In LA for Biden’s ‘Summit of the Americas,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about press freedom at a journalism forum. Abby Martin confronted him over US hypocrisy. Featuring commentary from Abby after the event.
“Uncountable are the editorials in every American and European newspaper and magazine of note adding to this vocabulary of gigantism and apocalypse, each use of which is plainly designed not to edify but to inflame the reader’s indignant passion as a member of the “West,” and what we need to do. Churchillian rhetoric is used inappropriately by self-appointed combatants in the West’s, and especially America’s, war against its haters, despoilers, destroyers, with scant attention to complex histories that defy such reductiveness and have seeped from one territory into another, in the process overriding the boundaries that are supposed to separate us all into divided armed camps.” — Edward Said, 2001
Last year, when the Bolivian people fought back against brutal repression to force out the coup regime that the U.S. empire installed in 2019, the imperialists quietly went into panic mode. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked visibly discouraged at the news that the Movement for Socialism (MAS) Party’s Luis Arce was to become the country’s president. Just a year after Washington had used its terrorists to force out the previous MAS president Evo Morales, the indigenous proletarian movement had reversed the counterrevolution.
At Cerrejon (Colombia), the largest open-pit coal mine in Latin America owned equally by BHP (Australia), Anglo American PLC (United Kingdom) and Glencore (Switzerland), the situation of the indigenous people is progressively worsening. Cerrejon Limited has informed the workers that “all the existing shifts will be unified into a single 7-day work, for three days off.” With the enforcement of the new shifts, “workers would go from working 15 to 21 days and the mine would go from 4 to 3 shifts, leaving at least 25% of the current workforce unemployed.” The new shift pattern is likely to aggravate the health of workers as long working hours increase the number of work-related pathologies. Current work shift arrangements have already led to more than “700 pathologies associated with musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular and ear diseases, among others.” As the level of work becomes more stressful, these occupational diseases will start multiplying.
With the unabated march of the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic situation of Colombian coffee farmers is rapidly deteriorating. The price of Arabica coffee has reduced to an exceptionally low $0.9 per pound in June. Earlier, coffee production had fallen by 28% in April, 12% in March, 9% in February and 19% in January. Specialty coffee farmers too are experiencing difficulties in the form of shortage of experienced coffee pickers. In specialty coffee, coffee cherries are picked at the peak of ripeness. But with the absence of expert pickers, “Coffee cherries left on the tree will over-ripen or fall to the ground, effectively nullifying all the additional work put into the coffee to achieve the higher quality.” This labor shortage has been partly caused by the pandemic-necessitated closure of Colombia-Venezuela border which has significantly blocked the flow of Venezuelan migrants. 1.8 million Venezuelan migrants reside in Colombia and their contribution to Colombian coffee sector is indispensably important with nine out of ten coffee pickers in Colombia being Venezuelans.
The US “War on Drugs” has ramped up in the Caribbean Sea, with the United States targeting alleged cocaine trafficking into the United States. Meanwhile, the United Nations reports the amount of land being used to grow the coca plant has decreased in Colombia. RT America’s John Huddy reports. Then Chris Hedges, host of “On Contact,” breaks down the “War on Drugs,” and comments on the recent US uprisings against police brutality and capitalism.
2019 presented a complicated and mixed legacy for Latin America. Right-wing governments continued to make electoral in-roads, but popular uprisings against neoliberalism also left their mark on the region, says TRNN’s Greg Wilpert.
LIVE | From the South: Journalist Max Blumenthal joins us live to discuss the latest developments in Venezuela, and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel speaks after casting his ballot in the country’s historic constitutional referendum. More on these and other stories now.
Colombia’s presidential election could determine the fate of the historic peace deal ending their 53-year civil war. While most in the country want to honor the agreement, Colombia’s right wing has been a fervent opponent.
On October 5, 2017, police opened fire on unarmed farmers in Tumaco, Colombia. Eight were killed, with dozens more shot. The massacre was part of a crackdown on coca farmers in the “War On Drugs” despite an agreement for crop substitution–and amidst new threats from Trump, ordering the government to use more force or face consequences.
Manuel Rapalo talks to Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro García Linéra, about the 2013 left forum in New York, socialism in South America, and the implications of Colombia potentially joining NATO. Continue reading →