South and Central America

Brazil: The social contradictions underlying the violent eruption in Sao Paulo

By Hector Benoit, 18 May 2006

For the past five days, chaos and terror have reigned in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital and South America’s largest city, due to the armed actions of the powerful PCC (First Command of the Capital) crime organization.

Strike threats as 100,000 remain jobless

Puerto Rico government-school shutdown enters second week

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2006

The colonial administration in Puerto Rico has continued its shutdown of most government agencies as well as public schools into a second week, leaving nearly 100,000 public employees and hundreds of thousands of students locked out with no resolution in sight.

Morales’s nationalization in Bolivia: Who got stabbed?

By Hector Benoit, 5 May 2006

The following article (translated from Portuguese) was sent from Brazil on the eve of Thursday’s meeting in the Argentine tourist center of Puerto Iguazu between the presidents of Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela to discuss Bolivian President Evo Morales’s May 1 decree declaring the nationalization of the country’s oil and gas industries. The four South American presidents agreed that Bolivian gas would keep flowing and prices would be negotiated. Brazil’s state energy firm, Petrobras, holds the largest interest in Bolivian gas, followed by Repsol, a Spanish-Argentine company. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that the meeting would send a signal to investors of regional stability and dialogue.

Peru: Nationalist ex-officer Humala to face APRA’s Garcia in runoff election

By César Uco, 24 April 2006

Ollanta Humala, a former army officer who ran on a nationalist program denouncing the rich elite and foreign capital, won the first round of presidential elections in Peru. He will face former president Alan Garcia (1985-90) from the bourgeois APRA party (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance) in a runoff election scheduled for late May or early June.

The Lula government and the “new ruling class”

The definitive bankruptcy of centrism in Brazil

By Hector Benoit, 20 April 2006

When the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began to win mass support among workers, beginning with the big metalworkers’ strikes of 1978-80, many so-called “Marxist” intellectuals maintained that we would finally see a “legitimate” workers’ party.

Political crisis deepens in Brazil: The rise and fall of Palocci

By Mário Y. de Almeida, 30 March 2006

The Brazilian government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, having seemingly survived a series of corruption scandals that appeared on the verge of bringing it down last year, was wracked once again this week by the resignation of its finance minister, Antônio Palocci Filho, amid a scandal involving bribes, payoffs and prostitutes.

Puerto Rico sues FBI for stonewalling probe of independentista’s murder

By Bill Van Auken, 30 March 2006

The government of Puerto Rico went to federal court last week, accusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Justice Department of obstructing justice by stonewalling a local investigation of the FBI’s killing of a leading figure in the island’s independence movement during a raid last September.

Ford Motor charged as accomplice in Argentina’s “dirty war”

By Bill Van Auken, 25 February 2006

Ford Motor Company has been charged in an Argentine court with playing a direct part in the illegal detention, torture and “disappearances” of its own workers under the dictatorship that ruled the South American country from 1976 to 1983.

Washington reluctantly concedes Préval is Haiti’s president-elect

By Richard Dufour and Keith Jones, 21 February 2006

The attempt of Haiti’s traditional elite and elements in and around the Bush administration to prevent René Préval, the clear winner of the country’s February 7 presidential election, from being proclaimed president-elect has failed.

Warning of new Haiti intervention

US troop deployment sparks protests in Dominican Republic

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2006

The landing of hundreds of US troops at a port city in the Dominican Republic, barely 80 miles from the Haitian border, sparked protests and warnings that Washington may be preparing another military intervention aimed at quelling the popular unrest that has erupted in Haiti over attempts to rig the presidential election.

“Made in the USA” election crisis in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 15 February 2006

The front-runner in Haiti’s election charged Tuesday that the vote count—now entering its second week—was plagued by “gross errors and probably gigantic fraud.” The totals being reported by the country’s electoral council “do not correspond with reality,” he said.

Haiti: mass protests erupt over vote count

By Jonathan Keane, 14 February 2006

Nearly a week after Haitians went to the polls in the first election since the 2004 Washington-backed coup and subsequent US invasion, official results have yet to be announced, and the impoverished Caribbean country is spiraling into another intense political crisis.

