2021 Latin America and the Caribbean in Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again

Photo: Bill Hackwell

Source: Internationalist 360

January 1 2022

By Roger D. Harris

US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia.

Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures, considered illegal under international law. Following the review, Biden has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis.

Andean Nations

The unrelenting US regime-change campaign against Venezuela has had a corrosive effect on Venezuela’s attempt to build socialism. With the economy de facto dollarized, among those hardest hit are government workers, the informal sector, and those without access to dollar remittances from abroad.

Nonetheless, Venezuela’s resistance to the continued US “maximum pressure” hybrid warfare is a triumph in itself. Recent economic indicators have shown an upturn with significant growth in national food and oil production and an end to hyperinflationFurther, the government has built 3.7 million housing units, distributed food to 7 million through the CLAP program, and adroitly handled the COVID pandemic.

When Trump recognized Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela in 2019, the then 35-year-old US security asset had never run for a nationwide office and was unknown to over 80% of the Venezuelans. Back then some 50 of the US’s closest allies recognized Guaidó; now barely a dozen does so. Contrary to campaign trail inuendoes that Biden would enter into dialogue with the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, Biden has continued the embarrassing Guaidó charade.

The November 21 municipal and regional elections were a double triumph for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution: the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV) won significantly while the extreme right opposition (including Guaidó’s party) was compelled to participate, implicitly recognizing the Maduro government.

Venezuelan special envoy Alex Saab was extradited – really kidnapped – to the US on October 16 on the vague and difficult to disprove charge of “conspiracy” to money launder. Swiss authorities, after an exhaustive 3-year investigation, had found no evidence of money laundering. Saab’s real “crime” was trying to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuela via legal international trade but circumventing the illegal US blockade. This egregious example of US extra-territorial judicial overreach is being contested by Saab’s legal defense because, as a diplomat, he has absolute immunity from arrest under the Vienna Convention. His case has become a major cause in Venezuela and internationally.

Meanwhile, Colombia, chief regional US client state, the biggest recipient of US military aid in the hemisphere,  and the largest world source of cocaine, is a staging point for paramilitary attacks on Venezuela. President Iván Duque continues to disregard the 2016 peace agreement with the guerrilla FARC as Colombia endures a pandemic of rightwing violence especially against human rights defenders and former guerillas.

On April 28, Duque’s proposed neoliberal tax bill precipitated a national strike mobilizing a broad coalition of unions, members of indigenous and Afro-descendent communities, social activists, and campesinos. They carried out sustained actions across the country for nearly two months, followed by a renewed national strike wave, starting on August 26. The approaching 2022 presidential election could portend a sea change for the popular movement where leftist Senator Gustavo Petro is leading in the polls.

In Ecuador, Andrés Arauz won the first-round presidential election on February 7 with a 13-point lead over Guillermo Lasso, but short of the 40% or more needed to avoid the April 13 runoff, which he lost. A victim of a massive disinformation campaign, Arauz was a successor of former President Rafael Correa’s leftist Citizen Revolution, which still holds the largest bloc in the National Assembly. The “NGO left,” funded by the US and its European allies, contributed to the electoral reversal. Elements of the indigenous Pachakutik party have allied with the new president, a wealthy banker, to implement a neo-liberal agenda.

In Peru, Pedro Castillo, a rural school teacher and a Marxist, won the presidency in a June 6 runoff against hard-right Keiko Fujimori, daughter of now imprisoned and former president Alberto Fujimori. Castillo won by the slimmest of margins and now faces rightwing lawfare and the possibility of a coup. Just a few weeks into his presidency, he was forced to replace his leftist foreign Minister, Hector Béjar, with someone more favorable to the rightwing opposition and the military.

In Bolivia, a US-backed coup deposed leftist President Evo Morales in 2019 and temporarily installed a rightist. Evo’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party successor, Luis Arce, took back the presidency last year in a landslide election. With the rightwing still threatening, a massive weeklong March for the Homeland of Bolivian workers, campesinos, and indigenous rallied in support of the government in late November.

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Chile: The double standard in human rights and the ‘nice’ left

Source: aporrea.org

December 21 2021

Amid the joy of many Chileans who celebrate Boric’s victory against the neo-fascist Kast, and as a memorable response to some who, exaggerating a lot about the president-elect, come to compare him with Salvador Allende, Pablo Neruda or with Other icons of the world left, throughout yesterday, some of the statements made by deputy Gabriel Boric circulated on the networks some time ago.

