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Author Archive | Mark Weisbrot

International Crisis Group Against Venezuela

The International Crisis Group (ICG) sells itself as “working to prevent conflict worldwide” but there is one country where their mission looks more like promoting rather than preventing conflict.  Exhibit A is their report on Venezuela, released on Friday. There is a lot wrong with this report — most of it reads like a statement […]

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Venezuela: What Is the White House Up To?

The White House said today that a 100 percent audit of the votes in Venezuela was “an important, prudent and necessary step.” Now it is no surprise that the White House would be on the side of the opposition to the Chavistas, which has been the U.S. position even before the military coup that Washington […]

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Obama Administration Escalates Confrontation with Iran: Why?

The Obama Administration announced two weeks ago that a bumbling Iranian-American used car salesman had conspired with a U.S. government agent posing as a representative of Mexican drug cartels to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.  This brought highly skeptical reactions from experts here across the political spectrum. But even if some of this tale […]

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Can BRICS Help Europe?

Last week Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega proposed that the BRICS countries offer help to Europe, either through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or by buying up European bonds.  I can understand the sentiment: The European authorities have created a financial crisis that is already slowing the world economy and could potentially have even worse […]

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UN Troops in Haiti Accused of Sexual Assault

The video is profoundly disturbing.  It shows four men, identified as Uruguayan troops from the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), apparently raping an 18-year old Haitian youth.  Two of them have the victim pinned down on a mattress, with his hands twisted high up his back so that he cannot move.  Perhaps the most unnerving […]

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Brazil’s “Wall Street” Problem

Brazil’s economy is slowing, but the government is increasing its primary surplus by cutting spending, which could slow the economy more.  In June, industrial production fell by 1.6 percent, and economic activity fell for the first time since 2008.  Although monthly figures are erratic and don’t necessarily indicate any trend, the overall picture raises questions […]

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The “Debt Crisis” Myth

The prevailing understanding of economic troubles in the U.S. and Europe, the world’s two largest economies, is mistaken in a number of ways.  First: Imagine that you are driving a car down a road packed with snow and ice and you are worried about an accident.  At the same time you are ignoring the fact […]

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Brazil Needs to Quit Haiti

U.S. diplomatic cables now released from Wikileaks make it clearer than ever before that foreign troops occupying Haiti for more than seven years have no legitimate reason to be there; that this a U.S. occupation, as much as in Iraq or Afghanistan; that it is part of a decades-long U.S. strategy to deny Haitians the […]

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