“Not One More Coup”: Slogan Of The January 2016 World Social Forum In Porto Alegre, Brazil

Andreas Lehner/ Flickr

By Ruth Needleman for Portside – These paranoid words could easily belong to Donald Trump. They were uttered, however, by his prototype, Richard Nixon, on Friday September 6, 1970. He is sounding off against Salvador Allende in Chile, two days after the election, but almost two months before Congress would ratify his presidency, necessary because Allende had less than 50% of the vote. Allende, nonetheless, became the first socialist to be elected democratically on a program to build socialism peacefully. Even though Nixon was referring to Chile, he said Latin America, because for him, the many countries south of the Rio Grande were really just one, and the whole continent in his mind (and in the mind of every U.S. president) belonged to the U.S. “Latin America is not gone,” he muttered, “and we want to keep it.” Nixon might have been a very entertaining “tweeter”! Nixon’s entire administration, including the CIA, lied to the Senate, denying it had any involvement in Chile, when, in fact, the U.S. was the strategic power behind the coup and all the disruptions and violence that proceeded it.

We Mustn’t Back Another Us-Led Regime Change In Latin America

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro
AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

By Chris Williamson for Portside – THE silly season is well and truly in full swing with Britain’s big media obsessing about Venezuela and using it as another proxy war against Jeremy Corbyn. The Tories have been fanning the flames and a handful of New Labour diehards have jumped onto the bandwagon to demand that the Labour leader condemn Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Jeremy is on record supporting the Bolivarian revolution that started with the election of Hugo Chavez in 1998. The Chavez administration secured colossal improvements in living standards in the intervening years up to his untimely death on March 5 2013. Oil revenues were used as a solidarity tool to address the hideous inequality that afflicted the country after years of neoliberal fundamentalism. This saw a massive investment programme in healthcare, housing and free education, enabling poor Venezuelans to access decent housing, healthcare, medicines and subsidised food for those in need. It also resulted in large numbers of jobs being created in the public sector, giving people the dignity of work in secure employment. Consequently, poverty was slashed, infant mortality was substantially reduced and, according to Unesco, Venezuela eliminated illiteracy in 2005. This spending on education empowered people and facilitated grassroots political participation.

How US Libertarians Are Remaking Latin American Politics

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, left, looks down inside a car on the outskirts of San Jose on his way to the airport to board a flight to Nicaragua, June 28, 2009. Photo: Kent Gilbert/AP

By Lee Fang for the Intercept. The international meeting of libertarian activists was sponsored by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, a leadership-training nonprofit now known simply as the Atlas Network, which Chafuen has led since 1991. At the Brick Hotel, Chafuen was reveling in recent victories; his years of work were starting to pay off, thanks to political and economic circumstances — but also because of the network of activists Chafuen has been working for so long to cultivate. Over the past 10 years, leftist governments have used “money to buy votes, to redistribute,” said Chafuen, seated comfortably in the lobby. But the recent drop in commodity prices, coupled with corruption scandals, has given an opportunity for Atlas Network groups to spring into action. “When there is an opening, you have a crisis, and there is some demand for change, you have people who are trained to push for certain policies,” Chafuen noted, paraphrasing the late Milton Friedman. “And in our case, we tend to favor to private solutions to public problems.” Chafuen pointed to numerous Atlas-affiliated leaders now in the spotlight: ministers in the new conservative government in Argentina, senators in Bolivia, and the leaders of the Free Brazil Movement that took down Dilma Rousseff’s presidency. . . .

Evo Morales Warns Against US Plan to 'Recolonize' Latin America

Evo Morales holding coca leaf

By Staff for Telesur. The Bolivian president emphasized that the United States utilizes their so-called support for “democracy” as a pretext for their objectives. Bolivian President Evo Morales on Tuesday took to Twitter to state that the United States is planning to “recolonize” Latin America. The socialist Indigenous leader cited Venezuela as being the strategic link behind the scheme, of which “the empire has initiated a wide-scale battle to recolonize Latin America and the Caribbean.” In another tweet, Morales emphasized that the United States utilizes the same pretexts to justify their objective, including support for “democracy,” combating “terrorism” and fighting “narcotrafficking,” among others. He added that mainstream corporate media outlets replicate the same excuses, according to La Radio del Sur. After delineating the threat, Morales urged all troops in the region to remain alert to defend their sovereignty and independence.

Soft Coups Made In USA To Control Latin America: Bolivia

Attendees of the book release of "Geopolitics and Regional Integration — Latin America in the World System." | Photo: Bolivian vice presidency

By Staff of Tele Sur – While the U.S. employs brute military force in the Muslim world to obtain foreign policy objectives, soft coups are reserved for Latin America. Cesar Navarro, Bolivia’s minister of Mining and Metallurgy, emphasized Wednesday that the main objective of the United States is to implement soft coups in order to reestablish hegemony over Latin America during a speech launching a new book, according to Prensa Latina. The official was commenting on “Geopolitics and Regional Integration — Latin America in the World System,” a compilation which includes a variety of prominent Latin American intellectuals. He noted that while the United States employs brute military force in parts of the Muslim world to obtain foreign policy objectives, soft coups are reserved for its southern neighbors or as top U.S. officials — including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry — refer to the region as its “backyard.” To support his claim, Navarro cited the removal of democratically-elected Manuel Zelaya in Honduras; Fernando Lugo in Paraguay; and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, describing how the United States supported their ouster despite the fact that it goes against all claims of supporting democracy.

