What were the achievements and debts of the progressive decade in the region?


One of the main problems of Latin American progressive governments was that although there was "growth of political integration during the 'long decade' in which they agreed, contrary to what one would have imagined, that political integration did not mean greater economic integration" said Argentine Deputy Daniel Filmus.

The conclusion is part of the book The open paths in Latin America. Learning and challenges for a new transformation agenda, edited by CLACSO and whose digital version is freely accessible.

The title plays with one of the works that inspired leftist movements and leaders for decades: The Open Veins of Latin America, written in 1970 and published a year later by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, who died in 2015.

                    Photo: Courtesy Clacso

Book "Open paths in Latin America"

"It's a very different stage than Eduardo Galeano wrote his book, when it was open veins, which had to do with the bleeding of Latin America at the time that it was easy for imperialism to take everything from the region," Filmus said.

"We are considering a balance of a decade that was just the opposite, in which Latin America looked at itself and had leaders who represented its people," he added.

This is a compilation of the classes taught by referents of the political and academic field who participated in the Specialization in Latin American Political Processes of the 21st Century.
The initiative was organized by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), the Gino Germani Institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires and the Metropolitan University for Education and Work, under the coordination of Daniel Filmus and Lucila Rosso

The signatures of the different chapters range from Dilma Rousseff and Alvaro Garcia Linera, through Jorge Taiana, Ernesto Samper and Tarso Genro among many others, including our interviewee.

Grow yes, redistribute too

"ECLAC, the main organism of analysis of the Latin American economy, says that it is the first time that Latin America grows and distributes income better," said the national deputy.

"It was a decade that showed that there was a different, alternative, different path and was an example for the world in terms of heterodox strategies for economic growth and defending national interests both political and those that make the lives of its people", highlighted who was Minister of Education, Science and Technology between 2003 and 2007 during the presidency of Nestor Kirchner.
Filmus clarified that it is not only a publication that highlights the achievements, but analyzes "what happened autocratically."
"You see what progress, what progress he had, but also the pending subjects, what are the issues that caused that decade to enter a critical situation," he said.

This is the return of neoliberalism and the "conservative offensive in the region, which placed by different mechanisms – some electoral and different aspects of coup d'etat – governments that threw all or part of what had been advanced."

Sell ​​us more between us

Latin America sells 90% of raw material and 10% of manufactures to the central countries, but "among Latin American countries when we trade the percentage of manufacturing is higher, it amounts to 40%," said Filmus, to highlight the lack of integration economical

The interviewee gave Argentina as an example, where on December 10 he returns to progressivism with the presidential assumption of Alberto Fernandez:

"The learning is that we, in the medium and long term, have to propose a change in the productive matrix, cease to be countries dependent on the international situation (…) and begin to have a presence in what makes export with more value added, "he explained.

Filmus referred to the difficulties in developing this strategy taking into account the external debt accumulated in the last four years.
"Alberto Fernandez again and again says that we will honor the debt but not from the hunger of our people. Nestor (Kirchner) already said in 2003 'the dead do not pay debts," he said.

"First they have to let us strengthen and then we will surely be in a position to face those commitments and at the same time have a sustainable economy forward, that is what the book of The Open Paths of Latin America tries to propose," concluded the deputy.

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