Latin America

region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken

Latin America is the portion of the Americas comprising countries and regions where languages that derived from Latin —such as Spanish, French and Portuguese are predominantly spoken. Puerto Rico, which is almost always included within the definition of Latin America despite being a territory of the United States. Including French-speaking territories, Latin America consists of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and includes much of the Caribbean, with a total population estimated at more than 652 million (as of March 2, 2020)

Including French-speaking territories, Latin America consists of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories... with a total population estimated at more than 652 million (as of March 2, 2020)
Latin America has been battered by the economic collapse accompanying the pandemic... Now elections promise to bring a new generation of progressive leaders to power across the hemisphere... The opportunity is to launch a new chapter of what Franklin Roosevelt termed the Good Neighbor Policy. Let's join China in a competition defined not by battleships and coups but by investments in infrastructure and by increased trade.... As the region's neighbors, we have a big stake in their prosperity and their health. ~ Jesse Jackson
The proposal is no more and no less than to build something similar to the European Union, but in accordance with our history, our reality, and our identities... a truly autonomous organization — not a lackey of anyone, but a mediator at the request and acceptance of parties in conflict in matters of human rights and democracy... it is worth trying. ~ Andrés Manuel López Obrador (August 16, 2021)
A wave of protests in Cuba became the somewhat unlikely focus of global attention earlier this week... Media... were quick to focus on the story, giving the protests front and center coverage, something extremely unusual for demonstrations in Latin America. Far larger and more deadly movements in Chile and Ecuador were mostly ignored by the corporate press (, 12/6/19)



(chronological order)

Chavez's first decade... saw Venezuelan GDP more than double... both infant mortality & unemployment almost halved... "extreme poverty" rate fell from 23.4 percent in 1999 to 8.5 percent... third lowest poverty rate in Latin America... college enrollment... more than doubled, millions of care for the first time... ~David Sirota
US officials] say they want to impose a democratic model... their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites.. imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons. What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?
When... a country goes [socialist] and its economy does what Venezuela's did... [Venezuela] came to be seen as a serious threat to the global system of corporate capitalism... a high crime prompting a special punishment. ~David Sirota
  • If we wanted to express how we'd like our revolutionary combatants, our militants, our men, to be, we should say without hesitation of any kind: that they be like Che! If we wanted to express how we'd want the men of future generations to be, we should say: that they be like Che! If we wanted to say how we'd want our children to be educated, we should say without faltering: we want them to be educated in Che's spirit! If we wanted a model of a man, a model of a man who does not belong to this time, but who belongs to the future instead, I'd heartily say that this model without a single stain on his conduct, attitude or behavior, is Che! If we want to express how we want our children to be, we must say with all the heart of vehement revolutionaries: we want them to be like Che!
  • Latin America has enjoyed a long period of buoyant optimism based on the policy of industrial development through import substitution. In other words, the installation of factories for local production of what had formerly been imported, an operation which was subsidized with costly benefits: exchange facilities, customs protection, loans in local currency and government guarantees for financing from abroad. Experience has shown that tills type of industrialization—promoted mainly by international corporations—has proved to be a new instrument of recolonization. Its harmful effects include the creation of a technician-manager stratum which has grown increasingly influential, and has become a defender of the foreign interest which it has identified with its own. Still more serious have been the social effects. The big industrial plants, which use sophisticated techniques, absorb little manpower, give rise to serious unemployment and underemployment problems, and result in the bankruptcy of small- and medium-scale domestic industries. We should also mention the tendency to concentrate on industries producing consumer goods which are of use to only a thin stratum of privileged persons, and indirectly create conspicuous consumption patterns and values, to the detriment of the values characteristic of our culture.
    • Salvador Allende, April 13, 1972, as quoted in Historic Documents of 1972. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
  • With what moral authority can they speak of human rights — the rulers of a nation in which the millionaire and beggar coexist; the Indian is exterminated; the black man is discriminated against; the woman is prostituted; and the great masses of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Latin Americans are scorned, exploited, and humiliated? How can they do this — the bosses of an empire where the mafia, gambling, and child prostitution are imposed; where the CIA organizes plans of global subversion and espionage, and the Pentagon creates neutron bombs capable of preserving material assets and wiping out human beings; an empire that supports reaction and counter-revolution all over the world; that protects and promotes the exploitation by monopolies of the wealth and the human resources of whole continents, unequal exchange, a protectionist policy, an incredible waste of natural resources, and a system of hunger for the world?
  • I never perceived a contradiction in the political revolutionary field between the ideas I maintained and the idea of that symbol, that extraordinary figure who had been so familiar to me since I began to reason.