Miami Conference Signals Further Militarization Of US Policy In Central America

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Jake Johnston for CEPR – In a high-level meeting Friday, the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will discuss the region’s security with American and Mexican officials. Innocuous enough, you may think. But part of the meeting will be held on a US military base in Miami, Florida ― the headquarters of the US Southern Command, the Pentagon’s regional subsidiary that oversees American military operations throughout Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Under President Donald Trump, the militarization of US foreign policy is about to stretch more deeply into Central America. Central America policymaking, hardly an open book to begin with, is set to become more secretive. With the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America just days away, there is no official agenda of speakers or publicly listed events and no involvement of civil society organizations, and even press access is extremely limited. What we do know is US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be there, as will Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and of course, General John F. Kelly, the director of Homeland Security and the previous head of SOUTHCOM.

Reading Gramsci In Latin America

nacla.org (Artwork by Gabriele Cancedda)

Some 80 years after his death, Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci’s relevance for social movements and the Left in Latin America persists.

By Nicolas Allen and Hernán Ouviña for NACLA – Buenos Aires commemorated the 80th anniversary of Antonio Gramsci’s passing on April 27, 1937, with a week of lectures and cultural events paying homage to the Italian revolutionary. The proceedings, which will continue into the following months, had an air of veneration customarily reserved for independence leaders like Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín. Indeed, few intellectual figures have proven as important as Gramsci in addressing questions of power and state formation in the Latin American context. To borrow the title of Peter Thomas’s 2013 study, Argentina and Latin America have been living their own “Gramscian moment” for the last half century. How, and why, has Gramsci’s thinking remained so relevant in Latin America? History provides several clues—among them the fact that the first non-Italian edition of his Quaderni del Carcere(Prison Notebooks) was published in Spanish in Buenos Aires in 1950. The Quaderni presented a reinvention of traditional Marxism, taking national history as its central point of reference. Before Gramsci, Latin American communist parties largely ignored the specificity of national and regional histories, deferring to the Communist International’s (Comintern) interpretation of history

What The Resistance To Trump Can Learn From Latin America

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By Jeff Abbott for Waging Nonviolence – It is hard to deny the authoritarian tendencies that Donald Trump has shown in his first 100 days as president of the United States. These tendencies have drawn comparisons to the classic image of a Latin American dictator, and more specifically the caudillo — or strongman leader — by commentators from across Latin American. From his taste in decor and his adversarial relationship with the media, to his fundamental assault on human rights, the similarities are hard to contest. Our neighbors to the south have a long history of resisting authoritarian and fascist regimes, which often were supported by the U.S. governments. They were able to survive under difficult situations and — thanks to social movements — move the region in a more progressive direction. After decades of struggle, here are four lessons that movements in Latin America can teach those in the United States organizing against their own authoritarian leader. 1. Defend public services. Today, as Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos move to further dismantle the public education system and impose a neoliberal model of education…

The Latin American Left Today Global Center For Resistance

Anti-imperialism grafitti in Latin America

By Staff for Telesur. From Brazil to Venezuela there have been radical shifts in the geopolitical landscape of the region. However, Latin America remains a global center for creativity and resistance. Torn between right and left – and dealing with the significant pressures of imperialism and a colonial legacy – popular forces have been fighting for their social rights and progress, making significant strides and remaining vital despite setbacks. Amid this complicated scenario, teleSUR takes a look at the Latin American left of today – from the Indigenous councils to the national assemblies, the urban centers to the rural villages – which continues to stand strong and fight for an integrated, united and socialist future.

US Funded NGO’s: New Face of Destabilization in Latin America

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

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.

Grassroots Movements Bring Fresh Air To Democracies: Analyst

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By Staff of Tele Sur – According to Bianchi, from the Latin American Network for Political Innovation, the situation in Ecuador is critical, as a right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso faces a political battle against Lenin Moreno, the successor of left-wing President Rafael Correa and part of the so-called Pink Tide of progressive governments in the region. “We can go towards more conservative governments that are implying — and now we know that it’s happening — a reversion of rights,“ said Bianchi, likening the political scenario in Ecuador to the elections in Argentina that brought businessman Mauricio Macri to power, leading to a wave of neoliberal measures.

Trump, Like Obama And Bush, Pursues ‘Regime Change’ In Venezuela

Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami (L) and U.S. "Insane Clown President" Donald Trump (R) | Photo: Tareck El Aissami Official Site / Reuters (teleSUR combination photo)

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.

Marta Harnecker: Ideas For The Struggle

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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.

US Regime Change Not Over In Latin America Under Trump-Tillerson

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. October 4, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

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.”

Rainfall Changes Threaten Food Production

Cattle farming and roads are major causes of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon region.
Image: Kate Evans/CIFOR via Flickr

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).