Geography Archives: Latin America

  • Interdom at Eighty: Reflections in Russia, on Dreams Old and Renascent

    Russia, as travelers have noted over the centuries, is immense.  Most of it is far from large bodies of water.  And yet, in a first visit after many years, I came upon some unusual islands right in the heart of the country.  But they were not islands in the geographic sense.  Some were children’s islands. […]

  • 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 […]

  • Immigrant Workers Are Organizing in New York — With or Without Immigration Reform

    Some 50 to 60 union meat cutters and their supporters turned out on the afternoon of April 6 for a noisy protest against what they said was a lockout by Trade Fair, a chain of nine small supermarkets based in Queens, New York. Standing in a picket line on a busy sidewalk outside a Trade […]

  • Economic Development and Rana Plaza

    The official death toll from the April collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which housed clothing factories, has now passed 1,100.  How exactly will the staggering costs of that overwhelming tragedy be figured?  Will they count as part of capitalism’s contribution to economic development across Asia, Africa, and Latin America? In capitalism’s […]

  • Reflections on Anti-Cuban Terror

    Bombs set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three and wounded over 200 people.  The metropolitan area became a virtual war zone.  Officials at every level let loose with doomsday-style retaliatory proclamations.  For some, however, the clamor served to resurrect memories of U.S. terrorism — against Cuba for […]

  • Once Again on So-called “Extractivism”

    Since Marx, we know that what characterizes and differentiates societies is the way in which they organize the production, distribution and use of the material and symbolic resources
    they possess. In other words, the mode of production1 is what defines the material content of the social life of the distinct human territorial collectivities (nations, peoples, communities), within which there can be differentiated the historically specific form in which each of their components develop, and the manner in which various existing modes of production interrelate within the same society.

  • Letter to Kerry: Follow the Lead of Latin American Governments and Recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s New President

    H/T Dan Beeton. | Print

  • Deadly Opposition Violence in Venezuela: The First Major Destabilization Attempt Since 2002-03

    Opposition protests turned deadly yesterday, with at least seven people having been reported killed and over 61 others injured as opposition groups reportedly burned the homes of PSUV leaders, community hospitals, and mercales (subsidized grocery stores), attacked Cuban doctors, attacked state and community media stations, and threatened CNE president Tibisay Lucena and other officials.  Violence […]

  • Report from Havana: Talking With the FARC-EP’s Peace Commission

    If there has ever been any question that the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) is essentially a political organization — one that took up arms guided by a political vision and will abandon them when a new political strategy leads them to do so — that question may be forever laid to rest by […]

  • Confronting the Amnesty Scare

    The anti-immigrant right has been mounting a scare campaign since late January about the supposed dangers of legalizing the country’s estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants. — “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally,” Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, announced on January 28, “it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers […]

  • Can Worker-Owners Run a Big Factory?  How Mexican Tire Workers Won Ownership of Their Plant With a Three-Year Strike and Are Now Running It Themselves

    Part 1: Mexican Workers Win Ownership of Tire Plant With Three-Year Strike “If the owners don’t want it, let’s run it ourselves.”  When a factory closes, the idea of turning it into a worker-owned co-operative sometimes comes up — and usually dies. The hurdles to buying a plant, even a failing plant, are huge, and […]

  • Change of Epoch: Imperialism Counterattacks, But Chávez Lives, the Struggle Continues

    Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa‘s idea that we are not “living in an epoch of change” but rather “in a change of epoch” is very much to the point.  There is an obvious worldwide decline of existing imperialisms and historic changes in the correlation of social, class, and nation-state forces.  There have arisen popular movements of […]

  • The Relevance of Marxism Today: An Interview With Michael A. Lebowitz

      Do you think Marxism is still relevant today? If so, which parts? I think that Marxism is completely relevant for understanding capitalism now. It’s an error to think that capitalism has changed and that therefore we have to change Marxism. Marx grasped the nature of capitalism; and, although capitalism has changed in some of […]

  • Chávez, a Reader of Mészáros

    Hugo Chávez always said that a key book he had read during his prison years was Beyond Capital by his friend István Mészáros.  The book was brought to him by Jorge Giordani, who later became Venezuela’s chief minister in charge of economy under Chávez, the position that Giordani still holds today. The last time I […]

  • Samir Amin: Chávez Has Died, But the Bolivarian Revolution Continues

      The President of the World Forum for Alternatives (WFA), Egyptian economist Samir Amin, today paid tribute to the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, whose death he called a “great tragedy.” The neo-Marxist intellectual expressed his sadness for the death of the Venezuelan leader and his solidarity with the Venezuelan people in a communiqué […]

  • “Por Ahora”: A Few Words for Hugo Chávez

    Caracas, March 6, 2013 Hugo Chávez, who died yesterday afternoon, was something of an Emersonian hero.  “Speak your latent conviction,” said the sage of Concord, “and it shall be the universal sense.” Chávez said things that other people thought, or at least recognized that they thought after he said them. One could say that he […]

  • Chávez’s Chief Legacy: Building, with People, an Alternative Society to Capitalism

    When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already foundering.  The choice then was none other than whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model — clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking — or to go […]

  • Farewell Comrade Chávez

    With the death of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela and the world have lost a leader whose primary concern was to bring a new system into existence — one he referred to as 21st Century Socialism.  This meant a lot of things to Chávez, including making sure that all people had access to the necessities of life […]

  • The World-Historical Importance of Hugo Chávez

    The masses make history, but particular charismatic men and women can play a pivotal role, especially when they believe in the people and mobilize the masses to take action on their own behalf.  Hugo Chávez was one of those rare revolutionary leaders.  He was especially important for Latin America and the Third World for taking […]

  • Capitalism Becomes Questionable

    The depth and length of the global crisis are now clear to millions.  In the sixth year since it started in late 2007, no end is in sight.  Unemployment rates are now less than halfway back from their recession peak to where they were in 2007.  Over 20 million are without work, millions more limited […]