11.7.09

Los caudillos de América latina

Fidel Castro, Antonio López de Santa Ana, Hugo Chávez, Augusto Pinochet, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, Rafael Trujillo, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa y, por supuesto, Juan Domingo Perón son los mandatarios señalados por el Wall Street Journal en un intento por explicar que para entender la situación en Honduras hay que conocer la larga relación de América latina con el caudillismo:

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Some argue that Latin America’s single most important—and colorful—contribution to political science is the caudillo.
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Caudillismo is so deeply rooted it has spawned its own literary genre
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Latin Americans seem perennially ready to trust their fate to a providential “man on horseback” who comes to their nation’s rescue, rather than on the ability of the nation’s institutions to provide security and prosperity.
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Argentina’s Juan Domingo Perón used populism to endear himself to the nation’s poor, known as descamisados, or “shirtless ones.”
ven today, Perónismo, the movement created by Mr. Perón and his wife Eva—who combined glamour and handouts to the poor to become a secular saint venerated by Argentines—is still the dominant political current in Argentina. The legacy of Mr. Perón’s free-spending populist philosophy has led Argentina into periodic economic crises. When prices for Argentine exports like beef are high, for instance, Perónist governments have spent the windfall like a drunken sailor, leading to a cash crunch when prices eventually head south.
Mr. Perón, like many other caudillos, sought additional legitimacy by preserving the forms of democracy, if only on paper. He won presidential elections, but his regime was hardly democratic: Perónists controlled the legislature, the courts, the bureaucracy, labor unions and the media. Anyone who got too far out of line faced arbitrary arrest.
La nota completa, acá.