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South America (Progress, Decline and Hope)

November 20th, 2011: Cristina Kirchner is reelected as President of Argentina after getting 50.5% of the vote in one of the most disputed run-off elections in the history of Argentina. The actual elections happened a month earlier, and Cristina got 49.7% of the vote.

January 26th, 2012: A movement similar to that of the Spanish “indignados” takes over the main square of Caracas, Venezuela, the Plaza Bolívar. Several specialists point out that the main cause for these protest seem to be the Chávez administration's gross mishandling of the economy and the president's rising authoritarianism.

January 29th, 2012: Venezuelan television channel TeleSUR, under state control, calls the protesters “a bunch of reactionary slaves of the American imperialism”.

January 31st, 2012: Chavist militias attack the Plaza Bolívar and disband the “indignados” movement.

September 15th, 2012: A constitutional change is approved by referendum in Brazil after months of debate. It changes the Presidential term to five years, without possibility of reelection.

May 1st, 2014: The International Labour Day is celebrated in Venezuela with many parades, but the headlines are won by the creation of the Independent Worker's Union (SIT), an explicitly anti-chavist union, which fights for better wages and work conditions in a year where most of the other (chavist) unions tell people to fasten their belts. In a movement that echoes the one that happened two years earlier, hundreds of thousand take the Plaza Bolívar.

May 4th, 2014: The Mayors of Macaraibo, Caracas and Mérida declare their support for the SIT, as does the Army for General Alvarado. American media starts calling the events in Venezuela “The Great SIT-in”.

May 5th, 2014: Captured by the Army during the night, most of the pro-Chávez militias surrender their weapons. Hugo Chávez' control of the country is now limited to a small area around and within Caracas.

May 6th, 2014: A meeting is arranged between the Mercosul leaders in Montevidéu to discuss the situation in Venezuela. The meeting is interrupted by a call from General Alvarado, who says that “By noon I'll be marching through Caracas to restore democracy to this nation”.

May 7th, 2014: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff states that “if any officer of the Venezuelan Army takes over the position of President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through illegal action, he shall be considered by Brazil as an enemy of the Brazilian people and its allies”. Meanwhile, Evo Morales of Bolivia Nonetheless, a few hours later, Alvarado and Chávez reach an agreement to avoid a bloodbath: Chávez would resign, the militias would be disbanded and Maria Corina, the opposition leader, would become president. Hugo Chávez leaves Caracas on a helicopter going to Cuba at the end of the day, effectively resigning as President of Venezuela after 15 years.

October 1st, 2014: Dilma Rousseff is reelected as the President of Brazil, winning 59% of the vote. Her share of the vote makes unnecessary a runoff round, and she is inaugurated on January 1st, 2015. Her campaign was buoyed by the strong economy, and reduced crime rates in major cities like Sao Paolo and Rio de Janiero. Her opponent, Teotonio Vilela Filho, the governor of Alagoas, was reduced to attacking her foreign policy, which he said was “too close to international pariahs like Iran.”

December 10th, 2014: Former Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva wins the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for the poor and indigenous tribes of her nation.

May 12th, 2015: An article in the New York Times draws attention to the Lulaist economic policies of Maria Corina, the President of Venezuela. Since her assumption of power, she has been moving Brazil away from Chavez's “Bolivarian socialism” and towards a more traditional model, encouraged by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. With the removal of Chavez and the increased activism of Brazil, Ecuador has also been moving towards a less radical position.

November 11th, 2015: Talks of a South-American power bloc begin between Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Danilo Astori of Uruguay and outgoing Cristina Kirchner of Argentina.

March 25, 2016: The Treaty of Florianópolis creates the Aliança Latino-Americana pelo Desenvolvimento e Comércio (Alliance of Latin America for Development and Commerce, or as the media describes it, the Latin American Union), an updating of the Mercosur Free-trade Organization, now with more focus on a possible political union between its participants. Strangely, Argentina was not invited to the treaty, on the grounds of it protectionist policies being a contradiction to the tax-free commerce the ALADEC so clearly defends. Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Venezuela are the members of this new organization.

