The Rise of the New Second World (Part 1 of 2)
By William Warren
When musing about geopolitics, the terms “First” and “Third” Worlds are thrown about liberally—and everyone seems to know what they mean.
When referencing the “Second World”, however, even some of the most politically astute are left scratching their chins in befuddlement. Perhaps it is because the Second World doesn't actually exist—or, more accurately, stopped existing in 1991.
As a refresher for those who may be historically challenged, the labels “First”, “Second”, and “Third” Worlds were devised during the Cold War as a means to categorize nations according to simple terms. The First World represented The United States and its democratic allies. The Second World represented the Soviet Bloc and its Marxist allies. And the Third World represented non-aligned or neutral countries.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the definitions of the First and Second Worlds have changed. And the Second World, much like the Soviet Union itself, had faded into obsolescence. Until now.
Now, the Second World seems to be staging a big comeback. The difference, however, is the hemisphere in which it is increasingly found.
It seems that nearly every month some leftist, borderline Marxist regime takes power somewhere in Latin America. Either that or some far-left, Big Government agenda is supported—albeit narrowly—by voters in a national referendum (rigged, or otherwise).
And all the while, the Obama Administration either stands idly by—or openly applauds the Marxist take-over. So much for the Monroe Doctrine.
Just yesterday, for instance, the news broke that that Mauricio Funes, candidate of the far-left FMLN party—the political manifestation of the 1980s guerilla group—was elected President of El Salvador with 51% of the vote. After two decades of rule by the conservative ARENA party, Funes' victory marks a radical departure from the norm in Salvadoran politics—especially considering the 58 to 36 percent landslide with which ARENA won the 2004 presidential election.
Unlike surrounding countries such as Nicaragua and Honduras, El Salvador has never elected a left-wing government before. With this week's vote, however, it is clear that El Salvador is the latest Latin American country to jump on the bandwagon of Big Government, revolutionary liberalism.
And what a bandwagon it has become. Just last month, Hugo Chavez won a big political battle by successfully overturning Presidential term limits via popular referendum. Thanks to 54 percent of voters, the hard-line socialist president can now be reelected indefinitely and continue bringing his destructive agenda to Venezuela—the country regarded to be the second most corrupt in Latin America.
This also means, of course, that he can indefinitely be a thorn in America's side, much to the announced pleasure of the Obama Department of State.
Speaking of overturning term limits, President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua is apparently seeking to gut the burdensome restrictions on his office as well. Elected to the Presidency on January 10, 2007, Mr. Ortega represents yet another anti-American, Marxist zealot to seize the executive reins of his country. As the leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, no one (except for Mr. Chavez or Fidel Castro) has spewed such vitriolic hatred against the “evils” of capitalism and the United States quite like Mr. Ortega.
And then there's Evo Morales who was elected President of Bolivia in 2005 under the banner of the Movement for Socialism party (the Spanish acronym for which is MAS and, ironically enough, means “more”). As the self described “nightmare of the United States,” Mr. Morales recently garnered national headlines by calling upon all Latin American countries to expel their U.S. Ambassadors until the American embargo on Cuba is lifted.
And, like many of Mr. Morales' aforementioned left-wing comrades, he is all-too-eager to work with the new Obama Administration in Washington.
The list of left-wing, communist leaning Latin American regimes does not end with Bolivia. Some other notable new additions to the region's leadership include:
• Rafael Correa - elected President of Ecuador in 2006 representing the left-wing PAIS Alliance party.
• Manuel Zelaya - elected President of Honduras in 2005 representing the Liberal Party of Honduras.
• Tabaré Vázquez - elected President of Uruguay in 2004 representing the left-wing Broad Front coalition.
• Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) - elected President of Brazil in 2002 and reelected in 2006 representing the left-wing “Worker's Party.”
• Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – elected President of Argentina in 2007 representing the left-wing Front for Victory party. Succeeded her husband Néstor Kirchner who was elected in 2003.
And although it goes without mentioning, the grand overseer of this transformation in Latin America is the communist dictator brothers, Fidel and Raul Castro, to whom these newly elected presidents come pandering time and time again.
With a few obvious exceptions—the most notable of which is Columbia—it appears the defunct “Second World” is indeed resurfacing, just not in Eastern Europe. Under any other American Presidential administration, such a red tide sweeping “America's Backyard” would be of grave concern and demand the utmost caution.
With President Obama—who, like the Salvadoran President-elect Mauricio Funes hails from a tradition of revolutionary left-wing radicalism—the entire equation changes for the worse.
(Tomorrow: Part 2 – W(h)ither Democracy?)
William Warren is a Contributing Editor of ALG News Bureau.