There was also a response written by Allende’s grandson, “Pablo Sepúlveda Allende”:

Pablo Sepúlveda Allende

Dr. Pablo Allende, grandson of former President of Chile Salvador Allende

Deputy, I dare to answer you because I see the danger that it means that important leaders like you, young referents of that “new left” that has emerged in the Frente Amplio, make simplistic, absurd and misinformed comparisons on issues as delicate as human rights .

It is very biased and rude that you equate – without the slightest argument – the supposed “weakening of the basic conditions of democracy in Venezuela”, the “permanent restriction of freedoms in Cuba” and “the repression of the Ortega government in Nicaragua” with the proven atrocities of the military dictatorship in Chile, the evident criminal interventionism of the United States around the world and the terrorism of the State of Israel against the People of Palestine.

The fact that you write such nonsense does not “mean to become a pseudo CIA agent” but it does denote an important irresponsibility and political immaturity that can transform you into a useful element for the right, or worse, end up being that “left” than the right craving; a dumb, ambiguous left, a harmless left that prefers to appear “politically correct” because of opportunism, that left that is “neither chicha nor lemonade”, that one that does not want to look bad with anyone.

Such a left is confusing, because it does not dare to point out and courageously confront the true enemies of the peoples. There is the danger of issuing politically immature opinions. Have you ever wondered why Venezuela is being so vilified and attacked in the media? Why is it news every day in practically every country in the Western world where the mass media dominate? Why is it attacked from all sides and in a gang? Why do those big newscasts keep quiet about the continuous massacres in Colombia and Mexico? Why don’t those who tear their clothes worrying about a Venezuelan deputy, who confessed to participating in an assassination attempt, have the courage to demand that Israel stop the genocide against the Palestinian people?

The world upside down. That is the world of politics without heart and without courage. Margarita Labarca Goddard has already argued clearly and forcefully why you are wrong in your judgments towards Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. I will only add that Venezuela has a much healthier and more transparent democracy than the one in Chile, whenever you want I can argue it to you and we can debate it, if you are interested.

It is also easy to argue why the “permanent restriction of liberties in Cuba” is a fallacy. Not to mention that the word “freedom” is so cluttered that by now its true meaning is ambiguous, and a sensible definition requires even a philosophical debate. Or tell me, what is freedom?

I name these two countries because I know them quite well. I lived in Cuba for 9 years and in Venezuela I have been living for another 9 years. I do not know Nicaragua first-hand, but I invite you to ask yourself what the reaction of a right-wing government would have been to the action of paid and heavily armed criminal gangs, who come to take over sectors of the most important cities in the country; and where, in addition, said mercenary gangs are installed to commit abominable acts such as kidnapping, torturing, maiming, raping and even burning alive, dozens of human beings, for the mere fact of being militants of a cause -in this case, Sandinista militants- , where the persecution reached the point of murdering entire families in their own homes.

The legitimately elected government in Nicaragua, even having the resources, the legal framework, and the strength to take immediate forceful action against such a fascist destabilization, was quite contained. Do you think that the right wing in power would have had that peaceful vision and a call for dialogue to resolve the conflict? History answers us.

I understand that you may be confused by the great “media” that were in charge of victimizing the perpetrators; just like they did a year ago in Venezuela during the so-called guarimbas.

Therefore, Gabriel, objectively speaking, with serious arguments -without opinions formed and shaped by the media based on misrepresentations and lies repeated daily-, there is no double standard in which we defend Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

We do not have disappeared or tortured, we do not imprison those who think or think differently, yes criminals; be these deputies, politicians or supposed students. Rather, it seems to me to see that “double standard” in yourself, by making comfortable value judgments from manipulation and ignorance.

On the media, democracy and freedoms, we can discuss comparing Chile with these countries. I assure you that unfortunately Chile would not fare very well, even more so, if we include human rights, economic and social, which there are nothing more than merchandise.

“A person reaches his highest level of ignorance when he rejects something of which he knows nothing.”

Health.

* Doctor, Coordinator of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity, grandson of President Salvador Allende Gossens.

