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Modern Socialist Success Story: Venezuelans Celebrate Spectacular Economic Abundance, Party Hard in the Streets of Caracas

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A forceful repudiation of the leftist politics that are falling out of favor across Latin America.

…The demonstration, aimed at speeding up a recall campaign against the 53-year-old president, was also a forceful repudiation of the leftist politics that are falling out of favor across Latin America.

At its peak in 2008, the left held the presidencies of eight of the 10 most populous countries in South and Central America. But those regimes have lost popularity as steep drops in commodity prices badly damaged their economies and left less money to spend on the poor.

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Candidates from the right recently won the presidencies of Argentina and Peru, and just this week, Dilma Rousseff was permanently ousted from the presidency in Brazil in an impeachment trial engineered by opponents from the right who now control the government.

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But nowhere in Latin America has the rise and fall of the left been as dramatic as in Venezuela, a country that has been on the brink of collapse for the last several months.

Venezuela had its own brand of socialism, known as Chauvismo for Hugo Chavez, the charismatic leader who was elected president in 1998 in a rejection of free-market policies that were encouraged by the United States but failed to deliver on their promise of wider prosperity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Adeus Criminoso! Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Ousted in Impeachment Vote

  report: President Dilma Rousseff was stripped of her office Wednesday in the culmination of a political crisis that has left Latin America’s largest nation adrift, with an economy in deep recession and a public sharply divided over the country’s future.

“The impeachment does not in any way resolve the political or economic crisis, but it gives us some hope, because for the first time in a long time, we will have a plan.”

— Lucas de Aragão, director of Arko Advice, a political analysis firm in Brasilia

Rousseff was impeached on arcane charges having to do with violating budget laws. But she was swept up in a tide of revulsion against Brazil’s political class as the once-flourishing economy contracted and political parties were tarred by a massive corruption scandal.
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Wednesday’s 61-to-20 Senate vote closed out an extraordinary 13-year rule by the leftist Workers’ Party, which boasted of lifting tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty before the economy began to nosedive and its political fortunes soured.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

Rousseff was replaced by her former vice president and coalition partner, Michel Temer, who has been running Brazil as interim president since she was suspended to face the impeachment trial in May. He belongs to the more conservative Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, and is trying to introduce austerity measures to right the economy.

But Temer is as unpopular as Rousseff, and whether he can muster the political support for such changes was unclear. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] BREAKING: Brazil Presidential Candidate Dies in Plane Crash

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Presidential candidate Eduardo Campos has been killed in a plane crash in Santos, officials say

BBC News reports: Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer expressed his regret over the death of Mr Campos, who had been running third in the polls for October’s election.

The plane carrying Mr Campos crashed in a residential area of the port city of Santos, in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state.

It is not yet clear if any of the other passengers on board were killed.

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‘No words’

Mr Temer said there were “no words to describe the tragedy that has befallen Brazilian politics today”

“Eduardo Campos was a politician with principles and values passed down through his family and carried with dignity and honour throughout his career in parliament and the executive,” the statement added. Read the rest of this entry »