South and Central America

“Reconstructing Haiti” on starvation wages

By Bill Van Auken, 26 January 2010

Government ministers, international bankers and aid agencies gathered in Montreal Monday to discuss plans for reconstructing earthquake-ravaged Haiti. At the heart of their proposals is the exploitation of Haitian workers at poverty wages.

Criticism mounts over US response to Haiti disaster

By Jerry White, 26 January 2010

Two weeks after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, there is growing criticism of the US for undermining rescue and relief efforts by focusing almost entirely on the military occupation of the Caribbean nation.

Haiti: Rescue effort ended as people still emerge from rubble

By Bill Van Auken, 25 January 2010

The Haitian government together with United Nations authorities announced the official end to efforts to rescue people trapped in the rubble from the January 12 earthquake, even as survivors were still being pulled out alive.

The Nation praises US intervention in Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2010

The Nation reacted to the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the earthquake in Haiti and exacerbated by the US military occupation of the country by praising the Obama administration.

As US prepares long-term occupation, Haiti’s quake victims still without aid

By Bill Van Auken, 23 January 2010

Washington indicated Thursday that it is preparing a long-term occupation of Haiti. In the immediate crisis confronting millions of homeless, injured and suffering people, however, the US military has yet to organize a viable distribution of aid.

Haitians dying by the thousands as US escalates military intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 22 January 2010

With thousands of Haitians dying every day for lack of medical care and supplies, the Pentagon has announced that it is expanding the US military presence in the country, maintaining its priority of troops over humanitarian aid.

ISSE Public Meetings:

The social and political roots of the Haiti earthquake tragedy

22 January 2010

The ISSE announces a series of meetings examining the social and political roots of the Haiti earthquake disaster.

US military operations block relief efforts in Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 21 January 2010

The US military intervention in Haiti continues to block arrival of critical humanitarian supplies.

Haiti’s tragedy: A crime of US imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2010

The death and suffering inflicted upon Haiti by the January 12 earthquake has laid bare a massive international crime by US imperialism, which prepared this catastrophe with a century of oppression and is now exploiting the disaster for its own ends.

Letters on the Haiti earthquake

21 January 2010

The following letters were sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to articles on the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Washington shuts door on Haitian refugees

By Tom Eley, 20 January 2010

The Obama administration has taken extraordinary measures to prevent desperate Haitians from entering the US since a January 12 earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation.

Chilean right returns to power for first time in 20 years

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2010

With the victory Sunday of billionaire businessman Sebastián Piñera in Chile’s run-off presidential election, right-wing parties identified with the Pinochet dictatorship are set to return to power for the first time in 20 years.

Death toll at 200,000

US military to enforce state of emergency in Haiti

By Tom Eley, 19 January 2010

The Haitian government declared a state of emergency on Monday to be enforced by the US military, six days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake laid waste to much of the nation and killed at least 200,000, according to the latest estimate.



US military tightens grip on Haiti

By Alex Lantier, 18 January 2010

Washington has focused on establishing indefinite military control of Haiti, to the detriment of aid and rescue operations.

Bush, Clinton and the crimes of US imperialism in Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 18 January 2010

In selecting his two immediate predecessors to head up fundraising for relief efforts in Haiti, President Obama has demonstrated that the devastating human tragedy in Haiti will not bring any alteration in the rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.

Haiti: US troops deployed as popular anger mounts

By Bill Van Auken, 16 January 2010

The first contingents of a US military force expected to reach 10,000 troops arrived in Haiti as anger mounted over the failure of international aid to reach the millions left injured, homeless and destitute by Tuesday’s earthquake.

US provides more troops than aid

Death toll mounts in Haiti

By Patrick Martin, 15 January 2010

More than 48 hours after a devastating earthquake leveled much of the city of Port-au-Prince, millions are without shelter, power, food and water. The estimates of the death toll range from 50,000 to ten times that number.

The history that “binds” the US and Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 15 January 2010

In a statement on the earthquake in Haiti, President Obama spoke of the “long history that binds us together.” Neither he nor the US media, however, want to examine that history and its relation to the catastrophe confronting the Haitian people.

Hundreds of thousands feared dead in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 14 January 2010

Officials warned Wednesday that the earthquake which devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince may have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Major earthquake devastates Haitian capital

By Alex Lantier, 13 January 2010

A severe earthquake hit the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.

