Tag Archives: Central America

Is Haiti America’s Gaza?

OSPAAAL posterAs the US military descends to throttle Gaza’s -excuse me- Haiti’s points of entry, as it prepares detention facilities at Guantanamo to intercept and repatriate the expected rush of Haitian refugees, as the US protects its business interests in the Dominican Republic and Haiti which profit from the kept-poor labor market of captive Haiti, there are fewer differences than parallels. One difference, Israeli medics are willing to come help the injured of Haiti.

How did they get in, when every other charity has been forced to queue for the opportunity? Other national and private efforts had to wait behind US military convoys bringing soldiers before food, reinforced borders before help. By the time most medical care was allowed to reach the earthquake victims, surgeons were left with only the option of amputation. I’m curious how a captive labor population of amputees is supposed to benefit their Western overseers.

It minimizes the acute circumstances in Gaza to paint Haiti as a concentration camp with settlers waiting outside the fence for the inmates to exterminate themselves. I’m not aware that our white religious zealots are after anything but Haitian children, their souls or supplicant bodies. But the same prison population control strategies apply. When the Haitians elect populist leaders, we fund goon squads to assassinate them, or we kidnap them into exile. Where is that different? There is a Haitian diaspora as there is for the Palestinians. There is our exploitation of their resources and their labor. How fitting that America’s closest cohort sent medics in for the photo op, and quickly aborted their work before the same darker-skinned unchosen got wise.

Cuba declines OAS offer of Trojan Horse

Over US objections, the Organization of American States (OAS, OEA) voted to invite Cuba back into the fold, from which it had been expelled in 1962 for hanging with Communists. Cuba’s reply? No thanks! Although Cuba’s acceptance by fellow nations was hailed a victory, Fidel Castro wrote: “It is naive to think that the good intentions of one president justifies the existence of a body that… supported… neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises.”

In an essay published the day before Cuba’s official repudiation of the offer to recommit to the OAS, Fidel Castro recalled a lesson from the siege of Troy. Castro was reported widely as having called the OAS a “U.S. Trojan horse.” In reality, Castro blamed the OAS for having “opened the gates” to the Trojan horse of US post-colonial despotism.

The Trojan horse

RAFAEL Correa, president of Ecuador, currently visiting Honduras, stated the day before the OAS meeting: “I believe that the OAS has lost its raison d’être, maybe it never had a raison d’être.” The news, circulated by ANSA, adds that Correa, “prophesized ‘the demise’ of that organization given the many errors it has committed.”

He affirmed “that the countries of the American continent, given their geographic conditions, cannot all be put ‘in the same basket.’ And for that reason Ecuador proposed some months back the creation of the Organization of Latin American States.

“’It is not possible for the region’s problems to be discussed in Washington; let us construct something of our own, without countries alien to our culture, our values, and obviously including countries that were inexplicably separated from the inter-American system, and I am referring to the concrete case of Cuba… that was a tremendous shame and demonstrates the double standards that exist in international relations.’” On his arrival in Honduras, both President Zelaya and Correa stated that “The OAS must be reformed and reincorporate Cuba; if not, it will have to disappear.”

Another cable from the DPA news agency affirms:

“Cuba’s reintegration in the Organization of American States (OAS) has moved from being an issue per se of the organization’s General Assembly in Honduran San Pedro Sula, to once again being turned into an excuse for a struggle of interests that goes much further than the limits of the Caribbean island and could (once again) call hemispheric relations into question.

“The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, made that very clear on describing the hemispheric meeting that begins this Tuesday in Honduras in quasi military terms.

“It will be,” he said, an ‘interesting battle’ in which if it is demonstrated that the OAS ‘continues being a ministry of the colonies’ that is not transformed in order ‘to subordinate itself to the will of the governments comprising it,’ it will be necessary to propose ‘leaving’ the organization and creating an alternative.”

“’Latin American countries are making Cuba the litmus test for the quality of the Obama administration’s approach to Latin America,” Julia E. Sweig, a Cuba scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post on the eve of the Honduran meeting.”

