[Translation of an article from Espacinsular of Santo Domingo for December 6, 2013. See original here. The court ruling in question, number 168/13, would deny Dominican nationality to those born in the country since 1929 of undocumented immigrant parents. It would affect primarily the approximately 250,000 Haitian-Dominicans living there who, without a cédula, the national identification card, would be unable to vote, be hired for any job except in the informal sector, open a bank account, enroll in college, receive social security, obtain a passport or be issued birth certificates for their children.]
By Luis M. Rodríguez
New York, December 6 – A committee of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of their visit is to monitor and watch over the results of ruling 168/13 by the Constitutional Tribunal and to determine whether the ruling violates the human rights of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, as has been charged.
The Commission traveled to the country at the invitation of the Dominican government. Even so, sectors of the government and the parasitic party apparatus, who live off the crumbs that fall from the heights of power, have unleashed a campaign to discredit the IACHR committee, arguing that it violates national sovereignty and its very presence is an act of interference in the internal affairs of the Dominican Republic. Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an article from Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for November 28, 2013. See original here.]
By Ángel Guerra Cabrera
The scandalous theft of the November 24 election in Honduras confirms the high degree of coordination and planning in the offensive being conducted by the United States and the oligarchies against the popular forces and governments of our region. Who knows what Secretary Kerry had been smoking when he proclaimed to the OAS the end of the Monroe Doctrine.
The offensive works in several directions. On the one hand, incessant media and economic assault and destabilization plans against the progressive forces that have come to govern, as can be seen in Venezuela in a very aggressive way in the past few months, but which also occur with different degrees of intensity in Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of a column from Carta Maior of São Paulo for November 21, 2013. See original here.]
by Emir Sader
As soon as he was elected in 2007, Rafael Correa declared that Ecuador was joining the departure from the long dark night of neoliberalism and that it was a matter not just of an epoch of change but of a change of epochs. After having five successive presidents brought down by popular mobilizations, Ecuador, with the support of immense popular mobilizations, was choosing a young economist to lead the country.
“Policies that could be sustained on the basis of deceit and anti-democratic attitudes on the part of their beneficiaries, with the total support of multilateral organizations, who disguised a simple ideology as science,” thus Correa characterized the neoliberal politics that had dominated the entire continent for three decades. In effect, what characterized these policies was that “they benefited big capital and above all finance capital.” Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for Novembr 12, 2013. See original here.]
By Elizabeth Velasco C.
Mexico City – The privatization of the Mexican energy sector serves the interests of the United States government, which, for national security reasons, requires an assured supply of oil, gas and water during the course of the first half of the 21st century, according to Josefina Morales and Carlos Fazio, professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and José Antonio Almazán, a representative of retirees of the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (Mexican Electrician’s Union), and Jesús Ramírez of the executive committee of the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA – Movement for National Regeneration).
The panelists concurred on the description of Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform as “the outcome of 30 years of neoliberal reforms imposed since Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign,” which have already brought to Mexico “a war of plunder of its strategic resources and the social gains bequeathed by the Mexican revolution.” Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an editorial from El Faro of San Salvador for October 27, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]
David Munguía Payés made his way into President Funes’ inner circle with two promises: to guarantee the army’s peacefulness and obedience to the country’s first leftist government in history and to protect it from the FMLN, with whom it kept up a test of strength over power.
Funes increased the defense budget and General Munguía Payés renovated the motor pool and improved conditions for the troops. He took control of the high command and broadened the range of military functions taken on after the end of the armed conflict.
So he placed the military in national intelligence, in police intelligence and in police management after his move into the Ministry of Public Safety, which he also militarized. Then he negotiated with the gangs in a controversial process, all with President Funes’ approval. Until the Supreme Court removed him from Public Safety and, even so, Funes gave him back his post in Defense, where he is currently operating. Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for October 22, 2013. See original here.]
By Jenaro Villamil
Mexico City – United States interference in the country’s fundamental decisions was never a problem of state for Felipe Calderón. The PAN [Partido Acción Nacional] president opened to the North Americans the doorways, the archives, the intelligence files on energy matters, on national security and on big business in Mexico.
The problem for him was that others learned of Washington’s lack of esteem for his bold and failed “war on drugs.” Or that, in fact, they saw him as a weak and sham president and, therefore, more vulnerable to pressure from the empire.
Calderón became angry with ambassador Carlos Pascual when Wikileaks disclosed State Department cables in which the diplomat, perhaps the most astute in recent years, sent a hard-hitting file describing Calderón’s war as a failure, all the while smiling at the president in Los Pinos. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite the Defense Ministry’s favoring more involvement in peace missions, Brazil has proven to be unprepared to deal with the consequences
[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo for October 17, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]
By João Fernando Finazzi
At the time of renewal for one more year of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH), which would have ended this week, Brazil remains in military command of the multilateral mission after more than nine years as the country with the most troops in Haitian territory. If there were reasonable arguments for its existence initially, its continuation is looked upon currently with ever more doubt.
