Operation Condor 2.0: After Bolivia Coup, Trump Dubs Nicaragua ‘National Security Threat’ & Targets Mexico

 

Source:  Consortium News

December 6 2019

Left-wing forces in Latin America are warning of a revival of a Cold War era campaign by the U.S. of violent subterfuge and  support for right-wing dictatorships across the region, Ben Norton reports.

By Ben Norton

The Grayzone

One successful coup against a democratically elected socialist president is not enough, it seems.

Immediately after overseeing a far-right military coup in Bolivia on Nov. 10, the Trump administration set its sights once again on Nicaragua, whose democratically elected Sandinista government defeated a violent right-wing coup attempt in 2018.

Washington dubbed Nicaragua a threat to U.S. national security, and announced that it will be expanding its suffocating sanctions on the tiny Central American nation.

President Donald Trump is also turning up the heat on Mexico, baselessly linking the country to terrorism and even hinting at potential military intervention. The moves come as the country’s left-leaning President Andrés Manuel López Obrador warns of right-wing attempts at a coup.

As Washington’s rightist allies in Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador are desperately beating back massive grassroots uprisings against neoliberal austerity policies and yawning inequality gaps, the United States is ramping up its aggression against the region’s few remaining progressive governments.

These moves have led left-wing forces in Latin America to warn of a 21st-century revival of Operation Condor, the Cold War era campaign of violent subterfuge and U.S. support for right-wing dictatorships across the region.

Read more at:  Consortium News

Dominica: What Is Behind the Conflict Over Friday’s Elections

Source:  TeleSur
December 3 2019

roosevelt skerrit

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Rather than being a spontaneous result steming from social movements, protests are part of a long-time, U.S.-backed strategy pursued by conservatives.

Dominica, a former French and British colony of about 75,000 residents, is holding new general elections on Dec. 6. However, the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has been pushing Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to enact reforms in a bid to gain a better electoral advantage.

Who is really behind the protests in Dominica? 

The right-wing opposition UWP party, which is led by Lennox Linton, is not the only sector behind the call for electoral reform.

The first group to officially bring the demands for electoral reforms was the Concerned Citizen Movement (CCM), a group created near the end of 2018, which would convoke mobilizations in the streets demanding “free elections.”

The CCM president Loftus Durand later revealed that his group was meeting with “high-ranking U.S. officials,” without naming any.

RELATED: Dominica: Court Rejects Opposition Attempt to Stop Election

He added that U.S. officials told him they were closely monitoring the events in Dominica and advised the group to stage much bigger opposition protests in the streets than the few dozens who were protesting then, in order to better legitimize the movement to the international eye.

Then the group morphed into the Committee for Electoral Reform (CER), who met for the first time on Jan. 31.

It is currently comprised by the country’s most conservative sectors, which include Dominica’s Christian Council (DCC), Dominica Business Forum (DBF), the Waterfront and Allied Workers’ Union (WAWU), the Dominican Bar Association, the Dominican Public Service Union and Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches (DAEC).

Election observers get to work in Dominica, after the High Court rejected a request to suspend the poll, and Prime Minister Skerrit again promised the vote would be free and fair, our presenter @DareeceteleSUR tells us more.

Over the last weeks, the CER has been trying to create confusion, fear, and chaos to delegitimize in advance the validity of the election results.

“A few weeks ago, Capital city Roseau of Dominica was burning under the violence of protestors demanding electoral reforms,” local outlet WicNews recalled and added that “violence leaves a permanent effect on the country by destroying its infrastructure.”

Those who observe the events from the ground are clearly noticing that violence prompted by the political opposition is a way to compensate for its lack of popular support.

“UWP and its leader Lennox Linton are only opting for violent options to spread their message of election campaigning. Linton has failed to put on his agenda for the general elections. ”

International Supports: The Usual Suspects

The UWP leaders have also found international support among the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS).

