In October 2021, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) held a seminar on the pandemic and education systems. Strikingly, 99% of the students in the region spent an entire academic year with total or partial interruption of face-to-face classes, while more than 600,000 children struggled with the loss of their caregivers due to the pandemic. It is further estimated that the crisis could force 3.1 million children and youth to drop out of school and force over 300,000 to go to work. At the seminar, Alicia Bárcena, the executive secretary of ECLAC, said that the combination of the pandemic, economic turbulence in the region, and the setbacks in education have caused ‘a silent crisis’.Continue reading
Almagro and the OAS lit the fuse for the 2019 coup in Bolivia. They falsely claimed the presidential results showing Evo Morales being re-elected were “inexplicable”, which set off unrest and activated a plot that overthrew him. These claims were so thoroughly debunked that members of the U.S. Congress requested an investigation into the OAS’s role in the coup. Almagro immediately recognized the coup government, which committed “summary executions and widespread repression” during its year in power. After saying nothing about the coup regime’s victims, the OAS issued a statement condemning Bolivia’s judicial system the day after coup leader Jeanine Añez was arrested. This blatant interference in the domestic affairs of a member state runs counter to the OAS charter and led Mexico to chastise the OAS for its behavior towards Bolivia.Continue reading
During the 21st century, the US, working with corporate elites, traditional oligarchies, military, and corporate media, has continually attempted coups against Latin American governments which place the needs of their people over US corporate interests. US organized coups in Latin American countries is hardly a 20th century phenomenon.
However, this century the US rulers have turned to a new coup strategy, relying on soft coups, a significant change from the notoriously brutal military hard coups in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and other countries in the 1970s. One central US concern in these new coups has been to maintain a legal and democratic facade as much as possible.
The US superpower recognizes successful soft coups depend on mobilizing popular forces in anti-government marches and protests.Continue reading
On Monday, progressive organizations celebrate the 56th anniversary of the First Tricontinental Conference, which gathered 500 delegates from Africa, Asia, and Latin America in Havana to adopt policies to strengthen the fight against imperialism and neo-colonialism.
“This event was an exercise in diplomatic cooperation between anti-hegemonic forces of different origins that advocated peace and the self-determination of peoples,” German intellectual Jennifer Hosek stressed.
Besides discussing the imperialism’s smear campaigns against social revolutions, delegates founded the Peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America Solidarity Organization (OSPAAAL) to support countries that had recently liberated themselves from colonialism.Continue reading
US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia.
Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity.Continue reading
Chuck Kaufman, presente! A great comrade and friend to the peoples and just causes of Latin America and the Caribbean has passed on the torch. Chuck Kaufman died on Tuesday, December 28th, and is being remembered for the tremendous impact he made during his decades of anti-imperialist work, organizing to change US-Latin American foreign policy.
Chuck was known for his leadership among North American solidarity organizing with Latin American grassroots movements. It all began when he joined the staff of the Nicaragua Network in 1987, which in 1998 became the Alliance for Global Justice, for which he served as National Co-Coordinator until the time of his passing.Continue reading
This brings us to a central political issue: what has the October 2019 Rebellion and all its impressively positive consequences posed for the Chilean working class? What is posed in Chile is the struggle not (yet) for power but for the masses that for decades were conned into accepting (however grudgingly) neoliberalism as a fact of life, until the 2019 rebellion that was the first mass mobilization not only to oppose but also to get rid of neoliberalism. The Rebellion extracted extraordinary concessions from the ruling class: a referendum for a Constitutional Convention entrusted legally with the task to draft an anti-neoliberal constitution to replace the 1980 one promulgated under Pinochet’s rule.Continue reading
In the last two decades, economic links between Latin America and the People’s Republic of China have been expanding at a dizzying rate.
Bilateral trade in 2000 was just $12 billion (1 per cent of Latin American’s total trade); now it stands at $315bn. In the same time period, China’s foreign direct investment in Latin America has increased by a factor of five.
Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, 19 of the 33 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region have signed up to the China-led global infrastructure development strategy.
Infrastructure projects have been a particular focus for Chinese firms. Writing in Foreign Policy in 2018, Max Nathanson observed that “Latin American governments have long lamented their countries’ patchy infrastructure.”Continue reading
Cuban opponent of the system, Yunior García Aguilera, has announced a “strategic alliance” of opposition forces in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. This “alliance” of activists “confronting the same dictatorship” could help “change the reality in Cuba”, he declared in a report published by the Europa Press news agency on Saturday. After meeting with representatives of Spain’s fascist Vox party and the post-Franco Popular Party (PP), the co-founder of the “Archipelago” platform, who landed in Madrid on November 18, also met late last week with right-wing opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez, who fled Venezuelan justice to Spain a year ago.