Historic Win for Gabriel Boric in Chile Presidential Elections

Source: TeleSUR

December 19 2021

Apruebo Dignidad candidate Gabriel Boric is Chile’s president-elect, having beat his opponent Jose Antonio Kast in a historic victory for the Left in Latin America. | Photo: Twitter/@KawsachunNews
 

Apruebo Dignidad candidate Gabriel Boric has won Chile’s presidential elections in a historic victory for the Left in Latin America.

Left-wing former student leader Gabriel Boric has beat out far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast with nearly 100% of the votes tallied, according to figures published by Chile’s electoral authorities SERVEL.

RELATED: Chile Election Update: Polls Have Closed and Vote Count Begins

Winning 55,86% of the votes cast thus far, compared to Kast’s 44,214%, Boric has a wide enough margin of over 11.5 percentage points to be declared winner of this Sunday’s democratic exercise.

Polls officially closed at 6 pm local time in the country’s second-round runoff presidential elections, after which the vote count immediately began and within the span of just two hours, practically all of the total votes had been tallied.

RELATED: World Leaders Celebrate Boric’s Victory in Chile

Speaking to his supporters after his defeat Sunday, Kast said, “”I want to congratulate Gabriel Boric. He deserves all our respects, he won in a very good fight, many Chileans trusted him and we hope he has a very good government.” 

Kast further said in the afternoon from his command center, “Today that journey is a joint one. Today there are great majorities that have been expressed and great balances that have been reached. That balance today is in the Parliament and it is a balance that I believe will help Gabriel Boric to govern. Because we are good people, we look for things that improve the quality of life of the people,” said Kast.

RELATED Latin America Hails Boric’s Victory In Chilean Elections

Boric, in his victory speech to the nation Sunday night, referencing the government’s implicit boycott of the election, said, “I thank the people who tried to vote and were unable to do so due to lack of public transportation, this cannot happen again.”

He continued saying he wanted to “thank the women of our country, who organized themselves throughout the country to defend their hard-earned rights,” stating that “our project is the heir of a long historical trajectory… I will be the president of all Chilean men and women.”

Boric, in his speech, said he would show “respect for human rights everywhere is an unwavering commitment, and that we can never, for any reason, have a president here who declares war on his own people.”

Boric had previously secured victory among Chilean voters abroad, notably in Spain, Germany and France, and has successfully mobilized young people, women and the working class despite considerable difficulties in public transport in the capital Santiago de Chile on election day, in an attempt to prevent voters from reaching polling stations.

Boric and Kast earned the first two spots on Chile’s November 21 first round of elections, beating out five other presidential hopefuls. Yet, this Sunday, Boric’s progressive-oriented platform was able to convince the majority of voters over Kast’s outward sympathy to the Pinochet dictatorship as well as his divisive and xenophobic ideology. 

RELATED: ‘Leftist Winds Blow through Latin America’: The Puebla Group

Chile: Polls Give Lead to Gabriel Boric in Presidential Runoff

Source: TeleSur

December 3 2021

Leftist Gabriel Boric currently leads all polls for the upcoming Chilean presidential run-off. | Photo: Twitter/@PopulismUpdates

Chilean pollster Criteria released Thursday that, according to its most recent opinion poll, 54 percent of the electorate will vote for center-left candidate Gabriel Boric (Apruebo Dignidad alliance) for the country’s presidency, which he will contest against right-winger José Antonio Kast (Republican Party) in the second round on December 19.

The study revealed that if the elections were held on Sunday, December 5, 59 percent of women would lean towards Boric, who obtained 71 percent support among voters between 18 and 29 years old.

RELATED:Chile: Gabriel Boric To Face Jose Antonio Kast on Dec 19 Runoff

Kast, on the other hand, attracted 46 percent of voters’ intentions to become president. According to Criteria, he obtained 53 percent of support among men and 60 percent of voting intention among the population aged 60 and over.

The right-wing candidate obtained 55 percent support among the higher-income segment of the population, while Boric is ahead in the other segments.

When asked another question in the survey (“Who do you think will be the next president of Chile?”), both candidates tied with 40 percent, while the rest answered “don’t know”.

Days before, the results of another poll (Pulso Ciudadano) also gave as favorite Boric, who received 53.9 percent of voters’ preference against Kast’s 31.2 percent.

This study showed that the presidential aspirant for Apruebo Dignidad captured votes from voters who had previously leaned towards other candidates.