Haitian activist Colette Lespinasse of the Groupement d’Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (GARR — Support Group for Repatriates and Refugees) believes the MINUSTAH intervention “makes no sense” once the goals expressed for its creation, like the restoration of order and the disarming of groups that threatened internal stability,were achieved. Lepinasse also points out that “given that direct occupation by a country like the United States was not possible,” the UN’s multilateralism made it possible for “emerging countries, like Brazil,” to take on that function. Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for October 17, 2013. See original here.]
By Angélica Enciso L.
In La Montaña, Guerrero, the poorest region of the country, the disasters brought on by the storms in September have caused poverty in many communities to revert to the levels of 50 years ago or earlier.
People sleep outdoors on mats and under tarps held up by poles; they no longer have even their wooden houses and they flee to the agricultural fields of other states. The economy is stagnant and the corn crops have been lost, researchers Sergio Silva and Araceli Damián say.
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17), this is the scenario faced in the region of La Montaña, where Cochoapa el Grande is located, the poorest municipality in Mexico, according to the Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social. Instead of advances, the area has moved backwards, according to the experts. To be found there as well are the five municipalities with the lowest index of human development in Mexico, according to data that the United Nations Development Program will release in a few days.
Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for October 12, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]
By Leonardo Wexell Severo
In an interview with Carta Maior, Daniel Pascual Hernández, coordinator general of the Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC) of Guatemala, explains the motives that drive about one of every nine Guatemalans to migrate to the United States and points out the effects of the Free Trade Agreements, of embassies being turned into business offices for multinational corporations in the Caribbean. “The spoils of war are in the presidency, the business center for concessions, for the privatization of the national heritage,” he declares.
Carta Maior: How does the Comité de Unidad Campesina analyze the present clashes in the Guatemalan countryside?
Daniel Pascual Hernández: We have a high level of concentration of land ownership, which makes the struggle over land in Guatemala quite similar to those in Brazil and Latin America as a whole. From the agrarian point of view, capitalism was instituted in 1871, with coffee, cotton and later with bananas, raw materials for export. That monoculture brought with it a peculiarity: the concentration of land together with the oppression of the indigenous. The law on land began by handing the territory over to the invaders, the colonialists, leaving aside belts so the indigenous would not revolt. There was a period of advances from 1944 to 1954, the decade of democracy, under the governments of Juan José Arévalo and Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, but then came the United States invasion. Read the rest of this entry »
[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for October 6, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]
By Frida Modak
There has been a change in the past few months in the Venezuelan opposition’s strategy. They no longer stress the supposed electoral fraud, as they did right after the presidential elections.
As far as is known, no change has been announced resulting from the reviews electoral authorities have made, so we should wonder what has brought about this new attitude and when.
And if we look for an answer, we find that this new attitude coincides with the trip defeated candidate Enrique Capriles made to Chile, where he met with the leaders of some political parties for whom he has a certain affinity. Read the rest of this entry »
((El Faro photo))
Nicolás Maduro is not Hugo Chávez
[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador, El Salvador, for October 4, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]
By Valeria Pacheco
Caracas, Venezuela – “I can’t get rice, flour, oil or butter. You have to search for food from one supermarket to another and everything is more expensive, I barely have enough money,” says Isabel Sánchez at the exit of an informal market in the populous district of Petare, in eastern Caracas.
Six months after the start of the administration of President Nicolás Maduro, who assumed office on April 19, Venezuelans face a cumulative inflation through August of 32.9 percent (the highest in Latin America) and a cyclical shortage of goods that has gotten worse in the past few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
United States military relations with Latin America grow less and less transparent
[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for September 19, 2013. See original here and report in question here, in English, and here, in Spanish.]
by David Brooks
United States Special Forces are ever more present in Latin America for jobs of training and intelligence gathering and for other military missions that, along with other US aid programs to the region, are carried out under the heading of the old war on drugs scheme, despite calls for a change in anti-drug policies, a new report on United States security assistance in the hemisphere concludes.
The report, published today by three centers for research and analysis – the Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF), the Center for International Policy (CIP) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), which maintain a joint data bank on United States assistance programs for Latin America – shows that although the level of US assistance has been reduced to one of the lowest in a decade, what is of concern is a greater emphasis on less transparent military relations and deafness to the growing chorus throughout the hemisphere in favor of a rethinking prohibitionist drug policies. Read the rest of this entry »