Geography Archives: Latin America

  • Update on the Colombian Peace Dialogues: Politiquería vs. Program

    The most recent victim in Colombia’s conflict, in spite of ongoing conversations between the government and the FARC-EP guerrillas that began last year, seems to be common sense itself.  With the government declining to enter a two-part truce at the conclusion of the insurgency’s unilaterally assumed ceasefire on January 20, the war naturally resumed its […]

  • The Promises and Challenges of Bolivia’s Socialist Government

    Bolivia’s government entered 2013 on an optimistic note.  Socialist-oriented projects aimed at shoring up national independence and protecting indigenous rights seemingly were on track.  Now, however, the government is having to deal with emerging reports of official corruption. Opinion surveys show that President Evo Morales, overwhelming victor in two presidential elections and one recall vote, […]

  • Interview with Gianni Vattimo: “Only Weak Communism Can Save Us”

    Is it true that you are communist? What else can one be, the way things are? Communism left 70 million dead. . . That wasn’t communism. What was it, then? Industrialism.  Lenin proposed electrification plus soviets, that is to say, popular control . . . but popular control evaporated! And what remained? Industrialism.  Stalin imposed […]

  • David Ravelo and the Fight for Colombia

    Colombian political prisoner David Ravelo, jailed since September 14, 2010, learned late in November 2012 that he had been convicted and sentenced to 18 years in jail.  His case, based on spurious evidence, reflects epic military, police, and judicial repression carried out under a regime of big landowners and the urban elite.  After 50 years […]

  • Why Is Cuba’s Health Care System the Best Model for Poor Countries?

    Furious though it may be, the current debate over health care in the US is largely irrelevant to charting a path for poor countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.  That is because the US squanders perhaps 10 to 20 times what is needed for a good, affordable medical system.  The waste […]

  • As Long as Capitalism Continues, These Tragedies Will Happen

    Sometimes history repeats itself — the first time as tragedy and the second time . . . as another tragedy.  The horrendous fire that just killed 112 workers, mostly young women, at the Bangladesh garment factory echoes the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City in 1911 that killed 146 workers, again mostly women.  Both […]

  • For Whom Do the FAO and Its Director-General Work?

    For farmers small and large?  For the tens of millions of food-consuming households, poor or just getting by?  For the governments and bureaucracies of small countries who want to import less and grow more?  For the organic cultivators on their small densely bio-diverse plots?  Or for the world’s large food production, trading, and retail corporations, […]

  • New Nicaraguan Law Challenges Violence Against Women

    Nicaragua’s adoption this year of a sweeping law for prevention and punishment of violence against women marks an important gain for women’s rights in this Central American country, says Sandra Ramos, founder and director of the “Maria Elena Cuadra” Movement for Working and Unemployed Women (MEC). Addressing a meeting at Casa Maíz in Toronto on […]

  • Colombian Prisoners Demand Justice

    Popular momentum is building to ensure that any settlement coming out of upcoming Colombian government peace negotiations with insurgents promotes social justice. New prisoner resistance and recent documentation of abuses in Colombian prisons serve as reminders that, ideally, a peaceful and just Colombian society should promote prisoner rights.  Indeed, “Our people and a bit of […]

  • What Part of FREE SPEECH Does Whole Foods Not Understand?

    On Saturday, August 18, several cars and a pickup truck with signs on top, in the windows or on bumpers, drove into the Whole Foods Market (WFM) parking lot in Brentwood, which borders St. Louis, Missouri.  Police approached as soon as they arrived. “Yes, officer, we will take the signs off of the cars if […]

  • All Sorts of Roguery?  The ‘Financial Aristocracy’ and Government à Bon Marché in India

    My voice is a crime, My thoughts anarchy, Because I do not sing to their tunes, I do not carry them on my shoulders. — Cherabandaraju, who was the lead accused in a “conspiracy case” involving poets and their poetry. It’s been two decades and a year since India’s elite embraced neo-liberalism.  Money — the […]

  • Tito’s Class-Conscious Classifieds

    In a recent PBS interview with Bill Moyers, journalist Chris Hedges discussed protest for social change.  “Revolt,” he said, apropos of salvaging a collapsing world, “is all we have.  It is our only hope.” I agree.  So would my friend Tito Gerassi, who believed all his life in revolution.  And, since rising unemployment is part […]

  • Low-Wage Workers March in New York — Will It Make a Difference?

    Several thousand union and non-union workers came together in Manhattan the afternoon of July 24 for an unusual display of solidarity between people who until the 2008 economic crisis had often seemed to belong to completely different social classes. The event, the “New York Workers Rising Day of Action,” brought out a mix of low-wage […]

  • Interview with Eduardo Galeano: “Two Centuries of Workers’ Conquests, Cast Into a Dustbin”

      Montevideo From his usual table at Café Brasilero downtown, leaving the cold weather of southern winter outside its large window, Eduardo Galeano insists that “the grandeur of humanity lies in small things, quotidian things, done every day, what’s done by the nameless without knowing that they are doing it.” So, his answers mingle with […]

  • A Coup Over Land:The Resource War Behind Paraguay’s Crisis

    Each bullet hole on the downtown Asunción, Paraguay light posts tells a story.  Some of them are from civil wars decades ago, some from successful and unsuccessful coups, others from police crackdowns.  The size of the hole, the angle of the ricochet, all tell of an escape, a death, another dictator in the palace by […]

  • The Emerging Left in the “Emerging” World

    Ralph Miliband Lecture on the Future of the Left, London School of Economics, London, U.K., 28 May 2012 It is a great honour and privilege for me to be invited to deliver this lecture in the Ralph Miliband series on the future of the Left.  Ralph Miliband was not just an outstanding social scientist and […]

  • Paraguay: For the Restoration of Democracy and Popular Sovereignty

      The Guasú Front, which was the driving force behind the 2008 electoral triumph of President Fernando Lugo, and a broad spectrum of other social and political movements agreed to form the Front for Defense of Democracy (FDD), which “rejects and condemns the putschist government of Federico Franco” and calls upon people “to defend the […]

  • The World Seen from the South: Interview with Samir Amin

    I would like to focus this interview on three distinct but related questions: your vision of the world and the possibilities of changing it; your conceptual and political proposal on the implosion of capitalism and delinking from it; your analysis of the global context, seen especially from Africa and the Middle East.  What is your […]

  • Annals of Imperialism: U.S. Military Takes on Honduras

    On May 11 in Honduras’ Mosquito region, helicopter gunfire killed two women, two men, and seriously wounded four more, including children.  They were targeted as drug traffickers.  The helicopters belonged to the U.S. State Department.  On board were agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in military uniforms, plus Honduran soldiers.  Many Hondurans say agents […]

  • Imperialism Redux: Canada Colonizes Honduras?

    A curious article recently appeared in Canada’s Globe and Mail.  The authors are US economist Paul Romer and Octavio Sanchez, chief of staff to the President of Honduras.  They are promoting Romer’s idea for “charter cities,” in which Canada is invited to play a role in an ostensibly new model to promote development and prosperity […]