New date set for Haitian vote as crisis mounts

By Jonathan Keane, 18 January 2006

For the fourth time in the last five months, the date has been reset for elections to replace Haiti’s interim government installed in a US-backed coup in February 2004. The new date—February 7—has been announced after Washington, the United Nations and the Organization of American States placed significant pressure upon the regime. The US is desperate to cloak the government it has installed in Haiti with some form of institutional legitimacy.

Michelle Bachelet elected president

Socialist-Christian Democratic coalition retains power in Chile

By Bill Van Auken, 17 January 2006

Sunday’s election victory of Michelle Bachelet, a leader of Chile’s Socialist Party, has been widely reported as another indication of a “turn to the left” in Latin America. Much of the media attention focused on the 54-year-old pediatrician becoming the country’s first woman president.

Bolivia’s “socialist” president-elect Morales guarantees private property

By Bill Van Auken, 4 January 2006

In the two weeks since his December 18 victory at the polls, Bolivia’s president-elect Evo Morales has combined verbal swipes at Washington and lightning visits to Cuba and Venezuela with solemn pledges at home to respect the private property of the transnational corporations and the Bolivian oligarchy.

Pre-election terror and repression in Haiti

By Jonathan Keane, 30 December 2005

While the Bush administration and the US mass media focused enormous attention on the recent elections in Iraq—promoting them as supposed proof of Washington’s “democratizing” mission—preparations for another vote taking place in another invaded and occupied country just a few hundred miles off US shores are virtually ignored, and for good reason.

Venezuelan vote boycott: Washington paves road to intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 7 December 2005

With predictable brazenness, the US State Department on Monday questioned, on grounds of a low turnout, the legitimacy of Sunday’s legislative elections in Venezuela. But, as the US government is well aware, the low vote total was caused in large part by a boycott and sabotage campaign mounted by right-wing opposition parties that Washington supports, both politically and financially.

Peruvians demand extradition of ex-president Fujimori

By Cesar Uco, 26 November 2005

Thousands of angry workers, students and human rights advocates marched in Lima last week demanding the extradition of former president Alberto Fujimori from Chile. If returned to Perú, Fujimori would face trial on 22 criminal charges of corruption and human rights abuses. The charges carry sentences of up to 30 years in jail and $29 million in fines.

No deal in Argentina

Americas summit ends in debacle for Bush

By Bill Van Auken, 7 November 2005

President Bush left Argentina Saturday after failing to achieve an agreement on reopening talks on forming a hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The Fourth Summit of the Americas turned into a debacle for the US administration, with rioting in the streets of Mar del Plata, mass repudiation of Bush by the Argentine people and open defiance of US policies on the part of South America’s principal economic powers.

Bush’s visit sparks upheavals in Argentina

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2005

The participation of US President George W. Bush in the Summit of the Americas in Argentina has unleashed a wave of popular outrage in that country and across much of Latin America.

On eve of Americas Summit

Bush faces mass protests, opposition to trade pact in Argentina

By Bill Van Auken, 2 November 2005

Wracked by multiple political crises at home and receiving the lowest approval rating for any recent US president, George W. Bush is leaving the country Thursday to face an even more hostile audience.

Ibero-American summit criticises US policy

By Paul Mitchell, 29 October 2005

Heads of state attending the 15th Ibero-American summit have criticised the US administration’s policy towards Cuba and Venezuela.

Exhibition at International Center of Photography

Images of El Salvador carnage reprised in light of Iraq war

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2005

Over the past several weeks, thousands of people have visited New York City’s International Center of Photography (ICP) for the restaging of an exhibition that the museum presented two decades ago, but which has taken on fresh urgency in the shadow of the ongoing war in Iraq.

Allegations of £1 million in arms bribes paid to Pinochet

By Simon Whelan, 7 October 2005

Britain’s largest armament manufacturer, BAE Systems, is identified on American banking records as clandestinely paying the former dictator General Augusto Pinochet £1 million. According to allegations made by the British Guardian and the Chilean La Tercera newspapers, their research shows that front companies situated in the British Virgin Islands acted as a conduit for most of the payments made in return for Chilean armament contracts.

