Monday, April 15, 2019

Lesser of Two Evils

Benjamin Waddell, a sociologist at Fort Lewis College, has a post on failed U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. He points to something that has been raised quite a lot with regard to Venezuela, which is that the history of U.S. intervention taints anyone the U.S. supports.

While Jaime and Jorge’s comments hardly speak for all Nicaraguans, they summarize the general sentiments of Ortega’s supporters quite well. At the root of Ortega’s base is a firm conviction that he has done more for the poor than U.S.-supported candidates from the right have. For them, he is the lesser of two evils.
The "lesser of two evils" point is a good one and cuts through the question of why someone would support an authoritarian leader who clearly seems to be failing. U.S. economic policy has a track record of screwing people, generally the poor, in Latin America so an authoritarian leader who at least has shown some true interest in their welfare, even if more in the past, is preferable.


shah8 3:11 AM  

Thing is, these sorts of memories are short, and power is beguiling.

All the US has to do is (as well as ditch the usual right-wing Latin American hands) is to show up for genuine democracy, back non-revanchists, and in general, overtly show that we are willing to *spend* money and credibility on a broad-based program that benefits people generally. Assisting with the Colombian peace plan. Guatemala's corruption program (anti-corruption as anti-corruption and not lawfare). Why not make and land redistribution program, and put it funds for it for a country?

It just doesn't take much. Just professionalism and a willingness to openly treat at least, say 35% of the people in a country as fully human.

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