Freedom 200 Years Later

05/07/2010

Ángel Rivero: “Two hundred years after their emancipation, Latin American nations should present a balance of their institutional development and of how they have protected individual freedoms”

“The characteristic feature of the democratic revolution fought 200 years ago is the development of the constitutional order and the dominance in the sphere of ideas of a policy addressed to protecting individual freedom. But it didn’t turn out completely that way, the policy of Revolution has also nested on the Atlantic world”

“The constitutional Government makes out of the defence of individual freedoms its main guiding purpose, whereas the revolutionary Government embodies a so-called collective will addressed to the establishment of a new order above and beyond individual freedoms”

“Revolutionary politics places its main motive on social issues, thus the enemies of the people are those who possess the wealth. On the opposite side, constitutional politics favours an economic organization that generates wealth benefitting the whole of society, thus fighting poverty without attacking freedom”


Xavier Reyes: “The establishment of Government councils in America, far from the Chavist discourse that qualifies them as popular insurrection, was an oligarchic movement of the local elites”

“Bolívar thought democracy was the door to anarchy and chaos. The answer was a leader to control the elites and the people”

“In Latin America, the Creole, who represents the evolution to modernity, has been execrated from the political discourse”

“Hugo Chávez has reinterpreted the role of the leader, making it the bastion of chaos and social dissolution. The new order is authoritarian but not republican, it is simply mafia”

Guillermo Lasso: “Latin American countries are divided into two major groups: those that have institutional democracies, market-based economy and the Rule of Law; and the countries that follow the Socialism of the 21st century. Freedom as a political value is seriously discredited in Latin America”

“In Latin America, budget adjustments through shocks carried huge social costs, while privatisations meant the transformation of public monopolies into private monopolies. The image fixed in people’s minds was that liberal reforms meant reducing social assistance to the most vulnerable parts of society, and giving the nation’s profitable companies to the private sector.

“While the poorest people paid the bill, a small group of smarties took the crown jewels. All this was called abuse and corruption. This void in the political field and in the people’s ideology was covered by the left, who raised itself as an emancipating movement before the mandates of the United States, the IMF or the World Bank, and leading the fight against poverty”

“Many times, right-wing parties estranged themselves from their ideological principles, they disconnected from the citizens’ needs and focused their action on controlling State companies for the benefit of a few. It was promptly understood that the best business was to be very close to the Government but very far away from the State”