In resisting the aggressions of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, our people fought for the other sister peoples of this continent. The OAS was an accomplice of all the crimes committed against Cuba.

At one moment or another, the totality of the countries of Latin America were victims of interventions and political and economic aggression. There is not one single one that can deny that. It is naive to believe that the good intentions of a president of the United States can justify the existence of that institution that opened the gates to the Trojan horse that backed the Summits of the Americas, neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises. Ignorance, underdevelopment, economic dependence, poverty, the forced return of those who emigrate in search of work, the brain drain, and even the sophisticated weapons of organized crime were the consequences of interventions and plundering proceeding from the North. Cuba, a little country, has demonstrated that it can resist the blockade and advance in many fields, and even cooperate with other countries.

Today’s speech by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, at the OAS General Assembly, contains principles that could go down in history. He said admirable things of his own country. I will confine myself to what he stated on Cuba.

“…In the Assembly of the Organization of American States that begins today in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we must initiate the process of wise rectifications of old errors committed.

“We, the Latin Americans who were recently here, a couple of weeks or months ago, had a grand summit within the Rio Group in Salvador de Bahía, Brazil. There we made a commitment. The commitment, which was taken down in writing and unanimously by all of Latin America, is that in this San Pedro assembly, by majority vote or consensus, that old and worn error committed in 1962 of expelling the Cuban people from this organization would have to be amended.

“We must not go from this assembly, my dear dignitaries, without repealing the decree of that 8th meeting which sanctioned an entire people for having proclaimed socialist ideas and principles, principles now practiced in all parts of the world, including the United States and Europe (Applause). Today, principles of seeking different development alternatives are evident precisely in the change that there has been in the United States with the election of President Barack Obama…

“We cannot go from this assembly without making amends for that error and that infamy because, on the basis of this Organization of American States resolution, in existence for more than four decades, an unjust and useless blockade has been maintained against this sister people of Cuba, precisely because none of its aims have been achieved, but what it has demonstrated is that here, a few kilometers from our country, on a little island, there is a people prepared to resist and to make sacrifices for their independence and sovereignty.

“… not doing so would make us accomplices of a 1962 resolution to expel a state from the Organization of American States simple because it has other ideas, other thoughts, and proclaims principles of a different democracy. And we are not going to be accomplices of that.

“…We cannot go from this assembly without repealing what was enacted in that epoch.

“An exceptional Honduran, called in our country – and one of our national heroes – José Cecilio del Valle, the sage Valle, stated on April 17, 1826, in his famous article ‘Sovereignty and non-intervention’ – we had just proclaimed our independence from the Spanish kingdom – “’The nations of the world are independent and sovereign. Whatever its territorial extension or number of inhabitants might have been, a nation must treat others with the same treatment that it desires to receive from these. A nation does not have the right to intervene in the internal affairs of another nation.’”

With those words of Cecilio del Valle and the mention of Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Morazán, Martí, Sandino and Bolívar, he concluded his speech.

A few minutes later, at the press conference after the opening of the Assembly, he responded to questions and reiterated principles. Then he gave the floor to Daniel Ortega, who was the author of one of the most profound and well-argued papers at the OAS Assembly. At Zelaya’s invitation, Fernando Lugo, president of Paraguay, and Rigoberto Menchú also spoke, expressing themselves in terms similar to Zelaya and Daniel.

The Assembly has been debating for hours. As I am concluding this Reflection, almost at nightfall, there is still no news of the decision. It is known that Zelaya’s speech was influential. Chávez is talking with [Venezuelan Foreign Minister] Maduro and urging him to firmly maintain that no resolution can be admitted that conditions the repeal of the unjust sanction against Cuba. Never has such rebellion been seen. Without any doubt, the battle is a hard one. Many countries are dependent on the index finger of one hand of the government of the United States pointing at the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank or in any other direction for punishing rebelliousness. Having waged it is already a feat in itself on the part of the most rebellious. June 2, 2009 will be recalled by future generations.

Cuba is not an enemy of peace, nor reluctant to interchange or cooperation among countries of distinct political systems, but has been and always will be intransigent in the defense of its principles.