The strategy seems to follow a sequence very similar to the strategy used in Bolivia, which began by questioning the victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), then continued to proclaim in advance the existence of fraud and, finally, culminated in performing a coup d’etat on behalf of “democracy.”

In the case of Dominica, a Caribbean state that has been led by the Labor Party in recent years, the OAS has held positions that subtly support the UWP leader Linton.

On Nov. 19, the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro tweeted about his reservations about the holding of free and fair elections in Dominica, while endorsing and substantiating the opposition’s demands for electoral reform ahead of the Dec. 6 polls, when 21 members of the House of Assembly will be chosen.

However, the OAS’ mantra about “free and fair elections” has become a formal justification for undercutting democracy and toppling non-conforming governments to make way for U.S.-backed political parties to take their seat at the governance table, since Dominica has been voting against U.S. interests in other regional organizations.

In Dominica, similar to what has happened in other countries that are also the subject of Washington’s concern, U.S. diplomats contribute to generating subtle messages aimed at framing the national situation as it were a critical one.

On Nov. 21, for instance, the U.S. Department of State issued a “travel advisory” for the island, which warns to “exercise increased caution in Dominica due to civil unrest. Demonstrations and protests can take place with little or no notice.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Ambassador to Dominica, Linda Taglialatela, issued an op-ed echoing the claims about “the need to improve the system of voter identification” which the OAS Special Mission had previously pointed out, a diagnose that the political opposition has raised as to its battle plot.

“Free, fair, and transparent elections are hallmarks of any good democracy and an indication of good governance and leadership,” Taglialatela said.

“We must be steadfast in our support for democracy, citizens, and transparent governments alike.”

Dominica’s Importance on the International Scene

In 2017, Dominica was among three CARICOM member states that voted against a failed U.S.-backed resolution on Venezuela at the OAS General Assembly in Mexico.

Recently, speaking on the sidelines of that meeting, the PM then told teleSUR that Almagro should be fired and that the OAS had lost its way.

As well, in 2018, Dominica was among only four OAS member countries that voted against a resolution to suspend Venezuela from the 34-member group.

Meanwhile, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) has also expressed support for Dominica’s electoral process, calling OAS actions as intolerable examples of interference in Dominica’s internal affairs.

As a result, Dominica has invited delegations from the Caricom, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and the Carter Center to observe the polls, but not the OAS.

Dominica’s PM Skerrit has repeatedly condemned the violence of opposition protests, insisting that the upcoming election will be governed by the same process as all elections.

And now, Dominica

Al Grey, greyal2@yahoo.com

December 2 2019

Honduras was a member of ALBA – then, in 2009, there was a coup and the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the military.

Bolivia was a member of ALBA  –   then, a few weeks ago, there was a coup led by the military and the democratically elected President Morales was ousted.  He is now in exile in Mexico.

Under their new leadership both Honduras and Bolivia have withdrawn from ALBA.

Related:  Honduras Coup 10 Years Later: Country in Crisis

chavez y maduro 2Venezuela is a founding member of ALBA.  There have been several failed coup attempts in this country since the days of President Hugo Chavez whose pro-people policies irked the US government.  There has also been a relentless economic war with savage US sanctions, and an ongoing international media campaign of deception against the democratically elected leadership of the country.

Related:  Venezuela Remembers Failed Coup Attempt against Hugo Chavez
Venezuela Rejects Coup-Mongering Calls From the US

miguel diaz 10cCuba is a founding member of ALBA.  Having faced decades of terrorism, including the famed Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of hotels and biological warfare, all while facing hostile US economic sanctions which have cost the country billions of dollars, the Trump administration now openly engage in regime change tactics in their vain effort to do what their predecessors have failed to achieve.

Related: Díaz-Canel: Cuba will not renounce its sovereignty or independence

daniel ortega May 2018Nicaragua is a member of ALBA – in the 1980s they were forced in a bloody war against counter-revolutionaries, the Contras, trained and financed by the US.  As noted by Noam Chomsky, “Ronald Reagan used them (the Contras) to launch a large-scale terrorist war against Nicaragua, combined with economic warfare that was even more lethal. We (the US) also intimidated other countries so they wouldn’t send aid either.”

