Latin America and the Caribbean

US-backed border massacre brings South America to brink of war

By Bill Van Auken, 5 March 2008

The Colombian military’s massacre last Saturday of 17 members of the guerrilla movement FARC, including its second in command, on Ecuadoran soil has brought tensions in the region to an unprecedented level, raising the serious threat of armed conflict.

Fidel Castro retires as Cuban president after 49 years in power

By Patrick Martin, 20 February 2008

Fidel Castro, the last of the “third-world” nationalists who rose to power in the 1950s and 1960s and came into conflict with American imperialism, announced Tuesday that he was retiring as president of Cuba and commander-in-chief of its armed forces.

Colombian rebel leader sentenced to 60 years over captured contractors

By Bill Van Auken, 31 January 2008

A Washington, DC federal court Monday handed down a draconian 60-year sentence against a leader and negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla movement that has been in conflict with Colombian government forces for 40 years.

Philip Agee, former agent who exposed CIA crimes, dies in Cuba

By Patrick Martin, 14 January 2008

Philip Agee, the former CIA operative who broke with the agency and devoted his life to exposing its role in political subversion, assassination, torture and support for military dictatorships, died January 7 in Cuba. Cuban sources said that he died of peritonitis after ulcer surgery. He was 72.

Ex-Peruvian president Fujimori jailed after first trial

By Bill Van Auken, 13 December 2007

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday, at the conclusion of the first in a series of trials in which he faces charges of corruption, abuse of power and responsibility for death squad massacres as well as other human rights atrocities committed during his decade of rule that began in 1990.

The referendum defeat in Venezuela: A warning to the working class

By Bill Van Auken, 4 December 2007

The narrow defeat on Sunday of a constitutional reform submitted to a referendum vote by the government of President Hugo Chavez has produced a mood of right-wing triumphalism within both Venezuela’s oligarchy and the US political establishment.

Venezuela: the class issues in Chavez’s constitutional referendum

By Bill Van Auken, 28 November 2007

The approach of the December 2 referendum on the proposed reworking of Venezuela’s constitution has produced a sharp intensification of the country’s political crisis.

Top general urges Brazil to develop nuclear weapons

By Bill Van Auken, 19 November 2007

Brazil should develop the technological capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons, one of the country’s top generals declared in a television interview last week.

Near-unanimous vote at UN to repudiate US blockade of Cuba

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2007

The United Nations General Assembly Tuesday voted by a near-unanimous majority to condemn the 47-year-old US economic blockade against Cuba. The vote, coming less than a week after President Bush delivered a bellicose speech suggesting violent regime change in the Caribbean island nation, represented a stinging rebuke of Washington’s policy.

Bush threatens escalation of aggression against Cuba

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2007

When it comes to profaning the name of freedom, there have been few speeches given anywhere that could seriously compete with the diatribe on Cuba that President George W. Bush delivered at the State Department Wednesday.

Chilean court extradites ex-Peruvian President Fujimori

By César Uco, 27 September 2007

Peru’s ex-President Alberto Fujimori arrived in Lima as a prisoner on Saturday September 22, after being extradited from Chile to face charges of corruption and violations of human rights during his decade in office between 1990 and 2000.

Hurricane Dean inflicts devastating blow to Caribbean agriculture, infrastructure

By Naomi Spencer, 24 August 2007

Hurricane Dean swept through the Caribbean and into Mexico this week, killing at least 25 and causing extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. In addition to Mexico, the countries of Belize, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, and other islands of the Lesser Antilles, were impacted by flooding and winds up to 256 kilometers per hour.

As residents protest lack of aid

Peruvian president sends troops into earthquake-ravaged region

By Rafael Azul, 21 August 2007

Peru’s central government has announced the deployment of troops to the cities of Pisco and Ica in the country’s south, citing the need to stop looting in the wake of the massive earthquake that struck last Wednesday evening. Fearing a social explosion, special forces patrols are already in Pisco, where 80 percent of all structures collapsed or have been damaged as a result of the quake.

