Pedro Molina

Evaluación de la izquierda latinoamericana

BOGOTÁ– En enero de 2006, unos días después de que Evo Morales fuera electo presidente de Bolivia, el presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez predijo que una nueva ola de gobiernos de izquierda se extendería por América Latina. Cinco años después, es tiempo de preguntar en qué medida han tenido éxito las administraciones de izquierda de la región. ¿Han cumplido sus promesas de aumentar la igualdad, reducir la pobreza y fortalecer la democracia? En pocas palabras, ¿están mejor que antes los países que se inclinaron a la izquierda?

Aunque la desigualdad de los ingresos no ha variado sustancialmente durante el gobierno de Chávez, Venezuela es uno de los seis países latinoamericanos, junto con Chile, Uruguay, México, Costa Rica y Argentina, con la mayor disponibilidad y la distribución más amplia de servicios básicos como la educación y la vivienda. El gobierno de Chávez también ha tenido éxito en sus esfuerzos de reducción de la pobreza, como lo ha reconocido el Banco Mundial: desde 2000, el porcentaje de hogares pobres ha caído del 40% al 21%, y la tasa de pobreza extrema ha disminuido del 20% al 8%.

Sin embargo, la hoja de balance en lo que se refiere al fortalecimiento de la democracia dista de ser tan favorable. Los avances socioeconómicos se han dado al costo de la erosión de la separación de poderes y la independencia de los medios. Las fuerzas armadas se politizan cada vez más y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil más importantes han tenido que cerrar. Las recientes elecciones parlamentarias, que fortalecieron a la oposición, podrían ser una señal de descontento por los actuales mecanismos institucionales – y por el deterioro de la democracia.

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