A letter on the FBI murder of Puerto Rican independence figure

5 October 2005

The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site on “FBI murders Puerto Rican independence figure.”

FBI murders Puerto Rican independence figure

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2005

The fatal September 23 shooting of Puerto Rican nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios represents an act of state terror and cold-blooded murder by the US government. It is one more proof that in the name of a “global war on terrorism,” Washington has arrogated to itself the right to conduct political assassinations and act as judge, jury and executioner against opponents of US policies and interests.

Bush administration snubs Cuban hurricane relief offer

By Bill Van Auken, 9 September 2005

Among the many offers of aid for New Orleans and Gulf Coast disaster victims that the Bush administration has either blocked, squandered or delayed is that of a substantial emergency medical brigade from Cuba.

The crisis of the Lula government: the end of an era in Brazil

By Hector Benoit, 7 September 2005

The deep crisis of the Workers Party (PT) government of Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva marks the end of a long cycle of bourgeois rule in Brazil, which opened up with the fall of the military dictatorship more than 20 years ago.

Brazil: angry protests hit state murder in London

By Bill Van Auken, 27 July 2005

The July 22 police execution of Brazilian-born electrician Jean Charles de Menezes on a London subway car has provoked shock and angry protest in the 27-year-old immigrant’s native land.

Protest against poverty

Couple set themselves on fire at Chile’s presidential palace

By Bill Van Auken, 27 June 2005

An unemployed man and his wife set themselves on fire in front of Chile’s La Moneda presidential palace Thursday to protest their impoverished condition and the government’s failure to provide them with adequate assistance.

Posada Carriles case

Venezuela demands US hand over CIA terrorist for trial

By Bill Van Auken, 17 June 2005

The Venezuelan government Wednesday filed extradition papers with the US State Department demanding that Luis Posada Carriles be handed over to stand trial for the 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cuban airliner in which 73 people lost their lives.

Hundreds face trial for dictatorship’s crimes

Argentine court strikes down amnesty for torturers

By Bill Van Auken, 16 June 2005

Nearly three decades after the US-backed military coup that led to the “disappearance” of an estimated 30,000 people in Argentina, the country’s Supreme Court Tuesday struck down a pair of laws that effectively granted an amnesty to those responsible for the dictatorship’s crimes.

Spanish court sentences Argentine “dirty warrior” to 640 years

By Debra Watson, 14 June 2005

In April of this year, the Spanish High Court found Adolfo Scilingo, 58, a former Argentine navy officer, guilty of crimes against humanity committed in Argentina 30 years ago. Scilingo was sentenced to 640 years in prison for his role in what was known as Argentina’s “dirty war.”

Bolivia’s president resigns warning of civil war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 June 2005

The resignation of Bolivia’s President Carlos Mesa Monday has failed to halt the explosive confrontation between masses of working class and indigenous peasant demonstrators and the country’s ruling oligarchy, backed by Washington and the transnational corporations.

Washington sees threat to “stability”

Bolivia rocked by mass protests over energy law

By Bill Van Auken, 3 June 2005

Bolivia’s capital of La Paz has entered its second week of mass protests by workers, indigenous peasants and students demanding the nationalization of the country’s energy industry.

Brazilian daily reports multinationals aided Latin American death squads

GM, Chrysler, VW implicated

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2005

Major US and European corporations collaborated intimately with Latin American military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s, fingering militant workers for arrest, torture and often death, according to an article that appeared this week in the Brazilian daily O Globo.

Latin America’s social crisis

Unemployment, child labor grow side-by-side

By Bill Van Auken, 11 May 2005

Unemployment in Latin America is rising to levels that exceed those of the so-called “lost decade” created by the debt crisis of the 1980s, according to a recent report released by the United Nations-sponsored Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (or CEPAL, the agency’s Spanish acronym).

US forced to back down on OAS presidency

By Bill Van Auken, 4 May 2005

For the first time in its 57-year history, the Organization of American States Monday elected a secretary general whose candidacy had initially been opposed by Washington.

