alexa Subverting Democracy and Thwarting Social Change, an Examination into the Latin American Mass Media

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Subverting Democracy and Thwarting Social Change, an Examination into the Latin American Mass Media

One of the most noticeable political changes Latin America experienced in the last few decades has been the generation and consolidation of radical democratic governments led by the left. And while they have similar and also different characteristics, the common and shared underpinning goal is the radicalization of democracy, the establishment of a more equal society and the defeat of poverty. It is intriguing this happens in a region that a few decades back was largely under the iron and criminal fist of military dictatorships and was experiencing a sluggish transition to democracy. Intriguing is also the fact this has been occurring in the context of an aggressive, overconfident global capitalism. When in 1999 the late president Hugo Chavez reached power for the first time and dismantled the archaic and corrupt old system in Venezuela, large swathes of the region began “swerving left” [1]. It was–as Castañeda points out–a backlash against decades of neoliberal and free market reforms. It was also a backlash against a representative democratic system that neglected the many, the poor; and stood for the fewer, the elite. The state–almost annihilated by the conservative forces-began taking on different roles. Some were urgently needed, such as povery reduction, educational reforms and empowerment of the poor, the indigenous and other historically excluded social actors. The election of Chavez in 1999 was followed by the election of–among others-Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in Brazil, Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández in Argentina, Tabare Vásquez in Uruguay, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Ollanta Humalla in Peru, Alvaro Colom in Guatemala, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Rafael Correa in Ecuador.

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