South and Central America

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.

Bolivia: Military-provoked riots end in 33 deaths

By Mauricio Saavedra, 21 February 2003

Fifteen thousand people marched on La Paz, February 17, demanding the resignation of the Bolivian government of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. The demonstration came in the wake of more than a month of protests, strikes, roadblocks and violent clashes that have rocked Latin America’s poorest nation.

As coca leaders, government talk

US boosts military aid to Bolivia

By Mauricio Saavedra, 21 February 2003

As coca grower leaders resume discussions with the Bolivian government, the Bush administration is substantially increasing military funding for the US-enforced “drug war,” paving the way for direct intervention.

After capture of Pentagon contractors:

Wider US war threatened in Colombia

By Bill Vann, 21 February 2003

The threat of a wider US war in Colombia just as Washington is preparing to unleash an invasion of Iraq has escalated sharply following the killing of a Pentagon contractor and the abduction of three others by guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

As Green Berets deploy in war zone

Colombian president seeks massive US intervention

By Bill Vann, 1 February 2003

In a remarkable comment to the international press last month, Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe Velez called upon Washington to mount a military intervention in his country equal in scope to the one that is now being prepared against Iraq.

Brazil’s Lula: From Porto Alegre to Davos

By Bill Vann, 27 January 2003

Brazil’s recently inaugurated president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva flew to Switzerland Friday night to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos. Lula boarded the flight only hours after delivering a speech to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The latter annual gathering of anti-globalization activists, including supporters of Lula’s own Workers Party, or PT, was initiated three years ago in direct opposition to the Davos meeting of world bankers and heads of state.

Washington escalates military buildup in Latin America

By Mauricio Saavedra, 23 January 2003

Under the pretext of combating terrorism, the Bush Administration is promoting the most intense US military buildup in Latin America since Washington backed a series of military coups that brought right-wing military dictatorships to power in much of the continent in the 1960s and 1970s.

Venezuela “strike”: the anatomy of a US-backed provocation

By Patrick Martin, 20 January 2003

Leaders of the right-wing umbrella group seeking to overthrow Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have dropped their demand that Chavez resign immediately as a condition for calling off the business shutdown that has dragged on for more than six weeks.

Argentine military commander eulogizes ex-dictator

By Bill Vann, 16 January 2003

A eulogy by Argentina’s top army general describing the country’s former dictator Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri as a “disciplined soldier” who “acted according to his convictions” has sparked widespread protests and demands for the officer’s dismissal.

Ex-US bank chief to set monetary policy

Brazil: Lula’s appointments point to deeper austerity

By Bill Vann, 20 December 2002

While millions of Brazilian workers and poor people provided Lula and his Workers Party (PT) with an overwhelming margin of victory in last October’s election, his government’s economic team has been selected to defend the interests of the international banks, foreign investors and the Brazilian financial elite.

Washington maneuvers toward Venezuelan coup

By Bill Vann, 19 December 2002

With an employer-organized lockout in its third week, the Bush administration is maneuvering with the Venezuelan right wing in an attempt to topple the country’s elected president, Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela: Is the CIA preparing another coup?

By Bill Vann, 11 December 2002

With a “strike” organized by Venezuela’s employers now entering its second week, there is every indication that the South American country is being subjected to a classic destabilization campaign organized in collaboration with US intelligence.

Argentine workers stage hunger march

By Bill Vann, 6 December 2002

Over 15,000 Argentine workers, unemployed and youth marched on the government palace in Buenos Aires’s Plaza de Mayo December 4 in a “national march against hunger.” The seven-hour march from the working class suburb of Liniers was organized by the piqueteros organizations (named for the picket lines they have used to block highways) that have sprung up in response to Argentina’s protracted economic and social disintegration.