Hundreds dead in massive earthquake in Peru

By David Walsh, 18 August 2007

A massive earthquake struck Peru Wednesday, resulting in hundreds of deaths and homelessness for tens of thousands. The principal victims were the poor in a region on Peru’s Pacific coast south of the capital, Lima, including the cities of Pisco, Chincha and Ica.

Brazil: government intervenes against workers at occupied factories

By V. Hugo, 4 August 2007

After being occupied and operated for nearly five years by workers, the Cipla-Interfibra factory complex was raided suddenly last May by Brazilian federal police, which sent some 150 armed men to take over the facilities and replace the factory leadership elected by the workers with a federal intervener. In June, the Flasko factory suffered a similar intervention.

Jury finds Drummond Coal not liable in murder of Colombian unionists

By D. Lencho, 31 July 2007

On July 26, after less than four hours of deliberation, jurors found Alabama-based energy giant Drummond Coal not liable for the 2001 murder of three Colombian union officials by paramilitary death squads.

United States warns Spain over Cuba policy

By Vicky Short, 30 July 2007

The United States has warned Spain about its policy towards Cuba as the imperialist countries seek power and influence there as Fidel Castro’s decades in power come to an end.

200 dead in Brazil air disaster: Lula government shows gross indifference

By M. Ybarra, 26 July 2007

The following article was sent in Portuguese by a Brazilian correspondent for the WSWS on July 22. In the meantime, the crisis of the Brazilian government has deepened, with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva forced to fire his defense minister, Waldir Pires, the official in overall charge of the country’s precarious aviation system. In an evident attempt to quell criticism from the right, Lula selected as his replacement Nelson Azevedo Jobim, a politician of the opposition PMDB and former justice minister in the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Peru’s President Garcia faces nationwide protests

By Cesar Uco, 20 July 2007

Three weeks shy of his first anniversary in power, Peruvian President, Alan Garcia is facing nationwide mass protests against his political and economic program. Culminating in a two-day protest on July 11-12, millions of Peruvians including industrials workers, miners, coca growers, high school teachers, students and small merchants went on strike, organized marches, occupied public buildings and blockaded roads leading to all major cities.

The assault on Rio’s favelas and the growth of state repression in Brazil

By V. Hugo, 5 July 2007

The confrontation between police and drug traffickers that broke out last week in the favelas, or shantytowns,of Rio de Janeiro reached a shocking level of violence. With the support of the national government of Workers Party President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral of the opposition PMDB party, ordered civil and military police, together with the National Security Force, into one of the biggest combat operations against the traffickers in the state’s history.

Statement of the International Students for Social Equality to the students of the University of Sao Paulo

15 June 2007

The following is a statement issued by the International Students for Social Equality to the students of the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil’s largest university, who have been engaged in a strike, together with professors and staff members, since May 3. The action, which has been accompanied by an occupation of the university’s administration building, was taken by the students on May 3 in response to series of decrees by the state of Sao Paulo’s right-wing governor, Jose Serra, abrogating university autonomy, particularly in budgetary matters, thereby paving the way to the privatization of higher education and subordinating learning directly to the demands of the major corporations. Serra has repeatedly threatened to end the occupation by sending in military police riot squads. The strike has spread to other universities in the state.

Brazil’s social and political crisis deepens in Lula’s second term

By M. Ybarra, 12 June 2007

Barely six months have passed since Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began his second term in office in January 2007. As was to be expected, the political crisis that has beset the Brazilian state has begun to reemerge with the same force as in 2005, when Lula was confronting the threat of impeachment. Those, both on the left and right, who believed that the crisis had been overcome and had faded into the past were only fooling themselves.

Argentina: 13 years of pension “reform” boosts profits, impoverishes older workers

By Renato Santos, 8 June 2007

At the beginning of the 1990s, following the dictates of the international financial agencies, principally the World Bank and the IMF, some Latin American countries began an overhaul of their social security systems for retired workers. The principal justification for these social security “reforms” was the growth of public deficits, which left governments incapable of expanding their investments in basic infrastructure.

