I was weighing whether I would leave Venezuela for a post. But that election in Brazil had so much of Venezuela in it that I shall not diverge.
Most of the "democratic" left, and of course the whole undemocratic one are in tears tonight. The awful Bolsonaro has been elected. He did not get the 60% he was threatening to get but with 55% he has, well, a mandate. However, I do not read much self criticism within the left in the rise of Bolsonaro. I will take for button its lack of condemnation to the Maduro regime. The losing Haddad never got to condemn as far as I know, costing him a couple of points at least. Bolsonaro did not lose those points.
The left should start measuring the amplitude of its failure, made the worse that it is replaced by the extreme right in Brasil. And yet the PT of Brazil can only blame itself for that stupendous defeat, where Haddad failed to rally enough people in the middle who ended up voting Bolsonaro or staying home. Let's see.
First, the crazed candidature against all odds of Lula. The guy is in jail, no matter how rigged his trial may have been. I, for one, think he got a bad rap but he has enough guilt to be at least barred from running. It is that arrogance of Lula that started the unraveling of democracy in Brazil. Or rather, it had started before (under Lula) when corruption ate most of the political class, a corruption led from the PT itself as a tool to remain in office and bring someday the Sao Paulo Forum into governance. His jail was a trigger. Now that I think of it, maybe they should have left Lula run, he probably would have been defeated any way, and, by a larger margin. Bolsonaro would have made mincemeat of him I bet
Second, there was no repentance inside the PT, only a few circumstantial words from Haddad, who committed a major mistake visiting Lula right after the first round balloting. Deaf ears at the PT.
Third, further mistakes that alienated some of the liberal right. I mean, a Communist Party running mate? Not a word to seriously condemn Maduro and promise to do something about the Venezuelan dictatorship?
And many more I would know if I really could follow closer Brazilian politics, very complicated already in normal times. But enough of Brazil.
When history books will be written what will astound more future scholars is that the arrival of leftist governments in Latin America, on the shoulders of a fight against corruption, will have turned out to be the most corrupt governments in the history of these countries, That is the case of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. Ecuador had some problems but Correa could do no more harm than he did because its currency is the US dollar. Bolivia curiously seems to have "normal" levels of corruption. But in Nicaragua, Suriname, and of course Cuba, corruption is also an essential reason for their failure even if they manage to hold to office.
The human rights under these leftist rulers did not fare much better. Venezuela and Cuba are now regimes akin to Stalinonazism in the cruelty of their repression. In Brazil the PT could not care much about its crime rate, a violation of HR by itself. San Salvador left rulers do not do any better.
That is why tonight I am angry at that left that tried to convince me that Bolsonaro was anatema. Why would not Haddad ALSO be anathema? I wrote ALSO on purpose.
Yes, as a gay man and a feminist and a social democrat/ADLE European style I am appalled by Bolsonaro, but I am appalled by the Brazilian left which has done a lot to make Venezuela what it is today, amen of wrecking Mercosur.
The sad fact is that under Bolsonaro we will return to a past where gay rights and feminism, amongst others, were not priority. Bolsonaro will force Brazil to face to its weaknesses, to sort out what are the core values of the country. Once these values, hopefully oriented towards freedom, free press and rule of law come to pass we will be able to bring back feminism and gay rights and other luxuries of civilized societies. But as is the case today in Venezuela, our countries will need a "first is first" approach to rebuild themselves from the moral disasters the left has brought upon us, a left today unrepentant for the most part. Even those that have started criticizing are grudgingly admitting that they supported Lula and Chavez at first and refuse to condemn the ideas that marked the origins of their rule, ideas that people like me saw as fraud BEFORE they were elected. And I was then returning from the US as a Liberal!
So tonight I feel sorry for Brazil, but they had it coming. Sorry. There is always the hope that not having a majority in congress Bolsonaro may turn out to be better president than expected. But from his own character flaws I doubt that very much. Brazil has a tradition of presidents not completing their terms.....
And now back to Maduro, for the time being way worse than Bolsonaro and Haddad.