Archive | April, 2009

  • Regulations Do Not Prevent Capitalist Crises

    A huge chorus now clamors to heap new regulations on banks, credit markets, international capital flows, and so on.  Regulations, for many in politics, the media, and academia, seem to have become the magic bullet that will not only “solve” the current economic crisis but also prevent future meltdowns.  Many labor union and left voices […]

  • Red Shirts in Thailand Face the Armed Might of the Ruling Elites

    For the fourth time in forty years, troops have opened fire on pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok.  Each time the aim has been the same: to protect the interests of the Conservative Elites who have run Thailand for the past 70 years. For those watching the cold-blooded murder by soldiers on the streets of Bangkok, it […]

  • 21st Century Socialism on the Move — Reflections on “The Path for Human Development”

      Within an otherwise bleak reality of capitalist crisis, Mike Lebowitz has provided us with an eloquent restatement of the case for socialism — The Path for Human Development: Capitalism or Socialism?  This short text is now circulating widely in Venezuela, in Spanish, as a pocket-sized pamphlet, has been published in Monthly Review, and is […]

  • Not a Word About the Blockade

    The U.S. administration announced through CNN that Obama would be visiting Mexico this week, in the first part of a trip that will take him to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, where he will be within four days taking part in the Summit of the Americas. He has announced the relief of some hateful restrictions imposed by Bush on Cubans living in the United States regarding their visits to relatives in Cuba. When questions were raised on whether such prerogatives extended to other American citizens the response was that the latter were not authorized.

  • Red Showdown in Bangkok

      After a day of chaos and violence, Bangkok is currently in a tense stand off. Thousands of Red Shirt protesters are in control of a large geographic area around Government House. They have armed themselves and have erected a number of roadblocks around the city. In response to this challenge, the government has declared […]

  • Israel’s Military Threat against Iran Is a Bluff That Keeps Giving

    In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to have told President Barack Obama that either America stops Iran or Israel will.  Not surprisingly, the interview sparked quite a controversy, and only a day later, General David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the Israeli […]

  • Cuba: Economic Restructuring, Recent Trends and Major Challenges*

    Abstract The collapse of the European socialist block at the end of the 1980s caused a deep crisis in the Cuban economy.  One of the distinctive features of the process of adjustment and reform of the Cuban economy carried out by the government was that even during the worst period of the crisis, the Revolution’s […]

  • Saviors and Survivors

    Mahmood Mamdani’s Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror is the most ambitious book yet on the Darfur crisis.  Unlike the vast majority of other writing on the crisis, which is political science, human rights, or ethnographic narrative, specific to the Darfurian or the Sudanese situation, Mamdani places Darfur in deep and […]

  • Evo’s inevitable victory

    Evo entered today his fourth day of rigorous hunger strike. He spoke yesterday evening and today at noon. His words were calm, persuasive and categorical. He offered a “biometric electoral register” that was still better than the one in force during the electoral processes held in his country, which had already been described by international institutions as reliable and of high quality.

  • The Sugar Curtain: Chronicle of Generational Disillusionment

      El telón de azúcar (The Sugar Curtain) was the winner of the Premio Coral for the best documentary at the 29th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana in 2007. — Ed. In The Sugar Curtain, the Paradise of the Cuban Revolution Is Put in Crisis The daughter of a Chilean documentary […]

  • Turkey and the Obama Visit: “He Gave Me Water!”

      Obama did what was expected, dispensing good luck charms for all.  What he left behind is a state of delirium, a la the Hunchback of Notre Dame: “He gave me water.” Even though some of Obama’s gestures during the visit — such as Obama reminding the young people he was chatting with of the […]

  • The Auto Crisis: Putting Our Own Alternative on the Table

    Deep economic crises violently interrupt daily lives and force more radical responses onto the public agenda.  In the case of the North American auto industry, however, that radicalism has been remarkably one-sided.  Absent an alternative of their own, workers were (and remain) trapped by their dependency on “their” corporations becoming stronger.  On the one hand, […]

  • The Bolivian Revolution and Cuba’s Conduct

    Sometimes I have thought that I would not have to write the following day and that I could rather use part of the time to read and study, as I have often done. But, the significant events of the past few weeks related to the world economy and politics, and the developments in Bolivia have prevented me from doing so.

  • Thailand: Red Shirts Shut Down the ASEAN Summit

    In Pattaya, Thailand on Friday, demonstrators — members of the National United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), aka Red Shirts — broke the police cordon around the hotel where the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit was to be held, demanding the resignation of the illegitimate government.  The Thai government responded by declaring […]

  • Venezuela: The Coup of 11 April 2002, in Images

      VTV’s “La Hojilla” program’s production team republished the images of the coup d’état of 11 April 2002, which kidnapped President Hugo Chávez and trampled on the Constitution and the rights of the Venezuelan people for 48 hours. After seven years, now that justice is beginning to be done in the cases of the massacre […]

  • Take Back the Land: Interview with Max Rameau

    CNN, 6 December 2008 Max Rameau, community activist and founding member of Take Back the Land: We only move families into government-owned homes or bank-owned foreclosures, not into places that are owned by individuals. . . .  Looking at it from the taxpayer’s point of view, these banks are getting billions of dollars, literally billions […]

  • Eduardo Galeano: The Open Eyes of Latin America

    Very few writers maintain total indifference toward the ethics of their work.  Those who have thought that in the practice of literature it is possible to separate ethics from aesthetics, however, are not so few.  Jorge Luis Borges, not without mastery, practiced a kind of politics of aesthetic neutrality, perhaps convinced of its possibility.  Thus, […]

  • Egypt and Israel: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

    Jamal Dajani: A war of words between the Egyptian government and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah has escalated after Egypt’s public prosecutor recently ordered 49 people held for plotting attacks on behalf of Hezbollah be kept in custody for an additional 15 days. The 49 suspects include Egyptians, Palestinians, and Lebanese.  They were reportedly arrested […]

  • News about Chavez and Evo

    Yesterday, Thursday 9, our attention was focused on the tense situation in Bolivia…

  • News From Bolivia

    Fresh news about Bolivia was arriving this morning, Thursday April 9, on the Bolivian television channel, reflecting tension in the country.