Pink Tide 2.0? Latin America's New Wave of Leftist Governments

Latin America’s resurgent Left faces steep challenges. What are the lessons from the first Pink Tide and the prospects for transformative change?

March 30, 2023

President Gabriel Boric greets Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva following his inauguration in Brasília, January 1, 2023. (Ricardo Stuckert / PR / CC BY 2.0)

In the early 21st century, a series of left-wing governments swept into power across the region with promises to undo disastrous neoliberal economic policies and to push back against U.S. domination. With the commodities boom fueling social investments, governments in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina lifted millions out of poverty while forging alternative forms of regional integration to counter Washington’s outsized influence. Then, a backslash ensued, and the Right resurged.

Despite pronouncements of the death of the so-called Pink Tide of left-wing governments that swept into power in the early 21st century, a new generation of Left governments are now in office across Latin America. In the first of a four-part series of special collaboration episodes between NACLA and The Marc Steiner Showwe turn to a panel of regional experts to discuss the context and prospects of what many are calling a new Pink Tide. What lessons can these leaders learn from the earlier wave of progressive governments to steer the region towards a more prosperous and just future? How are grassroots movements engaging new leftist states and mobilizing to hold them accountable? What practical lessons can the international Left learn from what’s happening in Latin America?

This episode is co-hosted with Dr. Hilary Goodfriend. Read the transcript.

Marc Steiner is the host of The Marc Steiner Show on The Real News Network. He is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has spent his life working on social justice issues.

Hilary Goodfriend is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Latino and Latin American Studies Research Center at the University of California, Riverside. She is a contributing editor for Jacobin and Jacobin América Latina. She is also on the editorial board of NACLA.

Thea Riofrancos is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, Associate Professor of Political Science at Providence College, and a member of the Climate + Community Project. She is the author of Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador from Duke University Press.

Sabrina Fernandes is a sociologist and ecosocialist organizer from Brazil. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with CALAS at the University of Guadalajara where she is working on just transitions and Latin America.

René Rojas is a professor at Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs and a member of the editorial board of the left journal Catalyst.

Studio Production: Dwayne Gladden
Post-Production: Stephen Frank

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