“No me ayude, compadre…”

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Just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Castro-Chavez left was on a roll in its struggle for hemispheric supremacy against the Lula-Bachelet left. With Ollanta Humala on a roll in Peru and Lopez Obrador holding on to his longstanding lead in Mexico, the Anachronistic Left looked primed to add two big countries.

Things haven’t quite gone as planned. First off, Humala and Lopez Obrador’s challengers started making Chavez’s meddling an issue in the campaign. And the mudslinging has been effective. Humala seems stuck about 10 points behind Alan Garcia in the peruvian polls, and even more startlingly, Lopez Obrador’s lead has evaporated. It’s early day yet, no question, but it sure looks like Humala and Lopez Obrador would be doing much better if Chavez had just sat on his hands during the campaign…

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