Rumsfeld’s Latin American tour

Pentagon chief escalates threats against Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 26 March 2005

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used his brief three-nation tour of Latin America this week to step up US threats against Venezuela and pressure the region’s governments into joining Washington’s campaign to isolate the government of President Hugo Chavez.

Haiti: the forgotten milestone in Bush’s crusade for “freedom”

By Bill Van Auken, 12 March 2005

Dozens of Haitian men, women and children drowned when their rickety homemade craft went down in the waters of the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Some 50 people had crowded onto the boat, which sank under their weight.

Mounting provocations against Venezuela

Washington backs kidnapping of Colombian guerrilla exile in Caracas

By Bill Van Auken, 26 January 2005

The barrage of US provocations against Venezuela since the beginning of the year is a clear indication that the oil-rich South American country will be one of the principal targets in the global war on “tyranny” elaborated by George W. Bush in his inauguration speech last week.

Brazil: profit and poverty fuel Amazon deforestation

By John Levine, 15 January 2005

Deforestation in Brazil destroyed nearly 8,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest in 2004. In 1970, only 1 percent of the Brazilian Amazon had been deforested. By now, between 15 and 25 percent has been lost, with an estimated 1 percent disappearing every year. The area of forest overrun in three decades equals the size of France.

Broad Front reassures US and local elite

Uruguay: victorious left turns sharply to the right

By Bill Van Auken, 7 January 2005

The unprecedented victory of the Broad Front coalition over a two-party system that has ruled Uruguay for over a century touched off mass celebrations throughout the country last October.

Death toll reaches 185

Demonstrators demand “justice” in Argentine nightclub blaze

By Bill Van Auken, 5 January 2005

Thousands of friends and family members marched through the streets of Buenos Aires Monday chanting for “justice” for the hundreds of youth who were killed and injured in the early morning hours of December 31 in a fire that raced through an overcrowded nightclub.

Chile’s arrest of Pinochet and the ”Condor” killers in the US

By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2004

The indictment and arrest of Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet Monday for the killings and disappearances of political opponents carried out under his rule has provoked no comment from the US government and relatively little attention in the American mass media.

Pinochet arrested in Chile on “Condor” killings

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2004

Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet was indicted Monday and placed under house arrest in connection with Operation Condor, a conspiracy hatched by US-backed military regimes in Latin America in the 1970s to hunt down and murder their political opponents.

The victims of Operation Condor

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2004

The indictment handed down by Judge Juan Guzman against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in connection with Operation Condor includes brief biographies of the ten Chileans whose disappearance and murder he is accused of ordering.

Chile’s ex-dictator Pinochet tied to multi-million-dollar payoffs

By Bill Van Auken, 11 December 2004

A series of revelations emerging from US investigations into money-laundering and corruption charges against the Riggs Bank have implicated Chile’s ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet in illicit payoffs totaling in the millions of dollars.

Bush pledges more funds for Colombia’s dirty war

By Bill Van Auken, 24 November 2004

President George W. Bush used a brief stopover in the Colombian seashore city of Cartagena Monday to announce his intention to pour billions more in US military aid into the country’s 40-year-old civil war.

Rumsfeld fails to forge new security pact

US-Latin American tensions over “war on terror”

By Bill Van Auken, 23 November 2004

Washington’s attempt to promote a global “war on terrorism” as the new rationale for its domination of Latin America ran into trouble last week at the meeting of the Defense Ministers of the Americas held in Quito, Ecuador.

Bush provokes protests—and police—in Chile

By Bill Van Auken, 23 November 2004

US President George W. Bush’s participation in the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Santiago, Chile provoked the largest popular demonstrations that the country has seen since the end of the US-backed dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet 14 years ago.

Frente Amplio wins elections in Uruguay

By Daniel Renfrew, 4 November 2004

Montevideo—In elections held on Sunday, October 31, the center-left Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition came to power for the first time in Uruguay, with Socialist Party physician Tabaré Vázquez taking almost 52 percent of the popular vote for president, thereby avoiding a runoff.