The Contras were defeated.  Only recently, modern day Contras took to the streets destabilizing the country for a few months until the situation was again brought under control by President Daniel Ortega.  Nicaragua remains a member of ALBA, but only after years of bloodshed and destabilization efforts similar to those we are now seeing in Venezuela.

correa slams new mental forms of colonialismEcuador was a member of ALBA until President Raphael Correa (photo) left office.  His successor, Moreno, vice president under Correa, turned back the gained made by Correa and openly embraced anti-people neoliberal policies.  So, there was no need for sanctions, destabilization or a coup. Moreno took on a self -imposed coup status.

The English-speaking members of ALBA are, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

roosevelt skerrit 4

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister Dominica

Recent events in Dominica on the eve of national elections; the blocking of roads, the burning of tyres, the use of social media promoting anti-government sentiments, the popularising of the call for free and fair elections prior to the elections, – all alien to Dominica’s culture – are standard tactics for US-backed coups in the region, and  suggest that the footprints of Washington, fixated on having their lackeys in power, will be seen if we look closely.

Related:  Skerrit calls on UWP and its leadership to end ‘lawlessness’ in Dominica

Related:  Dominica: What Is Behind the Conflict Over Friday’s Elections

According to Wikipedia, countries with observer status in ALBA include Haiti, Syria and Iran while Suriname  was admitted to the organization as a guest country at a February 2012 summit.

Bolivia: Morales Vows To Do What’s Best for Bolivia, Not Afraid of Jail

Source:  TeleSur English

December 2, 2019

Bolivia's former President Evo Morales gestures next to former Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linares, in Mexico City, Mexico November 26, 2019.

Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales gestures next to former Vice President Alvaro Garcia  Linares, in Mexico City, Mexico November 26, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

The President confirmed that he will be “where he serves more” to the Bolivian people and their political party, whether in asylum in Mexico or imprisoned in Bolivia.

The democratically elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, said Sunday that he would value the option of being imprisoned in Bolivia, if that action helps the Bolivian people, who suffer from a climate of anxiety and instability after the coup d’etat driven by the right of the South American country.

RELATED:

The Pro-Evo Upheaval in Bolivia: How is it Affecting the Canadian Political Scene?

“For the Bolivian people, for the political instrument, for the MAS , do I serve more as an asylum in Mexico or imprisoned in Bolivia? I will be where I serve more. Here or imprisoned in Bolivia. I was imprisoned and I am not afraid of that,” Morales said.

During an interview with the Argentinian publication Page 12, the Bolivian President said he has “a deep internal debate about what to do.” Morales, who is blocked from running in the upcoming elections, will influence the election of the presidential binomial of the Movement To Socialism (MAS).

In recent days, and after the announcement by the right-wing competitors, the political and electoral strategy of the party has been organized, so it participates via teleconference and maintains long telephone sessions of debate, discussion and planning with leaders of the nine departments.

For the President, the binomial that represents the MAS must be able to “represent the humble”, as well as have “social conscience and capacity of public management and ideological formation”.

“I have learned that. The important thing is to continue with the process of change and move forward with the industrialization of our natural resources,” President Morales said.

President Morales said that “another Bolivia is possible”, without the “blackmail and conditioning of the IMF and the World Bank”, while confirming that during his administration “there have been small errors.” ”

“We are wrong, we are human. And the mistakes were not due to personal ambitions,” Morales said, while considering that in his government they managed to reduce “poverty and inequality” and brought “growth and stability” to the nation.

China Deal & Lithium Reserves Behind Coup in Bolivia

Source:  RT TV

November 12 2019

 

Deposed Bolivian President Evo Morales is more popular than the last six US presidents. So why did his reelection lead to violent riots and his eventual ousting? Rick Sanchez explains how Morales had spurned Western interests wishing to exploit his country’s lucrative lithium resources and turned to China instead. Coincidence? RT America’s Michele Greenstein joins with the details. She discusses the skyrocketing demand for lithium and points out that Bolivia is estimated to hold half of the world’s reserves.

