Los populistas también pueden tener razón

El auge de los gobiernos de izquierda en América Latina, particularmente la elección de Evo Morales como Presidente de Bolivia, ¿es el presagio de un cambio hacia la izquierda dura en todo el continente? ¿Marca un repudio a la política exterior de Estados Unidos en la región? Por ejemplo, ¿llevará a una renacionalización de las vastas reservas de gas natural de Bolivia?

Se trata de preguntas vitales, pero no abordan el trasfondo más amplio del ascenso de una figura como Morales, ya que se trata del primer jefe de estado indígena electo en ese país. Su victoria constituye un paso hacia adelante en la democratización general de América Latina, con una significación positiva en el largo plazo para el desarrollo económico y social de la región.

Para comprender el por qué, es útil dar una mirada más amplia a la historia y el desarrollo económico de América Latina. Las sociedades del continente americano fueron forjadas por conquistas europeas de poblaciones indígenas, y por las divisiones raciales y étnicas subsiguientes. Tanto EE.UU. como América Latina todavía enfrentan estas divisiones históricas.

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