with Chris Hedges
RT America on Aug 21, 2021
On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the plight of everyday people victimized by the hardships of life in Mexico and Central America with author and journalist, J. Malcolm Garcia.
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.
Mexico once had a problem with a local provincial government promoting illegal immigration from the United States into Mexico in order to engage in the illegal slavery of illegally trafficked people. The locality involved was called Texas. For years, Mexico let Texas get away with its lawlessness and immorality, including not paying taxes, and including killing Mexican soldiers. Then it sent an army to lay down the law. Texans warned each other that soldiers were coming “to give liberty to our slaves, and to make slaves of ourselves” (meaning to end the actual enslavement of anyone and to require that people abide by laws and pay taxes).
Throughout the established political structures within the United States, there has been an extensively documented amount of accounts concerning the particular activities of the state apparatus in terms of what transpires on the national borders between the two nations of Mexico and the United States. Within the course of current events, the considerable amount of discourse regarding what would constitute an appropriate reaction to the perpetuation of circumstances on the national border has exponentially increased in the course of years (given various electoral occurrences, socioeconomic degradation, cultural responses to societal denigration, and the political activities which originate because of these cultural responses in question). In terms of acceptable discourse, the political conflict that has emerged directly from the various policies of the United States on the national border, which included but is not limited to intensified national surveillance to familial separation to deportation to mass incarceration to stricter border security apparatuses, has seemingly been confined to whether or not the United States should be focused on inclusion or exclusion to integration or segregation to opportunities or the absence thereof.
In Mexico, the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing. With more than 568,600 cases and 61,450 deaths (third largest number of Covid-19 deaths), the country is staggering under the Coronavirus pandemic. While the entire country is experiencing the impact, indigenous communities represent the hardest hit demographic. Data from Coneval, the national government’s social development agency, has shown that the Covid-19 fatality rate in Mexico’s poorest 427 municipalities is 14.1. On the other hand, the fatality rate in the country’s 54 wealthiest municipalities is 8.1, “meaning that people who live in impoverished parts of the country are almost twice as likely to die if they become sick with Covid-19 than those who live in affluent areas.”
While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in.
When it comes to Mexico, one can at this point easily spot the signs of a brewing U.S. regime change operation. Since Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected last year, he’s been thoroughly vilified by the U.S. media. After Brazil’s fascist president Jair Bolsonaro was elected, the Financial Times’ John Paul Rathbone even argued that Obrador is a greater threat to liberal democracy than Bolsonaro. Such views of Obrador have come from claims that he’s an authoritarian, or “too strong” as the Washington Post recently put it.
You’ve got to hand it to Hillary Clinton. In 2016, she helped put the right-wing racist, sexist, nativist, authoritarian, and nationalist oligarch Donald Trump in the White House. She and her operatives did this in two ways: (1) by rigging the presidential primaries against the popular progressive Democrat Bernie Sanders, the Democrats’ best chance to prevail over Trump; (2) by mounting a dreadfully uninspiring and transparently tone-deaf, neoliberal general election campaign – a reflection of her massive funding by the nation’s corporate and financial establishment, including big business money normally slated for Republican presidential candidates.
Trump’s series of threats this week was a one-two punch. First, he threatened to impose national security tariffs on steel and aluminum, primarily against Canada and Mexico (along with Korea and Japan). Then, he suggested an alternative: He would exempt these countries IF they agree to certain U.S. demands.
Some years ago an amusing satirical article in the Buenos Aires leftwing daily, Pagina 12, made me want to cry. In five thousand words the Argentinean journalist José Pablo Feinmann, ridiculed, among other things, the whole concept of the great wall the U.S. Bush government projected along the border with Mexico.
At first, people of the town didn’t notice that every day there were fewer stray dogs creeping sociably under their feet while they took the sun on the benches at el Jardín. The growing absence of the rangy brown dogs – short- haired mongrels, their ribs leaping from their undersides, habitually scratching for nourishment at the food stalls around the square or wandering single file up and down the steep back streets – didn’t register on anyone.
As a candidate for president, Donald Trump claimed he wanted a better deal for U.S. workers. Surprise! Oh, okay, that he was lying really isn’t a surprise at all. Far from a “better deal,” the Trump administration is now offering a North American version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
(Rome) I am reading for the first time the work of Chilean born writer, Roberto Bolaño. His novel, Amulet, set in a phantasmagoric Mexico City that, perhaps, also because it is Latin America’s biggest city, represents the entire crushed and tortured and imprisoned and murdered Latin America while also his characters are emblematic of the suffering and decimation of much of the best of the Latin American youth. Perhaps the author chose to highlight Mexico City, not only because of the massacre of Mexican students there in 1968, but also because he moved there as a teenager and lived there many years before moving to Spain and Barcelona where he died at 50.
with Chris Hedges
teleSUR English on Mar 8, 2016
In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges sits down with two activists from Mexico, Pauline Luna and Jessica Alcazar. The two explain the effects of US-imposed neoliberalism on Mexico, particularly since the signing of 1994 trade agreement NAFTA. They highlight the abuse and “disappearance” of Mexican human rights advocates, activists, journalists, and laborers. Luna and Alcazar also lay out their project, “Concertación Ciudadana”, which demands a new constitution and uninhibited direct participation on a grassroots level.