According to Pulso Ciudadano, among those who say they will vote for Boric on December 19 there are 97.2 percent who already voted for him in the first round, as well as 86 percent of those who voted for Eduardo Artés (Unión Patriótica) and 52.3 percent for Yasna Provoste (Nuevo Pacto Social).

In addition, 46.1 percent of those who voted for Marco Enríquez-Ominami (Partido Progresista), 36.8 percent of those who voted for Franco Parisi (the third best voted in the first round, representative of Partido de la Gente), 15.3 percent of voters for Sebastián Sichel (Chile Podemos Más) and 3.2 percent of former Kast voters will support him.

As for voters who would support the ultra-conservative candidate, 90.1 percent who already voted for him in the first round, 42 percent voted for Sichel, 12.4 percent supported Parisi, 8.2 percent gave their support to Enríquez-Ominami, 4.9 percent voted before for Provoste and 0.3 percent sympathized with Boric.

Chileans Choose Sichel and Boric as Presidential Candidates

Source: TeleSUR

July 18 2021

Sebastian Sichel (L) and Gabriel Boric (R). | Photo: Twitter/ @ElOrientalMon

Local political analysts hold their triumph evidences a generational change, as neither of the two pre-candidates were born at the time of the 1973 coup d’état.

On Sunday, the Chilean presidential primary elections produced results that opinion polls had not predicted. Citizens elected independent politician Sebastian Sichel as the candidate of the “Let’s Go Chile” coalition of right-wing parties and former student leader Gabriel Boric as the candidate in the “Approve Dignity” coalition of left-wing organizations.

RELATED: Chile Sets up Over 2,000 Voting Centers for Primary Elections

With 49 percent of the vote, Sichel defeated former Mayor Joaquin Lavin, Mario Desbordes (National Renovation party) and Ignacio Briones (Evopoli party). Sichel was Social Development Minister in 2018 and president of the State Bank until December 2020.

Politically, he gained experience in several organizations, among which is the Christian Democratic Party where he militated for over a decade. During the electoral campaign, Sichel positioned himself as a “center” candidate, concerned about the “punished” middle class and the discredit of traditional politics.

“The time has come to change history for the better, the history of the common people… Goodbye to the old politics that splits the world in two,” he said.

Gabriel Boric won 60,3 percent of the votes and defeated Communist Party candidate Daniel Jadue, whom the mainstream media attacked harshly during the election campaign. Besides promoting feminist and environmentalist demands, Boric pledged to change the current economic and social model.

“Do not be afraid of the youth to change this country… If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its tomb”, said this 35-year-old lawmaker who got over a million votes in the primary elections, a feat that happened the last time in 2013 when Chileans elected Michelle Bachelet as presidential candidate.

According to local political analysts, the triumph of Sichel and Boric evidences the existence of a generational change in Chilean politics, as neither of the two pre-candidates were born at the time of the 1973 coup d’état.

“It is also a great defeat for the right-wing parties that succumbed to an independent candidate,” University of Talca professor Mauricio Morales said and recalled that the right has suffered defeats since the social outbreak of 2019, the last one being the election of constituents, in which it only achieved 37 of the 155 seats in the convention in charge of drafting the new Constitution.

“For the first time, the left elects a candidate with possibilities of electoral success without the support of the parties that have governed for almost three decades,” said Lucia Dammert, professor at the University of Santiago de Chile

The Latin American and Caribbean Left in 2019

Source:  Popular Resistance

December 28 2019

By Angel Guerra Cabrera, La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau
RESIST!

Image result for bolsonaro and macri

Macri and Bolsonaro

A gang of bandits arrived in Brazil’s Government thanks to that coup. The same as the Macri Administration in Argentina, they immediately started to govern for the one percent and the defense of the national sovereignty and social welfare set up by the Workers’ Party was taken to pieces.  Uncontrolled financial speculation was unleashed, as well as selling natural resources and public goods to transnational companies. Though these were the most devastating defeats for the left in this analyzed period, they were not the only ones. In 2009, the Manuel Zelaya Administration was ousted by a military coup openly orchestrated by the United States, for having joined the Petrocaribe oil alliance, the ALBA treaty, and fostering a decent and sovereign foreign policy for Honduras. Four years later, Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo was overthrown by a parliamentary-media coup. He was a prominent progressive supporter.It was confirmed in 2019 that the end of the progressive cycle in Latin America and the Caribbean was nothing but a fallacy. The overwhelming victories of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico and Alberto Fernandez in Argentina would be enough to refute it. Nevertheless, the alleged end of this cycle was based on real and very sad but at the same time exemplary facts for popular, progressive, and revolutionary forces. After all, popular governments in this region following Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in 1999 seemed to be not only moving backward but at a standstill as two very serious defeats were suffered by Our America’s popular movement by 2016: The victory of a neoliberal and pro-imperialist coalition headed by Mauricio Macri in Argentina; and a media-judicial-parliamentary coup d’état staged against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil on August 2016.