Fidel Castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz – June 2, 2009

Farabundo Martí

Agustin Farabundo MartiFarabundo Martí struggled to free his native El Salvador from the US tentacles, but due to the small size of his country, and the gigantic size of the imperialist one, he and his paisanos still have not yet succeeded.
 
Agustin Farabundo Marti is a national hero in El Salvador somewhat equivalent to George Washington. VIVA EL SALVADOR!, a most beautiful country.

Delinquencia vs Los Evangelicos and those caught in between

I haven’t yet written anything about my Nicaragua trip and I hesitated to do so without giving it some thought. Just what did I see when I was there and how to explain it to my fellow Americans… lol?

This was my second trip to Central America and my first since 1985, when I came across a universe devastated by US-funded armed warfare. What had ensued in the 23 years since?

What I found was a land full of delinquents (common street criminals), hordes of Bible toting Evangelicals (funded from the US), and those trapped in the ‘crossfire’ between these 2 groups of ‘warriors’. Yes, it was almost a daily occurrence to be mugged by those carrying the Holy Book, or to be picked off by panhandlers, beggars, pick pockets, muggers, etc.

In fact, we spent much time with the family of my friend, Rafa. The concerns of his sister, Coco, were about a man who pulls down his pants weekly or so, and shits in th middle of the street in front of the house! I saw on another occasion, a woman bathing herself nude in the median strip of a 4 lane highway! And on 2 separate occasions, saw live power lines fall into the middle of the street amidst children playing. The lines were left that way for a day or so, then duct taped!!! back up to fall once again the next week ahead! Amongst such chaos, come the sale people for Jesus in humble groups of head bowed youth talking it up for God.

So what about all the people in between living in barrios of total neglect? What about the young people who did not want to be forced to choose between the 2 groups of religious fanatics and criminal gangs? The hordes of youth whose parents earn between $2-$7 a day? How to explain their world to you, Fellow American?

I can’t do it, so I have turned to a Nicaraguan group called Grupo Armado This work is called ‘Deeds, Not Words’ and captures the essence of a country sick to death of all the rhetoric of the Right Wing- US allied politicos. I encourage you to explore on youtube other videos of this group titled songs like ‘Racist’ or ‘Nica (Nicaraguan) in Costa Rica’. You can get a feel for the rage the youth have about their prospects in Nicaragua through listening some to this Latin heavy metal group.

I will write more soon about the further impressions I got in my journey with my daughter to Central America, Land of the Volcanoes. But the fear of the rampant crime by ‘delinquents’ runs rampant itself throughout all the countries of Central America. This is a result of US government foreign policy in the region more than any other reason. It has produced poverty and misery which in turn produced hordes of petty criminals that now harass the rest of society in the region.

Cesar Sandino versus the US drug fiends

Sandino official postal sealEmiliano Zapata was assassinated on this day, April 10, 1919.
 
The Poncho Villa or Emiliano Zapata of Central America, who like Zapata gave his name to a rebel movement that would eventually oust American imperialism from its shores, was Augusto Cesar Sandino. Did you know that is where the Sandinistas of Nicaragua (FSLN) got their name?

La soberanía de un pueblo no se discute,
se defiende con el arma en la mano.

Cesar Sandino fought an undeclared war against US Marines, which made him an illegal combatant. When Sandino captured a US aviator, tried him for having bombed innocent civilians, and sentenced him to hang –in American eyes, outside of the law– the US declared Sandino and his fighters to be terrorists and exempt from protection under the Hague Conventions.

Sandino fought the Americans for six years until he was assassinated during a cease-fire in 1933 by the Samoza regime which would rule Nicaragua with America’s backing until 1979. After 1979 Ronald Reagan and his Contras would redouble US persecution of the Nicaraguans.

The above image depicts a Nicaraguan freedom fighter about to decapitate a vanquished US marine. This served as Sandino’s official postal stamp. Sandino was equally eloquent in words:

Come on you pack of drug fiends, come on and murder us on our own land. I am waiting for you on my feet at the head of my patriotic soldiers, and I don’t care how many of you there are. You should know that when this happens, the destruction of your mighty power will make the Capitol shake in Washington, and your blood will redden the white dome that crowns the famous White House where you plot your crimes.