Haiti’s US-installed government cracks down on opponents

By Richard Dufour, 18 October 2004

A fresh eruption of political violence in Haiti has claimed at least 46 lives in the past two weeks as the US-installedinterim government of Prime Minister Gérard Latortue has sought to silence supporters of the ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in advance of the scheduled 2005 elections.

Washington turns its back on Haitian catastrophe

By Bill Van Auken, 25 September 2004

Nature has dealt a cruel blow to the people of Haiti, deepening the intense suffering and oppression that centuries of imperialist domination have inflicted upon the Caribbean nation’s impoverished population.

CIA-backed opposition suffers defeat in Venezuelan referendum

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2004

The Venezuelan people on Sunday delivered a stunning defeat to a right-wing coalition backed by Washington, rejecting its demand for the ouster of the country’s elected president, Hugo Chavéz.

Fifty-five Dominican refugees die at sea

By Peter Daniels, 17 August 2004

Fifty-five refugees from the Dominican Republic died when the small boat on which they set out for Puerto Rico on July 29 lost power and drifted for nearly two weeks at sea. These are the latest victims of the growing misery in the poorest regions of the world.

Colombia’s Uribe: US ally in “war on terror” named as drug trafficker

By Bill Van Auken, 5 August 2004

The release of a 13-year-old previously classified military intelligence document linking Colombia’s right-wing president Alvaro Uribe to drug traffickers has intensified the crisis of Washington’s most slavish supporter in Latin America.

Mexico summit: Europe seeks to challenge US domination of Latin America

By Paul Mitchell, 14 June 2004

Leaders of 58 European Union (EU), Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries at the recent summit in Mexico indirectly criticised the United States by condemning nations who “take action on their own.”

The Economist prescribes “regime change” for Venezuela

By Mauricio Saavedra, 5 May 2004

A comment appearing in the Economist magazine’s Internet version last March, titled “Venezuela: regime change or bust,” set out to justify the Venezuelan oligarchy’s recurrent efforts to remove the democratically elected president through extra-constitutional means. It ended with a thinly veiled appeal for the direct intervention of the Bush administration into the affairs of Venezuela.

Why US troops are occupying Haiti

By Richard Dufour and Keith Jones, 5 April 2004

The World Socialist Web Site has received several letters from readers asking why the Bush administration has deployed US troops to occupy Haiti. Typical were the following two comments:

Haiti’s US-installed prime minister hails fascist gunmen

By Keith Jones, 25 March 2004

A government rally in Gonaïves March 20 has provided further proof that the Bush administration, the “political opposition” to Haiti’s deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the fascist gunmen who overran the Caribbean-island country have been acting in concert.

US-led occupation force targets Haiti’s slums

By Keith Jones, 20 March 2004

The US-led international “stabilization” force that descended on Haiti after Washington engineered a coup against the Caribbean-island country’s elected president has begun moving aggressively into urban areas loyal to deposed president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The force’s stated aim is to restore order by disarming both pro-and anti-Aristide groups. But its targeting of the slums of Port-au-Prince underscores that the principal goal of the stabilization force is to quell popular opposition to Haiti’s new US-installed regime.

Haiti: US Marines expand operations as Washington assembles puppet regime

By Keith Jones, 11 March 2004

Having used a “rebel” force led by thugs of previous Haitian dictators to force the country’s elected president from power, the Bush administration is now trying to patch together a constitutional and democratic façade for a new, US-sponsored government—what the New York Times politely calls a “pro-US” regime.

“Bye-bye Aristide, Chavez you’re next!”

Venezuela: Right-wing opposition clamours for another US-backed coup

By Mauricio Saavedra, 9 March 2004

A wave of political unrest and violence now unfolding in Venezuela bears all the hallmarks of a “made in Washington” destabilisation campaign. In the wake of the US-organized overthrow of Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide, this campaign is aimed at creating an atmosphere of chaos in the oil-rich South American nation, setting the stage for a military takeover and a wave of terror against the working class.

Haiti: Thousands march in Port-au-Prince against US-backed coup

By Keith Jones, 6 March 2004

A crowd, estimated by Reuters at more than 10,000, marched on the US embassy in Port-au-Prince Friday to denounce the US-orchestrated coup against Haiti’s elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and demand the withdrawal of US and French troops from the Caribbean island country.