  • The world has an offer for everybody but it turned out that a few minorities--the descendants of those who crucified Christ, the descendants of those who expelled Bolivar from here and also those who in a certain way crucified him in Santa Marta, there in Colombia--they took possession of the riches of the world, a minority took possession of the planet’s gold, the silver, the minerals, the water, the good lands, the oil, and they have concentrated all the riches in the hands of a few; less than 10 percent of the world population owns more than half of the riches of the world.
    • Hugo Chavez is invoking a Christian metaphor to condemn capitalism in this Christmas address, December 24, 2005 [1] [2][3]
  • I think there are reasons to be optimistic...because over and above the wars and the bombs and the aggressive and the preventive war and the destruction of entire peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning... the era is giving birth to a heart. There are alternative ways of thinking. There are young people who think differently. And this has already been seen within the space of a mere decade. It was shown that the end of history was a totally false assumption, and the same was shown about Pax Americana and the establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal world. It has been shown, this system, to generate mere poverty. Who believes in it now?... What we now have to do is define the future of the world. Dawn is breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and Europe and Latin America and Oceanea. I want to emphasize that optimistic vision.... We have to strengthen ourselves, our will to do battle, our awareness. We have to build a new and better world... Venezuela joins that struggle, and that's why we are threatened. The U.S. has already planned, financed and set in motion a coup in Venezuela, and it continues to support coup attempts in Venezuela and elsewhere.
  • ...reminded us just a moment ago of the horrendous assassination of the former foreign minister, Orlando Letelier. And I would just add one thing: Those who perpetrated this crime are free. And that other event where an American citizen also died were American themselves. They were CIA killers, terrorists... In just a few days there will be another anniversary. Thirty years will have passed from this other horrendous terrorist attack on the Cuban plane, where 73 innocents died, a Cubana de Aviacion airliner. And where is the biggest terrorist of this continent who took the responsibility for blowing up the plane? He spent a few years in jail in Venezuela. Thanks to CIA and then government officials, he was allowed to escape, and he lives here in this country, protected by the government. And he was convicted. He has confessed to his crime. But the U.S. government has double standards. It protects terrorism when it wants to.
Should Latin America and the Caribbean accept these methods that so hurt our region in the entire 20th century? How many military interventions? How many coup d’états? How many dictatorships were imposed during the long and dark 20th century in Latin America and the Caribbean, and who did it favor? Did it favor the Peoples?... ~ Nicolás Maduro
  • Should Latin America and the Caribbean accept these methods that so hurt our region in the entire 20th century? How many military interventions? How many coup d’états? How many dictatorships were imposed during the long and dark 20th century in Latin America and the Caribbean, and who did it favor? Did it favor the Peoples? What interests did they represent? The interests of the transnational companies, the unpopular interests; long dictatorships, like Augusto Pinochet’s in Chile, were faced by our peoples due to the stubbornness of the American elites...
  • We bring our homeland’s truth to this honorable UN General Assembly; after the failure published and announced by the New York Times of these illegal, unconstitutional and criminal attempts of regime change, after the democratic presidential election, last May 20th, when I, Nicolas Maduro Moros, obtained 68% of the popular votes through free elections – the 24th election in 19 years, of which 22 have been won by the revolutionary forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at different levels of approval, against the opposition forces of our country; after the failure of the attempted military coups, candidacies and electoral tactics supported by Washington...
  • Throughout most of the nineteenth century we experienced constant occupations, invasions, annexations, and in the great blow of 1848 [in the Mexican-American War] it cost us the loss of half of our territory. This violent, territorial expansion of the United States was consecrated when Cuba, Spain’s last bastion in the Americas, fell in 1898 with the suspicious sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana. . . . Since that time, Washington has never ceased carrying out overt or covert operations against the independent countries south of the Rio Grande... the people of Cuba deserve a prize of dignity and the island . . . should be declared a World Heritage site...
    The proposal is no more and no less than to build something similar to the European Union, but in accordance with our history, our reality, and our identities. In this spirit, we should not rule out the replacement of the OAS [Organization of American States] with a truly autonomous organization — not a lackey of anyone, but a mediator at the request and acceptance of parties in conflict in matters of human rights and democracy. . . . What is proposed here may seem utopian. However, it should be considered that without the horizon of ideals we will get nowhere and, consequently, it is worth trying. Let’s keep Bolivar’s dream alive.

Quotes about


(chronological order)

  • The world was changing in the 1870s and ’80s. Latin America was no exception. The institutions that Porfirio Díaz established were not identical to those of Santa Ana or the Spanish colonial state. The world economy boomed in the second half of the nineteenth century, and innovations in transportation such as the steamship and the railway led to a huge expansion of international trade. This wave of globalization meant that resource-rich countries such as Mexico—or, more appropriately, the elites in such countries—could enrich themselves by exporting raw materials and natural resources to industrializing North America or Western Europe. Díaz and his cronies thus found themselves in a different and rapidly evolving world. They realized that Mexico had to change, too. But this didn’t mean uprooting the colonial institutions and replacing them with institutions similar to those in the United States. Instead, theirs was “path-dependent” change leading only to the next stage of the institutions that had already made much of Latin America poor and unequal.
    • Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinon, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Poverty, and Prosperity (2012), p. 48
  • The persistence into the twentieth century of a specific institutional pattern inimical to growth in Mexico and Latin America is well illustrated by the fact that, just as in the nineteenth century, the pattern generated economic stagnation and political instability, civil wars and coups, as groups struggled for the benefits of power. Díaz finally lost power to revolutionary forces in 1910. The Mexican Revolution was followed by others in Bolivia in 1952, Cuba in 1959, and Nicaragua in 1979. Meanwhile, sustained civil wars raged in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. Expropriation or the threat of expropriation of assets continued apace, with mass agrarian reforms (or attempted reforms) in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, and Venezuela. Revolutions, expropriations, and political instability came along with military governments and various types of dictatorships. Though there was also a gradual drift toward greater political rights, it was only in the 1990s that most Latin American countries became democracies, and even then they remain mired in instability.
    • Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinon, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Poverty, and Prosperity (2012)
  • This instability was accompanied by mass repression and murder. The 1991 National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report in Chile determined that 2,279 persons were killed for political reasons during the Pinochet dictatorship between 1973 and 1990. Possibly 50,000 were imprisoned and tortured, and hundreds of thousands of people were fired from their jobs. The Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification Report in 1999 identified a total of 42,275 named victims, though others have claimed that as many as 200,000 were murdered in Guatemala between 1962 and 1996, 70,000 during the regime of General Efrain Ríos Montt, who was able to commit these crimes with such impunity that he could run for president in 2003; fortunately he did not win. The National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons in Argentina put the number of people murdered by the military there at 9,000 persons from 1976 to 1983, although it noted that the actual number could be higher. (Estimates by human rights organizations usually place it at 30,000.)
    • Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinon, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Poverty, and Prosperity (2012)
  • There are days which occur in this climate, at almost any season of the year, wherein the world reaches its perfection; when the air, the heavenly bodies and the earth, make a harmony, as if nature would indulge her offspring; when, in these bleak upper sides of the planet, nothing is to desire that we have heard of the happiest latitudes, and we bask in the shining hours of Florida and Cuba; when everything that has life gives sign of satisfaction, and the cattle that lie on the ground seem to have great and tranquil thoughts.
  • Warfare is a means and not an end. Warfare is a tool of revolutionaries. The important thing is the revolution. The important thing is the revolutionary cause, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary objectives, revolutionary sentiments, revolutionary virtues!
  • All I gotta say about Elian is, thank God he's Cuban. 'Cause if he had been Haitian, you'd have never heard about his ass. If Elian Gonzalez was Elian Mumoombo from Haiti, they'd have pushed that little rubber tube back into the water. "Sorry, fella. All full."
  • There are profound differences between our countries that will not go away. We hold different concepts on many subjects, such as political systems, democracy, the exercise of human rights, social justice, international relations, and world peace and stability. We defend human rights. In our view, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible, interdependent, and universal. We find it inconceivable that a government does not defend and ensure the right to healthcare, education, social security, food provision, development, equal pay, and the rights of children. We oppose political manipulation and double standards in the approach to human rights.
    • Raúl Castro, On Cuban and U.S. relations in an address at a joint press conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in Havana, Cuba (22 March 2016)
  • Despite assassination attempts and international isolation - especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union - Castro has clung on to power and remains the world's longest surviving head of state. Meanwhile his people will risk almost anything to flee, and the country continues to decay. In 2003 seventy-five dissidents were imprisoned for up to eight years for daring to speak out against the regime. They have concrete slabs for a bed, eat food that would 'make a pig vomit,' and use lavatories that 'regurgitate their fetid contents around the clock.' On the other hand, Cuba has an efficient and generous welfare state and health system.
    • Nigel Cawthorne, Tyrants: History's 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators, New York : Barnes & Noble, (2006) ISBN 0760775672, p. 90
  • A twenty-year war of terrorism was waged against Cuba. Cuba has probably been the target of more international terrorism than the rest of the world combined and, therefore, in the American ideological system it is regarded as the source of international terrorism, exactly as Orwell would have predicted. And now there’s a war against Nicaragua. The impact of all of this has been absolutely horrendous. There’s vast starvation throughout the region while crop lands are devoted to exports to the United States. There’s slave labor, crushing poverty, torture, mass murder, every horror you can think of. In El Salvador alone, from October 1979 (a date to which I’ll return) until December 1981 — approximately two years — about 30,000 people were murdered and about 600,000 refugees created. Those figures have about doubled since. Most of the murders were carried out by U.S.-backed military forces, including so-called death squads. The efficiency of the massacre in El Salvador has recently increased with direct participation of American military forces. American planes based in Honduran and Panamanian sanctuaries, military aircraft, now coordinate bombing raids over El Salvador, which means that the Salvadoran air force can more effectively kill fleeing peasants and destroy villages, and, in fact, the kill rate has gone up corresponding to that.