December 2nd, 2016: Despite concerns about his age and health (he is 71) Luiz da Silva, better known as Lula, the former Brazilian president, is elected as UN Secretary-General. Lula is the second Latin American Secretary-General. He will be inaugurated on January 1st, 2019.

June 2nd, 2017: Marina Silva, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former presidential candidate, in a public rally in Rio Branco, Brazil, creates the Christian Socialist Party (PSC).

February 1st, 2019: The Brazilian Presidential elections begin. Outgoing President Dilma Rousseff endorses the candidacy of Alexandre Molon, a rather obscure former senator from Rio de Janeiro. The rest of the Party, however, prefers Guido Mantega, the Finance Minister throughout both the Lula and Rousseff presidencies. In the end, a compromise is settled: the ticket would be Mantega/Molon.

The PMDB and the PSD surprise the government by announcing their own candidates, and their withdrawal from the government's coallition. Michel Temer, Dilma's former VP, is chosen as candidate. Marina Silva is naturally chosen as candidate of the PSC amidst accusations of eco-terrorism; the former Governor of Minas Gerais Aécio Neves is chosen as the candidate of the Social-Democrats. Other than that, the constitutional changes allowed by the referendum of 2012 allowed independent candidacies from the election of 2019 and on, and thus was created the curious cadidacy of José Sarney, former President of Brazil, President of the Senate, former Governor of Maranhão and well-known kleptocrat, at 90 years of age.

May 2nd, 2019: The Brazilian Army launches a ground-air assault on a drug camp in the far reaches of the Brazilian state Amazonas, only 42 miles from the border with Colombia. The camp, which had been located through satellite imagery, had over 100 acres of marijuana-growing fields, and a small factory to process the goods. 2 Brazilian soldiers were injured, while 16 narcones were killed and an additional 12 captured. The leader of the cartel running the camp, called Padrinho (The Godfather), was not present during the raid. 4 tons of marijuana awaiting shipment was captured.

October 1st, 2019: The Brazilian Presidential elections are held. With no less than 5 relevant and nation-known candidates, it was the most disputed election ever held in Brazil. Nonetheless, the soaring economy, over which Guido Mantega had previously presided as Minister of Finance, is a decisive point in the Worker's Party victoy with 51,1% of the vote, cancelling the need for a run-off election, not without complant of a one-party dominance, since the PT has now dominated Brazilian politics for 17 years, with seemingly many more to come.

Guido Mantega / Alexandre Molon (PT): 51,1% Marina Silva/ Alexandre Lemos (PSC): 17,9% Aécio Neves / Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB): 16% Michel Temer / Renan Calheiros (PMDB): 7,7% José Sarney / Dora Calheiros (Independent): 6,3%

The crushing defeat of both the PSDB(Party of Brazilian Social-Democracy) and the PMDB(Party of the Movement for Brazilian Democracy) was at the root of the withering away of both parties in the coming decade, while the PSC continued to see itself as a rising force.

May 2nd, 2021: The UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) releases a report that calls attention to increasing rates of drug production and consumption in Brazil. In particular, the report cites studies which find that among Brazil's large middle class, cocaine usage has increased 60% from 2011 levels and marijuana usage is at record levels. Production is also an issue; the study cites several raids taken by the Brazilian army in the last few years on drug “camps” and farms in the jungle. On the whole, the report concludes that “Brazil is endangered by three factors; a growing middle class consumer base for illegal drugs; transport conduits among the underprivileged and rural; and a large, uncontrolled interior with the correct climate for the growth of illegal drugs”. However, the report also says that Brazilian authorities have mostly been taking the correct actions to deal with the growing drug problem, reporting that corruption among Brazilian authorities is low and “not in any way an endemic issue.”

April 20th, 2021: Colombia announces that it will join ALADEC in 2018. ALADEC, created by the Treaty of Florianopolis in 2016, comprises Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Chile and Argentina are strong opponents of the organization, viewing it as a threat to free trade and to South American unity. All the members of ALADEC, commonly thought of as a Brazilian-led group, follow Lulaist economic programs modeled on Brazil's.

November 29th, 2021: Lula is reelected as United Nations Secretary General. He is credited during his first term with expanding economic aid by working much more closely with the World Bank. Additionally, the UN handling of the Russian crisis was mostly successful.