The division of labor behind the US-made coup in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken and Barry Grey, 5 March 2004

The US government is engaged in a cynical charade to distance itself from the right-wing terrorists and thugs who marched into the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince over the weekend, leading to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

As Marines occupy Port-au-Prince:

Reign of terror follows US-backed coup in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 3 March 2004

The US ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide and Haiti’s occupation by a US-led military force have set the stage for a bloody wave of repression in the impoverished Caribbean island nation.

US Marines occupy Haitian capital amid charges Aristide was kidnapped

By Keith Jones, 2 March 2004

Deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his wife have told several US Congressmen that US military personnel forced him onto a plane and spirited him from the Caribbean-island state as the final act in a US-sponsored coup against his government.

The overthrow of Haiti’s Aristide: a coup made in the USA

By World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 1 March 2004

The violent overthrow and forced exile of Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has ripped aside the democratic pretensions of Washington and the other major powers to expose the brutal and predatory character of resurgent imperialism. The actions taken by the US government in Haiti demonstrate the farcical character of its claims that the aim of the US invasion of Iraq was to inaugurate an era of democratization and freedom in the Middle East and around the world.

US and France target Haiti’s elected president for removal

By Keith Jones, 28 February 2004

The United States and France are demanding the political head of Haiti’s elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Does Haiti’s “non-violent” opposition want a bloodbath in Port-au-Prince?

By Keith Jones, 26 February 2004

Haiti’s self-proclaimed, “non-violent” political opposition has rejected a settlement to the impoverished Caribbean nation’s political crisis sponsored by the US, France, and Canada. The press has labelled the failed settlement a power-sharing agreement. In fact, it gave the opposition Democratic Platform—a coalition led by the political representatives of Haiti’s autocratic, traditional elite—virtually everything that it has been demanding, save the immediate resignation of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the country’s democratically-elected president.

Washington utilizes rightist terror to effect “regime change” in Haiti

By a reporter, 25 February 2004

The Bush administration is utilizing an armed rebellion by fascistic thugs in the north and center of Haiti to effect a longstanding goal of regime change in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Haiti: Washington gives greenlight to right-wing coup

By Richard Dufour, 23 February 2004

Former military and death-squad leaders are attempting an armed overthrow of the elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, with the connivance of an elite-controlled political opposition and under the complacent eyes of Western governments. This is the bitter truth revealed by last weekend’s events in the impoverished Caribbean island-nation. The poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti is on the verge of civil war and a possible humanitarian catastrophe.

An exchange on Haiti: Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the dead end of “left” nationalist politics

18 February 2004

Below we post a letter on Haiti from a reader and a reply by WSWS correspondent Richard Dufour.

Right wing-led rebellion convulses Haiti

By Richard Dufour, 12 February 2004

The violent political conflicts which have shaken Haiti since the end of last year have now exploded into an armed uprising against the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Haiti: Aristide regime shaken by mass protests

By Richard Dufour, 6 February 2004

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide emerged from a meeting with Caribbean leaders January 31 professing support for proposals aimed at ending the cycle of political violence which has engulfed Haiti in recent weeks.

Kissinger and Argentina: a case study in US support for state terror

By Bill Vann, 31 December 2003

Only days before the US government and media launched their propaganda campaign over the capture of Saddam Hussein, the US State Department was obliged to release a set of 27-year-old, previously classified documents. These documents provide a revealing glimpse into the real attitude of successive US governments toward dictatorships and terror.

Brazil’s Workers Party government expels ‘left’ legislators

By Bill Vann, 16 December 2003

On the eve of the first anniversary of forming its first government, Brazil’s Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores/PT) carried out the expulsions of a leading national senator and three national deputies for opposing the right-wing economic and social policies introduced under President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva.

Bush ally on the brink

Ecuador: Drug scandal rocks Gutiérrez government

By Bill Vann, 6 December 2003

The government of President Lucio Gutiérrez in Ecuador has been rocked by reports exposing links between his January 21st Patriotic Society Party and accused drug traffickers. In the face of ample evidence of wholesale corruption and with growing demands that the Ecuadorian president resign, the Bush administration has solidarized itself with his government. Washington fears that, in the wake of the recent revolt in Bolivia, the entire Andean region will be swept by political upheavals.

