Articles Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Media as Insurgent Art

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    Twenty-eight years ago the Atlacatl battalion – a U.S. trained and financed squad of Salvadoran soldiers – entered El Mozote and told men, women, and children they were guilty of supporting guerillas and communism. They proceeded to kill every last person and razed the village to the ground. What makes the massacre at El Mozote all the more tragic is the media war and cover up it spurred. The largest massacre in Latin America remains, to most, largely unknown and its victims have been exiled to the rubbish bin of history.

  • Obama, the Blockade against Cuba and Democratic Reform

    As part of the Quebec Social Forum about fifty people gathered at Cégep (junior college) du Vieux Montréal to attend the conference in French “Obama, the Blockade against Cuba and Democratic Reform,” by Arnold August on behalf of the Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba. August is a journalist and author of “Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 Elections” and is currently working on a forthcoming book to be published in the fall of 2010 and entitled “Cuba: Participatory Democracy and Elections in the 21st Century “.

  • Today, can we believe in change?

    Eleven years ago today five young Cubans, Gerardo Hernández, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René Gonzalez and Fernando González, were arrested after infiltrating extreme right-wing Cuban American groups based in southern Florida in an attempt to prevent further terrorist attacks against the Cuban people. Tried in 2001 during a judicial process in Miami in the biased and threatening anti Cuban environment, they were condemned to harsh and disproportionate sentences.

  • Latin America: Social Movements in Times of Economic Crises

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    The most striking aspect of the prolonged and deepening world recession/depression is the relative and absolute passivity of the working and middle class in the face of massive job losses, big cuts in wages, health care and pension payments and mounting housing foreclosures. To explore some tentative hypotheses of why there is little organized protest, we need to examine the historical-structural antecedents to the world economic depression.

  • CSI: Honduras

    It’s now been just over six months since the new US Administration took office, enough time for the underlying ruse to have become crystal clear. In place of the old Bush-era bellicose vocabulary has been substituted the soothing rhetoric of conciliation, this whilst the actual substance of America’s foreign and domestic policies have been altered not one iota. Not one atom

  • Term limits apply when governments benefit people

    “Why haven’t there been attempted coups in Washington DC? Because there’s no U.S. Embassy there.” (Joke told by Chilean journalist to President Obama during President Michelle Bachelet’s White House visit.)

    In 1954, conservative Dwight Eisenhower authorized the CIA to overthrow Guatemala’s government, a coup modeled on a 1953 “regime change” in Iran. In 1964-65, liberal Lyndon Johnson authorized coup d’états in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. When Dominicans revolted, Johnson sent in troops.

  • Obama’s Rollback Strategy

    The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years.

  • Peru:  Blood Flows in the Amazon

    In early June, Peruvian President Alan García, an ally of US President Barack Obama, ordered armored personnel carriers, helicopter gun-ships and hundreds of heavily armed troops to assault and disperse a peaceful, legal protest organized by members of Peru’s Amazonian indigenous communities protesting the entry of foreign multinational mining companies on their traditional homelands. Dozens of Indians were killed or are missing, scores have been injured and arrested and a number of Peruvian police, held hostage by the indigenous protestors were killed in the assault. President García declared martial law in the region in order to enforce his unilateral and unconstitutional fiat granting of mining exploitation rights to foreign companies, which infringed on the integrity of traditional Amazonian indigenous communal lands.

     

  • EL SALVADOR: THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA

    On Monday, June 1, 2009 El Salvador will turn a new page in its history with the inauguration of the country´s first left government, joining the ranks of the majority of Latin America. Representing the FMLN (Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional), Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sanchez Ceren, president and vice-president elect, will face a national assembly where the FMLN is outnumbered by more than 2:1. Out of a total of 84 seats, the FMLN only have 35. This will make broad sweeping changes difficult, but not impossible, and may force Funes to use the power of the presidential veto as a bargaining chip. It is important that those of us observing from a distance understand the complicated environment within which the new government will be operating.

  • Cuba Si!

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    For fifty years progressives, socialists and radicals from around the world have looked to Cuba as the place in which socialism might actually both survive and blossom in its magnificent possibilities. For this reason, Cuba also has to meet higher moral standards. We expect more from its revolutionary leaders because they (especially Fidel) have promised more. And they have delivered remarkably in health, education, social welfare and the blossoming of the arts and sciences.

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