December 3rd, 2021: Former Brazilian president and incumbent UN Secretary-General Luiz Inacio da Silva dies at the age of 76 from a massive stroke. The General Assembly, in an emergency session, decides to hold a special election on December 20th to fill his term.

January 18th, 2023: The Brazilian Secretaria de Comunicação Social announces that in the third-and-fourth quarters of 2022, Brazil entered a recession. The recession is tied mainly to two factors; lack of credit in rural areas as banks avoid financing the narcotics trade, and the current economic instability in India and the United States. India now represents 16% of Brazil's trade, up from 7.1% in 2008. Brazil's president, Guido Mantega, announces that the government will immediately take action to quickly reverse this “regrettable retraction.”

September 20th, 2023: Brazil declares that its brief recession ended in the second quarter of the year, as lowered lending rates led to a renewal of credit throughout Brazil and an infusion of spending.

January 2nd, 2025: Suriname and Guyana jointly announce that they will join ALADEC in 2026. ALADEC, created by the Treaty of Florianopolis in 2016, comprises Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Chile and Argentina are strong opponents of the organization, viewing it as a threat to free trade and to South American unity. All the members of ALADEC, commonly thought of as a Brazilian-led group, follow Lulaist economic programs modeled on Brazil's. The two countries also announce they have resolved their long-running border dispute with an acceptance of the status quo, after the intervention of the President of Brazil January 5th, 2025: Venezuela objects to the accession of Guyana to ALADEC (Aládec) on the grounds that Guyana occupies Venezuelan territory. The border dispute dates back to 1898. Under Aládec rules, all member states must agree to the admission of a new country. Brazil offers to mediate the dispute.

January 24th, 2025: Venezuela agrees to allow Guyana to join the Brazil-led organization Aládec, after Guyana agrees to give special economic rights to Venezuela in the disputed border area.

June 29th, 2026: Raids throughout Brazil by the Departamento de Polícia Federal result in the arrests of over 400 suspected drug traffickers. Brazil's drug problem has increased markedly in recent years. Marijuana use has increased in middle-class youth, while crack use has increased in the favelas (slums).

May 3rd, 2028: The Brazilian aircraft carrier NAe São Paulo is slated for decommissioning in 2030. The ship, first commissioned in 1960 by the French Navy, was the oldest carrier still active. Brazil announces that it intends to build two new carriers to replace the NAe São Paulo.

June 10th, 2028: Brazil and India announce that they will work collaboratively to build two supercarriers, one for each country. Plans will be purchased from France and Russia, or developed domestically. The twin carriers are expected to enter into service in 2032.

February 2nd, 2030: The President of Brazil announces the creation of a national Task Force on Drug Prevention, which will aim to tackle Brazil's drug problem through two different venues; law enforcement and the drug consumer culture among Brazil's youth. The drug problem has grown in parallel with growing corruption in the police force, which now often turns a blind eye to smuggling and does not dare enter some parts of neighborhoods in urban areas.

May 20th, 2030: Brazil and Turkey sign the Treaty of Tunis, cementing a growing friendship between the two rising powers. The treaty establishes a free-trade system as well as close military ties. Additionally, Brazilian and Turkish students will no longer have restrictions on study-abroad programs, and visas will not be required to travel between Brazil and Turkey.

March 8th, 2031: Peru announces that it will join the Alliance of Latin America for Development and Commerce (ALADEC). ALADEC was formed in 2016 and currently comprises Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, Guyana, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina remain outside of ALADEC; Chile and Argentina because they view its Lulaist economic plan as a threat to free trade, and Ecuador because it does not wish to “surrender sovereignty to Brazil.”

July 20th, 2031: The Brazilian Navy commissions the NAe Dom Pedro II, its first supercarrier. Displacing 108,000 tonnes, and carrying upwards of sixty aircraft, the carrier was developed together with India, which launched the twin ship (the INS Jayant Rama) in February. American Secretary of State Gerardo Ramirez says that “the United States welcomes Brazil's assertiveness and commitment to democracy around the globe”, although commentators suggest that America worries about Brazil's overshadowing sphere of influence in Latin America.