US attacks Venezuela: “press freedom” as a pretext for intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 6 June 2007

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Monday used the opening of the general assembly of the Organization of American States in Panama City to launch another US propaganda attack against the left nationalist government of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

Brazilian cane cutter died from working 70 days without break

By V. Hugo in São Paulo, 2 June 2007

After analyzing the working conditions of sugar-cane cutter Juraci Barbosa, 39, who died on June 29, 2006, the Brazilian government’s Public Ministry of Labor concluded that before dropping dead, Juraci had worked 70 days without a break, between April 15 and June 26 of that year.

Evo Morales and the fraud of “nationalization” in Bolivia

By Jair Antunes, 22 May 2007

In a bombastic statement to the media earlier this month Bolivian President Evo Morales announced the concretization of his planned nationalization of the country’s oil and natural gas industries. These enterprises had been privatized at the end of the 1990s during the “neo-liberal turn” throughout Latin America. According to Morales, the Bolivian people are now resuming their role as the true owners of the natural wealth that exists in the subsoil of their county.

Behind Negroponte’s trip to Latin America

Mounting crisis in Yankee imperialism’s ‘back yard’

By Patrick Martin, 16 May 2007

The week-long trip to Latin America by US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte signals a turn by the Bush administration to addressing the mounting challenges facing American imperialism in a region where its dominance was once unchallenged.

Brazil: Bush-Lula biofuel plans based on conditions worse than slavery

By V. Hugo in Sao Paulo, 14 May 2007

The recent proclamation of an “ethanol alliance” between US President George W. Bush and Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has been hailed by apologists for both governments as an advance in the development of alternative sources of energy and a gain for both countries’ economies. In Brazil, this sector is expected to record export earnings of $7 billion this year, and both countries are mounting a drive to increase the production of Brazilian sugarcane.

Scores of Haitian refugees killed in shark-infested waters

By Bill Van Auken, 7 May 2007

The deaths of over 75 Haitian refugees, whose boat capsized in shark-infested Caribbean waters as they sought to make their way to the United States, is one more tragic consequence of the stark poverty and protracted political oppression that have been inflicted upon the island nation.

Brazil: Workers occupy factory where Lula once worked

By Marcela Souza, 11 April 2007

Workers at the Fris-Moldu car plant outside of Sao Paulo have occupied the factory since February 21 to press their demand for unpaid wages, and have now begun camping out in front of the facility. For more than six weeks, the dispute has paralyzed production.

Police killing of teacher provokes national strike in Argentina

By Jadir Antunes, 11 April 2007

Teachers throughout Argentina staged a nationwide strike Monday to protest the cold-blooded police murder on April 4 of one of their colleagues, Carlos Fuentealba, during a protest in the southwestern province of Neuquén, approximately 600 miles from the capital of Buenos Aires.

CIA document links Colombian army chief to right-wing “terrorists”

By Bill Van Auken, 27 March 2007

In another blow to the Bush administration’s closest political ally in Latin America, an intelligence report obtained by the US Central Intelligence Agency has charged Colombia’s army chief Gen. Mario Montoya with collaborating intimately with right-wing paramilitaries who are classified by Washington as terrorists. The paramilitary organization, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym AUC, is also believed to be one of the principal forces in cocaine trafficking from Colombia.

Bush’s “aid” to Latin America mirrors national programs to mask oppression

By Vitor Hugo and R. Pichuaga in Sao Paulo, 22 March 2007

On the eve of his recent trip to Latin America, US President George W. Bush and his administration complained that Washington was not given enough credit for the economic aid that it is bestowing upon the region—$1.8 billion for 2007. The figure, however, represents a $200 million cut from lat year, with half the total going to military aid.

