New on 27 May, 2010: Latin America & China / Puerto Rico / Bolivia elections

North American Congress on Latin America

What’s Left for Latin America to Do With China?
by Kevin Gallagher
The high-gloss, made-for-flat-screen multi-billion dollar signing ceremonies between Chinese and Latin American officials have been staged to portray the triumphant return of the New International Economic Order. Yes, it’s true, the Global South is banding together again to trade once more. But wait a minute. Why are recent reports by the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development also hailing this increase in China-Latin American trade relations?

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2010 edition of NACLA Report on the Americas.

Student Strike in Puerto Rico Continues With Increasing International Support
by Paola Reyes
Monday, May 24 marked the sixth week of a student strike at the University of Puerto Rico after protests began on April 21. Students are protesting $100 million budget cuts, increases in tuition, and changes to the university program. The student strike was intended to be only a 48 hour stoppage, but university officials were unwilling to negotiate with students. Now, after six weeks, the strike continues amidst reports of police brutality. International support is increasing for the students, including from New Yorkers who held a rally on May 18.

Bolivia: Elections Deepen Local Democracy
by Emily Achtenberg
While the results of Bolivia’s April 4 regional and local elections are now officially certified, their significance-who really won and lost-continues to be debated. President Evo Morales’s political party MAS has extended the geographic reach of its support, making important gains in the resource-rich lowland regions, a bastion of the right-wing opposition. But the vote also shows that MAS is far from a hegemonic political machine. Moreover, the major political challenge confronting them today is coming not from the largely discredited right, but from emergent new forces on the left, including strong, local grass-roots initiatives.

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