  • The United States for many years has tried to convert Puerto Rico into a model of hybrid culture: the Spanish language with English inflections, the Spanish language with hinges on its backbone--the better to bow down before the Yankee soldier. Puerto Rican soldiers have been used as cannon fodder in imperialist wars, as in Korea, and have even been made to fire at their own brothers, as in the massacre perpetrated by the U.S. army a few months ago against the unarmed people of Panama--one of the most recent crimes carried out by Yankee imperialism. And yet, despite this assault on their will and their historical destiny, the people of Puerto Rico have preserved their culture, their Latin character, their national feelings, which in themselves give proof of the implacable desire for independence lying within the masses on that Latin American island.
  • Of all the thousands of rulers, potentates, strongmen, juntas, and warlords the Americans have dealt with in all corners of the world, General Manuel Antonio Noriega is the only one the Americans came after like this. Just once in its 225 years of formal national existence has the United States ever invaded another country and carried its ruler back to the United States to face trial and imprisonment for violations of American law committed on that ruler's own native foreign turf. Following the bombardment [of Panama], the United States suddenly found itself in a delicate situation. For a while, it seemed as though the whole thing would backfire. The Bush administration might have quashed the wimp rumors, but now it faced the problem of legitimacy, of appearing to be a bully caught in an act of terrorism. It was disclosed that the U.S. Army had prohibited the press, the Red Cross, and other outside observers from entering the heavily bombed areas for three days, while soldiers incinerated and buried the casualties. The press asked questions about how much evidence of criminal and other inappropriate behavior was destroyed, and about how many died because they were denied timely medical attention, but such questions were never answered.
  • We shall never know many of the facts about the invasion, nor shall we know the true extent of the massacre. Defense Secretary Richard Cheney claimed a death toll between five hundred and six hundred, but independent human rights groups estimated it at three thousand to five thousand, with another twenty-five thousand left homeless... Noriega was arrested, flown to Miami, and sentenced to forty years' imprisonment; at that time, he was the only person in the United States officially classified as a prisoner of war... The world was outraged by this breach of international law and by the needless destruction of a defenseless people at the hands of the most powerful military force on the planet, but few in the United States were aware of either the outrage or the crimes Washington had committed. Press coverage was very limited. A number of factors contributed to this, including government policy, White House phone calls to publishers and television executives, congress people who dared not object, lest the wimp factor become their problem, and journalists who thought the public needed heroes rather than objectivity.
  • Latin America came closest of any continent outside Europe to establishing something approaching genuine fascist regimes between the 1930s and the early 1950s. We must tread warily here, however, for a high degree of mimicry was involved during the period of fascist ascendancy in Europe. Local dictators tended to adopt the fascist decor that was the fashion of the 1930s, while drawing Depression remedies as much from Roosevelt's New Deal as from Mussolini's corporatism.
  • My real job... was giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan — let’s say a $1 billion to a country like... Ecuador — and this country would then have to give ninety percent of that loan back to a U.S. company... to build the infrastructure — a Halliburton or a Bechtel... Those companies would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very wealthiest families in those countries. The poor people... would be stuck ultimately with this amazing debt that they couldn’t possibly repay. A country today like Ecuador owes over fifty percent of its national budget just to pay down its debt. And it really can’t do it. So, we literally have them over a barrel. So, when we want more oil, we go to Ecuador and say, “Look, you’re not able to repay your debts, therefore give our oil companies your Amazon rain forest, which are filled with oil.” And today we’re going in and destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them to us because they’ve accumulated all this debt. So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves.... It’s a huge empire. It’s been extremely successful.