Evidence Talks: US Government Propelled Coup in Bolivia

Source:  Global Research

November 25 2019

 

A coup on November 10 removed the socialist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The U.S. government made preparations and orchestrated the final stages of the coup. It was in charge. In power for almost 14 years, Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera had won elections taking place on October 20. The two leaders would each have been serving a fourth term in office.

Evidence of the U.S. crime appears below.  It’s about money, U.S. influence within the Bolivian military, and U.S. control of the Organization of American States (OAS):

1. For many years the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and its proto-fascist Youth Union received funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy. According to analyst Eva Golinger some years ago, the USAID provided $84 million to Bolivian opposition groups.

U.S. Embassy officials conspired with and paid the “civic committees” of Bolivia’s four eastern departments. Representing the European- descended elite of Bolivia’s wealthiest region, these groups promoted racist assaults. They concocted a separatist movement and tried to assassinate Morales. In response, the Bolivian government expelled the U.S. ambassador, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U. S. Agency for International Development.

2. Bolivian armed forces commander in chief Williams Kaliman Romero on November 10 “suggested” that Morales resign. That was the coup de grace. Within three days, Kaliman himself resigned and moved to the United States. Sullkata M. Quilla of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis explains that Kaliman and other military chiefs each had received $1 million and that top police officers received $500,000 apiece. U.S. Chargee d’affaires Bruce Williamson allegedly arranged for monetary transactions that took place in Argentina’s Jujuy Province under the auspices of Governor Geraldo Morales. The story first appeared on the website www.Tvmundus.com.ar.

3. Money flowed freely prior to Morales’s departure. Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti – a Morales supporter – reported that, “loyal members of [Morales’s] security team showed him messages in which people were offering them $50,000 if they would hand him over.”

4. According to the respected Argentinean journalist Stella Calloni, Ivanka Trump arrived in Jujuy on September 4-5 ostensibly to honor a small group of women entrepreneurs. Some “2,500 federal agents” and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan accompanied her. At the same time, Governor Gerardo Morales was informed that the United States would be delivering $400 million supposedly to pay for improvements to a big highway in Argentina. Cattaloni suggests that a freight train running through Jujuy en route to Santa Cruz, the center of anti- Morales plotting in Bolivia, was transporting military equipment to opposition groups.

There’s media speculation as to how Governor Morales may have facilitated the transfer of U.S. money to Luis Camacho, leader of the coup and head of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. He may have done so in Santa Cruz, where he visited on September 4, or in Jujuy Province where Camacho may have showed up later that day or the next.

5. According to analyst Jeb Sprague:

“At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while [General] Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.”

For decades, Latin American military personnel have received training and indoctrination at that U.S. Army school now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Sprague notes also that the top commanders of police that mutinied had received training at the Washington-based Latin American police exchange program known by its initials in Spanish as APALA.

6. The OAS played a crucial role in the coup. Votes were being tallied on October 20 when the OAS, having audited preliminary results, announced that they showed irregularities. The U.S. government echoed the findings and street protests intensified. On October 24 the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared first-round victories for Morales and García Linare. Protests mounted. The government, under stress, requested another OAS audit.

The OAS made its conclusions public on November 10, earlier than expected:

The OAS couldn’t “validate the results of this election [and called for] “another electoral process [and] new electoral authorities.”

This was the tipping point. Morales convoked another election but shortly thereafter General Kaliman forced him to resign.

The OAS findings were false. Walter Mebane and colleagues at the University of Michigan, having examined voting statistics, indicated that fraudulent votes in the election were not decisive for the result. The Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research performed its own detailed study and reached the same conclusion.

