Posts Tagged ‘Jose Mujica’

The consolidation of the Latin American Left

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for October 29, 2014. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Emir Sader

There has been much talk recently of an eventual end to the cycle of progressive government in Latin America. Real difficulties in countries like Venezuela and Argentina, added to a slowing of the pace of expansion of the region’s economies, have fed these speculations.

This year’s electoral calendar could be a test of the vigor of these governments. The year began with the inauguration of Michele Bachelet in Chile, who defeated Sebastián Piñera. Soon afterward, the Frente Farabundo Martí elected the president of El Salvador. In October Evo Morales was re-elected in the first round of voting. Now Dilma is re-elected and Tabaré Vázquez’s performance in the first round has made him the favorite for continuation of Frente Amplio administrations in Uruguay. (more…)

Ecuador: Rafael Correa and the change of epochs

Friday, November 29th, 2013

correa[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.” (more…)

Argentina: Repsol YPF awakens the beast of colonialism

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 21, 2012. See original here.]

By Marcos Roitmann Rosenmann

Measures taken to nationalize and to recuperate basic riches in Latin America or Africa or Asia have always suffered the ire of colonial centers and the enterprises affected. There is no shortage of examples: Lázaro Cárdenas, Jacobo Arbenz, Fidel Castro, Omar Torrijos, Velasco Alvarado, Salvador Allende, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez; the list is long.

Accustomed to ordering and to being in charge, arrogant empires are unfamiliar with the concepts of independence and sovereignty. They are reluctant to deal as equals. Paternalism, based on positions of strength, shapes the discourse of imperial haughtiness. To declare oneself opposed to paternal authority and the established order usually brings on exemplary punishment: blockades, destabilizing processes, economic strangulation, assassinations of leaders or coups d’état. These days, the expropriation of a private company, Repsol YPF, whose interests are those only of their stockholders and whose objective is to obtain profits at the cost of any ethical, judicial or environmental consideration, awakens the ire of the hegemonic powers, their institutions and principal political leaders. (more…)

Uruguayan President Mujica interviewed: “socialism itself”

Monday, April 9th, 2012

[Translation of an article from Montevideo Portal for April 9, 2012. See original here.]

In an interview on CNN, President Mujica said he “admires” ALBA-style socialism [Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América – Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America] but he declared that it is not the path he would prefer. The president praised the social achievements of Lula and Chávez but made it clear that “this is not building socialism.”

In an interview broadcast on Sunday on the CNN news network, Mujica referred to the changing conditions of the left over time and to the future of socialism in Latin America. (more…)

Uruguay: House of Representatives passes bill to eliminate immunity for crimes of the dictatorship

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


((El País photo))

[Translation of an article from El País of Montevideo for October 27. See original here and related articles here, here and here. The bill in question, which in effect overrides the controversial Ley de Caducidad by categorizing crimes committed by the dictatorship as crimes against humanity and not common crimes, had been approved in the Senate two days earlier. In March, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemned the Ley de Caducidad and more recently a group of university students occupied a campus building to demand passage of the bill overriding it.]

By a vote of 50 of the 91 members present, all the votes in favor being cast by members of the Frente Amplio, the House of Representatives at 2:14am on Thursday approved a bill that declares that crimes committed during the dictatorship are crimes against humanity, thus eliminating immunity for the commission of them. (more…)

Uruguay, Haiti and United Nations missions

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

[Translations of three articles from Uruguay for September 9, 2011, from El País, El Espectador and Montevideo Portal respectively. See original articles here, here and here and related articles here and here. Uruguay’s participation in United Nations missions, which has been controversial from the outset, became particularly so when Uruguayan navy personnel were filmed allegedly raping a Haitian youth in Port Salut and another Uruguayan was accused of impregnating a 16-year-old Haitian girl. With a population of about 3.5 million, Uruguay has a military force of about 23,500, of whom about 2,500 are assigned to 12 different United Nations missions. The Uruguayan government is dominated by the Frente Amplio (FA), the Broad Front, a coalition of leftist and center-left parties. The president and the majorities of both chambers of the legislature are members of the FA. The president, 76-year-old José Mujica, is a former member of the Tupamaro guerrillas, as is Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro. Mujica spent 14 years in prison as a result of his Tupamaro activities. As president, his political outlook is closer to that of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva than to Hugo Chávez or Evo Morales.]  