Chile: Right-wing presidential candidate wins first round

By Rafael Azul, 18 December 2009

Last Sunday’s presidential elections in Chile took place in the context of increasing social polarization, growing unemployment and a continuing legacy of the dictatorship that ruled the country for 17 years.

Bolivia: Morales wins landslide re-election

By Bill Van Auken, 8 December 2009

Bolivian President Evo Morales won re-election by a landslide Monday, though the results exposed the continuing division of the country between the impoverished, predominantly indigenous highlands and the wealthier lowland regions.

Honduran vote held amid repression, mass abstention

By Bill Van Auken, 1 December 2009

Sunday’s elections in Honduras were marked by systematic repression and mass abstention. Nonetheless, the Obama administration hailed the vote as a “legitimate way out” of the five-month-old crisis that began with the June 28 coup.

Uruguay: On the first-round victory of the Frente Amplio

By Hector Benoit, 30 November 2009

On October 25, José “Pepe” Mujica, a former member of the Tupamaro guerrilla movement and presidential candidate of Uruguay’s ruling Frente Amplio (Broad Front), won by a wide margin over his nearest rival, ex-president Luis Alberto Lacalle.

Washington endorses gunpoint election in Honduras

By Bill Van Auken, 27 November 2009

The Obama administration has endorsed this Sunday’s elections in Honduras under conditions in which the regime that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya last June remains in power and is preparing to suppress popular opposition to an illegitimate vote.

Honduras: Republicans praise Obama for “reversing” policy

By Bill Van Auken, 9 November 2009

Republican lawmakers who openly back the coup regime in Honduras have voiced satisfaction that the Obama administration has “reversed” its policy on the return to office of the country’s ousted president, Manuel Zelaya.

Washington pushes through deal with Honduran coup regime

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2009

With the intervention of the US State Department, the Honduran coup regime and ousted President Manuel Zelaya signed a deal Friday that legitimizes last June’s coup while betraying the demands of Honduran working people who opposed it.

Honduras: Is US moving to back ‘state of siege’ election?

By Bill Van Auken, 19 October 2009

Reports from Washington indicate that the Obama administration may back a presidential election in Honduras under state of siege conditions and without the restitution of ousted President Manuel Zelaya to office.

Puerto Rico: General strike against mass layoffs

By Bill Van Auken, 17 October 2009

Hundreds of thousands of workers joined a day-long general strike Thursday in opposition to the layoffs of tens of thousands of public employees ordered by the island territory’s Governor Luis Fortuño.

Puerto Rico: Mass layoffs provoke protests, strikes

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2009

The Puerto Rican government’s announced layoff of 17,000 public employees has provoked protests and strikes.

Three months after coup:

Honduran regime imposes state of siege

By Bill Van Auken, 29 September 2009

In a bid to crush popular resistance, the Honduran coup regime imposed a state of siege, suspending basic democratic rights for 45 days. On Monday it put the decree into effect, repressing demonstrations and closing down opposition media.

Revolt and “dialogue” in Honduras

By Bill Van Auken, 26 September 2009

The turn to “dialogue” by ousted President Zelaya and those who overthrew him is aimed at quelling a mounting popular revolt against the coup regime that is calling into question the governability of Honduras.

Honduran regime meets Zelaya’s return with “state of siege”

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2009

The return to Honduras of deposed President Zelaya, who has called for “dialogue” from his refuge in the Brazilian embassy, has been met with violence and repression from the coup regime.

Venezuela, Russia in $2.2 billion arms deal

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2009

Sunday’s announcement by President Hugo Chávez that Venezuela has reached a $2.2 billion deal to purchase Russian tanks and missiles is symptomatic of the growing international tensions in Latin America.

Brazil: Evangelical leader tied to Lula government charged with wholesale fraud

By Ali Ismail, 15 September 2009

Last month, prosecutors in Brazil charged the founder of one of the country’s largest evangelical churches with committing fraud against its followers, many of them poverty-stricken, as well as the church itself.

Workers struggles: The Americas

15 September 2009

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Workers struggles: The Americas

1 September 2009

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

25 August 2009

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Coup regime steps up repression in Honduras

By Rafael Azul, 6 August 2009

Demonstrations in Honduras against the government of de facto President Roberto Micheletti and the military forces that seized power on June 28, expelling President José Manuel Zelaya, have continued in the face of mounting repression.

