Council on Hemispheric Affairs – Colombia’s Political Horizon: The Rise of a New Left

Colombia’s President Uribe: ‘I deplore that Senator Obama’

Current Political Landscape
In contemporary discourse regarding Latin America, Colombia is often characterized as a failed state mired by ruinous civil war and reflecting the pervasive influence of powerful drug-running paramilitaries. On the other hand, there are those who see the country as an enviable exemplar of democracy led by one of the most popular presidents of the region. The U.S. government, not surprisingly, is the indefatigable spokesperson for the latter interpretation. Comments by officials like former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicolas Burns, who stated in 2006 that ‘during the last five years, the Colombian people have produced the greatest success story in Latin America,’ are unfortunately, common.

Depictions such as these above do little to deepen people’s understanding of this problematic country and its significance in contemporary Latin America. As of late, this type of inflated rhetoric has obfuscated developments which are challenging the status quo in Colombia and could fundamentally alter the country’s so-called ‘special’ relationship with the U.S., as well as with some of its Latin American neighbors. As of now, a challenge is emanating from multiple sectors of society, but particularly from the politically progressive wing comprised of the excluded, the dispossessed, and the indigenous, who are increasingly exerting anti-government pressure in the public forum in an effort to make themselves heard.

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Oct. 29th, 1948 in history: Massacres in Palestine

Today in history is another black day in the Palestinian history.


1. On October 29, 1948, when Israeli brigades captured the village of Safsaf. The known details of the massacre come to us via several contemporary second-hand Zionist reports and via Arab oral history. Yosef Nachmani, a senior officer in the Haganah (and later the director of the Jewish National Fund in Eastern Galilee), recorded in his diary what he was told by Immanuel Friedman, a representative of the Minority Affairs ministry:

In Safsaf, after … the inhabitants had raised a white flag, the [soldiers] collected and separated the men and women, tied the hands of fifty-sixty fellahin [peasants] and shot and killed them and buried them in a pit. Also, they raped several women… (quoted in Zertal, 2005, p. 171; see also Morris, 2005, p. 500).

Moshe Erem reported on the massacre to a meeting of the Mapam Political Committee but his words were censored from the minutes. According to the notes taken by another person present, Erem spoke of:

Safsaf 52 men tied together with a rope. Pushed down a well and shot. 10 killed. Women pleaded for mercy. 3 cases of rape . . . . A girl of 14 raped. Another four killed (Morris, 2004, p. 500).

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Crisis Chronicle: U.S. pulls the plug on the world

The U.S. administration has prompted a huge surge in the U.S. dollar, which may help refinance its financial sector. The cost is a currency whirlwind that threatens the collapse not just of banks and companies but entire countries.

In the past week the financial crisis, which began in banking and spread to stocks, has careered into the currency markets. The U.S. actively decided back in September 2008 to shut down the investment banks that lend to the biggest professional investors. This has caused those investors to sell anything and everything and to settle their trades.

The result was a whirlwind of liquidation. Korean won, Turkish lira, Brazilian real, British pounds and commodities from oil and metals, all were sucked into the downdraft.

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Federico Fuentes: Bolivia: Unprecedented Alliance Defeats Right-Wing Assault

LA PAZ: After three months of intense class struggle, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-backed right-wing opposition to the government of President Evo Morales has suffered three important defeats. The right’s offensive to topple Morales, which climaxed with the September 11-12 ‘civic coup’ attempt, has been decisively rolled back by the combined action of the government and social movements.

The government secured a historic vote in its favour with more than 67% endorsing Morales’ mandate in a referendum in August that also revoked the mandate of two opposition prefects. Another opposition prefect was arrested for his role in the coup. And now Morales has secured a referendum for the new draft Constitution to ‘refound Bolivia’ on the basis of justice for the indigenous majority.

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William Blum: Anti-Empire Report, Number 63

Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life

October 30, 2008

Don’t tell my mother I work at the White House. She thinks I play the piano in a whore house.

The Republican presidential campaign has tried to make a big issue of Barack Obama at one time associating with Bill Ayers, a member of the 1960s Weathermen who engaged in political bombings. Governor Palin has accused Obama of ‘palling around with terrorists’, although Ayers’ association with the Weathermen during their period of carrying out anti-Vietnam War bombings in the United States took place when Obama was around 8-years-old. Contrast this with who President Ronald Reagan, so beloved by the Republican candidates, associated with. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. This is how they spent their time when they were not screaming ‘Death to America‘. CIA and State Department officials called Hekmatyar ‘scary,’ ‘vicious,’ ‘a fascist,’ ‘definite dictatorship material’.[1] None of this prevented the Reagan administration from inviting the man to the White House to meet with Reagan, and showering him with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan.

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Housman’s (London) Events Newsletter for November 2008



  1. (book launch) Elizabeth Carola – ‘Hot’ – stories from Hackney
  2. (book event/talk) John Sinclair – ‘Rock and Revolution with the MC5 and the White Panther Party’
  3. (music) ‘Singing the Struggle: Voices, Women, Peace’ with Frankie Armstrong
  4. (book event/talk) ‘Digital Film Making’ with Mike Figgis
  5. (book event/music) ‘Forward Groove: the radical history of jazz’
    with Chris Searle
  6. (music) No Sweat @ Housmans -Triple Bill featuring King Blues’ frontman Itch Fox, Clayton Blizzard and PJ & Gaby
  7. (talk/party) War Resisters’ International website launch party
  8. (talk/music) ‘Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – burning down the Ark’ with Henk Targowski
  10. John Sinclair – Guitar Army
  11. NEWS
  12. Housmans Peace Diary 2009

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