Archive for July, 2012

A conversation with Eduardo Galeano

Friday, July 27th, 2012

((El Mostrador photo))

“Two centuries of workers’ gains thrown into the garbage can”

[Translation of an interview by BBC World as published in El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for July 24, 2012. See original here.]

“This is a violent and deceitful world but we cannot lose hope and enthusiasm for changing it,” Eduardo Galeano declares.

The Uruguayan writer, his continent’s literary historian in works like The Open Veins of Latin America and the trilogy Memories of Fire, spoke with BBC World on the latest events in Latin America and the world economic crisis.

From his usual table in the centrally located Café Brasilero, leaving the cold of the southern hemisphere winter outside, he insists,“The greatness of humanity is in the small things that are done every day, day in, day out, that nameless people do without knowing they are doing them.” (more…)

Foreign companies double extraction of Mexican gold in six years

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 24, 2012. See original here.]

by Israel Rodríguez

The production of gold in Mexico, dominated by foreign companies, most of them Canadian, has increased by 100 percent in the current administration, increasing from 43.7 tons in 2007, the first year of the Felipe Calderón administration, to 87 tons in 2011. The Canadian company Goldcorp Inc. became the largest producer of gold in Mexico, according to preliminary reports from the Cámara Minera Mexicana (Camimex).

The uncertain environment of the global economy, with low interest rates, a weakened US dollar and the currency war, kept gold in the state of shelter for large investments, which also hastened the opening of new mining operations and sparked investment in exploration for the metal.

The price of an ounce of gold rose from around 700 dollars in 2007 to 1,851 dollars in July, 2012, which translates to an increase of 164 percent. (more…)

More Hondurans attempt to migrate to the US

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Thousands are being detained and many are buried along the way

[Translation of an article from Tiempo of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for July 19, 2012. See original here.]

Mexico City – In contrast with tendencies seen in the past few years, Central American migration through Mexico, principally from Honduras, is increasing.

Data from the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) and from migrant shelters operated by the Catholic church show that an ever increasing number of undocumented migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are crossing Mexican territory on their way to the United States. From January to May of this year, 37,582 migrants from these three countries, who make up most of the traffic, were housed in INM migrant stations, according to statistics from the organization. That number is greater by 34 percent than was registered during the same period last year. (more…)

Colombia: The indigenous peoples of Cauca have a lesson for the world

Friday, July 20th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 18, 2012. See original here.]

by Elaine Tavares

In the past few days, the Brazilian media have carried the news that a group of Colombian Indians occupied a military base in the city of Toribío, in the Cauca region, and expelled the army. The articles describe how the indigenous peoples were tired of living in the crossfire between state forces and the guerrilla commanded by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, the FARC. But the news in itself, as printed, gives no account of the long process of struggle and resistance carried on by the indigenous communities of that strategic region. As always, the Brazilian press is lacking in contextualization of the facts. (more…)

The challenges of permanent revolution in Cuba

Monday, July 16th, 2012


((Douglas Mansur photo))

Cuban Isabel Monal recalls her career and analyzes the current political and social process in her country

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 12, 2012. See original here.]

by Milton Pinheiro and Sofia Manzano

In the midst of the so-called “modernization” of the Cuban model, Isabel Monal could be considered one of the most legitimate voices to comment on the subject. She participated actively in the revolution led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In the context of the Cuban revolution, the Marxist philosopher was taken prisoner in the United States.

Editor of the magazine Marx Ahora, she discusses with Brasil de Fato her academic training and the challenges Cuban socialism faces at the present time. Monal makes it clear that at no time was market socialism proposed (referring to the directives approved at the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party), but that nevertheless the market cannot be ignored. (more…)

Paraguay: Franco government fires military officers over meeting with Venezuelan foreign minister

Friday, July 13th, 2012

New president accuses Venezuela of trying to stage a military coup to keep Lugo in power

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for July 13, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

The armed forces tribunal of Paraguay on Thursday morning discharged ten generals who had met with the Venezuelan minister of foreign relations, Nicolás Maduro, in an alleged attempt to reverse the removal from office of then President Fernando Lugo.

The decision was made in an extraordinary session of the tribunal, led by the current Paraguayan president and commander in chief of the armed forces, Federico Franco. Among those fired are General Aldalberto Ramón Garcete, of the army, and Admiral Juan Carlos Benítez, of the navy, as well as the commander of the First Corps of the army, Juan Carlos Ayala. Also discharged was General Ángel Vallovera, armed forces chief of staff in the Lugo administration, suspected of chairing the meeting with Maduro. (more…)

New bases, old interests

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Establishment of military bases in Chile and Peru reveals United States’ intention to increase influence in the region

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 5, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Patrícia Benvenuti

The hope for new relations between the United States and Latin America continues to be ever more distant. Recent activity, in particular the establishment of new military bases, reveals an attempt by the United States to increase its influence in the region.

On April 5, work on the Personnel Training Center for Peace Operations in Urban Zones was completed in Chile. Located at Fort Aguayo, in Concón, in the Valparaíso Region, the base was constructed in 60 days, considered a record time for this kind of project.

The structure consists of eight buildings, which simulate a small city. The cost of the base, financed by the Southern Command of the United States armed forces, was almost 500,000 dollars. The Center will be used for training the so-called Peace Forces of Latin American nations that are part of United Nations missions. (more…)

A serious threat, from the Río Bravo to Patagonia

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for July 5, 2012. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The coup d’état against the president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, calls for a revision of strategy and tactics by the progressive governments and popular forces of Latin America.

It should be remembered that the United States has at its disposal a large runway in Mariscal Estigarribia, in the Paraguayan Chaco, ready for Galaxy transport planes and B-52 bombers. It was constructed in agreement with the very oligarchical parties that staged the parliamentary coup against Lugo, who have also approved beforehand the incursion of United States troops into the country, recent signs indicating that their presence will be made permanent. (more…)

Peru: Humala challenged by allies and the popular sector

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Twelve civilians have died in repression of social protests in the first year of this president’s term

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 3, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

by Marcio Zonta

Ollanta Humala Tasso finishes his first year in office in the midst of contradictions. In the first week of June alone, the Gana Perú congressional caucus, the base of the Partido Nacionalista Peruano, suffered four losses, for a total of five resignations of congress members who do not approve of the directions taken by the current administration.

Absorbed in the controversial issues of mining and the army’s confrontations in the Peruvian jungles with supposed drug traffickers and members of Sendero Luminoso, Humala has shown little aptitude or receptiveness to dialogue. On the other hand, he shows an extreme readiness for military solutions. (more…)

Paraguay: Overthrow of Lugo, a U.S. political maneuver

Sunday, July 1st, 2012


((A demonstration at the Brazilian-Paraguayan border against the overthrow of Fernando Lugo — photo by Xinhua))

On the same day, legislators were negotiating for a new military base

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 1, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Stella Calloni

Buenos Aires, June 30 – While the hasty political trial, considered illegal by neighboring countries, of the democratically elected president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, was taking place last June 22, Paraguayan congressmen were meeting with United States military officers to negotiate the building of a military base in Chaco, a vast uninhabited region of the South American country. (more…)