For every $100 of crude taken out of the Ecuadorian rain forests, the oil companies receive $75...out of every $100 worth of oil torn from the Amazon, less than $3 goes to the people... whose lives have been so adversely impacted by the dams, the drilling, and the pipelines, and who are dying from lack of edible food and potable water. ~ John Perkins
Omar Torrijos, the President of Panama... had signed the Canal Treaty with Carter ~ John Perkins
  • Omar Torrijos, the President of Panama... had signed the Canal Treaty with Carter much... It was a highly contended issue. And Torrijos then also went ahead and negotiated with the Japanese to build a sea-level canal. The Japanese wanted to finance and construct a sea-level canal in Panama. Torrijos talked to them about this which very much upset Bechtel Corporation, whose president was George Schultz and senior council was Casper Weinberger. When Carter... lost the election, and Reagan came in and Schultz came in as Secretary of State from Bechtel, and Weinberger came from Bechtel to be Secretary of Defense, they were extremely angry at Torrijos — tried to get him to renegotiate the Canal Treaty and not to talk to the Japanese. He adamantly refused... He had his problems, but he was a very principled man. He was an amazing man, Torrijos. And so, he died in a fiery airplane crash, which was connected to a tape recorder with explosives in it, which — I was there. I had been working with him. I knew that we economic hit men had failed. I knew the jackals were closing in on him, and the next thing, his plane exploded with a tape recorder with a bomb in it. There’s no question in my mind that it was C.I.A. sanctioned, and most — many Latin American investigators have come to the same conclusion. Of course, we never heard about that in our country.

  • The book was to be dedicated to the presidents of two countries, men who had been his clients whom I respected and thought of as kindred spirits – Jaime Roldós (1940-1981), president of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos, president of Panama. Both had just died in fiery crashes. Their deaths were not accidental. They were assassinated because they opposed that fraternity of corporate, government, and banking heads whose goal is global empire. We Economic Hit Men failed to bring Roldós and Torrijos around, and the other type of hit men, the CIA-sanctioned jackals who were always right behind us, stepped in.
  • Today, a new $1.3 billion, three hundred-mile pipeline constructed by an EHM [economic hitman] organized consortium promises to make Ecuador one of the world's top ten suppliers of oil to the United States. Vast areas of rain forest have fallen, macaws and jaguars have all but vanished, three Ecuadorian indigenous cultures have been driven to the verge of collapse, and pristine rivers have been transformed into flaming cesspools... Because of my fellow EHMs and me, Ecuador is in far worse shape today than she was before we introduced her to the miracles of modern economics, banking, and engineering. Since 1970, during this period known euphemistically as the Oil Boom, the official poverty level grew from 50 to 70 percent, under- or unemployment increased from 15 to 70 percent, and public debt increased from $240 million to $16 billion. Meanwhile, the share of national resources allocated to the poorest segments of the population declined from 20 to 6 percent... Unfortunately, Ecuador is not the exception. Nearly every country we EHMs have brought under the global empire's umbrella has suffered a similar fate. Third world debt has grown to more than 62.5 trillion, and the cost of servicing it — over $375 billion per year as of 2004 — is more than all third world spending on health and education, and twenty times what developing countries receive annually in foreign aid.
  • Ecuador is typical of countries around the world that EHMs have brought into the economic-political fold. For every $100 of crude taken out of the Ecuadorian rain forests, the oil companies receive $75. Of the remaining $25, three-quarters must go to paying off the foreign debt. Most of the remainder covers military and other government expenses — which leaves about $2.50 for health, education, and programs aimed at helping the poor. Thus, out of every $100 worth of oil torn from the Amazon, less than $3 goes to the people who need the money most, those whose lives have been so adversely impacted by the dams, the drilling, and the pipelines, and who are dying from lack of edible food and potable water.
  • This country … abounds in that Cuba is a heaven in the spiritual sense of the word, and we prefer to die in heaven than serve in hell.
  • Cuba doesn’t have a dictatorship — it’s a revolutionary democracy.
    • Hugo Chávez during his television/radio show ¡Aló Presidente! on August 21, 2005

  • Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism... delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving. Chavez's first decade... saw Venezuelan GDP more than double... both infant mortality and unemployment almost halved... under Chavez's brand of socialism, poverty in Venezuela plummeted... its "extreme poverty" rate fell from 23.4 percent in 1999 to 8.5 percent... left the country with the third lowest poverty rate in Latin America... college enrollment... more than doubled, millions of people have access to health care for the first time... the number of people eligible for public pensions has quadrupled.
  • When... a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela's did... especially when said country has valuable oil resources... [Venezuela] came to be seen as a serious threat to the global system of corporate capitalism... a high crime prompting a special punishment... Are there any lessons to be learned from Venezuela's policies that so rapidly reduced poverty?...Are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez's grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution? Such questions need to be asked. The problem is the moment Chavez's name is invoked, the conversation is inevitably terminated, ending any possibility of discourse. That is by design - it is what the longtime caricaturing and marginalizing of Chavez was always supposed to do. But maybe now [that Hugo Chavez has passed away]...a more constructive, honest and critical economic conversation can finally begin.
