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Latin American Conferences at the University of Kassel

The Center for Latin American Studies of the University of Kassel organized a series of conferences dedicated to the countries of Central and South America

July 16th, 2019
Álvaro Abadía Verdú, News from Berlin
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The University of Kassel organized on the 3rd and the 4th of July a series of in-depth talks on the political and economic situation in Latin American countries.

In the last couple of years, Latin America has witnessed an expansion of the policies of the progressive governments, which have contributed to a recovery of social, economic and, to a lesser extent, cultural development. These progressive measures resulted in a reduction in poverty, the promotion of regional initiatives and an increase in the number of participatory processes. However, in the eyes of some sectors of the population, the left-wing parties have not been able to meet expectations regarding economic measures. This has led to an erosion of its legitimacy in the face of popular opinion. In short, the Latin American middle class seems to have changed its opinion with respect to the left-wing parties, which has caused them to support discourses based on cultural, economic and social conservatism.

On the 3rd of June took place the first day of the series of meetings “Contemporary Latin America, the left languishes… the right ascends” organized by the Center for Latin American Studies of the University of Kassel. This series of events aims to discuss these changes and seek an explanation for the loss of strength that the left is suffering, as well as for the rise of the extreme right in Latin America. Clear examples are the governments of Macri and Bolsonaro.

Professor Doctor Ute Clement, Vice-Rector of the University, gave the opening speech, and the lectures started to take place right after her words. In fact, a lecture by prestigious Professor Doctor Santiago Pérez followed. In this lecture the Professor analyzed, under the moderation of Professor Rebeca Ramos, the variables that have lately influenced political changes in Latin America. Members of various Embassies participated, such as the Cultural Attachée of the Embassy of Cuba Ivet López.

The event also brought together scientific researchers from both Germany and Latin America to reflect on the regional political situation in an attempt to explain the economic, social and specifically political structural changes that are giving victories to the extreme right.

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News from Berlin