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Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Huge Chavez confronts (neo) liberal democracy

    At the root of this disgust with Chávez’s repeated election victories is the consensus amongst the big media players and their commentators that democracy is fine so long as it produces the correct — that is, free market — results. Otherwise it is highly problematic and even dangerous.

  • Venezuelan Elections: a Choice and Not an Echo

    When it comes to this week’s Venezuelan election, the media, pundit predictions and propaganda are based entirely on selective citation of dubious polls and campaign commentaries; and worst of all there is a total lack of any serious discussion of the historical legacy and structural features that form the essential framework for this historic election.

  • Colombia:  Extractive Capital and Peace Negotiations

    Santos has bet his entire economic strategy on the large scale, long-term growth of foreign extractive capital; and this has led him to accept the FARC’s offer to enter into peace negotiations, even if it means recognizing the insurgency as a legitimate belligerent. What Santos has failed to secure in the battlefield—the guaranteed security of the terrain of extractive capital—he hopes to attain via the ‘peace process.’ Santos is counting on the international interlocutors, and sectors of the liberal academic community and human rights groups to pressure the FARC to accept a “peace settlement” in which most of the essential socio-economic reforms are excluded.

  • No Silver Medal

    Civil disobedience has halted production at Mexico’s “top grade producer of silver.” Farmers of the La Sierrita village, a close knit community of about 50 families, located 40 minutes north of the city of Gómez Palacio, Durango, have shut down the La Platosa mine owned by Canadian firm Excellon Resources for over a month.

  • Cannibals and Savages: Racism and images of Haiti

    Haiti is a country practically run by NGO’s. While not all of them are guilty of paternalism, inefficiency is practically inevitable in a situation where dozens of foreign organizations are all running projects independently of each other.

  • Five decades of inanity ¬≠and still going

    In 1991, The Soviet Union disappeared. Washington changed its anti-Cuba rhetoric from Cold War to human rights. But one issue remains: a U.S. economic colony that broke loose in 1959 still refuses to surrender.

  • Guatemala: Decriminalization?

    Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina has made headlines around the world for his suggestion that the U.S. led “War on Drugs” has failed, and that other options should be explored. Media fanfare around his position at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia has re-cast the retired hard line general as a progressive, innovative president. But according to analysts who spoke to Upside Down World, the President’s decriminalization plan is a smokescreen for increased militarization, and the rearrangement of Guatemala’s drug trafficking elite.

  • Mining activists killed in Mexico

    We are in Oaxaca, Mexico and hope to meet community activists opposing the destruction of their community life and environment by a Canadian mining company. The activist we planned to meet, Bernardo Vasquez Sanchez, was killed last night, March 15, 2012, and his brother and cousin were wounded.

  • 15000 grass roots women organize at the end of the world

    The yearly Encuentro was initiated after the fall of the dictatorship in 1986 as a multi-sectoral women’s gathering to celebrate their freedom to organize. For many, this is a highlight of their year, a time when they escape their daily routine of work, household tasks and child and elder care.

    The event is horizontal, democratic, pluralist, sovereign, and self-sustaining; financial and other support is accepted only if there are no strings attached.

  • Environmental internationalism: Cuba’s new mission?

    Since 1959 Cuba has played a significant world role, quite a feat for a nation of 5 million—11 million now. Cubans have shown their values, commitment and solidarity in dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters around the world.

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