Political map of South American nations 11 January 2012 (Pink Tide): The US victory in the Cold War encouraged Latin American states to adopt neoliberalism; a course which led to economic hardship for many. In a popular backlash starting in the late '90s, leftist leaders were elected into power across the region in what was dubbed a 'pink tide'. Prominent among these new statesmen was Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, who used his country's oil wealth to fund not just socialism at home but to form ALBA - an alternative to the US-dominated Rio Pact.