By Staff for Telesur. Starting in 1999, the United States has increasingly lost the ability it once had to determine policy in Latin America. The Bolivarian Revolution that began in Venezuela quickly grew throughout the region, and over the decade the idea of reclaiming national sovereignty through regional integration gained momentum. A decade later, organizations like ALBA, CELAC and Unasur were formed by countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, who came to consensus on the benefits of excluding the United States (and to a lesser extent, Canada). Also during this time, the United States government began putting an increasing amount of resources into organizations operating in Latin America. Under seemingly altruistic pretexts—including environmental promotion, defense of human rights, and strengthening democracy—these organizations received U.S. dollars often to intervene in the political affairs of country whose policies fall out of line with U.S. policies and objectives.
By Joe Emersberger for Tele Sur – Based on allegations of drug trafficking, the U.S. government has added Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to its list of “sanctioned” Venezuelan officials. Unsurprisingly, Westerns journalists uncritically spread the allegations. Borrowing from Einstein, a definition of corporate journalism could be “the practice of uncritically citing the same dishonest sources over and over again no matter how catastrophic the result.” The targeting of El Aissami is part of the United States’ “regime change” policy toward Venezuela that goes back nearly two decades. It began shortly after the late President Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998. As always, the international media’s collaboration with U.S. government objectives is crucial.
By The Old and New Project. July 2016— When we asked Marta Harnecker whether it would be OK to post her “Ideas for the Struggle” (12 short articles about the left and the challenges it faces) on the Old and New website, with an invitation to revolutionary activists in the USA to discuss it, she said she would be delighted. But she also urged that we write an introduction explaining why a piece that was originally composed in 2004 is being reprinted today, with only a few modifications. That question, however, seems relatively easy: not much has changed on the revolutionary left since 2004 concerning the issues Harnecker is addressing in these notes. They have not been adequately discussed or resolved, far from it. Another question also seems significant: Why do we think a text inspired by and considering the practices of the Latin American left will be helpful to revolutionaries in the USA? This should also be obvious to readers who take even a quick look at the topics Harnecker considers.
By Staff of Latin America Goes Global – The written exchange below is long, but a few comments stand out. The first is Tillerson’s ambiguity over the Colombia peace deal saying that if confirmed he will “review the details of Colombia’s recent peace agreement, and determine the extent to which the United States should continue to support it.” Another is Cuba, where at first he does not call for a complete roll back of the Obama-era changes, saying in a more deal-oriented, open approach, “I will press Cuba to meet its pledge to become more democratic and consider placing conditions on trade or travel policies to motivate the release of political prisoners.” And also states later that he will “determine how best to pressure Cuba to respect human rights and promote democratic changes.”
By Jan Rocha for Climate News network – SÃO PAULO, 30 October, 2016 – The UN’s latest State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report warns that rainfall patterns will have changed so drastically by the end of this century that agriculture, forestry and fishing will all be seriously affected. “It will become more and more difficult to harvest crops, rear animals and manage forests and fisheries in the same places and in the same way as before,” says the report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO).
By Erika Almenara , Ivonne del Valle, Susana Draper, Ludmila Ferrari, Liz Mason-Deese and Ana Sabau for Truthout – The October 19 strike was a powerful first: Thousands of women across Latin America, from Argentina to Mexico, interrupted their daily routines to take to the streets and plazas and join the first women’s strike in the region. Bringing together their voices, bodies and minds, they chanted “ni una menos” (not one less), “vivas nos queremos” (we want us alive) and “nosotras paramos” (we strike).
By Alejandra Gaitan Barrera and Fionuala Cregan for IC Magazine – Ever since the incursion of rampant neoliberalism in Chile and Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, the Mapuche territory or Wallmapu, located south of the Bio Bio River, has been subjected to immeasurable domination and constant exploitation at the hands of a diverse range of foreign and national economic interests. Megaprojects like hydroelectric dams, mining operations, oil extraction and forestry plantations embody some of the main threats to Mapuche self-determination and autonomy.
By Neil Hardt for WSWS – From 2007 to 2014, the United States tripled the deployment of special operations forces to Latin America, according to documents obtained via FOIA request by the non-profit Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). The deployment of Green Berets, Navy Seals and other elite units to Latin America is bound up with American imperialism’s preparations to suppress the outbreak of social struggle in Central and South America and is also aimed at countering the growing influence of China in the region.
By Staff of Tele Sur – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa rejected the notion that the leftist and revolutionary governments in Latin America have failed and instead posited that the real failure in the region has been the neoliberal economic model. “Inequality in a poor country means misery, generalized misery. We must seek out other forms of developing ourselves that are distinct from those fantasies of trickle-down theories,” said President Correa in an interview Sunday.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The new initiative will produce the first “truth report” on the U.S. invasion of Panama and could pave the way for reparations for victims. Panama launched a new special commission Wednesday morning aimed at uncovering the historical truth behind the 1989 U.S. invasion of the Central American country to overthrow the dictator that the CIA had propped up for years.
By Staff of RSF – This disastrous toll is attributable in part to flawed or non-existent protective mechanisms but above all to the alarming level violence, corruption and impunity in most of the region’s countries – a region that is now one of the world’s most dangerous for media personnel. As in 2015, Mexico continues to register the biggest death toll, with nine journalists murdered in the first half of 2016. It is followed by Guatemala with five, Honduras with three, Brazil with two and Venezuela and El Salvador with one.
By Linda Cooper and James Hodge for National Catholic Reporter – Nearly 43 years after the assassination of a famed Chilean folksinger, a Florida jury has found a former Chilean lieutenant liable for his grisly murder in the days after a U.S.-backed coup brought dictatorAugusto Pinochet to power. A six-member Orlando jury found Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez liable Monday (June 27) for the torture and murder of Victor Jara, rejecting the main defense argument that Barrientos never stepped foot in Chile Stadium where the folksinger was held with 5,000 others immediately after the coup.
By William Camacoro and Frederick B. Mills for the Council of Hemispheric Affairs. Latin America – The Organization of American States (OAS), on account of its traditional subordination to North American interests, has proven to be adversarial to the Bolivarian movement towards Latin American integration and independence. This contradiction has come into full relief in the ongoing attempt by Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, to use the institution’s Democratic Charter against the administration of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. This essay takes a brief look at two historic regional conferences held during the past week that reject Almagro’s interventionism and partisanship and implicitly call into question the continued viability of the OAS. An “extraordinary session” of the Permanent Council of the OAS, convened by petition of the permanent missions of Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States, was held on June 1, 2016 in Washington to consider the “project of a declaration about the situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”