Correa & Kirchner on RT: Former Latin American chiefs talk resurgence of neoliberalism
Former Ecuador president Rafael Correa and ex-Argentine leader Cristina Kircher sat down on RT’s Conversation with Correa talk show to discuss neoliberalism’s mistakes of the past and its modern-day resurgence.
Twice president of Argentina, Kirchner believes that a new wave of neoliberalism is gaining a foothold in South America, resulting in legal attacks on opposition leaders.
“There is a new wave of late neoliberalism in our region today. We observe a new phenomenon called lawfare – using the judiciary to persecute opposition leaders, to slander them and persuade people that all the improvements in their lives are not real, that corruption is rampant, that all the improvements are lives invented by corrupt populist leaders,” she said.
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Kirchner and Correa agreed that the same policies which resulted in global economic disaster a decade ago are being repeated.
The 1990s neoliberal model failed Ecuador in the 1990s, Correa said. “It failed in our region, where liberalism was forced on us at a rapid pace. It was a catastrophe. A disaster in economy, social programs, and democracy. Because no matter who the people voted for, the result was the same.
“We had to follow the IMF and World Bank recommendations. Central banks were declared independent, so that financial policies stayed the same, no matter who was in power. It was an economic, political, and social crisis. It was a government crisis. Crisis of ideas. We simply accepted everything our northern neighbor told us in the form of some consensus, in which Ecuadorians had no say.
“Amazing that history is repeating itself in such a short period of time,” Correa added. “The same conservatives with a neoliberal agenda come to power. Their neoliberal economy has already caused so much trouble in all Latin American countries.
“These are recipes from medieval doctors who applied bloodletting when nothing else helped,” the former president continued. “And when the patient died, they made a logical conclusion that they should let more blood and do it faster next time in order to avoid this mishap. In the same way, neoliberals thought that they needed to do more of their reforms after the first ones failed. It was a disaster. And now they are coming back.”
Kirchner said: “I think the government that capitalism and post-war neoliberalism created, all these global corporations, have a lot more power than local governments. It is not in their interest that we discuss a new world order.”
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