US military base plan fuels Latin American tensions

By Bill Van Auken, 5 August 2009

The Pentagon’s plan to deploy US forces at seven new military bases in Colombia has fueled mounting tensions in Latin America.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

4 August 2009

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Honduran coup regime launches brutal crackdown

By Bill Van Auken, 1 August 2009

The Honduran coup regime launched a brutal crackdown against demonstrations in Tegucigalpa Thursday, as deposed President Manuel Zelaya met with US officials in neighboring Nicaragua.

Honduran coup enters second month

By Bill Van Auken, 29 July 2009

With the coup in Honduras now entering its second month, the Obama administration’s policy is directed at consolidating the changes wrought by Zelaya’s overthrow, while formally condemning the action.

Honduran military appears to back plan to restore Zelaya to office—not to power

By Rafael Azul, 27 July 2009

At Washington’s instigation, the military of Honduras has weighed in independently in support of the San José accord for restoring the country’s ousted President José Manuel Zelaya to office—though not to power.

As Zelaya accepts amnesty for coup leaders

Human Rights report reveals brutal repression in Honduras

By Rafael Azul, 20 July 2009

A preliminary report issued by the Committee of the Families of the Disappeared and Detained in Honduras (COFADEH) provides a devastating exposure of the actions carried out by the coup’s organizers against the Honduran people.

Ex-Clinton aides advising Honduran coup regime

By Bill Van Auken, 15 July 2009

The role of key ex-Clinton aides as advisers to the dictatorship in Honduras has cast light on Washington’s real attitude towards the military coup in that country.

Peruvian President Garcia swears in new cabinet to “restore order”

By Luis Arce, 15 July 2009

Peru’s President Garcia is moving towards a confrontation with the working class in the wake of nationwide protests over the recent massacre in the Amazon basin.

Thousands of Peruvian workers join protests against Garcia’s policies

By our correspondent in Lima, 15 July 2009

Thousands of workers marched in Lima, Peru on July 8 in opposition to the free-market economic policies of President Alan Garcia.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 July 2009

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Honduras: US-backed mediation legitimizes military coup

By Bill Van Auken, 11 July 2009

The mediation taking place in Costa Rica between Honduras’s ousted president and the leader of the government installed by last month’s military coup was set up by Washington to consolidate the aims of the coup’s organizers.

Washington’s mediator in Honduran coup

Who is Oscar Arias?

By Bill Van Auken, 11 July 2009

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has been promoted in the US media as the ideal choice for mediating a settlement between the ousted Honduran president and the leaders of the military coup that overthrew him.

Brazil: students resist attacks by shock troops at University of Sao Paulo

By Julio Maia, 11 July 2009

On June 9, the University of Sao Paulo (USP), the largest university in Brazil, with nearly 80,000 students, was the scene of events that have not taken place in the country in 30 years, since the darkest days of the military dictatorship.

Background to the Honduran coup: Poverty, exploitation and imperialist domination

By Rafael Azul, 9 July 2009

Underlying the coup that overthrew Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is a social system dominated by extreme inequality and grinding poverty for the vast majority of the country’s people, as well as a long history of US intervention and domination.

The Honduran coup: A warning to the working class

By Bill Van Auken, 8 July 2009

With nationwide strikes and protests, workers have waged an implacable struggle against the coup in Honduras. The success of this movement depends upon its political independence from all sections of the ruling elite, including ousted President Zelaya.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 July 2009

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Honduran troops kill anti-coup demonstrators at Tegucigalpa airport

By Barry Grey, 6 July 2009

Honduran troops on Sunday fired on anti-coup demonstrators outside the airport in the capital, Tegucigalpa, killing at least two and wounding many more.

US seeks deal between Honduran coup leaders and deposed president

By Barry Grey, 2 July 2009

The standoff between deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the “interim government” installed by the military intensified Wednesday, following resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and the OAS condemning the coup and demanding Zelaya’s reinstatement.

The US and the Honduran coup

By Alex Lantier, 1 July 2009

President Barack Obama's condemnation of Zelaya's overthrow as a "terrible precedent" is belied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's refusal to characterize it as a coup.

The Honduran coup: another US destabilization operation

By Barry Grey and Rafael Azul, 30 June 2009

While publicly opposing the military coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday, the Obama administration on Monday indicated that it will not cut off aid to the Central American country or demand Zelaya’s reinstatement.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 June 2009

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Honduran military ousts president in coup

By Joe Kishore, 29 June 2009

The military of Honduras ousted President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday morning, just before a planned national referendum.