The OAS served as U.S. handmaiden. Headquartered in Washington, the organization took shape under U.S. auspices in 1948 with the assigned task of protecting Latin America and the Caribbean from Communism. More recently the OAS, under Secretary General Luis Almagro’s guidance, has spearheaded U.S. efforts to expel President Nicolas Maduro’s progressive Venezuelan government.

Paradoxically, Almagro in May 2019 gave Morales the go-ahead for a fourth presidential term. That was despite a referendum having been defeated that would have allowed the extra term. Almago’s intention may have been to lull Morales into cooperating with OAS overview of the election results.

7. Other signs of U.S. coup preparations are these:

  • Prior to the October 20 elections President Morales charged that U.S. Embassy officials bribed rural residents to reject him at the polls. They traveled, for example, to the Yungas region on October 16 with pay-offs to disaffected coca farmers.
  • According to Bolpress.com, the National Military Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional Militar), an organization of reserve military officers, received and distributed money sent from the United States to create social crisis prior to October 20. The United States also used embassies in Bolivia and the evangelical church as facades to hide its activities. Mariane Scott and Rolf A. Olson, U.S. Embassy officials in La Paz, met with counterparts in the embassies of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to coordinate destabilization efforts and to deliver U.S. financing to opposition forces inside Bolivia.
  • Weapons shipments from the United States arrived at the Chilean port of Iquique on their way to the National Military Coordinator group inside Bolivia.
  • The State Department allocated $100,000 to enable a company called “CLS Strategies” to mount a disinformation campaign through social media.
  • The CIA station in La Paz assumed control of Bolivia’s Whatsapp network in order to leak false information. More than 68,000 fake anti-Morales tweets were released.
  • In mid-October “political consultant” George Eli Birnbaun arrived in Santa Cruz from Washington with a team of military and civilian personnel. Their job was to support the U.S. – preferred presidential candidacy of Oscar Ortiz and to destabilize the country politically after the elections. They provided support for Santa Cruz Civic Committee’s youth organization – specialists in violence – and supervised the U.S. – financed “Standing Rivers” NGO, engaged in spreading disinformation.
  • Sixteen audio recordings of the plotters’ pre-election conversations were leaked and showed up on the internet. Several of the voices mentioned contacts with the U.S. Embassy and with U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Robert Menendez, and Marco Rubio. Sprague reports that four of the ex-military plotters on the calls had attended the School of the Americas.

This presentation focuses entirely on the evidence. In a criminal investigation, evidence is central to determining guilt or innocence. Considerations of motive and context are of lesser importance, and we don’t deal with them here. But when and where they are attended to, they would logically fall into categories that include the following:

1. A socialist experiment was showing signs of success and capitalists of the world were facing the threat of a good example.

2. A people once held hostage by colonial powers was able to claim sovereign independence and in that regard had endeavored to retain much of the wealth provided through natural resources, lithium in particular.

3. Throughout its existence the Morales government, headed by an indigenous president, was up against anti-indigenous prejudice, racist in origin, and social-class divisions.

4. All the while, that government was the target of hostility, plotting, and episodic violence at the hands of the entitled classes.

So the evidence is clear. It points to a controlling U.S. hand in this coup d’état. The U.S. government bears heavy responsibility. There were Bolivian instigators, of course, but the U.S. plotters fall within the range of our own political processes. That’s why our accusing finger points at them.

In this instance, the U.S. government, as is its custom, disregarded international law, morality, respect for human life, and common decency. To stifle popular resistance the U.S. government evidently will stop at nothing, other than force in the hands of the people. What kind of force remains to be seen.

*

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W.T. Whitney Jr. is a political journalist with a focus on Latin America and health care issues. He is a Cuba solidarity activist who formerly worked as a pediatrician.

Featured image is from Peoples Dispatch

Race is Central to Both Revolution and Reaction in Latin America

Source:  Black Agenda Report
November 14 2019

Glen Ford, BAR executive editor

Race is Central to Both Revolution and Reaction in Latin American
Race is Central to Both Revolution and Reaction in Latin American

The world birthed in the near extinction of one-fifth of humanity still exists, in the social relations bequeathed to the Americas by conquistadors and enslavers.

