NYT Debates Hugo Chavez–Minus the Debate By Peter Hart

8 March 2013 — FAIR Blog 

nyt-ch“On Eve of His Funeral, Debating Chávez’s Legacy” is the headline over William Neuman‘s piece in the New York Times today (3/8/13). Funny headline, since there was no one in the Times‘ “debate” who argued that Chávez left much of anything.

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo ticks off the countries that supposedly didn’t follow the Chávez model. A former U.S. ambassador weighs in, talking about how unappealing Venezuela is to other countries. “The intention of Venezuela to be the shining light of the new left has not been realized,” explains a Brazilian professor. He was “a very polarizing figure,” says ubiquitous media source (and walking conflict of interest) Michael Shifter. Continue reading

Wikileaks Newslinks 15-16 August 2011

16 August 2011 — williambowles.info

WikiLeaks: US and Brazil Vie for Power in Peru
Huffington Post
That, at least, is the unmistakable impression that one is left with by reading US cables recently disclosed by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks, and it’s a topic about which I have written widely in recent months. Yet, with President Hugo Chávez’s …

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Wikileaks Newslinks for 27 February, 2011

27 February, 2011 — creative-i.info

Bush cancels out of event where Assange was due to attend
Monsters and Critics.com
Washington – Former president George W Bush abruptly cancelled a speaking engagement planned for Saturday after learning that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had also been invited to attend. Bush spokesman David Sherer on Friday said ‘the former …

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From Copenhagen to Cochabamba, via the Amazon By Ben Powless

17 April, 2010 — Climate and Capitalism

On his way to the World Peoples’ Conference in Bolivia, a member of the Indigenous Environmental Network from the Six Nations in Ontario revisits the scenes of struggle to defend indigenous communities and rights in the Peruvian Amazon.

This article first appeared in rabble.ca, and is published here with the author’s permission. Photos he took in Peru can be viewed on Flickr.

The Amazon, it is often said, functions like the lungs of Mother Earth. The dense forest and undergrowth absorb much of the carbon dioxide that we manage to pump into the skies — an ever more important and taxing effort in light of the threats to our climate.

In December, countries around the world gathered in Copenhagen to reach an agreement to protect the climate, even if purely face-saving, and failed. With that sour taste gone, Bolivia has invited governments, social movements, Indigenous Peoples, politicians, really anyone who cares, to attend the so-called World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The conference will be held the 19th-22nd in Cochabamba.

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New on nacla.org 25 March, 2010: Brazil, Peru, Honduras

North American Congress on Latin America

The Brazilian Two-Step: Strategic Politics in the Lula Administration by Samantha Eyler Reid
In March, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva controversially called for an end to the hunger strike by Cuban dissident and political prisoner Guillermo Fariñas, asking him and other prisoners to respect the course of justice in Cuba. Lula’s detractors decry his comments as proof of a weak commitment to human rights and promotion of democracy abroad. But despite the clumsy public justification, Lula’s position on the Fariñas affair is underpinned by a no-nonsense pragmatism that has converted Brazil into Latin America’s new heavyweight.

The Militarization of the Peruvian Countryside by Kristina Aiello
Since taking office in 2006, Peruvian President Alan Garcia has initiated an aggressive economic development strategy focused on opening up Peru’s natural resources to international extraction corporations, often in the face of large-scale protests and organized campaigns. The administration has responded with efforts designed to criminalize the opposition’s actions via newly enacted legislation, while simultaneously beefing up the country’s private security sector and authorizing the wider deployment of Peru’s military forces. The government has coupled these efforts with an aggressive propaganda campaign that links protesters to armed groups as a justification for increasing the national security presence in regions that are attractive to foreign investors.

Honduras: Repression Intensifies, Resistance Deepens, and Washington Promotes Recognition of the Post-Coup Regime by Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens
February and March have been especially brutal months in the state-sponsored repression of the popular resistance in Honduras. In just the past two weeks, three journalists have been assassinated and numerous activists have been detained, tortured, and raped. This repression comes in as the National Front of Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) pushes for the organization of a national constitutional assembly to “refound” Honduras, while the United States, international lending institutions, and countries participating in the regional economic development plan known as the Plan Puebla Panama extend recognition to government of President Porfirio Lobo, restoring loans, and renewing plans for economic and security integration.

China’s Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean

30 July, 2009 — Council on Hemispheric Affairs

On November 5, 2008, the Chinese government released a policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean, as it had previously done so for Europe in 2003 and for Africa in 2006. Although it may not come as a huge surprise that Latin America is the most recent region for which China has formally spelled out its foreign policy position, the region has been historically perceived as being under the United States’ sphere of influence. Perhaps the importance of the Chinese policy paper lies in the timing of its release. The release of the paper deliberately coincided with the unfolding of the current financial crisis; this congruence of events has allowed China to expand its influence in this somewhat neglected region without attracting any lasting venom from the U.S. China’s policy paper formally evidences the importance of Latin America and the Caribbean as part of China’s growth plan for its long-term strategic interests. Most of all, this includes access to raw materials as well as a plethora of natural resources, the infiltration of new foreign markets, the reduction of diplomatic support for the Republic of Taiwan, and the strengthening of Beijing political standing on the global stage through strong alliances cemented with the developing world.

The policy paper’s general context

The policy paper explicitly states its main objective is to ‘clarify the goals of China’s policy in this region, outline the guiding principles for future cooperation […] and sustain the sound, steady and all-around growth of China’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.’ In the economic realm, China expresses an interest in investing in energy, mineral resources, forestry, fishing, and agriculture, areas important to expanding China’s productivity. Additionally, the Chinese government seems to show interest in infrastructure projects not directly related to its economy, albeit essential in the transportation of natural resources, and proposes to fund these projects in order to be perceived as a partner in development. Furthermore, China expresses its desire to increase military diplomacy and sale of equipment to the region. Although many of the report’s statements are merely rhetoric and general in scope, the paper helps formalize China’s economic, diplomatic and military ties with Latin America, which were first proposed by then President of China Jiang Zemin in 2001.

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