15,000 take to streets of Sao Paulo against Bush, as protest leaders defend Lula

By Rodrigo Brancher in Sao Paulo, 10 March 2007

Various protests erupted throughout Brazil to mark the visit of US President George W. Bush to the country on Thursday, March 8.

Allies in imposing misery and reaction

Bush and Lula meet to discuss biofuel deal

By Hector Benoit in São Paulo, 8 March 2007

US President George W. Bush is scheduled to arrive in Brazil tonight and to meet with Brazil’s President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva on the morning of March 9, when the two will visit the Transpetro terminal in Guarulhos, a town outside of the industrial and financial center of São Paulo.

Bush mouths support for “social justice” while asserting US interests in Latin America

By Bill Van Auken, 7 March 2007

In a speech delivered on the eve of his trip to Latin America this week, US President George W. Bush cast his administration as a champion of “social justice” in the region. This hypocritical posturing is designed to conceal the real agenda of the American president’s tour, which is to reassert US imperialism’s power in its “own backyard” and to counter growing popular unrest that threatens its strategic interests.

Hugo Chávez, Marx and the “Bolivarism” of the twenty-first century

By Jair Antunes, 12 February 2007

The beginning of the twenty-first century has witnessed a resurgence of bourgeois nationalist populism throughout much of Latin America. In some ways, this development shares common characteristics with what was seen in the previous century in figures like Argentina’s Juan Peron, Brazil’s Getulio Vargas and Mexico’s Lazaro Cardenas.

Repression in Brazil: University students sentenced for protest against Lula government

By Júlio Mariutti, 30 January 2007

The sentencing of two students from the University of Sao Paulo (USP) to prison for political activity is a stark indication of the escalation of repression on Brazil’s university campuses. Similar actions have been carried out at various universities recently, but the court decision handed down last December against the USP students is distinguished by its arbitrary character and the fact that it involves the most important university in the country, where until just a few years ago the military police did not dare to intervene.

Brazil: The WTO and Lula’s “struggle” for the G-20

By Jadir Antunes, 24 January 2007

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin, the president of the G-20 (the group of 21 “developing” countries formed to defend their agricultural interests in international trade talks) told the press late last year that he would fight at all costs to restore credibility to the World Trade Organization (WTO). This “struggle” has become necessary following the collapse last year of the Doha round of negotiations on trade liberalization begun in Cancun in 2003. No concrete results were obtained out of this round after years of negotiations.

The significance of Venezuela’s and Ecuador’s nationalizations

By Bill Van Auken, 18 January 2007

Presidential inaugurations in Venezuela and Ecuador over the past week were marked by calls for “socialism” and “revolution.”

Argentina: landowners withhold meat supplies from country’s population

By Jadir Antunes, 20 December 2006

Since December 3, the major landowners in Argentina’s Liniers region have been to refusing to provide cattle to the country’s meatpacking houses. The boycott is a protest by the country’s agrarian bourgeoisie against restrictions imposed by the government on beef exports.

From the archives of Marxism: lessons of the 1973 coup in Chile

12 December 2006

The death of Augusto Pinochet on December 10 provides an opportunity to recall the events of 33 years ago that brought the Chilean general to power in a military dictatorship. The coup in Chile was one of the most tragic episodes arising from the betrayals of Stalinism and social reformism, betrayals that were repeated with equally disastrous consequences in country after country.

Pinochet, Chile’s former US-backed dictator, dead at 91

By Bill Van Auken, 11 December 2006

News of the death of Chile’s former military dictator Augusto Pinochet sparked spontaneous demonstrations in Santiago and other Chilean cities Sunday.

Rafael Correa declared new president of Ecuador

By Rafael Azul, 7 December 2006

Rafael Correa was officially declared president of Ecuador on December 4 by that nation’s electoral court. He will be sworn in January 15 as the 56th president of Ecuador, the seventh to occupy the post since the legislature removed President Abdalà Bucaram 10 years ago in the midst of a debt crisis that devastated the country.

