Latin America

"Anywhere in Latin America there is a potential threat of the pathology of caudillismo and it has to be guarded against." -- Noam Chomsky

Ríos Montt: Accountability at Last

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John Peeler: The transition to democracy, now 30 years old, has passed a major test with the trial and conviction of Ríos Montt. The impediments to full democratization remain huge, but there is still good cause for Guatemalans to celebrate.

Reagan, Genocide and Guatemala

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Joseph Palermo: Now that a Guatemalan court has convicted General Erfrain Rios Montt of “genocide” maybe we can better come to terms with the history of the early 1980s when the Reagan Administration was determined to vanquish communism in Central America.

Why the President’s 2014 Budget Should Restore Funding for ESOPs

Evergreen cooperative laundry (Photos: Janet Century)

Heather Gautney: With 1 percent of Americans owning almost 40 percent of our wealth (and steep declines in trade unionism), worker ownership in productive enterprises marks an important step in reversing the tide of social inequality in our nation.

President Hugo Chavez and America’s “Backyard”

Hugo Chavez Mural

Joseph Palermo: The simple fact remains: Chavez, who died of cancer at the age of 58, was the only president of Venezuela in modern memory who did ANYTHING for the poor people of that country who make up the vast majority of its nearly 30 million citizens.

The Cartagena Summit Failure Marks the End of an Era – Finally

President Barack Obama and President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. (White House Photo: Pete Souza)

Carl Bloice: Calderon reportedly pointed to the fact that discussions on Cuba and drug policy were even held, saying it marked a “radical and unthinkable” departure from previous summits.

Cuba’s “Silent Transition” Toward A Free Market Economy

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Sherwood Ross: Whatever the shape of the future, Raul Castro, who promised Cuba would never return to capitalism, appears to be doing just that.

UN Ducks Blame for Haiti’s Dying Cholera Victims

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Ezili Danto: Are we Haitians simply not supposed to notice the stark reality that it’s not the white population, the tourists nor the UN folks who are suffering a mass loss of life due to the imported cholera germ to Haiti? But the poorest Black woman’s children, that is, the masses in Haiti?

How Austerity Is Ushering in a Global Recession

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Robert Reich: Chalk up a big part of Europe’s slowdown to the politics and economics of austerity. Europe – including Britain – have turned John Maynard Keynes on his head. They’ve been cutting public spending just when they should be spending more to counteract slowing private spending.

Lost Decade?

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John Peeler: One of the most striking features of our current global economic morass is that many Third World economies are weathering the crisis rather well, while the supposed leaders of the world economy (the United States, the European Union, the Japanese) are in deep trouble that looks to get deeper.

Ecuador’s Social Spending Increase Lifted Many Out of Poverty

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Brian McAfee: An important aspect of President Correa’s policies has been a noticeable and ongoing reduction in poverty.

Flawed Earthquake Report a Bullwhip On the Backs of Haitians

haiti's palace

Georgianne Nienaber: If USAID wanted to slap down the new Haitian government for criticizing the Clinton IRHC, the BARR report would do the job nicely. Play down the death toll and the need for reconstruction and send a message that Haiti must still play by colonialist US rules.

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A ‘To Do’ List for US Troops Now Arriving in Haiti

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Georgianne Nienaber: If indeed the US troops are in the country for “humanitarian reasons” as Ambassador Merten insists, there is plenty for them to do before the hurricane season begins.

More People Displaced In Americas Than Middle East

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Andrea Nill: As the drug-related violence in Latin America escalates, dealing with migration to North America may start to require addressing U.S. drug and gun policies along with the nation’s broken immigration system itself.

Obama Is in Latin America, in Case You Missed It

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Mario Solis-Marich: The allure of the consistently dramatic developments in the Middle East has suckered the US media into believing the neocon view that our most important alliances lie across the sea.

Author Spotlight: John Peeler

John Peeler lecturing to students at the Islamic University in Uganda.

John Peeler’s work for the LA Progressive draws on his extensive experience as a political science professor and researcher, coupled with a deep desire to move the country’s political conversation in more progressive directions.

Last Chance for Venezuela’s Revolution?

Shamus Cooke:
For all the positive things Chavez has accomplished as President, he is in danger of becoming another Salvador Allende — a martyr whose death ushered in a right-wing dictatorship.