Argentina defaults on loan to World Bank

By Bill Vann, 16 November 2002

Argentina defaulted Thursday on an $805 million debt to the World Bank. The decision by the government of President Eduardo Duhalde not to meet the payment came amid reports of child starvation and other signs of social disintegration within the country and increasing tensions in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

Brazil’s Lula reassures Wall Street, warns workers of austerity

By Bill Vann, 31 October 2002

In the two days following his landslide victory in Brazil’s October 27 presidential election, Workers Party (PT) candidate Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has taken pains to reassure the world’s financial markets that his government will enforce the austerity policies initiated by its predecessors.

Brazil’s "Lula" celebrates victory, IMF demands more austerity

By Bill Vann, 29 October 2002

The election of Workers Party (PT) candidate and former metalworkers union leader Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva triggered horn-honking, flag-waving celebrations in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other major Brazilian cities Sunday night. Foreign and domestic capital markets held their fire in anticipation of PT’s announcement of an economic transition team.

As Washington eyes Latin "axis of evil"

Coup attempts continue in Venezuela

By Bill Vann, 28 October 2002

An attempt by a ring of 14 high-ranking Venezuelan officers to spark a military rebellion against the government of President Hugo Chavez appeared to have fizzled Thursday when army units failed to respond to their call for “disobedience.”

As US intervention grows:

Colombian army lays siege to Medellín neighborhood

By Bill Vann, 19 October 2002

Colombian assault troops and police backed by tanks and helicopter gunships laid siege Wednesday to an impoverished neighborhood in Medellín, the South American nation’s second largest city.

Brazil vote sets stage for deeper crisis

By Bill Vann, 8 October 2002

Workers Party candidate Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva failed to gain the outright majority needed to win Brazil’s presidency in the first round, but the turnout on Sunday for his candidacy points to his almost certain victory in the second round of voting set for October 27.

As workers launch general strike

Colombia’s President Uribe intensifies repression

By Bill Vann, 19 September 2002

Colombia’s armed forces were placed on a “maximum state of alert” September 16 as hundreds of thousands of workers joined in a general strike against the policies of the newly installed US-backed government of President Alvaro Uribe.

September 11 in Chile—clashes on coup’s anniversary

By Bill Vann, 14 September 2002

In Chile, September 11 was marked by violent clashes between demonstrators and Carabinero military police, resulting in over 500 arrests and scores of wounded.

After the debt default: Argentine economy in deepest-ever recession

By Nick Beams, 10 September 2002

A report on the state of the Argentine economy published earlier this month provides an insight into the devastating impact of its financial crisis, and the social catastrophe inflicted upon the population as a result of the measures dictated by the International Monetary Fund.

US documents implicate Kissinger in Argentine atrocities

By Rafael Azul and Bill Vann, 6 September 2002

Secret archives released by the US State Department directly implicate former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other top American officials in backing the brutal military regime of mass murder, “disappearances” and torture that ruled Argentina for more than seven years, beginning in March 1976.

The social costs of Argentina’s crisis

By Rafael Azul, 22 August 2002

The effect is not immediate; it takes a visitor to Buenos Aires a few hours to discern the devastating impact that Argentina’s economic depression is having on that country’s social fabric. In the evening, as the hustle and bustle common to any large metropolis dies down, the signs of the crisis emerge: parents begging with their children; hungry people eating restaurant refuse; the homeless settling down for the night. In the very center of town three- and four-year-old children play little musical instruments as they beg. In the wealthier neighborhoods, nine- and ten-year-olds offer to watch one’s automobile parked on the street.

Colombia’s new president declares state of emergency

By Jeremy Johnson, 17 August 2002

Only five days into his term of office, Colombia’s right-wing President Alviro Uribe Vélez declared a state of emergency Monday, allowing him to rule by decree and restrict basic civil liberties. The declaration signals the launching of an all-out war against the 38-year-long guerilla insurgency, as well as stepped-up attacks on workers and peasants who resist the crushing poverty that government policies impose.

