Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Red Latin America

From what I know, the present turmoil in Ecuador heralds the return of a Chavez fan, so prepare for WaPo/NYT/etc. articles about more hidden evil Venezuelan meddling (and more articles about triumphs of democracy in the progressive blogosphere).

Said turmoil in Ecuador just appears to have reached its conclusion: Congress deposed President Guitérrez and made his Vice his preliminary successor.

Guitérrez entered the political arena five years ago, when instead of dispersing a leftist protest by indios as ordered, he sided with the protesters and helped make it a coup - a short-lived one, with only the then-vice-President benefitting. But using his fast-earned populist credentials, not three years later he was elected President - only to instantly break his promises and go on with conservative economic policies etc.. His undoing began with a tactical alliance: when his party, the neolib party of the billionaire whom he beat in the elections (Alvaro Noboa), and the populist party of a then self-exiled ex-President (Bucaram) teamed up to tramp on the Constitution and depose the Supreme Court (opposed chiefly, choose your sides, by a rabid right-wing party). Guitérrez's undoing, for the allies had different things in mind: when Guitérrez in turn 'fired' this new Supreme Court, the real reason behind the official one (street protests against) was surely their clearing the ex-President from corruption charges. (Note tough, Bucaram was removed eight years ago by the then-Congress under the charge of being crazy!).

Bucaram said on his way back: "I come to Ecuador to copy Chavez's style with a great Bolivarian revolution". (But before you clasp your hands, remember that his "crazyness" meant f.e. renting his own brothel on state funds, and that he basically emptied the Presidential Palace upon leaving, stuff worth a few dozen millions of dollars.)

Meanwhile in Mexico:

This protest of at least 300,000, of course ignored or played down by most of the Western media, was against the machinations meant to prevent Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador from running for Presidency (something the right-wing incumbents' and the nominally centre-left old establishment party joined forces in, with heavy encouragement from across the Northern border). Good commentary at Blood & Treasure.

The above mentioned playing down involved the choice of photos if present: close-ups of the major and his entourage in an absurd number of varieties. I found just two photos showing the mass from above, - and the wider one, from Reuters, just as thumbnail. The one I used is from the NYT. (If someone has a link to a free copy of the Reuters image I'd be thankful...)


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