Las dos izquierdas latinoamericanas

En los últimos años ha ido en aumento -y cobrando mayor fuerza en los últimos meses- la impresión de que América Latina está volviendo a inclinarse hacia la izquierda. Los mediocres -y a veces deprimentes- resultados de la reforma económica parecen haber provocado una intensa reacción materializada en la elección de presidentes izquierdistas en todo el continente, comenzando por la victoria de Hugo Chávez en Venezuela al final del decenio de 1990 y continuando con las de Ricardo Lagos en Chile y Néstor Kirchner en la Argentina y, más recientemente, la de Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva en el Brasil y Tabaré Vázquez en el Uruguay. Parece que puede haber más victorias de izquierdas en México, el Perú y Bolivia.

Pero, si bien las premisas subyacentes a esa amplia tendencia están claras, los votantes de América Latina no están eligiendo a una izquierda, sino a dos.

Desde luego, aunque 2004 fue uno de los mejores años en cuanto a crecimiento económico, el resultado de dos decenios de supuesta reforma estructural siguen siendo decepcionantes. La desigualdad ha aumentado, la pobreza sólo se ha reducido ligeramente en el mejor de los casos, el empleo sigue manteniéndose tercamente bajo, la corrupción, la violencia, la delincuencia y la paralización política siguen incólumes y las inversiones extranjeras y los acuerdos de libre comercio con los Estados Unidos aún no han dado los resultados prometidos. En esas circunstancias, no es de extrañar que haya habido una fuerte reacción ideológica y política contra el "Consenso de Washington" en pro del mercado, con su insistencia en la liberalización, la desreglamentación y la privatización.

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