Competing Alliances in Latin America

RISS leading expert Igor Pshenichnikov analyzes the main left and right political alliances in Latin America - the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The analyst emphasizes that right-wing and neoliberal projects of regional integration reveal the interests of the United States, whereas local leftists and progressives consistently oppose Washington's hegemony in the region. According to Igor Pshenichnikov, the anti-American leftist forces could strengthen their positions in the region in the near future.

Summary:

  • Through the OAS the United States advance its regional interests in Latin America. It became especially obvious during the presidential election in Bolivia in 2019, when in a series of statements and reports, the OAS alleged that serious irregularities occurred during the vote count following Bolivia’s October elections with the implication that there was a deliberate manipulation of the results that changed the final outcome. Therefore tensions over Bolivia's disputed presidential elections arose and resigned. Similar OAS activity can be seen in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

  • ALBA was founded as a counterweight to the OAS in the early 2000s when a wave of left-wing politics swept through Latin America. It disappeared from the political spotlight during the right-wing wave and now, when the political pendulum is swinging back to the left in Latin America, ALBA could be revived.

  • Argentine and Mexican presidents Alberto Fernandez and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are displeased with the OAS and agreed in 2021 to strengthen the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, which is a leftist regional grouping that excludes the U.S. and Canada. The emerging Argentine-Mexican leftist axis poses a series of challenges to the United States in the region.
Latin America discussion Igor Pshenichnikov USA