Regime Changes in South America & Africa Weaken China & Russia’s Influence

Several changes of regimes took place very recently in a number of countries around the world. The changes came in atypical & unusual manner. There are the chances of further regime changes in few more countries.

While the recent impeachment of the outgoing Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff has the potentiality to weaken the BRICS bloc, any attempt of successfully ousting the South African President Jacob Zuma would test the morale of the BRICS leaderships.

Efforts of regime change

Riots, street protests, strikes, demonstrations have increased recently in countries across the world, especially in countries within Latin America. Moreover, the risks of impeachments are rattling the state premiers of a number of countries, fearing similar fate as Dilma Rouseff.

Most governments in Latin America find themselves vulnerable to destabilization. Without doubt, such destabilization are instigated in order to make change of governments.

Many governments across the world face political polarization among the domestic political community; and such polarization, having the potential to destabilize the country, becomes one of the major headaches for the targeted governments.

Regime changes in recent past

President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras and President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay were successful in overthrowing in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Both presidents were ousted by parliamentary majorities, with the widespread allegations that such ousting were facilitated from foreign corners. In Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff and her supporters argued that she has been impeached on unverified charges, ignoring the fact that she came to power through legitimate means under the Constitution of Brazil.

In Argentina, Cristina Fernandez’s government was defeated in 2015 presidential election through several years of intense negative campaigns, which were allegedly controlled from foreign corners, against her government.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, former Ukrainian President Victor Yanakovich and former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, all these heads of state who had been increasingly coming closer to either China or Russia or both, were ousted before routine elections. Strong allegations had been made regarding the foreign involvements in these ousting.

On-going agitation for regime change

The Maduro government in Venezuela announced in February 2016 that it had stopped an attempted coup involving a consorted effort by Venezuelan Air Force officers, members of opposition political parties of Venezuela and some foreign corners. The government alleged that coup-plotters had plans to bomb the presidential palace, the national assembly and a television channel headquarter.

In Ecuador, a police mutiny in 2010 nearly succeeded in ousting the government of President Rafael Correa. The destabilization efforts against Ecuador & Venezuela continue till the day with violent street protests taking place at intervals.

Regime change efforts in South Africa

South Africa has been actively participating in all the platforms initiated and led by the Sino-Russian political orbit in order to reshape the world order. More interestingly, South Africa is among the five countries in BRICS bloc that is actively working to reshape the current world order.

However, increasingly South African government under President Jacob Zuma has been facing immense challenges internationally and domestically. He recently survived an impeachment effort and there is every possibility that more of such impeachment efforts against him might take place in near future. Many analysts believe that Jacob Zuma’s pro-BRICS sentiment and his closeness with China & Russia are the genuine reasons behind the attempts of ousting him from presidency. Despite such efforts against him, President Zuma defended, during State of the Nation Address on February 2016, his policy of aligning with China & BRICS, and pointed out that Chinese investment in South Africa means jobs.

Effect of regime change on Latin unity

The solidarity among the Latin states is much stronger today than ever. Platforms for regional integration like the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) are surely seen as an expression of struggle of all Latin countries to walk in the same path, together. Likeminded governments in Argentina (under former President Cristina Fernandez), Brazil (under impeached President Dilma Rouseff), Venezuela, Ecuador & the likes have been moving towards consolidating the Latin solidarity. These governments, at the same time, have been leaning more towards Sino-Russian political orbit.

However, the recent regime changes in Argentina & Brazil and attempts of regime change in other Latin American countries, including Venezuela would weaken the ongoing effort of Latin integration. Moreover, the solidarity among the Latin countries would also be weakened to a considerable extent. Furthermore, the increasing closeness between Latin countries and China & Russia would largely be hampered due to the regime changes that took place recently & due to ongoing efforts to change regimes.

Effect of regime change on BRICS

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the members of the emergent BRICS bloc which has taken on the responsibility of reshaping the global capitalist order. However, India’s increasing closeness with the U.S. and the impeachment of Brazilian pro-BRICS President Dilma Rouseff, together with the regime change efforts in South Africa reflects that bad days are nearing for BRICS bloc. The changes in regimes within BRICS would make the bloc would become weaker to manoeuvre big geopolitical & geo-economic moves at the global level.

Also, changes in regimes within BRICS bloc would weaken the economic partnership between China, Brazil and South Africa, damaging China, the economic engine of BRICS and also isolating Russia, the military backbone of the bloc.


  • In the current scenario, it seems if the governments that favours China & Russia continues to fall, the Sino-Russian political orbit would largely be incapacitated and the vision of Sino-Russian global order might be jeopardized.
  • Provided the Sino-Russian side of the global polarity continues to weaken in terms of influence in African and Latin countries, the U.S. could substantially regain much of its influence (over many countries and region around the world) that has been on decline for last one decade.
  • However, regaining the status of “unipolar superpower” is not possible on the part of the U.S. as there will unlikely be a circumstance like that of the 1990s when there were no other power to challenge the U.S.’s superpower status.


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