Haiti Action Alert: Demand Maximum Sentence for Pedophile

haiti protest

Ezili Dantò: HLLN has worked diligently to give international voice to these children of Haiti so that Mr. Perlitz’s supporters were not the ones filling in the vacuum in the US court, demeaning the victims, labeling them liars and opportunists. We believe our efforts assisted, in some ways, in Mr. Perlitz eventually pleading guilty,

Disaster Capitalism in Haiti, New Orleans, Congo and Pakistan

Ezili Danto

Ezili Dantò: Since the 2004 Bush regime change in Haiti, US large footprint in “poor?” Haiti keeps increasing. US Embassy in Haiti is the fifth largest US Embassy compound in the world, after Iraq, Afghanistan, China
and Germany.

Twitter Cholera Confusion in Haiti: Was NGO Apology Necessary?

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Georgianne Nienaber: In retrospect, the inadvertent mix-up in the Twitter account of the geographical locations LaGonave and Gonaive is completely understandable. The fact that it caused such a flurry in Haiti and enraged an epidemiological NGO competing for the same slice of the funding pie–is unfortunate and speaks to a deeper disconnect and lack of trust.

Oliver Stone Interview: There’s a Specter Haunting Latin America, the Specter of 21st Century Socialism

Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez

Ed Rampell: “Frankly, we’ve opposed the poor. We’ve opposed the poor not only in those countries but in our own country. The Vietnam War was a war against the poor people of Vietnam, it was also a war against our own selves, by sending our poor people to fight that war.”

Haiti: Cholera Outbreak Metaphor for No Accountability

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Georgianne Nienaber: It will be astounding to see the media coverage of this event, should it unfold in all its potential horror, but where has the media been since the six-month anniversary in July?

The Man Who Cried Coup

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Brian Nelson: There is a joke about the term coup d’état—French for a sudden or illegal change in government. It goes like this: How come there is no word for coup in English? The punch line: Because there is no U.S. Embassy in the United States.

“La Razón Blindada”–Theatre of Confinement and Liberation

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Diane Lefer: For those unfamiliar with contemporary experimental theatre from Latin America, Vargas’ work is a fine introduction with its stylized performances, heightened language, philosophical concerns, and its exploration of the dynamics of power.

Bill Clinton Puts Influential Muscle Behind Agricultural Production in Haiti

BioTek's Regine Simon Barjon with Former President of the United States, co-chair of the IHRC, and UN Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton at the Darbonne Sugar Mill near Leogane, Haiti on Aug. 6th, 2010 (courtesy Clinton TwitterPic)

Georgianne Nienaber: Given the huge remaining humanitarian and economic crisis facing Haiti, it is puzzling that mainstream media in the United States short-changed coverage of former President Bill Clinton’s early August visit to Leogane. The symbolism is significant, considering that Leogane and the nearby village of Fayette are at the epicenter of the 7.0 quake.

How Immigration Reform Could’ve Helped Prevent The ‘Massacre’ Of 72 Migrants

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Andrea Nill: Fixing the broken immigration system by creating a flexible number of opportunities for economic migrants to work in the U.S. without sacrificing border security is a much more practical and realistic solution.

Data Shows ICE Fails to Focus on Serious Crime

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Michele Waslin: 79% of the people deported through Secure Communities are non-criminals or were picked up for lower level offenses, such as traffic offenses.

Haiti Reminds Us of the Poverty at Home

Haiti Coverage

David A. Love: It is unfortunate that it took an earthquake to put the spotlight back on poverty in Haiti. To be sure, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince would have been devastating under any circumstances. But the people of Haiti had been suffering for years. The difference is that no one cared, because people often become weary hearing about black people suffering.

Obama’s Base Pact with Colombia Accelerates Dangerous Trend

Colombia FARC

Sherwood Ross: Although much of Latin America is in the vanguard of the “anti-corporate and anti-militarist global democracy movement,” Grandin writes, the Obama administration is “disappointing potential regional allies by continuing to promote a volatile mix of militarism and free-trade orthodoxy in a corridor running from Mexico to Colombia.” Grandin’s article in The Nation’sFebruary 8th issue is titled, “Muscling Latin America.”

Worrisome Thoughts on the Way to the Jobs Summit

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But the reality that no one wants to talk about is a structural change in the economy that’s been going on for years but which the Great Recession has dramatically accelerated.

Eyewitness from Honduras

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The U.S. is involved in what is happening in Honduras up to its eyeballs. The leaders of the coup government, the military and those financing the coup are all the principal allies of the U.S.

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