Ancient Costa Rica for sale

Denver-Art-Museum-LibeskindThe kids are still on Christmas break and are starting to show definite signs of cabin fever. To stave off a domestic implosion, we took a trip up to the Denver Art Museum yesterday. The DAM recently opened a spectacular addition designed by Daniel Libeskind, the architect chosen to rebuild the World Trade Center site. But I had an ulterior motive. I’d recently read about the DAMs 16,000-piece assemblage of pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art, including one of the world’s largest collections of Costa Rican artifacts, nearly 2,000 items, donated to the museum by Denver businessman, Frederick Mayer, and his wife. I wanted to check it out.

We’re planning a trip to Costa Rica. Although not much is known about pre-Columbian Costa Rica in comparison to the high cultures of Mexico and South America, recent excavations have uncovered numerous artifacts, including jade carvings. Jade is green and pretty and shiny, perfect for an art lover of my caliber, so I wanted to see it for myself. Call it a bit of research before hitting the craft markets in Sarchi!

Sure enough, Eric and I lost ourselves in a huge room filled with thousands of artifacts. Stone, ceramic, textiles, gold and, oh yes, jade. After an hour or so, we’d barely made a dent in the pre-Columbian collection. Vowing a subsequent visit to the Spanish Colonial galleries, we left to collect the kids before their art experience became Night-mare at the Museum.

As always, looking at ancient artifacts leads me into lofty reverie of past worlds and bare-chested warriors. But this time I couldn’t help but wonder about Jan and Frederick Mayer as well. Certainly amazement and appreciation for their commitment to art and to philanthropy. But really, how on earth had one couple managed to collect this much art from a small Central American country? And why aren’t many of the beautiful pieces residing in Costa Rica, teaching and providing inspiration to Costa Ricans? Especially because Costa Rican pre-Columbian history is not nearly as well-documented as that of its neighbors.

Costa Rica has taken significant measures to protect their natural environment from exploitation. Nearly 20% of the land is set aside for preserves, parks or refuges of some sort. But after my trip to the Denver Art Museum, I’m thinking that perhaps Costa Rica should endeavor to protect other national treasures, especially art created by the hands of largely unknown ancestors, from passionate and well-meaning American oilmen.

Jade museum Costa RicaI will visit the museums in San Jose and let you know how they measure up against the breathtaking Denver Art Museum, with its encyclopedic collection of pre-Columbian Costa Rican artifacts–and hopefully return with a few shiny jade replicas of my own!

The King of Spain is a royal asshole

The international press has been reporting for everybody the spectacle of the King of Spain putting down Hugo Chavez with his comment ‘Why don’t you shut up, Little Boy?’ Why the King of Spain should be attending a summit meeting in Santiago, Chile is never questioned at all though?

Actually, the royal family of Spain is a royal group of royal assholes just like it is with the royal family of England. Can’t somebody chop off their heads please, since this is the 21st century, is it not? There is no need to have kings and queens around any more, not even for ceremonial purposes let alone having them attend summit meetings between countries while opening their big, royally stupid mouths.

It is also interesting to know that it is even against the law in Spain, a supposed democratic country of Europe, to insult the royal family. That being said, the King of Spain is a total asshole for sure. ( I hope they don’t try to put me in prison for 2 years for saying this. There would go my Spanish vacation!)

And they make fun of the laws of Thailand protecting their royal king asshole from cartoons, etc.? The Europeans need to clean up their own royal assholes first, it appears.

Dead Archbishop Juan Gerardi- Catholic saint from Guatemala

Archbishop Juan Gerardi is a real Catholic saint. …unlike the Spanish fascist clergy that Pope Ratzinger has recently been beatifying. See Democracy Now’s report about who killed this archbishop? Was it really the US government behind this killing, too?

Gomez Molina, who is a School of Americas’ graduate COL Otto Perez Molina 1985, Command and General Staff College (Commandant’s List) Assassination, 1994: Chief of the G-2 (military intelligence) and on the payroll of the CIA, Perez Molina was in charge in 1994, when the General Staff was implicated in the assassination of Judge Edgar Ramiro Elías Ogaldez. (Allan Nairn, The Nation, 4/17/95) He also had assassinated, Archibishop Juan Gerardi.

