Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel used his speech at the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit in Santo Domingo on Saturday to express his “solidarity with the governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia” in the face of international pressure. The reference itself is a declaration of intent because it intends to convey an idea of the block. The old Bolivarian axis promoted at the time by Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, which already lost steam in the middle of the last decade, no longer exists. The appointment of the Dominican Republic highlighted the chasm that exists today in Latin America between progressive governments and the old model heir to the Cuban and Sandinista revolutions.
The unbridled drift of the regime of Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, accelerated in February with the exile of more than 200 political prisoners and the withdrawal of nationality from another 94 opponents, cost Nicaragua the virtually unanimous condemnation of the community international . Chilean President Gabriel Boric expressed this unnuanced repudiation during the meeting of the 22 countries of the Ibero-American community. “It is not acceptable that we remain silent in the face of the family dictatorship of Ortega and Murillo”, shouted the young left-wing politician. “He seems not to know that the fatherland is carried in his soul and in his blood and is not removed by decree. Gioconda Belli, Sergio Ramírez and Dora María Téllez, among many others, know this well”, continued the president, referring to the two writers and the mythical Commander Two of the Sandinista revolution, who spent 605 days imprisoned in the feared El Chipote prison, considered the worst dungeon in Managua.
It is not the first time Boric has spoken out harshly about the Ortega regime’s human rights violations. However, he had never done so before Denis Moncada, chancellor of Nicaragua, who also participated in the Ibero-American Summit. The Chancellor’s response was predictable. “We demand that President Boric of Chile respect the government and people of Nicaragua. He must not use Nicaragua in his betrayal of the people and in his surrender to the US empire. We demand respect from our government, respect from the Nicaraguan people.”
In addition to this clash, in Santo Domingo, such diverse approaches were heard from leftist leaders who question, firstly, the inclusion of everyone in an even similar spectrum and, secondly, open a series of questions about the definition of what today is the left in Latin America. Peronism, represented at the forum by Argentine Alberto Fernández, has always been different. But even the Brazilian Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, absent from the summit, returned to power in January at the head of a broad coalition that marks differences with respect to his first governments.
Colombian Gustavo Petro launched an appeal in defense of former Peruvian president Pedro Castillo, assuring that what happened last December was not a self-coup, but that the coup was given to him. The Colombian president has resumed relations with the government of Nicolás Maduro, although he has a vision of the world and, above all, an idea of an economic model that is very different from that of Hugo Chávez’s successor. And on the other hand, the empirical evidence makes no comparison between the Ortega regime and Chavismo, which despite US sanctions returned to negotiate with that country the reopening of the oil sector, much less with Bolivia. The government of Luis Arce faces other problems, but the situation is not comparable to that of Venezuela or Nicaragua. On the other hand, the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, another president included in the progressive movement and also absent from the summit, deals with the specificities of his country’s ecosystem. A type of left almost for every country and in every government.