Since the election of Hugo Chávez as president of Venezuela in 1999, Latin America has witnessed a resurgence of left-leaning governments whose electoral campaigns denounced the implementation of neoliberal economic policies. In Brazil, the election of Lula da Silva in 2002 appeared to represent the turning point for the region's largest power. However, an analysis of the Brazilian economy since military rule, followed by an examination of the Workers' Party (PT), identifies two factors that explain why President Lula continued to adopt market-oriented policies once elected. One factor is Brazil's evolving economic structure, which, over time, has fortified foreign and domestic business interests in the system. The other factor is the institutionalization of the party system in Brazil, witnessed by the Workers' Party's shift to the center of the political spectrum. These two factors, taken together, explain Lula's commitment to neoliberal economic policies while in office.