Moreover, Lenin Moreno’s treason to his comrades of the Citizen Revolution, the Ecuadorian people, and to his own rhetoric since he joined Rafael Correa’s first term in office until he was elected President himself, moving his country back to neoliberalism and unprecedentedly surrendering to Washington. Similarly, Brazilian ex-president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was unfairly and evilly sentenced to prison on April 2019, an evident maneuver of the U.S. Empire and local oligarchies to prevent his certain victory on the October presidential elections taking place that same year. As a result of it, Jair Bolsonaro came to be a reinforcement of extreme right-wing positions not only in the region but around the world; as well as to the deepening of neoliberal policies and even more servile behavior towards imperialism, brought to their own countries by Chile’s Sebastian Piñera and Colombia’s Ivan Duque.

Regional organizations such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)—today dissolved—and the intergovernmental mechanism for dialogue and political agreement CELAC—at a standstill—also suffered hard blows as a consequence of these events. Coming to existence after 2004, they had been able to help make important steps towards unity, integration, and achieving of sovereign policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Petrocaribe and ALBA were impacted by the decline in oil prices and, above all, by the increasing economic war staged by the United States against Venezuela and Cuba.

But three highly significant events can be described as the most outstanding issues during this year and they represent undeniable victories for the revolutionary and progressive forces, besides the two mentioned above victories in Mexico and Argentina. First, large people’s protests across the continent since the first quarter of the year, cornering governments in several countries of the region, particularly Chile’s Piñera and Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe-Ivan Duque. The stability and public order existing in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Mexico are opposite to the lack of unpopular right-wing governments, all of them hanging by a thread and basically sustained with the United States’ support. The fact is that neoliberalism cannot govern south of the Rio Grande without brutally violating the rules of liberal democracy. A second issue is Cuba’s and Venezuela’s brave resistance and struggle for their own development, each of them with their own set of circumstances against Washington’s relentless and increasing economic war, marked in Venezuelan by an ongoing coup and serious violent counter-revolutionary events. Third, the relevant role played by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) defending the principles of the rule of law, evidenced on December 19 when the United States and Luis Almagro were defeated in the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as other events along this year. Bolivia’s coup d’état, the defeat of Uruguay’s Broad Front, and some other issues are pending for our next article.

Anti-Government Protests Reach 2nd Month in Chile

Source:  TeleSUR
December 19 2019

Demonstrators react amid a cloud of tear gas during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile December 18, 2019.Demonstrators react amid a cloud of tear gas during a protest
against Chile’s government in Santiago, Chile December 18, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

During these past two months, different social organizations and human rights groups have denounced the violations committed by the Chilean police.

The popular rejection of the social policies implemented by the regime of Sebastián Pinera in Chile has reached its second month on December 18. The anti-government demonstrations on Wednesday were held across several localities, with most protesters calling for Pinera to resign.

RELATED:  More Than 90% of Chileans Support a New Constitution: Poll

The social outbreak began on October 18 when, mainly, student groups mobilized to reject the increase in the price of the metro ticket and were strongly repressed by Carabineros (military police), a discontent that joined other areas.

Given the demands of the people, the government came up with a social agenda that granted only partial improvements to some civil sectors; however, the Pinera regime has failed to fulfull its promises to the people.

“The government still does not understand what the protesters demand; they give us bonds and crumbs to cushion the protests,” Francisca Videla, a student, said of the regime.

During these past two months, different social organizations and human rights groups have denounced the violations committed by the police,  as they continue to violently repress the participants in the protests, despite their peaceful calls.

