Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Hugo Chávez Brand is Dying

Lula confirmed that he will will run for president in 2018 and made sure to make one thing clear: he isn't Hugo Chávez.

“Una de las diferencias que tenía con mi compañero Chávez era que me parecía que él no respetaba tanto como yo las instituciones”, aseguró.
 Dijo que nadie es insustituible, “por eso siempre creí que las instituciones sólidas garantizan la continuidad del proceso democrático”, afirmó.

Running away from Hugo Chávez is a thing. The flip side, trying to pin the label of "another Hugo Chávez" on leftists, is also a thing. This will likely continue for years.

The PRI has been trying for years to label AMLO as another Chávez and he denies it. In doing so, he has nothing positive to say about Chávez at all. Sebastián Piñera made the comparison with Alejandro Guillier. Guillermo Lasso did so for Lenín Moreno, who is so unlike Chávez that he angers hardcore leftists. In 2013, Dilma Rousseff carefully noted "differences" she had with Chávez

Rest assured that the right will make the claim for every leftist candidate in a presidential election at some point. And most likely those candidates will be very careful about how they respond if they want to win the election. The only ones who stay pro-Chávez are presidents like Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega, who are popular and have been in power a long time so run far less risk of remaining positive about him.

Given Chávez's iconic status and how popular he was for so many years, this is not a quick or simple evolution of thinking and reflects the fragmentation of the Latin American left right now. There is nothing to rally around anymore. José Mujica, a big supporter, said recently that although he had "an admiration" for Chávez, "there are things I don't understand."


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