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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Monday, 03 April, 2006
By Gavin Esler
Presenter, BBC Newsnight

Newsnight goes Inside Latin America
Newsnight goes Inside Latin America
Presented by Gavin Esler

Continental Drift to the Left

Hello from Lima.

We begin a week of special coverage - Inside Latin America - with an examination of one of the world's most under-reported big stories.

While the attention of George Bush has been fixed on Osama Bin Laden, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Iran, south of the Texas border American policy and American interests have been taking a beating.

In Venezuela and Bolivia there are already stridently anti-American regimes. Later this year both Mexico and Nicaragua have credible left wing populist candidates who could take power.


Chile, Brazil and Argentina already have soft-left governments. We've come to Peru because people here go to the polls on Sunday and the front runner for the presidency is Ollanta Humala - a staunch nationalist, who says the world is divided into the Globalisers and the Globalised - and the poor suffer. The stock-market has dipped, Peru's middle classes are very worried by Humala's rhetoric.

In Monday's programme I have an interview with the latest Latin American firebrand to burst on to the world stage. As you'll see, when we played chess together, Humala likes to compete.

Plus we'll hear from the Prime Minister of Peru, and from one of those in Washington most concerned about American policy in the region - or the lack of it.


Newsnight's Greg Palast will be reporting from Venezuela on the man who is the biggest thorn in George Bush's side - President Hugo Chavez.

Roughly 15% of American oil supplies come from Venezuela, and President Chavez is using some of his country's oil money to bankroll anti-American politicians across Latin America.

Nova Lima

And we'll hear from one of the hottest new Latin American bands, Novalima.


The politics of Latin America are notoriously fiery, but British politics aren't exactly dull right now either.

Back in London, Jeremy and guests assess how long Tony Blair can withstand the increasing pressure on him to name a departure date.



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