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.

Colombia: Women in the Crossfire

army faith in the cause

Diane Lefer: Women are not the only ones to suffer in six decades of armed conflict in Colombia but they, along with the children, have borne the brunt of displacement as some five million Colombians have been violently driven from their homes.

Ecuador’s Social Spending Increase Lifted Many Out of Poverty

brian mcafee

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

Why the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia Is Still a Bad Idea

columbia nafta protest

Diane Lefer: The Uribe administration seemed more interested in catering to foreign investors than in protecting the environment. Under Santos, there are signs of change but this welcome shift is threatened by passage of the FTA.

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.

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.”

Can Slake Quench LA’s Media Thirst?

magazines

Michael Sigman: Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa — the deputy editor and editor, respectively, of LA Weekly until both were forced out by corporate overlords from Phoenix in recent years — have joined forces to produce the debut issue of the quarterly Slake Los Angeles. It’s a gorgeous, 232-page quarterly mix of journalism, fiction, poetry, photography and art.

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.”

Open Veins of Latin America: Obama Should Read It!

Latin-American author Edward Galeano. Image Source: Robert Birnbaum

During the recent Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave President Obama a copy of Open Veins in Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano. Few in the American press corps or in the White House staff would have understood the importance of this [...]

Jesse and Joe

Jesse Helms

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill, last night, Alive as you and me. Says I “But Joe you’re ten years dead.” “I never died says he.” This old song popped into my head while I was reading a rightwing blogger’s paean to Jesse Helms. The blogger praised Helms as a “heroic warrior for conservative values.” [...]

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