Alvaro García Linera: “We Are in the Second Progressive Wave”

28 February 2021 — Internationalist 360° 

Alvaro García Linera

Bolivia’s former vice president spoke about the current challenges of democracy.

The former Vice President of Bolivia, Alvaro Garcia Linera, spoke about the current situation of progressivism in Latin America and referred to the current situation in the country. Linera speaks from the house he left and to which he was finally able to return last November. “The feeling of opening the door, the sounds of the house after a year, was emotional”, said García Linera in a dialogue with the program La Pizarra of AM750.

For García Linera the triumph of Luis Arce with more than 55 percent of the votes confirms that the conquests and advances of progressivism are occurring in waves. “It is a palpable verification against those who said that the cycle of progressivism was over. It is not a cycle. They are waves that come and go and this is the second wave,” he said. “If the first wave was framed in a more radical progressivism and with strong charismatic leaderships, the second one is going to be marked by a moderate progressivism and without the presence of charismatic leaderships”.

As a counter position to moderate progressivism, the former vice-president also spoke about the fall of the center right that gave way to and reinforced a new extreme right. “We saw it in Brazil, it was thought to be an isolated phenomenon but it is worldwide, we saw it with Trump and we will continue to see it in Europe. The center right, that was wagering on not being radical and criticizing left-wing populists but also distancing itself from the violent right, is sinking and the center right is beginning to gain strength with a very clear discourse: if democracy is a hindrance, then get rid of democracy,” explained Linera.

“They have an instrumental view of democracy, if by means of democracy they reach the government, well and good, and if they can reach the government without democracy, they are going to do it and they have shown it, even the US has shown it”, answered the former vice-president when asked about the possibility of a new coup d’état in Bolivia. “That is why every time I meet with young people I ask them, ‘what would you do if there is a coup d’état again’, it is an organizing question, it forces you to organize, have political training and look for ways to articulate. It is important for the new progressive wave to think beyond the mere electoral grouping”, said Álvaro García Linera.

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Translation by Internationalist 360°

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