Peruvian government forced to repeal Amazon free trade decrees

By Luis Arce, 23 June 2009

In the face of mass protests over the recent massacre in the Amazon basin and continuing blockades by indigenous groups, the Peruvian government has been forced to repeal two decrees opening up the region to exploitation.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 June 2009

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Peru: Massive protests against García government over Amazon massacre

By Luis Arce, 13 June 2009

A wave of mass demonstrations and marches swept across the whole of Peru Thursday in popular repudiation of the government’s massacre of Amazon Indians last week.

Peruvian massacre aimed at opening Amazon to transnationals

By Luis Arce, 8 June 2009

A massacre carried out by heavily armed Peruvian security against protesting Amazon Indians left dozens dead as the Garcia government attempts to open up the region to exploitation by the transnational corporations.

Brazil, China deals challenge US position in Latin America

By Luis Arce, 6 June 2009

Last month’s visit to Beijing by Brazil’s president pointed to the vast political-economic shifts taking place globally as economic rivals seek to fill the vacuum left by a US tied down in two wars and struggling to confront its deep financial crisis.

OAS vote on Cuba exposes waning US power in Latin America

By Bill Van Auken, 5 June 2009

The unanimous vote taken by the Organization of American States to repeal the 47-year-old decision barring Cuba from membership is a clear indication of the weakened economic and political position of US imperialism throughout the region.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

13 May 2009

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China challenges US dominance in Latin America

By Luis Arce, 24 April 2009

China’s recent announcement of multi-billion dollar deals with several Latin America countries will strengthen its already substantial presence in a region the US has historically regarded as its own backyard.

Americas Summit ends with no agreement on economic crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2009

While the media has focused its attention on the handshakes between Obama and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, what dominated the Americas Summit was the absence of agreement on policies to confront the deepening capitalist crisis.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 April 2009

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Peru: Ex-President Fujimori sentenced to 25 years for “dirty war” killings

By Luis Arce, 10 April 2009

A three-judge panel of Peru’s Supreme Court unanimously sentenced former President Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison Tuesday for his role in two massacres carried out by the military death squad known as Grupo Colina, as well as kidnappings.

Peru: President promises to protect foreign capital from social unrest

By Luis Arce, 9 April 2009

Responding to fears that growing social unrest will scare off foreign capital, Peruvian President Alan Garcia vowed to employ extra-constitutional power to guarantee the security of foreign investments in Peru.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 March 2009

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Latin America hit hard by world crisis

By Luis Arce, 18 March 2009

As a result of the worldwide capitalist crisis, Latin America’s economies have suffered a massive drop in exports, production and consumption, resurrecting old fears of the continent’s countries going into default.

After winning El Salvador vote

FMLN vows respect for private property and Washington

By Bill Van Auken, 18 March 2009

After winning the El Salvador presidential election Sunday, ending the right-wing ARENA party’s two decades of rule, the FMLN vowed to pursue a policy that included defense of private property and closer ties with Washington.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 March 2009

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Colombia rocked by wiretapping revelations

By Bill Van Auken, 27 February 2009

A Colombian spy agency under the direct command of President Uribe was implicated in wholesale wiretapping against opposition politicians, judges and journalists, just as the country’s defense minister arrived in Washington to seek more military aid.

Chavez wins referendum vote as Venezuela’s crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 19 February 2009

President Hugo Chavez registered another victory at the polls last Sunday as Venezuelans voted to end term limits, allowing him to run for a third term. The vote took place amid signs of mounting economic crisis and increasing class struggle.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 January 2009

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Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 December 2008

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Chinese president tours America’s “backyard”

By John Chan, 29 November 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visits to Costa Rica, Cuba and his presence in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last week testified to Beijing’s more assertive economic and diplomatic engagement in Latin America.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 November 2008

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Huge IMF bailout for emerging economies

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2008

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), backed by central banks in the US and Europe, has taken drastic steps over the past week to prop up so-called emerging economies around the world from Asia to Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Fearing default, Argentina moves to nationalize private pension funds

By Luis Arce, 24 October 2008

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner proposed legislation Tuesday to nationalize the country’s private pension funds—known in Spanish as AFJPs—in an attempt to stave off a new government default on its debt.

