HomeQ&AThe political spectrum of Latin America

The political spectrum of Latin America


Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me the political spectrum of Latin America is extremely dualistic. On one side of the fence is the extreme right. People like Perón, Batista and Pinochet. On the extreme left you have Chavez, the Castros, Che and Ortega. There seems to be little middle ground. Are my perceptions accurate? If they are, why do radicals dominate the political landscape of Latin America?

updated SEP 21, 2009
posted by sauceman56

2 Answers


You're right. And there are many factors influencing this situation. One of them would be the fact, that most of South American political systems (some of them close to regimes) are quite young and still need some time to "pertify". I also think that political situations have a lot in common with the nation's prevailing temperament. And I wouldn't call South Americans very cool and reserved. Strong emotions lead people to choose extreme solutions. Other factors like poverty, education etc. should also be taken into account. Most western societies are considered mature and their political systems had more time to cool off.

updated SEP 21, 2009
posted by Issabela
very nice post iza - 00494d19, SEP 21, 2009

I am living in Bolivia and I would not want to be the President here. The political landscape is extremely complicated. Much of South America has been adversely affected by interference particularly from the USA over the last 200 years. The "Monroe Doctrine" has a lot to answer for when one is considering why this region of the world has so many problems. Also I agree with what Izabela wrote. The democracies here are quite young and only in recent years has the negative influence from the USA in particular been challanged. When change is needed it is always the radicals who dominate the political landscape - and change has been needed here since Bolivar gained independence from Spain nearly 200 years ago.

updated FEB 4, 2010
posted by ian-hill
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