Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The News from Uruguay

Today is the inauguration of Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez, a supposedly "leftist" politician. Since it's rare to see news or commentary about Bolivia, Paraguay, or Uruguay, Latin Americanists should give some kudos to the editors of the LA Times opinion page, who printed a piece in today's edition arguing against lumping all progressive LA administrations into an undistinguished whole:

The differences among governments in Latin America are instructive. To merely lump it all together as leftism sweeping the region can easily blind outsiders — including U.S. officials — to nuances that matter a great deal.

There is a world of difference, for example, between Lula and Chavez. The former comes from a party that defied Brazil's military dictatorship; the latter was a lieutenant colonel who once attempted a military coup, and now he relies on the armed forces to rule Venezuela.

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