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Guatemalan politician on a mission to slay socialism throughout Latin America: It's killed 150 million people

Gloria Alvarez is a Guatemalan politician, activist, and political scientist, who has long advocated for a free-market oriented strategy to bring stability and prosperity to the Latin American region.

It wasn't all that long ago that socialism was in sharp decline throughout the Latin American region. As Venezuela descended into economic chaos, and unrest spread throughout Cuba and Nicaragua, the left lost its stranglehold on the key powerhouses of Brazil and Argentina.

At the ballot boxes, voters across South and Central America turned against socialist and communist parties in a big way. However, that trend has reversed sharply over the past 5 years, with left-wing parties scoring big wins in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru.

Most surprisingly of all, Colombia elected its first left-wing leader in a generation, with former Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro narrowly winning office with 51% of the vote over Bucaramanga Mayor Rodolfo Hernandez.

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Guatemalan politician and activist Gloria Alvarez has a diagnosis for the current state of affairs. She's on a mission to slay socialism and populism throughout the region, and argues that the right-wing has squandered the opportunities to govern when they were in power. 

"When the right wing was governing they didn't lower taxes, they didn't open markets, they didn't invest in justice and security, which are the only two things that a government should be doing," Alvarez said. "They multiplied the spending, they kept on with the corruption; with COVID they even took it to new levels that we've never seen. One of the cases is Guatemala. Giammattei [current Guatemalan president] is a doctor and instead of having common sense for the whole pandemic, he ruined our country with horrible measures of curfews and vigilante police enforcement everywhere… the economics just collapsed."

Alvarez, who has long advocated for free-markets as a solution to the region's ills, argues that the right-wing abandons their principles when in power:

"The problem is, the right wing hates free markets, they don't want a smaller government, they are mercantilist, they are moochers and looters just like Ayn Rand said," she said.

She continued, "And they always ignore the big elephants in the room. They don't want to talk about drug trafficking; they don't want to talk about the fact that we're not going to have transparent politics in our region until we discuss what the hell we are going to do with the horrible marriage of drug dealers and politicians."

She believes that the Latin American left is adept at using a divide and conquer approach to appeal to a diverse group of constituencies in order to win power, with a particular appeal to Latin American youth. 

"They disguise themselves in the flags of LGBT, indigenous, ecological, for women, and the young people who are fed up with the corruption, with inequality, with injustice, they go back to socialism because they don't remember, Alveraz said. "They were babies in the beginning of the century when Chavez was starting to seize properties. So that's why you have this horrible pendulum always going on in Latin America: either you have the right wing governing with closed markets for their crony friends, or you have the socialists governing for their cronies in the name of the poor."

She shared how that the "Sao Paulo Forum", which has now transformed into the "Grupo de Puebla", has its origins in the Cold War, specifically the Soviet Union's intent to spread Communism in the United States' backyard.

"The Sao Paulo Forum was the meeting of all the ex-Marxist guerrillas that were funded by the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union collapsed they reinvented themselves in this Sao Paulo Forum that would get together every year and that's how they strategized: moving from violence to winning elections with the strategy of the Socialism of the 21st Century. Basically, all the Communist and socialist parties of Latin America are part of the Sao Paulo Forum," she said. "Then it was reinvented as the ‘Grupo de Puebla’ when AMLO came to power in Mexico…they are very happy right now because they are back in power, they have [President Gabriel] Boric in Chile. They run the region again."

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Alvarez wrote a book entitled "The Populist Deception" with Chilean economist Axel Kaiser. It explains the strategic and devious manner in which socialists use populist means to achieve their objectives:

"Socialism goes against science, history, biology… I say it has been socialism because, by the definition of Marx, Communism has never been achieved: that phase where there's no money, where there's no property, where there's no state. So all we have had on the planet, from Vietnam to China to the USSR, has been socialism. It has killed 150 million people, so when you have that data you need to lie, to manipulate… you have to come up with something that makes you popular, and that's where populism comes in because populism is a psychological manipulation system," she said. 

"It's just to manipulate you! It promises you free stuff. It tells you that all your problems in your life are the fault of some other group: it can be the Mexicans, the w\Whites, the rich, the women, it doesn't matter," she continued. "The 'other' is guilty for whatever happens in your life, and it promises you things that go against economic logic, like free stuff, employment for everybody. No, the government is not there to give you that."

For Alvarez the so-called "Socialism of the 21st Century" is just another weak attempt to add a coat of paint and try to rehabilitate the reputation of an extremely harmful and dangerous ideology.

Alvarez is still undecided as to whether she will run for president of Guatemala in the future. Her first candidacy was invalidated because she did not meet the minimum age requirement of 40, a prerequisite that she will meet for the next election cycle.

In the meantime, Alvarez will continue to speak out against the ideology of socialism of the 21st Century, and its elected leaders.

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