Latin America has surpassed more than 5 million Covid-19 cases to overtake North America, with 4.8 million Covid-19 cases, as the region worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. This astronomic increase in Covid-19 cases has been accompanied by a corresponding economic catastrophe of great magnitude. According to a United Nations Policy Brief entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Latin America and the Caribbean”, “Parts of Latin America and the Caribbean have become hotspots of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, exacerbated by weak social protection, fragmented health systems and profound inequalities. COVID-19 will result in the worst recession in the region in a century, causing a 9.1% contraction in regional GDP in 2020…This could push the number of poor up by 45 million (to a total of 230 million) and the number of extremely poor by 28 million (to 96 million in total), putting them at risk of undernutrition.” The Policy Brief further states that “The sharp drop in economic activity is expected to lift the unemployment rate from 8.1% in 2019 to 13.5% in 2020. The poverty rate is expected to rise by 7.0 percentage points in 2020, to 37.2%, while extreme poverty is expected to rise by 4.5 percentage points, from 11.0% to 15.5%, which represents an increase of 28 million people.”
The paradigm of capitalism and colonialism has naturally produced a long series of backlashes from those who haven’t benefited from these systems. The first time that the resistance efforts took an entire nationwide territory from these forces of oppression was during the first series of successful anti-colonial revolutions. Starting with overthrows like the 1804 Haitian liberation from the French empire, a period in history started which can be called the First Wave of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist revolutions.
Last week, when the billionaire neo-colonialist Elon Musk was confronted on Twitter about how his company is benefiting from the Washington-perpetrated coup in Bolivia, he replied with a statement that encapsulates the ugly nakedness of current U.S. imperialism: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” I have a feeling that when the world looks back on 2020, the time when the U.S. lashed out with such great violence when faced with its imperial decline, Musk’s declaration will be seen as the moment when the mask of the empire came off.
When liberal politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders say that we can solve inequality by taxing the rich, they’re trying to make it seem like the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is a legislative dispute instead of a class war. They’re proposing that the interests of the ruling oligarchs can be reconciled with our interests, and that all this will take is a rearrangement of the tax system.
After facilitating the atrocities of the Pinochet dictatorship and helping introduce neoliberal policies around the world, Milton Friedman wrote in an essay from 1982 that “Only a crisis–actual or perceived–produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
However much they war on the domestic political front, Washington’s Democrats and Republicans are on the same page when it comes to the imperial war on democracy and social justice in Latin America.
with Chris Hedges
As 2019 comes to a close and we enter a new decade, we look back at the major events and issues that shaped the year with Chris Hedges. We discuss the rise of the Right, in part due to the weaknesses of the Left, what the Sanders campaign means for activism and achieving meaningful social change and whether or not the United States is ready for a massive uprising against neo-liberalism, as is happening around the world. The next decade will be a time when major crises such as the climate, wealth inequality and militarism are devastating. At some point, a spark will be lit in the US, but in the current environment, that is likely to result in greater movement to the right unless we prepare now to build power on the left.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Dec. 6, 2019
Journalist and “On Contact” host Chris Hedges joins Rick Sanchez to discuss Washington’s continuing interference in Latin America. He explains how money, disinformation, false popular movements and even religion are used to keep the countries in the region under the yoke of “corporations and oligarchs.”
goingundergroundRT on Nov 30, 2019
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to the UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer on the ongoing detention of Julian Assange. He says Julian’s detention has no legal basis, explains why the UK’s treatment of Julian is tantamount to torture, why Julian won’t face a fair trial in the US if he is extradited and more!
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Nov 18, 2019
US President Donald Trump’s pardon of three military officers who were convicted of committing war crimes has drawn criticism. Former New York Times war correspondent and “On Contact” host Chris Hedges weighs in. He also discusses the Times’ coverage of an alleged leak of Iranian intelligence cables.
goingundergroundRT on Nov 16, 2019
We speak to the author of ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy’ Greg Palast on the coup in Bolivia against Evo Morales, the US’ motivations for the coup, the racism in Latin American right-wing politics, the regime attempt by the US against Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro and why the 2020 US elections will not be free elections.
with Chris Hedges
“In particular, the Empire’s endless wars, and I think that that really is what is driving this impeachment. If it was about the rule of law, this would have been instituted by the Democratic Party in the first few months of the Trump presidency.” — Chris Hedges
Only days before Evo Morales stepped down as Bolivia’s president audio tapes were published implicating opposition politicians, the US embassy and American senators in a coup plot.