According to the latest report of the National Institute of Human Rights of Chile, since December 6, 3,449 people injured were registered; about 352 with eye injuries, including 331 with trauma and 21 with burst or loss; as well as 1,983 who were shot.

Of these, 1,554 were shot by pellets, 198 from unidentified objects, 180 from pellets and 51 from bullets. Despite the complaints filed, the Pinera regime continues to repress the protests and increase human rights violations in Chile.

From Cuba: A Cantata of Solidarity and Hope for Chile

Source:  ICAP

Date December 20 2019

A call for solidarity with the Chilean people and to condemn repression was the aim of a cantata held by Cuban and Chilean singer-songwriters.

The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) hosted the event, in which Cuban artists Raul Torres, Juan Carlos Perez and Angel Quintero, and Chilean singer-songwriter Carlos Orlando Aire Moreno, known as ‘Tato Aire’, took part.

In statements to Prensa Latina, Aire Moreno noted the need for an event like this and highlighted the immediate response from Cuban singer-songwriters to accompany him to support Chile and strongly condemn the repression unleashed by the Sebastian Piñera government.

‘One of the things that I like to highlight most is the attitude of young people, a very brave attitude, and I believe it has been like never before. I have never seen youths like these. I remember that when I was young, we used to do these things, but the violence we are seeing now has surpassed the dimension of repression,’ he added.

Aire Moreno condemned the human rights violations ‘by those who questioned Venezuela and Cuba and today are the first violators and the greatest assassins.’

During the cantata, participants recalled that the protests began in Chile two months ago, after being detonated by an increase in subway fares, and they multiplied with thousands of people demanding salary and pension raises, improved health care and public education and a radical change of the existing neoliberal model. (PL Service

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

Jamaicans Should Understand What’s Happening in Venezuela

Source:  JSC
January 28 2019

by Al Grey, greyal2@yahoo.com

Probably the easiest way for young Jamaicans to understand what’s happening in Venezuela is for them to speak with an honest, objective and informed person who lived in Jamaica in the 1970s and who was old enough then to be aware of the real situation in the country.

If that is not possible, then there is a lot of information on the internet about this period in Jamaica’s life which can allow the honest, non-partisan mind to know the truth of the time. In addition, several informative books and articles, fiction and non-fiction, have been written about the CIA’s role in Jamaica in this period.  All one needs to do is google “the CIA involvement in Jamaica”.

Related:  CIA involvement in Jamaica 1976-1980

The script used then in Jamaica, which was basically the same one used in Chile leading up to assassination of the democratically elected President Dr. Salvador Allende in 1973, had three main components; paramilitary activity; propaganda in the mainstream media; and economic warfare.

This, in essence, is what we now see happening in Venezuela.  But of course, the stakes are much higher there, not only because of the huge oil, gas and gold reserves which the country boasts but also because of the leading role that the Bolivarian Revolution has played since Hugo Chavez’ electoral victory in 1998 in transforming the region into an integrated, anti-imperialist bloc.  Since Chavez’ victory there have been 15 progressive democratically elected governments in the region.

Related:  Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

psychological warfare in the media jamaica.jpg

Michael Manley’s image shown with a death mask in the leading Jamaican daily newspaper, the Daily Gleaner

The violence unleashed in Jamaica in that period had never been experienced on the small, relatively peaceful island before. Socialist Prime Minister Michael Manley was demonized in the media and blamed for all the ills of the country including those manufactured by individuals and organizations trying to destabilize the young nation.  Shortages of basic items like soap and toothpaste resulting from hoarding by the suppliers formed part of a broader economic and financial sabotage of the economy which led to the devaluation of the national currency – all occurring under the dictates of the model guided by the words of then US President Nixon for the destabilizing of Chile: “make the economy scream”.

Related:  Destabilization in the Caribbean

Fortunately for the people of Venezuela, the experiences of Iraq, Afghanistan, and especially Syria and Libya, are too fresh in the minds of the peoples of the world for them to be fooled again. In addition, we are moving towards a multipolar world as the savage warmongering US empire is imploding, being isolated and recognized for what it is, and for its historical role as the purveyor of incessant destruction of other peoples and their lands under the guise of spreading ‘democracy’.

“You can fool some people sometimes
but you can’t fool all the people all the time,

so now we see the light,
we gonna stand up for our rights”

Related: Stir It Up: Marley, Manley & the Destabilization of Jamaica