Mujica wants to keep troops in Haiti despite scandal over abuse

President José Mujica referred today to the rape of a youth by Uruguayan navy personnel in Haiti and described response to the event as “a hard road to travel” (“un viaje de arena gruesa”) for Uruguay.

The president said in a press conference that “this kind of thing has been happenings as long as the world has existed” and added that “among soldiers there is always a fringe of rowdy gangs, it is inevitable.” (more…)

Ministers agree to gradual withdrawal of troops from Haiti

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

[Translation of an article from El País of Montevideo, Uruguay, for September 8. See original here.]

The defense ministers who met today in Montevideo have agreed to a gradual withdrawal of blue helmets deployed in Haiti. The intention is to reduce the personnel to the level that existed before the earthquake of 2010, when there were 9,000 military and police personnel in the country.

In a press conference, Foreign Minister Luis Almagro read a joint statement by Unasur (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas) that “recommends supporting the United Nations in the reduction of troops to the levels authorized before the earthquake without damaging the stability and security of the country.” (more…)

Decree offers chance to prosecute Uruguayan military

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

"Where...?" -- Nueva Tribuna photo

Eighty cases may be reopened after international court ruling

[Translation of an article from Nueva Tribuna of Madrid, Spain, for June 30. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Javier González in Buenos Aires

Thirty-eight years to the day after the last coup d’état in Uruguay, the government announced a decree that will permit the re-opening of cases of human rights violations during the dictatorship (1973-1985) which had previously been sheltered by the so-called Ley de Caducidad (de la Pretensión Punitiva del Estado). A ruling against Uruguay by the Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH — Inter-American Court of Human Rights), which forms the basis of the government initiative, can definitively open up cases involving serious human rights violations. (more…)

Uruguayan legislature fails to repeal “Ley de Caducidad”

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

El País photo


One representative causes tie by breaking ranks with party

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 21. See original here and related article here.]

By Stella Calloni

Buenos Aires, May 20 – A tense 14-hour debate failed to end in repeal of the Uruguayan Ley de Caducidad de la Pretensión Punitiva del Estado [Law of Expiry on Punitive Claims by the State], passed in 1986 and known in this country as the “law of impunity,” which has left unpunished those responsible for the military dictatorship of 1973 to 1985, when the vote ended in a tie after the desertion of one representative belonging to the governing Frente Amplio (FA), which provoked loud boos and indignation among the hundreds of demonstators surrounding Congress. (more…)

Uruguay: Crisis on the left over ending impunity for the military

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

José Mujica – Nueva Tribuna photo

[Translation of an article from Nueva Tribuna of Madrid, Spain, for May 12. See original here and related article here.]

Crimes committed by the Uruguayan military during the dictatorship of 1973 to 1985 have until now gone unpunished because of the so-called Ley de Caducidad de la Pretensión Punitiva del Estado [Law of Expiry on Punitive Claims by the State], passed in 1986 by the government of Julio María Sanguinetti and ratified in two referenda, in 1989 and 2009. Now a sector of the governing Frente Amplio party intends to repeal the law, but has met with the opposition of President José Mujica, Vice President Danilo Astori and former president, and likely presidential candidate for 2014, Tabaré Vázquez. (more…)

José Mujica, president of Uruguay

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

José Mujica — El País photo


Former Tupamaro leader interviewd shortly after repeal of the Ley de Caducidad

[Translation of an article from El País of Madrid, Spain, for April 23. See original here and related article here.]

by Soledad Gallego-Díaz

The president of Uruguay, José “Pepe” Mujica, 76 years old, hosts El País at one of the most delicate points in his 13 months in office. The Senate, thanks to a vote by his coalition, the Frente Amplio, will repeal the Ley de Caducidad [“Expiry Law” or, to detractors, “Impunity Law”], on the books since 1986, which had allowed members of the military accused of committing atrocities during the dictatorship of 1973 to 1985 to avoid prosecution. It is known that Mujica, a former Tupamaro leader who was brutally tortured and who spent almost 15 years in prison, has not wanted to back the initiative personally and intends to keep his presidency outside the controversy. (more…)