When you watch all that had happened in Arabic countries and what happened in Turkey recently, amen of the diverse "take" groups from NewYork to Puerta del Sol, you may wonder why is it that in Latin America there is no such collective feel. After all, there is a list of candidates: Venezuela, Argentina, and Cuba at the very least. Not to mention that the tension exists such as the instability of certain countries can bear witness (Bolivia, Guatemala, and even Chile).
But the surprise has come from Brazil where suddenly Dilma Roussef finds herself in trouble proving that the direction of the country under Lula was plagued with corruption and crass materialism aiming strictly at "improving" access to goods to the downtrodden. Because that is what Lula did, bring stability at home through better material access and middle class increase while he was doing a Chavez outside, bringing in a World Cup, the Olympics and even trying for a permanent seat at the UN security council.
Certainly, it is infinitely commendable that Lula's administration raised in real terms the income of people, and sustainable levels apparently. But that was enough for him and public services in accordance to an emerging middle class and world pretensions was not a priority. Now Dilma is paying the price and Brazil could be looking right now for a Chavez like creep to fulfill promises that cannot be fulfilled but that will fool long enough the new middle class to grab power and keep it.
And yet in Venezuela nothing happens.
We have crippling inflation and serious, life threatening shortages.
The real campuses aflame while the chavista ones cow in shame, because faculty is underpaid and there is no means to ensure proper education. But chavista faculty get the same pay check while curiously having an uncanny ability to find "consulting" contracts with the regime to supplement handsomely their income. Chavista university students do not seem to be bothered by their poor quality education, all theoretical due to the lack of means, because, well, no matter what they will get a degree, as worthless and unmarketable as this one may be.
Politicians focus on December municipal elections that the CNE is sure to make fraudulent once again, at least in Caracas. We are bemused by this lack of bitching at the CNE...
And amen of insecurity, labor claims, corruption and assorted abuses that victimize us all.
There is no spring for us, we of the wretched country. We did have a spring in 2002 and 2003 but the world turned its back on us, thinking that we were just a spoiled middle class that was resistant to Chavez reforms. We all know what happened next.
Do not expect me to feel sad for Brazilians who are the main guilty party to our unraveling as a country when Lula, with the agreement of his opposition, started sending tankers of gasoline to Chavez early 2003. Whether you overthrow Dilma or suffer a massive repression, I prefer to worry about other people. After I saw how well you were doing a couple of months ago, you are way more spoiled than what we were in 2003.
And that is why we have no collective spring because we have proven ourselves to be perhaps the most selfish continent, where the glory of individual politicians seem more important than the fate of nations, from Ushuaia to Tijuana. Well, with a few rare exceptions like Costa Rica. That we enable that in our politicians goes a long way to explain that we could not care less, in all truth, about what happens next door.