Of course it was the US government who assassinated this decent Catholic, Archbishop Gerardi. Guatemalan General Perez Molina was a SOA graduate who assasinated the Guatemalan Catholic saint, Archibishop Juan Gerardi . Molina was a US employee. Now he runs for the presidency of Guatemala, and is a made in the US of America thug.

Archbishop Juan Gerardi will get no beatification from the current Pope, Ratzinger, who is a Nazi sympathizer of long standing. ‘ Pope Rat’ is now a cheerleader for the US government as once he was a cheerleader for Adolph Hitler.

Here, this made in US thug, Guatemalan General Molina,, talks about how he will kill the people who opppose him. Guatemalan General Molina, made in the USA.

The US runs Guatemala with a ‘duro mano’ or ‘a hard hand’ who kills all opposition. He will rule with US government approval and support. He is the US man in control.

Che, The Internationalist

Che Guevara lives on in the victory of his ideals over those of his adversaries. Che was an internationalist appalled by the poverty that the US Empire and its capitalism had delivered to the common people across the Americas and on other continents like Africa.

Today, he remains the living antithesis to our government’s constant desire to conquer other peoples and to rule over them in the consequent misery that comes to the fallen.

Che, like Martin Luther King, had a dream. Forty years later it is still honored by others in their respect for this true American hero. And in the country where he was murdered by the CIA’s henchmen, the people honor him more than ever. Bolivia The press makes it out as if it is a party, but Che’s dream lives on as US power in the Americas begins to erode.

Nicaragua, US made basket case

Pity Nicaragua, and pity Haiti. The US has screwed up both places royal through its ‘interventions’ time after time, and yet hardly an American seems to care. What a totally immoral country we live in!

Today, these are the 2 poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere due to what our country has done to them and continues to do.

I have been visiting a friend in immigration lockup in Aurora about once a week for the last month. He feels that INS (ICE) will jail him for about 6-9 months before they deport him back to a country where 50%PLUS of the population is now living on less than $1 a day. Our rich folk’s laws in the US say that he has no right to be here and that he acted illegally in entering their country which happens to be my US. Go figure?

The US entered his country illegally and blew off one of my friend’s arms back when he was still a kid, and turned the country he lived into a total basket case which it already was. The last American intervention just got it turned into yet an even worse basket case than the previous US intervenion had made it into. With each US intervention they just fucked up things worse for the Nicaraguans.

These American rich people that went and pulverized Nicaragua over and over again, always talk about how the poor need to take personal responsibility for their actions yet they themselves never take any personal responsibility for turning another man’s country into a total shit hole of poverty, like what has been done to Nicaragua. These rich imperialist supporters are mean, stupid, and uncaring beyond belief.

I would much rather that our own rich were deported to Hell where they belong than that my friend get deported from where I live. What the Hell is wrong with so many of my neighbors that they actually see poor immigrants, like my friend, as being some sort of threat to their own well being?

I wish my friend the best, and am disgusted with the country that is my own. I would leave it myself except that the US has screwed up most of the rest of the world anyway. America, love it or leave it? Get real… America the way it is just plain sucks and its stench is smelled throughout the world and there is no getting away from it.

There just is nowhere to run from the odor. I am ashamed of the people we have become. Just look at how many places we have destroyed. Is there any current hope for Nicaragua? It is hard to tell.

Vacation en Nicaragua

This post is dedicated to a good friend who got me thinking of Central America once again. It is about a vacation to Nicaragua and more. Let’s start with a beautiful concert at the height of Hope in the early ’80s, before the US government crushed that hope by its horrible imperialist military interventionism. Nicaragua Nicaraguita sung by the great Left folk singer of Nicaragua, Carlos Mejia Godoy.