O’Neill's Latin tour sparks protests as IMF grants record loan

By Bill Vann, 10 August 2002

A tour by US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill of three of Latin America’s most crisis-ridden countries was overshadowed August 7 by the International Monetary Fund’s announcement of a record $30 billion rescue package for the Brazilian economy.

As Latin American crisis spreads, US offers loan to Uruguay

By Bill Vann, 6 August 2002

In a stopgap measure aimed at preventing another Latin American government from defaulting on its foreign debts, the Bush administration provided a $1.5 billion bridge loan to Uruguay August 4.

Chilean Supreme Court ends legal proceedings against Pinochet

By Mauricio Saavedra, 20 July 2002

The Chilean Supreme Court excused General Augusto Pinochet from legal proceedings in a decision on July 1, which effectively means that the ageing former dictator will not face trial for any of the crimes carried out during his brutal 17-year rule.

Argentina’s ex-dictator Galtieri faces "Dirty War" trial

41 others charged with murder, torture

By Bill Vann, 19 July 2002

Former military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri and at least 40 other former military officers have been arrested in Argentina on charges of murder, kidnapping and torture in connection with brutal acts of repression carried out more than two decades ago.

Washington threatens Bolivia on presidential vote

By Tomas Rodriguez and Bill Vann, 18 July 2002

In the run-up to the selection of a new president in Bolivia, the Bush administration has issued unconcealed threats of US sanctions and potential military retaliation if the candidate opposed by Washington ends up winning.

Argentina’s police killings raise specter of dictatorship

By Rafael Azul, 2 July 2002

The execution-style murder of two unemployed youth during a jobless protest in Buenos Aires last Wednesday marks a new stage in Argentina’s class struggle—raising once again the specter of military dictatorship.

Police kill two protesters in Argentina

By Jerry Isaacs, 28 June 2002

Two protesters were killed and 90 others injured in Buenos Aires Wednesday when police and national guardsmen attacked a demonstration of hundreds of jobless workers and retirees on the outskirts of the Argentine capital. Witnesses said heavily armed riot police fired from rooftops and at point blank range into crowds of protesters demanding jobs, food and aid for those hardest hit by the country’s economic crisis.

An exchange on the Colombian FARC

24 June 2002

Bill Vann, for the WSWS

Brazil’s Workers Party chooses textile magnate as candidate

By Bill Vann, 22 June 2002

In an electoral maneuver aimed both at winning votes and placating foreign investors, Brazil’s Workers Party (PT) has chosen a multimillionaire textile magnate and leader of the right-wing Liberal Party (PL) as its vice presidential candidate in elections set for October.

Brazil: Workers Party officials accuse Wall Street of "electoral terrorism"

By Bill Vann, 19 June 2002

The Brazilian government announced a series of emergency economic measures June 13 aimed at stemming the precipitous fall of the country’s currency against the dollar and strengthening the country’s position on world financial markets.

IMF demands new austerity measures in Argentina

By Bill Vann, 12 June 2002

The International Monetary Fund has continued to stall on sending a mission to Argentina to negotiate new loans, insisting the government of President Eduardo Duhalde implement still further austerity measures.

Rightist death squads hail Colombia’s new president

By Bill Vann, 29 May 2002

Colombia’s main right-wing paramilitary organization hailed the election May 26 of Alvaro Uribe Vélez, a son of the rural aristocracy who has vowed to double the size of the country’s armed forces in order to prosecute an all-out counterinsurgency campaign backed by Washington.

Colombian vote sets stage for US military escalation

By Bill Vann, 25 May 2002

Presidential elections to be held in Colombia on Sunday will set the stage for a sharp escalation of the US military intervention in the war-torn South American country.

Bush vows tighter blockade, Castro pushes for rapprochement with US

By Bill Vann, 21 May 2002

Just three days after former president Jimmy Carter ended his trip to Cuba by urging an end to Washington’s 40-year-old embargo and closer economic ties with the island nation, President Bush vowed to tighten the blockade.