Posts Tagged ‘coup d’etat’

Honduras: An interview with Gilberto Ríos Munguía, a leader of the resistance

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

El-Grillo[Translation of an article from El Ciudadano of Santiago, Chile, for April 26, 2015. See original here.]

By Andrés Figueroa Cornejo

…Gilberto Ríos Munguía, Honduran rebel and political fighter, is known to his companions as “El Grillo” [“The Cricket”]. And currently El Grillo is coordinator of the Izquierdas Socialistas [Socialist Left], which is a part of the leadership of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP – National Popular Resistance Front) and of the Partido Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE ─ Liberty and Refoundation). The Central American country’s Izquierdas Socialistas are socialists in the sense of having a political agenda whose perspective is the end of class society and not accomodation within class society.

What is the function of the coordinating body of the Izquierdas Socialistas of Honduras?

We guide struggles within the FNRP and we are the voice of the Left in LIBRE. The FNRP is the mass response to the legalized dictatorship ruled formally by President Juan Orlando Hernández and LIBRE is its electoral apparatus.

What is happening in Honduras now, in late April, 2015?

In general, the Honduran people are experiencing a continuation of the 2009 coup d’état, when the FNRP and all the other democratic opposition forces chose not to participate in elections that had been militarized and were fraudulent. That episode carried Porfirio Lobo Sosa (of the Partido Nacional) to the head of the executive branch. Taking advantage of the dictatorship’s thrust, Lobo strengthened liberal policies on economic matters, to the degree of putting Honduran territory up for sale, a process that is still being carried out. Living conditions for the immense majority of the population grew worse. In 2013, the proven victory of LIBRE presidential candidate Xiomara Castro was stolen.


What the coup and the dictatorship meant for Brazil

Sunday, April 5th, 2015
((Rachel Clemens refuses to shake hands with dictatorial President João Figueiredo))

((Rachel Clemens refuses to shake hands with dictatorial President João Figueiredo))

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo for April 1, 2015. See original here and related article here.]

by Emir Sader

Brazil had spent three decades constructing a national development project, with equitable distribution of income, and less than two decades of political democratization when the military coup of 1964 broke with these two currents and installed a military dictatorship and an economic model of over-exploitation of labor, concentration of income, luxury consumption and exportation.

It was a movement promoted by big business, the government of the United States, the domestic and international media, with the support of the Catholic Church. For the sake, supposedly, of the salvation of democracy, which was said to be in danger – the marches were called Marcha com Deus, pela Familia e pela Liberdade (March with God, for the Family and for Freedom) – they instituted the most brutal dictatorship Brazil had ever seen.

It was a radical turn in Brazilian history. The building of democracy and a national and popular project begun in 1930 with Getúlio [Dorneles Vargas] were interrupted abruptly. In addition to repression of everything that appeared democratic to them – popular parties, labor unions, the media, universities, congress, the judiciary, among others – a tightening of salaries was decreed immediately. Because it was not just a political dictatorship against democracy, it was also a dictatorship of big business against the working class. (more…)

Brazil: Impeachment, coup d’état and the dictatorship of the market

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

impeachment ja[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo for March 6, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães

Impeachment is the effort to annul, by legislative means, by the votes of 513 congress members and 81 senators, the results of the November, 2014, election, which reflected the will of the majority of the Brazilian people when they elected President Dilma Rousseff by 53 million votes.

Since 2003, the television networks, especially TV Globo, the major newspapers, like O Estado de São Paulo, A Folha de São Paulo and O Globo, and the principal magazines, whether A Veja, Isto É or Época, have dedicated themselves to a systematic campaign to demoralize the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT ─ Workers’ Party) and the progressive parties and to attempt to prove the inefficiency, the disarray and the corruption of the PT administrations, including their social programs, which have brought 40 million Brazilians out of destitution and poverty.

Now the communications media, their candidate having lost the election, are attempting, with the providential aid of members of the judicial branch, the Public Ministry and the Federal Police, to create a political climate and public opinion that would bring down or immobilize the president and thus annul the will of the majority of the Brazilian people.


Brazil: Divisions left and right

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

[Translations of two articles, from Brasil de Fato for November 14, 2014, and Carta Maior for November 11, 2014. See originals here and here and related articles here, here and here.]

SakamotoDemonstration in São Paulo sends messages to the federal government and to the ultra-conservatives

By Leonardo Sakamoto

Called by the Homeless Workers’ Movement [MTST], a march in São Paulo on November 13 to demand popular reforms and to criticize ultra-conservative rhetoric began at the Museum of Art on Paulista Avenue, passed through the wealthy Jardins neighborhood and ended at the Praça Roosevelt.

