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Latin America has turned to the left, and only Brazil is missing from the puzzle. Coincidence or deeper change? – Gift



The political spectrum of governments in Latin America has changed since 2018 with the election of progressive or leftist presidents in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Chile and Colombia, and in October it will be Brazil’s turn to move to the ballot with a presidential election. . The fact that this shift to the left promotes greater integration among the peoples of this region is frowned upon by researchers and specialists in Latin America.

“New Cycle [à esquerda] yet to be tested. At the moment, it looks more like an ideological coincidence of a change of power, related to the context of each country, than a structural change. And the coincidence may be brief: for example, even if Lula da Silva wins the presidential election in Brazil, everything indicates that the right could win in Argentina in 2023,” said Lusa, a researcher and professor at the Autonomous University of Lisbon (UAL). .) Filipe Vasconcelos Romao.

For Vasconcelos Romao, there is no effective Latin American integration project, “there is a fragmentation of organizations, and MERCOSUR can be singled out [Mercado Comum do Sul] as the one that managed to go further – a customs union with major flaws and subject to the mood of the governments of Brazil and Argentina.

Professor UAL also mentioned that “the mechanisms of cooperation created (like Mercosur himself) are clearly subject to the ideological attitudes of every moment.”

“Given these precedents, it should be expected that if a number of leftist governments coincide in the region, formal and informal platforms for dialogue will again be stimulated. However, they can be just as fragile as the previous ones,” the professor believes.

“Latin American countries do not have complementary economies, they all sell to China”

Andrés Malamud, a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL), goes further, stating that “regional unions or organizations such as MERCOSUR will not be strengthened, not only because politics does not help, but also because the economy does not helps.”

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“Latin American countries do not have complementary economies, they all sell to China. In South America, others sell in the US. They do not buy and sell among themselves, there is no incentive to create large markets,” said Malamud.

According to an ICS-UL researcher, “there may be more collaboration, dialogue, group photos and headlines, but integration in Latin America will not move forward just because governments are largely leftist.”

“At the domestic level, within each country, governments on the left distribute more than those on the right. Outwardly, Latin America will not look like the European Union (EU), there will be no common market, no Schengen area, no single currency like the euro,” Malamud stressed.

waiting for brazil

Cristiano Pinheiro de Paula Couto, a researcher at the Institute of Modern History at the University of Nova de Lisboa, believes, given the polls that point to a Lula da Silva victory in Brazil, “there is a consolidation of a large arc of alliances in the regional scenario on the horizon. “and the left’s return to Brazil “could make a decisive contribution to building a very cohesive power bloc politically.”

“Another result [nas presidenciais brasileiras]however, it can undermine regional integration”, due to the great weight of Brazil in the region, emphasized Cristiano Pinheiro de Paula Couto.

“If the hegemony of progressive governments in Latin America is repeated with more or less intensity, as in the first decade of the 21st century, we will have, without prejudice to relations with countries outside the subcontinent, the guaranteed strengthening of MERCOSUR and the activation or revival of other regional integration initiatives” , said the researcher.

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A researcher from Universidade Nova de Lisboa stressed, however, that Latin American countries will face serious economic challenges in the face of the “hostile and uncertain international context” that the world is experiencing today.

Symbols of Colombia

Scholars highlight the symbolism of former guerrilla Gustavo Petro’s victory in Colombia’s presidential election, becoming the country’s first left-wing president, but emphasize that he will have to face obstacles from the opposition.

The 62-year-old economist, who was a partisan for the defunct M-19 group, was elected last June with 50.47 percent of the vote in Colombia’s runoff election and will succeed outgoing President Ivan Duque from August. …for a period of four years.

“Symbolically, the change is very strong. Never in the history of Colombia has there been a left-wing president who came from the extreme left, and now from the democratic left,” said Andrés Malamud.

Andrés Malamud was more positive about the current state of the Colombian economy than about the political scenario, warning that the lack of more political support in parliament – as in several left-wing governments in Latin America – could be a problem and an obstacle for Petro.

“President of Colombia (Gustavo) Petro has already managed to form a coalition, but nevertheless, this is a coalition, and not just support for his party,” Malamud said.

“An unprecedented historical fact”

For researcher Cristiano Pinheiro de Paula Couto, the election of Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez “is an unprecedented historical fact, inscribed in the context of the ‘new pink wave’, the resurgence in the last two years of progressive governments in Latin America”.

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“Petro is the country’s first left-wing president, but his victory in the second round followed a strong polarization scenario,” Coutu said.

“Despite his low-key speech and unequivocal affiliation with the Colombian political ‘establishment’, Petro defends a particularly left-wing platform that has benefited from a government program aimed at changing the economic model to promote social equality.” .

He also proposed a tax reform “designed to introduce a progressive logic in tax collection, which means reducing taxation for the poorest and increasing taxation for the richest,” Couto said.

For a researcher at the Institute of Modern History of the University of Nova de Lisbon, Petro and the President of Chile, Gabriel Borich [ex-líder estudantil de esquerda]”represent a significant change in the power structure of Latin America”, but one should not neglect the reactionary power of the right, namely in Chile and Colombia, the reaction of “the ruling classes, more interested in links with supranational capitalism” than with the countries themselves.

“Democracy is fragile, it involves ongoing conflict. Today progress can be made, but tomorrow a counter-coup could set everything back,” he warned.

“In Colombia, Gustavo Petro showed moderation in preparing his government, which could dictate a path different from that of Chile, more radical. Peter’s pragmatism may lead to some structural changes, especially in terms of consolidating the peace process. [com os grupos guerrilheiros que ainda existem no país] and the fight against inequality,” says Filipe Vasconcelos Romao, for his part.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.



Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia



A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization



“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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