to leave a country as statist as the one they received.
Meanwhile, in Bolivia, Evo Morales, one of the original leaders of 21st-century socialism who caused so much damage to the region, is seeking his fourth consecutive term to complete 20 years in power. The constitution of that country says that only one consecutive re-election is possible, and Morales has already had two.
Not content with unconstitutional re-election, he is once again violating his country’s Magna Carta, and without any shame, he is even ignoring the result of the referendum he himself called to ask the Bolivians if they wanted him back as a candidate. Most Bolivians said “no” to his re-election.
But Evo has bought the justice system and has managed to get the constitutional court to rule again in his favor, arguing that unlimited re-election is a right protected by the American Convention on Human Rights – which he claims is above the Bolivian Constitution itself – and that “all Bolivians have the right to choose and to be elected.
At first glance, Morales doesn’t seem to have it that easy. According to the latest survey, published by the firm Mercados y Muestras, the tyrant has a backing of 33%, followed by Carlos Mesa with 26%, and Oscar Ortiz with 9%. The percentage of those who have not yet decided their vote reaches 15 %, while those who say they will vote blank, null, or none are 11 %.
The difference between Mesa and Morales is only seven points, and given the systematic violations of the constitution committed by the socialist leader, it seems possible that Mesa could take his place. However, we are talking about a man who wants to stay in power for at least 20 years, and to do so, he bribes the justice system and goes against the constitution and the popular mandate.
Morales has already shown what he is capable of. He cheats in front of an entire country. That is why Bolivians fear electoral fraud. According to a poll conducted in September, 68% of Bolivians believe there will be a fraud. And when asked who they think will win regardless of whom they are going to vote for, 55% say Morales is likely to win.
There is a great deal of mistrust of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). It is evident that the judiciary is on Morales’ side, and the socialist leader has already broken all democratic formalities.
Now, Mesa, who, according to the polls, has a chance of winning, is not a real alternative either. Ideologically, he is in the same camp as Morales. Some Bolivians even believe that it is a false opposition that is very convenient for the coca-growing leader. Mesa always legitimizes Morales, has never pointed out that his candidacy is unconstitutional, and offers to continue his economic and social model. So, even if Mesa wins, there will be no change in Bolivia.
Morales is trying to make people believe that the country is doing very well because the growth figures seem to indicate that. However, when one looks at the fall in international reserves and the level of indebtedness, both domestic and foreign, it is clear that the apparent growth is a fictitious matter derived from his strategy of stimulating aggregate demand via state spending. Soon there will be an economic crisis in Bolivia, and there will be a socialist in power, which will only make things worse.
Many factors influence the disaster faced by Argentines and Bolivians. A spineless right-wing, leftists without any qualms who want to embark on a tyranny, sell-out judicial system, but the underlying problem, the most worrying thing, is that most people in both Argentina and Bolivia still believe in the left.
They get tired of one socialist and decide to vote for another. In Bolivia, according to the polls, less than 10% of the votes would favor the candidate talking about markets and freedom. In Argentina, people still don’t understand that if things are bad, it’s precisely because Macri ended up applying leftist policies. Unfortunately, instead of looking for an alternative that truly understands the market and capitalism, Argentines have decided to trust Peronism again.