Stephen Zunes : Latin America/Caribbean
While he no longer held any formal position of power since his resignation as president for health reasons eight years ago, Fidel Castro’s death last month marks the passing of an era. In his nearly 50 years in power, few individuals have had had such a profound influence on a country for good or ill […]
During the 1980s, the United States was seriously divided over U.S. policy toward Central America. The Reagan administration was propping up a brutal military-backed regime in El Salvador that was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, including priests, nuns and catechists, along with labor, student and human rights leaders, as well as peasants who happened to live in areas supporting the opposition.
On March 3, Berta Cáceres, a brave and outspoken indigenous Honduran environmental activist and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize , was gunned down in her hometown of La Esperanza. Erika Guevara-Rosas , Americas director for Amnesty International, noted how “For years, she had been the victim of a sustained campaign of harassment and threats to stop her from defending the rights of indigenous communities.”
On this anniversary, it would be worth looking back at the Grenadian revolution, the U.S. invasion, its aftermath and the important precedent it set for “regime change” through U.S. military intervention.
It’s like the 1980s all over again. During that decade, the Reagan administration – with the support of Congress – sent billions of dollars worth of unconditional military and other support to the right wing-junta in El Salvador, just as the Obama administration is today with the right-wing government in Israel.
The massive nonviolent movement that put pressure on the coup government may be only the first chapter of an important and prolonged struggle for justice in one of Latin America’s poorest and most inequitable countries
One of the hemisphere’s most critical struggles for democracy in 20 years is now unfolding in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa (nicknamed “Tegucigolpe” for its long history of military coup d’états, which are called golpes de estado, in Spanish). Despite censorship and repression, popular anger over the June 28 military overthrow of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya is growing. International condemnation has been near-unanimous, and the Organization of American States has suspended Honduras, the first time the hemisphere-wide body has taken so drastic an action since 1962.
The alleged support by the United States of wealthy landowners, business leaders, and their organizations tied to the violent uprising in eastern Bolivia has led U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg’s expulsion from La Paz and the South American government’s demands that the United States stop backing the illegitimate rebellion. Goldberg had met with some of these right-wing oppositionist leaders just a week before the most recent outbreak of violence against the democratically elected government of Evo Morales, who won a recall referendum in August with over 67% of the popular vote….
Much to the chagrin of the Bush administration, Bolivian president Evo Morales has been going to great lengths to separate his country from its economic dependence on the United States. His efforts to strengthen the Andean Community of Nations and the recent signing of a “People’s Trade Treaty” with Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba indicate the […]
One of the most tragically irresponsible decisions of the Bush administration in the critical hours following Hurricane Katrina was its refusal to accept offers by the government of Cuba to immediately dispatch more than 1500 medical doctors with 37 tons of medical supplies to the devastated areas along the Gulf coast.