  • Latin America is not the same Latin America... the only country who vote against stopping the embargo, eliminating the embargo in the U.N. is United States and Israel. The world already has said that they don’t agree with the embargo against Cuba. I also think that — we mentioned Hugo Chávez. Hugo Chávez, Lula in Brazil, Correa in Ecuador have shifted this concept that Latin America is just a backyard of the United States, creating a new regional policy. And with that regionalization, both for TeleSUR—there are like four or five different organizations been created that allow Latin Americans to do more work among themselves, both economically and politically, including resolving some of the political issues within our region.
    I also think it’s significant that when we talk about the U.S. arresting Noriega, that it comes off like the U.S. role has been to protect citizens from dictators. Every dictator that served the U.S., that was overthrown by their people, was protected by the U.S. Stroessner was taken to Brazil after he was overthrown. He was the most longest in power.
  • What the press downplays, if it mentions it at all, is the very real and significant ways that US sanctions have contributed to these problems facing Venezuela and how these sanctions are making it nearly impossible for Venezuela to solve these problems. What the press also fails to mention is the even greater humanitarian issues confronting Venezuela’s next-door neighbor, Colombia – the US’ number one ally in the region and, quite bizarrely, the newest “global partner” of NATO from Latin America. And, the US is very much responsible for these issues as well, but in quite different ways. The fact is that, by a number of measures, Colombia has one of the worst human rights situations on earth, but you would never know this from watching the nightly news.
  • I just returned from observing my fourth election in Venezuela in less than a year. Jimmy Carter has called Venezuela’s electoral system “the best in the world,” and what I witnessed was an inspiring process that guarantees one person, one vote, and includes multiple auditing procedures to ensure a free and fair election. I then came home to the United States to see the inevitable “news” coverage referring to Venezuela as a “dictatorship” and as a country in need of saving. This coverage not only ignores the reality of Venezuela, it ignores the fact that the U.S. is the greatest impediment to democracy in Venezuela, just as the U.S. has been an impediment to democracy throughout Latin America since the end of the 19th century. ...most of Venezuela’s poor are better off now than they were before the Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro... Before Chavez, the sprawling poor barrios which ring the cities were literally not on any government maps, and they had no utilities and no election centers. After Chavez...they were provided with utilities, health service, election stations and, most important, dignity. Chavez even started a world-class music program which has now provided 1 million underprivileged children with music education.
  • While thousands of people gathered around Miraflores Presidential Palace to greet the re-election of President Nicolás Maduro, opposition sectors, the United States, the European Union and the Latin American right launched a predictable destabilization plan against the most recent democratic electoral process undertaken on Sunday, May 20, in Venezuela.The Venezuelan people, victims of one of the most brutal economic wars of recent times, only comparable to the blockade imposed on Cuba for more than 50 years, re-elected Nicolás Maduro as their legitimate President with more than six million votes. From the photos used in the international media, to the headlines chosen, the coverage of the elections in Venezuela was designed to try to undermine the participation of citizens and their majority support for the Bolivarian Revolution...most of the Western mass media continues to echo terms such as “political prisoners,” when the government has provided countless evidence that those who are being prosecuted have committed crimes or incited violence, which has resulted in hundreds of deaths.
  • For the third consecutive year, South America slid backwards in the global struggle to achieve zero hunger by 2030, with 39 million people living with hunger and five million children suffering from malnutrition. “It’s very distressing because we’re not making progress. We’re not doing well, we’re going in reverse. You can accept this in a year of great drought or a crisis somewhere, but when it’s happened three years in a row, that’s a trend,” reflected Julio Berdegué, FAO’s highest authority in Latin America and the Caribbean. The regional representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations said it is cause for concern that it is not Central America, the poorest subregion, that is failing in its efforts, but the South American countries that have stagnated. “More than five million children in Latin America are permanently malnourished. In a continent of abundant food, a continent of upper-middle- and high-income countries, five million children … It’s unacceptable,” he said in an interview with IPS at the agency’s regional headquarters in Santiago.

  • Veterans For Peace is outraged at the unfolding coup d’etat in Venezuela, which is clearly being orchestrated by the U.S. government. Two hundred years of blatant U.S. intervention in Latin America must come to an end... Years of increasingly crippling U.S. sanctions have succeeded in destabilizing the Venezuelan economy and created great unrest, division and migration. The U.S. government encouraged Venezuelan opposition parties to boycott last year’s election. Now they are calling the election fraudulent, and attempting to install a little-known politician more to their liking. This is part of a dangerous game that the U.S. continues to play throughout Latin America.
  • June 28 marks a grim milestone in Honduras: ten years of dictatorship, of tragedy and resistance, of protest and repression. The 2009 coup d’état that ousted democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya carried uncanny echoes of the darkest days of US-backed war in Central America, and proved a harbinger of the coming right-wing counterrevolution in the region. After the military ousted Zelaya, parliamentary coups unseated democratic progressive governments in Paraguay and Brazil, and reactionary ambassadors of capital have since risen to power in elections across the continent.