March 2nd, 2032: After months of rumbling, the 4,750 meter Kluchevskoy Volcano located in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula explodes in an eruption so powerful it destroys the mountain itself. With results similar to the eruption of Laki in Iceland in 1783, an estimated 120,000,000 long tons of sulphur are emitted. While only 2717 people die in the initial blast, there is much loss of wildlife on the heretofore pristine Kamchatka peninsula. The poisonous cloud dissipates over the Pacific Ocean before reaching North America although record thick fogs are reported at sea.

The winter of 2032-2033 is one of the most severe on record. While the world enjoyed spectacular sunsets, snowfall over North America was deeper than it had been in decades. Harbors froze from Maine to Charleston, South Carolina, as did the Mississippi River as far south as New Orleans. As a result of weakened monsoon cycles in Asia and Africa, there was much suffering in famine stricken areas on both continents. The lowering of mean temperatures around the world stopped the progress of global warming for several decades and weather patterns returned to mid- 20th Century norms as glaciers again advanced, ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland firmed up, and polar bear populations began to increase. The effects would wear off by 2060 when scientists again began to note record high temperatures and the loss of ice in Antarctica and Greenland.

September 9th, 2032: Indonesia signs the Treaty of Tunis, formally joining Brazil and Turkey in what is frequently called the BIT block. The treaty establishes free trade, establishes high and low-level military contact and cooperation, expands cultural exchanges, and removes visa restrictions. The three second-class power nations frequently work together to expand their influence on the world stage. They individually exert their power in their respective regions; North Africa and Central Asia, Aládec in Latin America, and ASEAN.

October 21st, 2036: Brazil announces that it has made significant progress in combating drug issues throughout the country. Drug usage rates have dropped, domestic production has been reduced by nearly 80%, and corruption in the police force has been reduced considerably. In the past six years, over 2000 police officers have been jailed on corruption charges throughout Brazil, according to the Departamento de Polícia Federal.

April 9th-11th, 2039: Hurricane Roberto strikes the small island nation of Trinidad and Tobago as a Category 5, causing catastrophic flooding. Over 12,000 people die and 70,000 are left homeless in the wake of the storm. The United States, Mexico, and ALADEC collectively pledge over 1 billion dollars in aid over the next two years to help the small country rebuild. The storm goes on to strike Venezuela and Colombia, but ALADEC-constructed storm barriers and shelters keep it at bay and only 29 people die in those two countries.

May 1st, 2040: Trinidad and Tobago joins ALADEC, the Brazil-led Latin American economic group. Its Prime Minister, Kamla Maharaj, says that following devastating Hurricane Roberto the year previously, Trindad and Tobago realized that its fortunes would be better with the “aid of our Latin American brothers and sisters.”

January-September, 2044: Uruguay suffers through a deep recession caused by a drought, leading to a fall in cattle production, as well as a deficit in the state-supported welfare system. The recession causes protests in Uruguay against ALADEC. Protestors say that ALADEC's “quasi-socialism” is ruining the economy of export-oriented Uruguay.

December 10th, 2044: Uruguay announces that they will leave ALADEC at the end of the year due to “profound economic differences.” Uruguay, whose economy is based on international exports, suffered a difficult recession earlier in the year.

May 5th, 2045: Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay form the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA), which will support free-market capitalist policies and oppose the Lulaist economics of ALADEC. However, the three countries stress that LAFTA is not opposed to ALADEC in any sense other than economic. Nevertheless, Argentina and Chile remain close US allies, as opposed to Brazil, which, while friendly with the Americans, has pursued a more independent foreign policy.

May 10th, 2057: Treaty of Guadalajara: considered a landmark step in South American politics, all 13 nations of South America (including Trinidad and Tobago) sign a treaty pledging to never again fight a war between themselves. As concrete steps towards this goal, all final customs barriers in South America are abolished, they agree to double joint military exercises, reduce total domestic military spending by 10% apiece by 2060, create three joint naval task forces to patrol the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Pacific, and create a common Office of Economic Integration to ease barriers between the ALADEC and LAFTA blocs.

timelines/south_america_progress_decline_and_hope.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/24 06:55 by petike