Then let’s cut almost 1/4 century later, to see a beautiful vacation film in a visit back home to his country and family made by a Nicaraguan in exile far North. The beautiful music of the Colombian salseros, Grupo Niche, is followed in the second half of the film with more music by Carlos Mejia Godoy once again. A beautifully made film that shows Nicaragua at its best. The music is great and worth listening to on its own merits.

The New Colossus

I met an otherwise conservative old gentleman yesterday with a refreshing answer to the immigration question. Said he: “I’d welcome them!”

“This nation was built on immigration, we’re all immigrants -except the Native Americans- and I believe there’s room for plenty more. There’s obviously work so let them come.”

That’s the kind of empathy I think is necessary before we can address the real problem of immigration: what is driving refugees to cross our borders?

If Iowans suddenly started flooding into Kansas, only the most self-centered xenophobe would conclude it was for Kansas’ superior character. The rest would wonder, what is happening in Iowa to drive all those people from their homes? What industry is destroying the farms and businesses leaving Iowans no choice but to move off? More than likely it would be the same culprits that are at work in Mexico.

Big Agra and the usual multinationals, aided by the traditional ruling elite, have been raping Mexico and Central America for years, forcing the populations to move north, not for greener pastures, but any pasture at all. Mexicans are not coming to America because they want to be Americans. They do not embrace American culture, even our language. They are a displaced people. Let’s welcome them into our system and together we can address what powers are at work which have stolen their homelands. The forces are multinational, but the tools are American. They are the World Bank and friends. Our government.

It wasn’t always thus. I chanced to look up Emma Lazarus’ poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty where there are more words than form the fabled phrase we know by heart. To me they reflect a grand ideal that today serves only to inflate the American sense of self-importance. Time to go back to school lest The New Colossus (Mother of Exiles) become like the old.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

How the US and its allies stole children in El Salvador

Many Americans are somewhat aware that the Argentinian allies of the US once stole babies from mothers that they had imprisoned, tortured, and then murdered. Those babies were then given to families of the leaders of the Argentinian military and government itself! This is an international scandal that still effects how many people perceive Argentinian society to this very day. It is a horrible legacy of the Dirty War that the US and its ally, the Argentinian government, waged on the Latin American Left.

In El Salvador, as in Guatemala and Honduras, too, the allies of the US engaged in the same sort of war crime; the stealing of children from their parents. Some of these children ended up in the US, others in Europe, and others were found dead, or inside El Salvador with families other than their natural ones. The New York Times has a recent story about one such child that as an adult has just relocated her natural family with the help of an organization called Pro-Busqueda. Check out their website for more info on their work.

Bush’s Funniest vs Hugo Chavez

Now that Bush is back from Latin America, it’s time to post Bush’s Funniest Moments. And on to Argentina to see the rally where Hugo Chavez tore apart Dubya. This is a long video in Spanish, but watch the first 5 minutes at least to see the Argentinian Mothers of the Disappeared introduce Chavez. An education in itself.

And then we also learn that Bush took his charade to Guatemala talking up the supposed benefits of CAFTA and ‘free trade’, just several miles down the road from where a factory was full of Guatemalan children working in terrible conditions producing frozen broccoli for American school cafeterias and the US military. See Tuesday night’s Democracy Now on that one.

Our Prez is truly a winner! American Empire built on child labor and death squads certainly must have impressed Latin America. Another one of Bush’s funniest moments. ‘El perro que es’, in the words of the spokewoman of the Madres de los Desaparecidos.

Cuban doctors vs Bush’s US floating militaristic showtime

The bankruptcy of US foreign politcy in Latin America will become highlighted later this week when Bush deploy’s himself into Latin America with a Navy ‘floating hospital’ in tow. What the world will see is Top Gun military doctor Dubya diplomat in action, and it is assured ahead of time, to underwhelm rather than ‘shock and awe’.

The gigantic US navy war vessel accompanying the donkey is to perform surgeries at high cost to the US taxpayer, and minimal real long term medical value (if any) to the chronically malnourished and ill of Latin America.