    In the words of Dana Frank, “Honduras was the first domino which the United States pushed over to counteract the new governments in Latin America.”
    ...As the Latin American left reckons with its failures to build a sustainable base for a transformative political project, US-backed elites have set about liberating territory for capital at the expense of the region’s most vulnerable populations and ecosystems. In Honduras, whose history and landscape were already scarred by United Fruit plantations and US military bases, this project has taken a particularly brutal form.

  • Fidel Castro said that instead of investing so much in the development of increasingly sophisticated weapons, those with the resources should promote medical research and put science at the service of humanity, creating instruments of health and life, not death. #cubanobel
  • Did you know that of the nearly 1200 health professional Cubans involved in fighting COVID-19 around the world, more than half are women? Join the campaign to award them the Nobel Prize. #CubaNobel
  • Cuban doctors arrive in Martinique to fight coronavirus. "The only thing that motivates us is to save lives, that's the most important thing in the eyes of a Cuban doctor.” That’s why they could get the Nobel Prize. (27 June 2020)
  • I reach above me and pull down a file on Guatemala. It is on the CIA coup of 1954. Why did the US destroy that small country? Because the landless movement and the Left fought to elect a democratic politician - Jacobo Arbenz - who decided to push through a moderate land reform agenda. Such a project threatened to undercut the land holding of the United Fruit Company, a US conglomerate that strangled Guatemala. The CIA got to work. It contacted retired Colonial Carlos Castillo Armas, it paid off brigade commanders, created sabotage events, and then seized Árbenz in the presidential palace and sent him into exile. Castillo Armas then put Guatemala through a reign of terror. 'If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetery in order to pacify it,' he said later, 'I will not hesitate to do so.' The CIA gave him lists of Communists, people who were eager to lift their country out of poverty. They were arrested, many executed. The CIA offered Castillo Armas its benediction to kill: A Study of Assassination, the CIA's killing manual, was handed over to his butchers. The light of hope went out in this small and vibrant country.
    • Vijay Prashad, Washington Bullets: A History of the CIA, Coups, and Assassinations. Monthly Review Press, 2020. pp. 13-14
  • We speak with Salvadoran American journalist Roberto Lovato about how decades of U.S. military intervention in Central America have contributed to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border. Some 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children are now in U.S. custody, according to the latest figures, and more than 5,700 are in Customs and Border Protection facilities, which are not equipped to care for children. This comes as a record number of asylum seekers are arriving at the southern border, fleeing extreme poverty, violence and climate change in their home countries. “You have the ongoing epidemic of U.S. policy and the crisis that is not of migration as much as it’s the crisis of capitalism, backed by the kind of militarism and militarized policing that you see not just in the United States, but in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, on and on,” Lovato says. “The border is the ultimate machete of memory. It cuts up our memory so that we forget 30 years of genocide, mass murder, U.S.-sponsored militarism and policing, failed economic policies.”
  • Nearly a million people lost power last Thursday after a fire at an electrical substation in the capital San Juan. The massive blackout came just days after the private U.S. and Canadian company LUMA Energy formally took over management of the island’s electric grid from PREPA — that’s the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority — which was devastated by Hurricane Maria... Many people are still without power, facing ongoing blackouts. The union for Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, for PREPA, fought to block the privatization. Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Control Board, the mechanism put in place by Congress to manage its public debt, has pushed an austerity agenda that includes privatization of public assets like the electrical grid.
  • A wave of protests in Cuba became the somewhat unlikely focus of global attention earlier this week... A statement from Joe Biden’s office read: We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime. Media, too, were quick to focus on the story, giving the protests front and center coverage, something extremely unusual for demonstrations in Latin America. Far larger and more deadly movements in Chile and Ecuador were mostly ignored by the corporate press (, 12/6/19). Meanwhile, the political situation in Haiti, which has seen three continuous years of nationwide protest, was overwhelmingly ignored... However, while giving the protests a great deal of coverage, the corporate press across the political spectrum consistently downplayed one of the primary causes of unrest: the increasingly punitive US blockade... By refusing to frame these as intentional consequences of US foreign policy, corporate media consumers are less prone to critique their own government’s actions and more likely to support the very measures that are partially responsible for keeping Cuba in the state that it is in. A skeptical reader might wonder if that is exactly the point.
