Is the “New Left” Simply More of the Same, or a New Political Force in Latin America? – Council on Hemispheric Affairs
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The rise of what some call the ‘New Left’ in Latin America has become an increasingly hot topic over the last decade. But what does it really signify for the hemisphere? While some claim that these left-leaning nations reflect just an aberrant phase in the democratization process, others insist that this development is leading to the very embodiment of enhanced freedom, where citizens have the opportunity for their voice to be heard, an education as well as a job paying a living wage. The New Left movement seems to be taking a solid hold in the region: close to 60 percent of its population live under an elected leader who leans or is committed to the left of the political spectrum. While Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez may be attracting the most media attention, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa are following close behind the ideological tenacity that they bring to governance and as a result, the region is witnessing transformative changes which seem to be more real than ephemeral.