Bolivia: Mass upheavals topple US-backed president

By Tomas Rodriguez and Bill Vann, 21 October 2003

Following a mass revolt that paralyzed the country and the deaths of at least 86 people shot down by security forces, Bolivia’s US-backed president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, was forced to resign last Friday and flee to exile in the United States.

Nearly 90 killed by troops

Bush administration backs massacres in Bolivia

By Bill Vann, 17 October 2003

With at least 86 workers, peasants and students confirmed killed by army and police bullets and hundreds more wounded during the last three weeks of mass protests, the Bush administration has solidarized itself fully with the repressive regime of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

26 reported killed

Bolivian troops massacre strikers

By César Uco and Bill Vann, 14 October 2003

Bolivian army troops backed by tanks killed at least 26 workers and peasants and wounded some 90 more Sunday, as the US-backed government of President Gonzalo Sanchez Lozada unleashed murderous repressive force in an attempt to crush a month-long rebellion against his government’s International Monetary Fund-dictated austerity policies.

Is the US plotting to murder Venezuela’s president?

By Bill Vann, 8 October 2003

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez cancelled a planned trip last month to the United Nations General Assembly’s opening debate, explaining that he did so because of a potential threat on his life. His government’s intelligence agencies had reportedly warned of a plot backed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to sabotage his plane in flight from Caracas to New York City. He and others had also raised concerns about Venezuelan anti-government terrorists conducting military training on US soil.

Argentine judge frees military officers facing extradition

By Paul Mitchell, 26 September 2003

An Argentine judge has freed 39 military officers and one civilian facing extradition to Spain. Federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral told reporters, “I have placed them at immediate liberty unless another court orders their detention. The case has been shelved.”

The lessons of Chile—30 years on

By Mauricio Saavedra and Margaret Rees, 17 September 2003

Thirty years ago on September 11 the Chilean military, with the full backing of Washington and the Pentagon, overthrew the democratically elected government of President Salvadore Allende and installed General Augusto Pinochet’s fascist-military dictatorship, which lasted 17 years.

September 11—30 years since the US-backed coup in Chile

12 September 2003

September 11 marked the 30th anniversary of the bloody US-backed coup that brought to power the fascist-military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The struggle in Chile that culminated in bitter defeat three decades ago constituted one of the most important strategic experiences of the international working class. The coup itself was an event that played no small role in shaping the world as it exists today.

Rumsfeld: “Frontline in terror war”

Washington signals escalation of US intervention in Colombia

By Bill Vann, 26 August 2003

The Bush administration signaled strongly last week that it is preparing to escalate its military intervention in Colombia’s four-decade-old civil war.

Spanish judge demands extradition of Argentine officers

By Paul Mitchell, 16 July 2003

Judge Baltasar Garzon has renewed his call for 46 Argentine military officers to be extradited to Spain. He has demanded they pay nearly $3 billion in compensation to victims of the 1976-1983 Argentine military dictatorship in which they participated.

Amid propaganda campaign over Iraq:

Guatemala’s mass graves ignored by mass media

By Bill Vann, 2 July 2003

Last month, the people of Xiquin Sanahi, a small village in the Guatemalan highlands, reburied the remains of 75 of their family members and neighbors who were massacred two decades ago by the Guatemalan army. The skeletal remains had been exhumed a year earlier by a team of forensic anthropologists.

Argentina’s Kirchner: caught between the IMF and social unrest

By Rafael Azul, 16 June 2003

Nestor Kirchner assumed power in Buenos Aires on May 25. Backed by powerful oil and mineral interests and by his predecessor, President Eduardo Duhalde, Kirchner had campaigned on a platform that was critical of both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the social catastrophe created by capitalism in Argentina.

US suffers Latin American rebuke at OAS meeting

By Bill Vann, 14 June 2003

US Secretary of State Colin Powell came away empty handed from the annual meeting of the Organization of American States held earlier this week in Santiago, Chile.

