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.
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.
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.
In the second installment of this two-part episode, Abby Martin continues her investigation of the hidden war on the U.S.-Mexico border, looking at the root causes of the epidemic of migrant deaths. The Empire Files documents an inflated, paramilitary Border Patrol, the devastating impacts of NAFTA, how the U.S. Empire benefits from immigrant labor and what can change the equation.
Along the southern border of the United States is a graveyard, where hundreds upon hundreds of human remains are waiting to be found in the sand. They are teenagers, mothers and spouses walking the only path available to them—away from poverty and violence: towards their families, the only place safer and easier to eat. In Part 1 of this two-part series, Abby Martin reveals a catastrophe at the Empire’s gates; not only a shockingly high body count, but a humanitarian crisis manufactured by the U.S. government. Sinister tactics, a for-profit prison pipeline, and a court system that looks more like a slave auction than a trial await those who survive.
Demonstrations in Hong Kong, China, raising demands on the procedures to be followed in city elections in 2017, have become an international issue and a source of political confusion.
The protests, called Occupy Central, have received enormous and very favorable U.S. media coverage. Every news report describes with great enthusiasm the occupation of central business parts of Hong Kong as “pro-democracy” protests. The demonstrations, which began on Sept. 22, gained momentum after Hong Kong police used tear gas to open roads and government buildings. Continue reading →
THE FIFTH SUN by Gaither Stewart
Punto Press, New York, December, 2013
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.in (India) and other Amazon national sites.
Set in Italy and Mexico, The Fifth Sun, is a story of love and disenchantment, of belief and unbelief, adventure and romance. Above all, it is the story of the search of each of us for our real and better selves. The characters in The Fifth Sun are haunted by the Divine. All have a divine discontent which forces them to go beyond the role life seems to have assigned to them. And there is perhaps the key: the attempt to escape one’s destiny and create a new one. Published by Punto Press in New York in December 2013, the print version is distributed by Ingrams and available on Amazon and major book sellers throughout the world.
Civil disobedience has halted production at Mexico’s “top grade producer of silver.” Farmers of the La Sierrita village, a close knit community of about 50 families, located 40 minutes north of the city of Gomez Palacio, Durango, have shut down the La Platosa mine owned by Canadian firm Excellon Resources for over a month.
This comes in response to the company’s refusal to negotiate with the community over its requests for the preferential hiring of local people on whose land the company operates, as well as pay the rental rates for its use. Continue reading →