Posts Tagged ‘imperialism’

The way it was: Telling on the Army

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Out about the military

[A few years ago, when Bill Clinton was president and don’t-ask-don’t-tell was first being debated, I wrote an article for a proposed book of writings by lesbian and gay veterans on our experiences in the military. The book was never finished. But now the 50th anniversary of the April, 1965, uprising in the Dominican Republic and the subsequent U.S. invasion is approaching and since my own participation in that invasion was central to my experience of the army and to the article I wrote, I am posting the article here. It is, of course, dated by now but I believe it is still relevant.]

by David Holmes Morris

Life was really pretty easy by the time I got settled at Ft. Devens in the spring of 1964. I hadn’t expected it to be. Basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, (Fort Lost-in-the-Woods to us) was as miserable as basic training is cracked up to be, especially for those like me who weren’t physically fit enough to run miles in combat boots or competent enough with rifles to hit targets. We were the weaklings (the others had a different word for us) and the objects of abuse for the lifers who ran the place.

Some miracle got most of us through, though, or, in my case at least, some quota and the recognition that electronic spying called for different abilities than physical combat did. Once through basic, those of us destined for the Army Security Agency were sent to Ft. Devens, a few miles west of Boston, for specialized training.

At Devens we were schooled in the arts of intercepting radio communications and tapping telephones. There were other lessons for me, though. Even before I made my first trip to Boston I happened on a certain men’s room at a certain PX not far from my barracks that other GIs had long since found uses for besides those the Army intended. (more…)

Mexico: Revolution and passive revolution

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

[Translations of two articles from La Jornada of Mexico City, the first, which has been abridged, from November 23, 2014, the second, a rebuttal of the first,  from November 30. See originals here and here.]

Enrique Semo: Mexico’s passive revolution

by Ericka Montaño Garfias

What we are living through in Mexico is what Antonio Gramsci called a “passive revolution,” the results of which have not yet been written. These are the words of historian Enrique Semo, who, together with researcher and anthropologist Néstor García Canclini, will receive this year the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes in the field of history, social sciences and philosophy. That is the reason for this interview.

There are many things that history can teach us in the crisis the country is living through. “It offers us endless lessons, as long as it is understood that there are no two identical situations, that there are always differences, but in essence there are many lessons, and those who cannot accept them commit many errors,” Semo Calev stated.


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…)

Mexico: University forum examines Peña Nieto’s energy privatization and US national security

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

[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.” (more…)

“In Haiti, Brazil is just a puppet,” Haitian senator declares

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Tropas_brasileiras-Marcello-Casal-Jr_After almost nine years in the country, MINUSTAH prolongs conditions of poverty and repression, securing the political and economic interests of the United States

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for May 9, 2013.  See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

By Márcio Zonta

The United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be nine years old in June.  Created in 2004 by the UN Security Council, it brought the activities of foreign troops into the country after the coup against then President Bertrand Aristide.  He was kidnapped and deposed by United States forces, being forced into exile in Africa. (more…)

Marta Harnecker: activist, writer, teacher

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Her views on the Latin American Left today

[Translation of an interview from Folha de São Paulo for August 28, 2012. See original here.]

by Eleonora de Lucena

She defines herself as a Marxist-Leninist “popular educator.” A Chilean, she was a student of philosopher Louis Althusser, a Catholic student leader and a member of the socialist government of Salvador Allende. She married one of the commanders of the Cuban revolution, Manuel Piñeiro or “Barba Roja,” and in the 2000s she became an adviser to Hugo Chávez.

Marta Harnecker says she has written more than 80 books. The best known, Conceptos Elementales del Materialismo Histórico (The Basic Concepts of Historical Materialism), from the 1960s, has sold more than a million copies and is in its 67th edition. At 75, she travels throughout Latin America and says she is optimistic; the United States no longer does what it wants in the region and the concept of sovereignty has spread. (more…)

El Salvador: Humanitarian imperialism?

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto for March 30. See original here. The author, Juan José Dalton, editor-in-chief of ContraPunto, is the son of Roque Dalton, Salvadoran poet and revolutionary killed in 1975. See more on Roque Dalton and his sons here.]

By Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – Sometimes one is mistaken, or wants to be mistaken, and believes in the good faith of the powerful. But the powerful have no good faith.

We have recently had a visit to El Salvador from Barack Obama. In contrast with other places and times, Obama was welcomed in my country with joy and enthusiasm, but above all with hopes that at last we Salvadorans would be seen as partners and as friends of the gringos and not as puppets or as their enemies. (more…)

Haiti: Occupations that dehumanize and that kill

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Haïti Liberté for July 28, 2010.]

By Hervé Jean Michel

A bust of Charlemagne Peralte on a monument in Hinche, where he was born.

July 28, 1915 to July 28, 2010 — 95 years have passed since the military forces of the United States of America first landed in Haiti. They trampled and crushed this land and its sovereignty, won at the high cost of suffering, struggles and death on the battlefields of Ravine-à-Couleuvre, Crête-à-Pierrot, Vertière, etc.

United States capitalists, who saw in the attainment of Haitian independence nothing but a bad example for the millions of Blacks, their countrymen (historically, Haitian independence was recognized by the United States government during the second decade of the second half of the nineteenth century), wanted to apply the brakes to that rising up of the former slaves by means of their Monroe Doctrine, which opened up for them prospects of the pillage of the continent. They swore to reduce the sovereignty of that country to nothing. (more…)

What is Washington planning for Haiti?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Haïti-Progrès for March 23, 2010.

René Préval, Barack Obama

On Thursday, March 11, the day after the the end of President René Préval’s visit to Washington, the Barack Obama government issued a report through the state department concerning human rights and corruption in the Préval/Bellerive government. The report covered the year 2009. Unfortunately, no country that we know of has yet produced a report on human rights and corruption in the United States. That might have curbed the arrogance of the leaders in Washington.

Let’s take a brief look at the contents of the Washington report. It says in the introduction, “The civil authorities in general have effective control over security forces. But occasionally elements of the Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH – Haitian National Police) act independently.” Farther along, in the second paragraph of the 21-page document, the US authorities broach the subject of human rights. “The following problems concerning human rights have been reported: parliamentary elections were not held on schedule… PNH agents are presumed to have engaged in killings… participation of the PNH in kidnappings… violence and social discrimination against women, abuse of children, human trafficking, violations of workers’ rights.” It seems like a fairy tale. What irony! Washington talking about violations of the rights of workers, children and women? When that country is the largest supplier of sophisticated weapons, which kill women and children in particular throughout the world. (more…)

The vultures circle over Haiti

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Photo by Shaul Schwarz, CNN.

[Translation of an essay from Haïti-Progrès.]

The great powers like the United States and France have been engaged in a diplomatic  fencing match ever since the eathquake of January 12, which left at least 300,000 dead, as many injured and crippled, thousands displaced and at least two million homeless, and more than 250,000 homes destroyed. (more…)