In Latin America, U.S. influence means White Power.”

The events in Bolivia lay bare the central role that racial subjugation has always played in the “New World,” a hemisphere whose “discovery” by Europeans resulted — within the span of only 50 years — in the death by genocide and pandemic of fully a fifth of the Earth’s human population. The Conquistadors frenzied “primitive accumulation” of precious metals, mined by enslaved Natives who died quicker than they could be replenished, created a demand for the capture and importation of millions of Africans with immunities to both European and tropical disease. For centuries, until deep into the 1700s, the vast majority of the Western Hemisphere’s population was Indigenous and Black, with African slaves comprising the great bulk of newcomers to the New World. Thus was laid the material basis for the rise of Europe, the beginnings of capitalism and the global supremacy of whiteness.

“My crime is to be a union leader, to be indigenous…and anti-imperialist,” said Evo Morales, the three-time elected president of South America’s most indigenous nation as he entered exile in Mexico. Bolivia is roughly two-thirds native. Morales’ election victory, October 20 – his fourth since 2005 — was aborted in the ensuing weeks by rampaging gangs of thugs employed by oligarchs based in the whitest – and most fossil fuel-rich – regions of the country who terrorized, beat and kidnapped  government and Movement for Socialism party officials and their families and eventually laid siege to the capital in La Paz, with no resistance from the police and army. Unable to protect his comrades or kinfolk, Morales resigned, and was quickly replaced as president by the leader of the white-dominated minority legislative party. Morales’ party had won absolute majorities in both houses of the legislature, but was left leaderless and terror-struck by the coup. The white rump prevailed.

“Morales’ election victory was aborted by rampaging gangs of thugs employed by oligarchs based in the whitest – and most fossil fuel-rich – regions of the country.”

The United States did not immediately recognize the new government of Senator Jeanine Añez Chavez, but will doubtless soon do so, having schemed incessantly for regime change ever since Morales joined Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez (1998) and Brazil’s Lula da Silva (2003) to set in motion Latin America’s “pink tide.” When Argentina (Cristina Fernández de Kirchner), Nicaragua (Daniel Ortega) and Ecuador (Rafael Correa) elected leftish presidents in 2007, US imperial power sank to its nadir in the hemisphere. But the CIA never sleeps, and neither do the white oligarchs who remained at the commanding heights of the economy and media in the “pink”-led nations of the hemisphere. One by one, the anti-imperialist presidents were removed, with U.S. assistance, in Brazil (2016), Ecuador (2017) and Argentina (2015), for a time leaving only Venezuela and Nicaragua in the anti-imperialist camp – along with, of course, Cuba, which has not had a U.S.-allied oligarchic class to contend with since the revolution of 1959.

Luckily for Morales, in 2018 Mexico elected leftish president Lopez Obrador, who quickly facilitated asylum for Morales – as Mexico had done for countless political exiles throughout its history. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was also returned to power in Argentina, this year . And Brazil’s “Lula” was released from prison earlier this month  pending appeal of his conviction on corruption charges, reinvigorating a demoralized left in the hemisphere’s biggest country.

“The CIA never sleeps, and neither do the white oligarchs.”

Of the U.S. presidential candidates, only Bernie Sanders expressed alarm over the forced ouster of the democratically elected president in Bolivia. “I am very concerned,” Sanders tweeted, “about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales. The U.S. must call for an end to violence and support Bolivia’s democratic institutions.”

Given that Sanders once called Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez a “dead dictator ” and slandered current president Nicholas Maduro as a “vicious tyrant ” as recently as last September’s presidential debate, that’s a great improvement. But a president Sanders might find himself seeking asylum in Mexico if he tried to radically reform U.S. policy in Latin America, which is intimately allied with the maintenance of white elite rule in the region in collaboration with multinational capitalIn Latin America, U.S. influence means White Power.