With the participation of social organizations, labor unions and leftist political parties (both pro-administration and in the opposition), the action sent a message to Dilma: if there is a reduction in resources for social programs and if the demands of the financial market are prioritized to the detriment of programs that guarantee the dignity of workers, the social movements will close down the country. The action also attacked the demands for impeachment by groups unhappy with the results of the elections. (more…)

Brazil: Truth and impunity

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo for March 27, 2014. See original here. On March 31, 1964, Brazilian military forces, with the full support of the United States under President Lyndon Johnson, overthrew center-left President João Goulart. The coup in Brazil came six months after the US-backed coup against Dominican President Juan Bosch during the Kennedy presidency. The military ruled Brazil until they were replaced by an elected government in 1985.]

coupFifty years after the coup that toppled the government of João Goulart, the truth about what happened is beginning gradually to surface

By Eric Nepomuceno

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the civilian-military coup that toppled the government of João “Jango” Goulart and initiated a 21-year dictatorship, there is a little of everything in Brazil. Some are nostalgic, some have forgotten those evil times and some are indifferent, believing that turning to the past is unnecessary. And the latter are the majority, the keepers of a very revealing silence about Brazilians’ chronic terror during a dreadful past.

And there are a few – very few – agents of state terrorism who, for some reason, have chosen to tell part of what they know. In this way, the truth is beginning gradually to be uncovered. This occurs with the support of a contorted and despicable amnesty law decreed by the military as the dictatorship was beginning to decline and ratified four years ago by the Supreme Court in a manner as surprising as it was cowardly. (more…)

Haiti: What’s left of the popular movement?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


((Martelly and Duvalier))

((Martelly and Duvalier))

[Translation of an article from Haïti Liberté of Port-au-Prince for February 12, 2014.  See original here and related articles here, here, here, here and here.]

By Francklyn B. Geffrard

Last February 7 was the 28th anniversary of the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship.  Targeted by a popular revolt and abandoned by the Americans, Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier and his associates had to flee the country early in the morning.  For close to three decades, François Duvalier (from 1957 to 1971), then his son Jean Claude (from 1971 to 1986), had ruled the country with an iron fist.  To facilitate the departure of Jean Claude Duvalier and his associates, a U.S. Air Force plane had been placed at their disposal by the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

During the long years that Haiti was ruled by the Duvaliers, the country faced serious economic, political and social crises.  Arbitrary arrests and assassinations carried out against thousands by the Tontons Macoutes sowed fear, in its most basic form, in the hearts of the people.  No opposition was tolerated.  Every opponent of the regime was condemned either to imprisonment in the regime’s numerous torture centers, to disappearance, pure and simple, or, for the lucky ones, to exile. This explains, furthermore, why it is outside the country that Haitian exiles tried to create a movement in opposition to the regime, which had enjoyed the unfailing support of France and the United States. (more…)

Honduras: Coups or fraud, it’s all the same

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

[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. (more…)

Venezuela: A familiar recipe for destabilization

Friday, October 11th, 2013

[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. (more…)

Chile: An economic plan drawn up 40 years ago

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

x chile copperNeoliberalism in the extreme

[Translation of an article from Punto Final for September 6, 2013, as republished in Clarín of Santiago on September 8. See original here.]

By Paul Walder

It’s been 40 years since the coup d’état. A period that has passed with the slowness of social paralysis, of frozen consciences. A period that has allowed for the installation by force of the most unbridled capitalism on the planet, a model that was later to be adjusted and perfected until its consolidation.

It has been four decades divided into two great stages, the first under the harshness of dictatorial violence, the second marked by the seductive pleasures of consumption. If in other places and other epochs those 40 years were long enough for several wars and revolutions, Chile after the coup and the repression fell into a heavy sleep that left the way clear for counter-revolution and the collapse of all its social and labor conquests. Chile, which at the beginning of the ‘70s of the last century passed through a singular revolutionary process without a shot being fired, began the next century with an economic and social structure more fitting to the 19th century. The oligarchy, made up of a few traditional families and other more recent arrivals, took possession of the country, of its natural resources and of the lives of millions of workers and consumers. (more…)

US strengthens military in Central America, starting in Honduras

Thursday, July 4th, 2013
((US and Honduran troops in Tegucigalpa))

((US and Honduran troops in Tegucigalpa))

Increase in US military presence began after coup

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for June 29, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Giorgio Trucchi

The United States foresees for fiscal year 2014 a moderate decrease in spending for the “war on drugs” in Mexico and Colombia in exchange for an increase for CARSI (Central America Regional Security Initiative), for which the State Department requested 162 million dollars, 26 million more than was budgeted for 2012. Although it is not easy to determine exactly how much of that will reach Honduras through different means and programs, it is logical to assume that that country will enjoy a privileged status.

The Honduran National Congress recently approved the creation of 1,000 new positions in the army and the formation of the elite Tigres corps (Tropa de Inteligencia y Grupos de Respuesta Especial de Seguridad). “They want to make the military power grow at the expense of public safety,” Marvin Ponce, vice president of the Congress, told the local press. (more…)

Ecuador: Opposition leader Alberto Acosta interviewed

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 22, 2013. See original here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Quito, February 21 – Viewed from other latitudes in Latin America, dominated as they are by backwardness and conflicts, Ecuador these days is a model. And it is better than under any of its previous governments. Opposition leader Alberto Acosta recognizes that. “But if we make an objective review of what is being done and what we set out to do in the original project of the citizen revolution, and what the constitution requires us to do,” he warns, “we have gotten off track.”

This is the implacable criticism of Alberto Acosta, who was Rafael Correa’s mentor in his university days and the days of citizen activism. It was he who convinced him to run for the presidency in 2006. This is how he describes him now: “He is a driver who sets his turn signal for a left turn and then turns right.” (more…)

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…)