Tens of thousands march in Lima

Peruvian workers defy state of emergency

By Cesár Uco, 5 June 2003

Tens of thousands of workers marched in downtown Lima Tuesday in defiance of the state of emergency declared by the government of President Alejandro Toledo.

The theory of “self-organization”

Interview with Luis Zamora of Argentina’s Autonomy and Freedom movement

By David Walsh, 2 June 2003

Luis Zamora, leader of the Autonomy and Freedom (Autonomia y Libertad) movement, is a prominent political figure in Argentina. A deputy in the National Congress, Zamora toyed with the idea of running for president in the recently held election—at one point he was leading in the polls—before abandoning the notion last autumn on the grounds that “taking power” was not what his “socialist-libertarian” organization was about.

Menem, Kirchner in Argentine presidential run-off

By Rafael Azul, 29 April 2003

The result of Sunday’s presidential elections in Argentina indicates no candidate gathered enough votes to win on the first round. Former president Carlos Menem and the governor of Santa Cruz province, Nestor Kirchner—both members of the Peronist party—were the front-runners and will compete in a second round that will take place May 18. Menem, who ruled Argentina between 1989 and 1999, received 24.36 percent of the votes to Kirchner’s 22 percent.

Austerity and repression overshadow Argentine elections

By Rafael Azul, 26 April 2003

Three candidates are virtually tied for first place in this Sunday’s elections in Argentina. Voters are going to the polls to elect a new president, the first since Fernando de la Rua resigned in December 2001. Whoever wins will be called upon by the International Monetary Fund and Wall Street to fully implement the budget cuts and austerity measures demanded by the IMF and confront the growing popular resistance to the deepening misery and mass unemployment.

US provocations and Castroite repression

Washington steps up attack on Cuba over dissident trials

By Bill Vann, 24 April 2003

In the wake of a repressive crackdown by the regime of Fidel Castro, the Bush administration is reportedly considering drastic new measures against Cuba. These would include the cutting off of remittances sent by Cuban-Americans to family members on the island and the halting of direct charter flights used principally by US-based Cuban émigrés to visit their homeland. Both sanctions are aimed at tightening the four-decade-old blockade against the Caribbean nation, while increasing economic and emotional hardships for Cubans on both sides of the Florida Straits.

Violent clashes in Buenos Aires on eve of election

Argentine police attack workers protest

By Bill Vann, 23 April 2003

Just days before Argentina’s presidential election, Buenos Aires was rocked by violence Monday as heavily armed police attacked a demonstration led by women textile workers. The workers were attempting to reclaim their jobs at a factory they had occupied and run since December 2001. More than 125 people were arrested and scores more injured by police, who, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets, fired live ammunition at the workers.

Brazil: Lula’s first 100 days—austerity for the poor, tax cuts for the rich

By Rafael Azul, 22 April 2003

Since he took office 107 days ago, Brazilian President Luis Inacio da Silva (Lula) has carried out austerity policies in the interest of the international banks, in many cases outdoing his predecessor, Fernando Enrique Cardoso. In addition to pushing through legislation that would place the country’s Central Bank out of the control of the elected government and the country’s voters, he has cut public spending and increased interest rates, curtailing the Brazilian government’s ability to create jobs and provide social benefits.

As hunt for captured “contractors” continues

US escalates Colombian military intervention

By Bill Vann, 1 March 2003

Over the past month, the Pentagon has nearly doubled the number of US military forces it acknowledges are deployed in Colombia, while special operations units are joining directly in a massive search-and-rescue operation that has been mounted to locate three US military contract personnel captured after their plane was downed over guerrilla-held territory February 13.

Child starvation stalks Argentina’s northern provinces

By Perla Astudillo, 22 February 2003

Since October, Argentina has reported the deaths of scores of children from malnutrition, with thousands more hospitalized and fighting for their lives. Nearly half a million children—more than one in five—are suffering from malnutrition across the country. Included among the deaths reported in recent weeks was a 14-year-old who died February 10, weighing only 25 kilos and a three-year-old weighing only 9.8 kilos—the normal weight for a one-year-old.