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28 May, 2016

U.S. behind dwindling leftist influence in Latin America: Argentinian Professor

HAVANA, May 13 (Xinhua) — The U.S. government aims to stamp out progressive governments in Latin America with the help of its conservative allies, Argentine political observer Atilio Boron told Xinhua.

During a recent conference in Havana, the Harvard-educated professor and author said Washington launched a plan in 2013 to reinstate its influence in Latin America, following the decease of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy.

With their main regional rival out of the way, Washington set about sowing division and unrest in countries with progressive left-leaning governments, such as Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Part of the strategy is to undermine regional integration blocs, such as the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said Boron.

“They will try to sabotage and attack mechanisms of integration, such as Unasur and CELAC, and reduce their capacity to respond to attacks against legitimate governments in our hemisphere,” said Boron.

There’s a complex situation unfolding in the region as a shrinking leftist bloc tries to survive a push by U.S.-backed conservative camps, he said.

Argentina saw conservative candidate Mauricio Macri win the presidency, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been struggling with an economic crisis as right-wing groups instigate violent anti-government protests, he added.

On Thursday, these countries condemned the campaign to sideline Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and replace the alliance led by the ruling Workers’ Party with a conservative coalition.

“I have no doubt that behind this coup is the label ‘made in the USA’ and that they’re now coming for Venezuela,” Maduro said in a televised speech.

In the coming months, Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, with Washington’s help, will push to end Maduro’s government through either a recall referendum or a “parliamentary coup” similar to that in Brazil, Boron predicted.

“Venezuela is the cherry on the cake in Latin America and many U.S. agencies are involved with the right-wing opposition to end the Bolivarian Revolution in that country,” he said.

However, Boron believes the social and political reforms of the past decade in Latin America will be hard to be reversed because they have empowered the underprivileged.

Despite its rapprochement with Washington, Cuba on Thursday was among the regional countries that condemned Rousseff’s removal from power.

“What is taking place in Brazil is part of an imperialist counter-offensive against revolutionary and progressive governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, which threatens the peace and stability of nations,” the Cuban government said in a statement.

“The political scenario in the continent is very difficult to predict but social movements and left-wing political parties have to be aware of this recolonization strategy Washington launched after former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died in 2013,” said Boron.