The always interesting James Petras addresses at Voltaire Net the issue of the limits and frustration of the "revolutionary" governments in Latin America. It is a very critical article that emphasizes how far from socialism these governments are and how this is triggering increasing protests by the grassroots that are accused of "trotskism" or even of helping the reaction.
It is a very long article that I can hardly synthesize here but basically he's saying that these governments, in their diversity, are mostly populist developmentalist (nationalist) soft capitalist systems under a red banner, much like China (red outside, white inside), which have not even realized the much needed agrarian reform, with the partial exception of Venezuela.
Petras also mentions how the strong revolutionary movement that existed a few years ago in Mexico has fragmented and looks powerless against the narco-feudalization of the country for that reason. In this context, he also makes the controversial claim that mafias offer a way out of poverty by means of "armed struggle", which has obviously no pretense to have political implications but may be true for the subjectivity of the individual slum-dweller and his/her survival and potential success immediate needs.
Possibly the conclusions can be those outlined in this paragraph:
The workers and peasants are increasingly recognizing that they are not the beneficiaries of the economic successes, growth and stability, celebrated by the leaders of the developmental regimes. The left must encourage, organize and capitalize on the masses’ rising expectations for higher living standards in the face of record high commodity prices. In recent years, too often, the left has fallen prey to the ‘theater’ of a self-described “new left” and its “anti-neo-liberal” rhetoric, even as it increases the presence of multi-national capital (MNC). The new “state-MNC” partnerships exclude the working class from the profits and revenue which, instead, are distributed between new rising middle professional and technocratic classes and foreign investors.Criticism of the Left by the Left, as it should be. The Right is obviously not out of the process yet but it is just a dead weight, unable to produce any socially meaningful project, just more robbery and exploitation of people and Earth, something that has become simply unbearable. So, in a sense, we can say that the Right is out of the process and fatally damaged by its own incapability of generating happiness.
However the institutional Left is also limited by its own subservience to Capital and their own political liabilities, including personality cult and lack of revolutionary ambition. On the other hand it's difficult to imagine how such peripheral economies (though every day less peripheral probably) can lead the revolutionary process, that at this stage can only be global.
Though maybe I'm wrong in this.