When white secessionists began a drive to form their own nation in the natural gas fields of eastern Bolivia, they were befriended by the U.S. ambassador , who had previously been a key player in prying the province of Kosovo from Serbia.

“Sanders might find himself seeking asylum in Mexico if he tried to radically reform U.S. policy in Latin America.”

In Brazil, where the African-descended majority won affirmative action in public higher education and unprecedented recognition under presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rouusseff, the U.S. contributed the espionage underlying the prosecution and impeachment, respectively, of both Workers Party leaders. The grand scheme between the Obama and, later, Trump administrations and the white Brazilian elite culminated in the election of ultra-racist Jair Bolsonaro, who dismantled protections for Amerindians and their lands, threatened to reduce racial “quotas,” and declared that the police did not “kill enough” — in a nation where one out of every 12 encounters with police ends in death, and where hundreds of young Black men are killed by cops in a month in the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero. Under the “Trump” of Latin America, indigenous rights workers in Amazonia are now fair game for assassination by land grabbers. Brazilian politics is all about race, and is a perfect match with U.S. imperialism.

In Ecuador, indigenous protesters forced the neoliberal successor to leftish president Correa to withdraw an International Monetary Fund-imposed economic austerity program , after shutting down the capital city and forcing president Lenin Moreno to flee to the coast. That’s the second time in this century that Ecuadorian natives, who number about a quarter of the nation’s mostly mestizo population, have forced the government to retreat. Back in 2005, indigenous protests led to the ouster of president Lucio Gutiérrez when he tried to impose an IMF austerity regime. Indigenous leaders vow that they’ll return to the streets if Moreno reneges on the agreement.

“The grand scheme between Obama and, later, Trump and the white Brazilian elite culminated in the election of ultra-racist Jair Bolsonaro.”

Colombian politics also revolves around race – although neither the left nor the right will acknowledge it. Colombia has the highest number of displaced persons in the world : 7.7 million, according to the United Nations – even more than Syria, with 6.2 million. The majority of Colombia’s displaced people are Afro-descendants and indigenous, displaced by war and corporate land grabbers that operate in league with paramilitaries. The government refuses to enforce agreements recognizing the traditional land rights of both Blacks and indigenous people, and Afro-Colombians say FARC anti-government guerillas have never respected native and Black land rights, either. If the war in Colombia is a fight over land, then it is a war against Blacks and natives.

One glimpse at photos showing the racial composition of pro- and anti-government legislators in Venezuela, is enough to tell the tale. The violent opposition that has been trying to bring down the government for 20 years, with U.S. help, is overwhelmingly white, while the socialist government legislators look like the nation as a whole: largely Black, brown and native — like the late president Hugo Chavez, himself. Oligarch-owned newspapers brazenly published cartoons depicting Chavez as a monkey, and got away with it. U.S.-subsidized, mostly white rioters burned a young Black man alive in the streets of Caracas, assuming he was a Chavista. Racists in Venezuela don’t bite their tongues – nor do expatriate white Venezuelans in the U.S., a mob of whom, reinforced by racists from elsewhere in Latin America, surrounded the Venezuelan embassy in DC, last spring. American friends of Venezuela had occupied the building, with the blessing of the government in Caracas, to safeguard it against takeover by Donald Trump’s choice as pretend-president, Juan Guaido. The mob screamed racist and sexist threats  and taunts, day and night, for weeks, while the (largely Black) DC police stood by or abetted them. The U.S. American occupiers were eventually arrested, and face possible imprisonment .

There were Cubans, or the sons and daughters of exiled Cubans, in the mob, too, a reminder that Cuba is believed to have lost half her white population after the revolution – which is the best evidence that pre-revolutionary Cuba was a profoundly racist society.

The rest of Latin America has not undergone anything so sweeping – including Mexico, whose 1910-1920 revolution failed to achieve transformative results. The world birthed in the near extinction of one-fifth of humanity still exists, in the social relations bequeathed to the Americas by conquistadors and enslavers – and which U.S. imperialism is determined to preserve and defend.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.