Washington imposes sanctions on Bolivia

By Rafael Azul, 1 October 2008

The Bush administration has imposed fresh sanctions on Bolivia in retaliation for the decision of the country’s president Evo Morales to expel the US ambasssador and close down US programs in the country.

New documentary on Pinochet’s dictatorship: Some wounds should not heal

By Debra Watson, 25 September 2008

The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Latin American presidents meet with Bolivia on brink of civil war

US ambassador an expert in partition

By Rafael Azul, 16 September 2008

The presidents of nine Latin American nations assembled in the Chilean capital of Santiago Monday for an emergency summit of the recently created Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to deal with the crisis in Bolivia.

Former Argentine generals sentenced to life

US links to the junta

By Debra Watson, 8 September 2008

At the end of last month two former Argentine generals were convicted of kidnapping, torturing and murdering a senator three decades ago, during the military dictatorship of General Jorge Videla.

Rising inflation and unemployment in Chile drive workers into debt and poverty

By Roger Silva, 8 July 2008

Chile is characterized by some economists as the most “globalized” nation in Latin America. The more conservative among them present it as a model to be followed by other countries on the continent. They point to the country’s supposed stability and security and Chile’s economic growth in recent years.

Mounting questions about Colombian hostage operation

By Bill Van Auken, 7 July 2008

As right-wing politicians on three continents basked in the reflected glory of an ostensibly brilliant July 2 rescue of hostages held by Colombia’s FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia) guerrillas, doubts have surfaced as to the real character of this operation.

Latin America: What are the real interests behind the creation of the Union of South American Nations?

By Carlos Prado, 28 May 2008

Last Friday, May 23, presidents and representatives of 12 South American countries met in Brasilia to sign a treaty creating the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur.

Colombian extraditions aimed at covering up Uribe’s death squad ties

By Bill Van Auken, 15 May 2008

In a deal worked out between Washington and its principal ally in Latin America—Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe—14 leaders of the country’s right-wing paramilitary militias were suddenly extradited to the US on Tuesday to face drug trafficking charges.

Bush speech on Latin America—defense of a failed policy

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2008

In a speech in Washington on Wednesday, President George W. Bush delivered what amounted to a defense of the manifestly failed and rudderless policy that his administration has pursued in Latin America since coming to office more than seven years ago.

US Navy resurrects Fourth Fleet to police Latin America

By Humberto Santana, 7 May 2008

Washington announced at the end of last month that it is resurrecting the long-ago moth-balled Fourth Fleet to reassert US power in the Caribbean and Latin America. Created at the time of World War II to combat German submarines attacking merchant shipping convoys in the South Atlantic, the Fourth Fleet was seen as no longer necessary after the Second World War and was disbanded in 1950.

Global food crisis grips Latin America

By Giancarlo Marinho Costa, 25 April 2008

The Brazilian government Wednesday announced the temporary suspension of rice exports, as the commodity’s price hit a record high of $25 per hundredweight on the futures markets.

Colombia’s President Uribe implicated in paramilitary death squad probe

By Bill Van Auken and Ascher Brum, 24 April 2008

The arrest in Bogota of ex-Senator Mario Uribe Escobar, the cousin of Colombia’s president, on charges of involvement in the country’s paramilitary death squads has deepened the political crisis of Bush’s closest political ally in Latin America.

Paraguay: Election ends six decades of one-party rule

By Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2008

The election victory Sunday of former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo brings an end to 61 years of unbroken rule by the right-wing Colorado Party.

At least 14 Haitian migrants drowned off the coast of the Bahamas

By Hiram Lee, 23 April 2008

The US Coast Guard continued searching Tuesday for as many as 10 Haitian migrants still missing in the waters northwest of Nassau, Bahamas after an incident Saturday in which a boat capsized leaving 14 migrants dead. The coast guard and Bahamian rescuers pulled three survivors from the water on Monday, two of whom were Haitian, while the third was Honduran. Identified by another survivor as the “smuggler” attempting to transport the migrants to south Florida, the Honduran was soon taken into custody by Bahamian immigration officials.

Cuban “reforms” promote private property and social inequality

By Bill Van Auken, 17 April 2008

The Cuban government was compelled to issue a statement Wednesday denying that the series of reforms announced by President Raul Castro in the barely two months since his assuming the reins of power from his ailing older brother Fidel signal an abandonment of “socialism.”