The connection with López, responsible for numerous deaths at roadblocks, the so-called guarimbas, in Venezuela in 2014, would allow “to better understand the play” that García “wanted to stage in Cuba,” the Cuban portal Cubadebate commented on Sunday.Continue reading
Latin America, the 21st century’s leading region for progressive victories, is in the midst of a leftist resurgence. A new “pink tide” is commencing, with the left holding office in a number of countries and challenging for power in upcoming presidential elections. Kicking off a collection of articles on Latin America’s left, we present an overview of the continent’s war between progressive and conservative forces as flashpoints loom from Chile to Brazil.
The original pink tide of leftist electoral victories began in the early 2000s, reaching a climax between 2006 and 2007. Evo Morales assumed the presidency in Bolivia in January 2006, Hugo Chávez was re-elected in Venezuela in December 2006, and in January 2007 Rafael Correa took office in Ecuador.Continue reading
The magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of Nicaragua released this Wednesday the agreement which aligns with the Sovereign Declaration of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, which urged the Executive to leave the Organization of American States (OAS). The so-called agreement 126, issued in support of the Parliament, condemns the OAS’s unjust actions in Nicaragua’s internal affairs. The text was read by the acting secretary of the CSJ, Geraldo Áreas Lacayo, who highlighted the independence of the Legislative, Executive, Judicial and Electoral powers, which coordinate harmoniously and subordinate only to the supreme interests of the nation.Continue reading
On 20 October, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, traveled to Ecuador to set out a vision for democracy in the Americas. Over the past five years, the hemisphere has suffered an assault on its democratic institutions, as political leaders from Donald Trump to Jair Bolsonaro have adopted a new authoritarian playbook: lies, violence, repression, and more lies. Two-thirds of US citizens now believe that democracy is under threat, while a majority of Brazilians fear a military dictatorship will return to the country. “We find ourselves in a moment of democratic reckoning,” announced Blinken.
But the Biden administration continues to put the US on the wrong side of this reckoning. Consider Blinken’s recent trip.Continue reading
The Solidarity Center’s activities in Venezuela and Colombia skyrocketed last year. Funding from the mis-named National Endowment for Democracy (NED) soared to almost 60% over the previous year’s awards. The 2020 funding, alone, represents over 40% of the total for similar grants for the last five years on record ($3,617,000). In 2020, the Solidarity Center’s Bogotá office received $1,470,000 in regional NED funding. That is up over $626,000 in 2019. Additionally, the NED gave a $50,000 award for “a survey of labor rights violations” but did not specify to whom the grant was given.
The Solidarity Center works closely with long-time partners, the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (CTV, for Confederación de Trabajadores de Venezuela), as well as the Labor Solidarity Movement (MSL for Movimiento de Solidridad Laboral), which includes current and former CTV officials in its leadership, as well as Orlando Chirino, who was a candidate for president of Venezuela against Hugo Chávez in 2012.Continue reading
The first clashes between police officers and citizens who came out to demonstrate on Tuesday were recorded in at least three country points, as part of the National Strike called to protest against the Government of Guillermo Lasso.
In Imbabura, in the canton of Peguche, repression was reported by what is believed to be members of the security forces, who threw tear gas to disperse the citizens who gathered in this sector.
The incident was recorded in videos circulating on social media, and the Alliance of Organizations for Human Rights denounced the Armed Forces’ actions.
Similarly, social and indigenous organizations, workers’ unions and labor unions of Ecuador began in the early hours of Tuesday a new round of protests against the economic policies of President Guillermo Lasso.Continue reading
On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I want to tell you about my people, the Garifuna. We’re an Afro-Indigenous people, descended from Arawaks and Africans. Our ancestral territory spans the Caribbean border of Central America.
Latin American and Caribbean communities like ours are rarely noticed in U.S. media — except when we migrate.
In summer 2021, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris came to Central America and told would-be migrants: “Do not come .” More recently, photos of U.S. Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian refugees in the Texas desert brutally drove that message home.
This anti-migrant message is dehumanizing and wrong. But the truth is, many of us would love nothing more than to stay in our homes. It’s Washington that’s making it difficult.Continue reading