Meanwhile, Cuban doctors quietly and with little fanfare continue to run medical clinics in country after country when allowed to do so, and Hugo Chavez continues to offer low cost fuel supplies to the not so well off, in addition. The main tool the dumbest ass neo-con gringo rulers have to provide in response, is an creased militarization everywhere in the region using the drug war as excuse. Cops, soldiers, prisons, death squads, and neo-liberal imperialist inforced privatization is DC’s way to winning ‘hearts and minds’! What a formula for success!

Eventually Washington’s war on many fronts will turn into defeat on many fronts. Nowhere is that day nearing faster than in Latin America. Imagine the ridicule that this Pentagon ‘floating hospital’ will arouse. The US is widely known as providing inadequate medical care to its own population(to children in Texas, for just one example), let alone to other nations. While the Pentagon is most noted for its constant ‘collateral damage’ to innocents, not being any angel of mercy.

Latin America will watch as Bush hobnobs with ruling elites that the mass of people despise rather than considering them as potential saviours from their economic insecurity. People need help, and America offers up a clown and a media circus. What a contrast to the Cuban doctors doing real work. US elite intellectual bankruptcy at its finest.

Castro passes the baton

ChavezFor even the hopeful, Fidel Castro’s imminent mortality has for decades presaged the end of a dream. But Castro lived to see a successor. Not brother Raul, indeed neither an island-bound disciple nor a private-school Marxist, nor (but for this photo) a khaki’d comrade, but a veritable everyman Simon Bolivar to deliver the indigenous Americas to autonomy.

Though Fidel and Che could not bring the revolution out of the jungle, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is poised to overrun Latin America, sitting on a mountain of oil wealth, telling Uncle Sam’s banker goons where they can stick it. It’s Capitalism’s domino theory come home to roost.

Poor Nicaragua

I don’t really have much comment here. Nicaragua was a squalid, miserable little country in the ’80s when the US refused to abandon its grip on the place after Uncle Sam’s man, Somoza, went down. Sure there were the 8 years of Reagan to blame for this, but did Jimmy Carter ever open his mouth in any real protest? Did the Democratic Party help Nicaragua defend itself from the Republican thugs? Did the Sandinistas ever really have a chance? All the answers are… NO.

Just like the American union movement, the people of Nicaragua got run over as a result of Reaganism in action, and the Democratic Party in inaction. Today, the country has a population the size of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, living lives of pure misery. Only Haiti suffers a worse fate in the Hemisphere. America has crammed capitalism and its corruption down the throats of the people living in this sad country, and continues to hold its grip on all of Nicaragua’s affairs. Sadly, the recent elections there offer little hope for change. For the best article about Ortega’s victory and what it means for future hopes, go to Counterpunch and skip past the fundraising pitch to the article by Joe Raymond afterwards. The Strange Return of Daniel Ortega

Nicaragua and Jimmy, a case study in how not to run elections

Daniel Ortega is back in. He has won the Nicaraguan presidential election held Sunday, with less than 40% of the vote! And we thought it idiotic when Dubya won the US election with less than 50%. These election structures that are so patently lacking in credibility would be comical, except for the fact that they are so sad. And to top the Nicaraguan election circus off, has been the media tourism down there of both Ollie North, US terrorist, and Jimmy, The Peanut Man Carter. News is in, that his stamp of approval already has fallen upon the election just held. All was done right and fair, he says. So Nicaragua has a new, yet old, president back in office who wins with only 38.5% of the vote! Good Ol’ Jimmy. He couldn’t make it to a gigantic Mexico this July, where there is substantial evidence that the declared winner won with less votes than the loser, but he could go to miniscule Nicaragua. Go figure? The Lord works in mysterious ways with this man of God.

Can’t really say much about an electoral structure that gives a win to any vote of 35% that is followed by 30% or less by candidate Number 2. What geniuses came up with that one anyway? But is it any more ridiculous than our own US gerrymandered Congressional Districts, our own system where the winner of the popular vote can actually be the loser, and where Wyoming gets the same representation as California or New York in the Senate? But you can’t beat an election system for idiocy like the Nicaraguan one, that allowed the world super power, the USA, to continually interfere in their national campaigning. That is how certainly not to run elections with any real credibility. Right, Jimmy? Wonder if he’ll be back to certify as fair our own nonsensical elections today?