  • We just heard from the Minister of Honduras. Let us recall that United Fruit Company essentially ran his country for a long time. United Fruit’s attorney was US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and his brother Allen Dulles was the head of the CIA. On behalf of United Fruit Company, the two Dulles Brothers conspired to overthrow President Jacobo Árbenz of Guatemala, next door to Honduras, in order to stop the land reforms that Árbenz was trying to implement. So, yes, we have a global food system, but we need a different system. That different system must be based on the principle of universal human dignity in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principle of national sovereignty in the UN Charter, and the economic rights in the Universal Declaration and the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights . In the Universal Declaration, all governments agreed that social protection is a human right, not merely a “nice thing,” or a pleasant thing, but a basic human right. That was 73 years ago.
  • After World War II, the United States has been taking advantage of the hegemony of the US dollar to wring gains from the creation and flow of the world's wealth. It has used the dollar hegemony to increase the financial risk of developing countries, plunder their wealth, including resources and real estates, and obtain the monopoly rights of such public service industries in these countries as water, electricity and transportation. In those Latin American countries that adopted the Washington Consensus, the economic growth rate in the 1990s decreased by 50 percent on average from that in the 1980s.
  • Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called for a union of Latin American countries. Drawing on the revolutionary vision of Simón Bolívar, it aims for regional integration as a bulwark against foreign interference... a truly autonomous Latin American union of nations that is "not a lackey of anyone" to potentially replace the Washington-based Organization of American States... On July 24, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) gave the most important foreign-policy speech of his administration at a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
    The speech came on the birthday of Simón Bolivar, the Caracas-born revolutionary leader who liberated a large part of South America from the Spanish in the first two decades of the nineteenth century, earning himself the title El Libertador, or “The Liberator.” Above and beyond his military exploits, Bolivar is known for his vision of a united Spanish America, one strong enough to resist the recolonizing impulses of Spain, the rest of Europe, and a young and expanding United States... López Obrador was clear why it had failed to become a reality. In addition to factors internal to the region, AMLO pinpointed the Monroe Doctrine, which, he asserted, fragmented the peoples of the continent and destroyed what Bolivar had sought to build. Finally, instead of an exhausted model based on “impositions, interference, sanctions, exclusions, and blockades,” AMLO called for a new form of cooperation among the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The United States has a responsibility to provide a safe haven for refugees... and to cease interventions that fuel these crises and displace so many. ~ Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
  • Another exodus is happening halfway around the world as asylum seekers from Central America make the perilous journey to the U.S./Mexico border. There, they face draconian U.S. immigration policies that consign them to "Remain in Mexico."... these migrants live in constant danger in squalid, makeshift refugee camps in Mexican border cities, waiting for a chance at asylum in the United States.... The U.S. government reported a record 210,000 migrant apprehensions along the southern border in July. Many of these people hail from the so-called "Northern Triangle" countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, where widespread inequality, systemic corruption, food insecurity, gang violence and now climate change are forcing people from their homes. These problems have long been exacerbated by U.S. military, economic and political interventions in the region. The United States engaged in "dirty wars" in Central America and has supported coups against democratically elected governments there, from overthrowing the government of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 to actively supporting the coup against President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in 2009. The United States has a responsibility to provide a safe haven for refugees, from Afghanistan, Latin America, or elsewhere, and to cease interventions that fuel these crises and displace so many.
  • The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have deep-rooted problems of socio-economic development, caused by colonialism, neocolonialism and the policies and actions of imperialist globalization led by the United States and their multinationals operating in these countries.
    Companies that rape natural resources by paying pennies on the dollar for extraction and mining rights; create environmental hazards by depleting and destroying biodiversity; support union-busting and pay-offs to corrupt politicians; and provide material support to despotic regimes which imprison and kill dissidents are just a few of the atrocities the multinationals support and encourage to maintain their stranglehold on the sources of their enormous wealth and power.
    If the United States were sincere in its intent, all countries of the region would have been invited, to openly discuss and examine the problems facing the region’s development and the critical role the United States plays in resolving or worsening the situation.
  • Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia have refused to send weapons to Ukraine, despite pressure by the US and EU. Latin American left-wing leaders have urged peace with Russia and called for neutrality in the West’s new cold war. Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia have rejected requests by the United States and European Union that they send weapons to Ukraine.
    The commander of the US military’s Southern Command (Southcom), which operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, revealed on January 19 that Washington has been pressuring countries in the region to arm Ukraine. Southcom wants Latin American nations to “replace [their] Russian equipment with United States equipment – if those countries want to donate it to Ukraine”, said Army General Laura J. Richardson. But Latin America’s left-wing leaders have refused, instead maintaining neutrality and urging peace. The socialist governments in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua blamed NATO expansion and US meddling for causing the war in Ukraine. Mexico’s progressive President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) offered to hold peace talks to end the conflict. And the leftist governments in Bolivia and Honduras have joined Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia in refusing to be part of the [USA's] proxy war.

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