Nicaraguan election: Ortega’s victory and the dead-end of Sandinismo

By Rafael Azul and Patrick Martin, 30 November 2006

Daniel Ortega, the long-time head of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) of Nicaragua, won the country’s presidency in a general election November 5. Ortega received 38 percent of the total vote, about nine percent more than his nearest opponent, the US-backed conservative Eduardo Montealegre of the National Liberal Alliance (ALN), who received 29 percent.

Behind Lula’s reelection: Brazil’s crisis deepens

By Mário Ybarra de Almeida, 8 November 2006

Despite all the exposures of rampant corruption that characterized Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s first term in office, despite several of his ministers being found guilty of the crime of forming a gang, despite the disarray in his Workers Party (PT), which has gone through four different presidents in the last year alone (José Genoíno, Tarso Genro, Ricardo Berzoine and now Marco Aurélio Garcia), despite the deep political crises that several times threatened to lead to the president’s impeachment, despite all of this, Lula was reelected in a second round vote October 29.

Bolivia: class tensions rise as Morales bows to landowners, energy transnationals

By Kevin Kearney, 30 September 2006

Political tensions are boiling in the eastern lowland regions of Bolivia. The natural gas-rich departments of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando—dominated by Bolivia’s landed aristocracy, agribusiness and gas interests—are threatening secession in the muted language of a desire for greater regional autonomy.

As Brazilian election nears, crisis deepens for major parties

By Hector Benoit, 23 September 2006

Earlier this month, Brazil’s ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, leader of the PSDB (Party of Brazilian Social Democracy), wrote an open letter acknowledging that the members of the PSDB made a serious error when they kept their mouths shut in 2005. He said that at the moment in which the corruption scandals involving the ruling Workers Party (PT) and the government of President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva were exploding, the PSDB should have been far more forceful.

US steps up provocations against Cuba amid speculation on Castro’s health

By Bill Van Auken, 3 August 2006

In the wake of President’s Fidel Castro’s announcement that he is temporarily turning over the principal reins of power to his brother, Raul, before undergoing emergency surgery for intestinal bleeding, the Bush administration has escalated its provocations against Cuba, posing the threat of a direct US intervention against the island nation.

Student upheavals expose anti-working class agenda of Chile’s Bachelet

By Eduardo Ballesteros, 20 July 2006

Months of school occupations, student strikes and demonstrations have presented Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet with the first major test of her administration. Elected on promises to pay heed to social concerns, Bachelet’s vicious reaction to the student movement has exposed her government’s anti-working class character and the unstable base upon which it rests.

IMF cuts off credit to Bolivia

By César Uco, 24 May 2006

Bolivia is South America’s poorest country. Every night, 615,000 Bolivian children under 13 years of age go to bed hungry, according to a recent report by the United Nations World Food Program. Life in the countryside has changed little since colonial times, and cities lack basic public services. Clearly, there is an urgent need for infrastructure investments to help raise the living standards of the people in the Andean country.

Brazil: The social contradictions underlying the violent eruption in Sao Paulo

By Hector Benoit, 18 May 2006

For the past five days, chaos and terror have reigned in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital and South America’s largest city, due to the armed actions of the powerful PCC (First Command of the Capital) crime organization.

Strike threats as 100,000 remain jobless

Puerto Rico government-school shutdown enters second week

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2006

The colonial administration in Puerto Rico has continued its shutdown of most government agencies as well as public schools into a second week, leaving nearly 100,000 public employees and hundreds of thousands of students locked out with no resolution in sight.

Morales’s nationalization in Bolivia: Who got stabbed?

By Hector Benoit, 5 May 2006

The following article (translated from Portuguese) was sent from Brazil on the eve of Thursday’s meeting in the Argentine tourist center of Puerto Iguazu between the presidents of Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela to discuss Bolivian President Evo Morales’s May 1 decree declaring the nationalization of the country’s oil and gas industries. The four South American presidents agreed that Bolivian gas would keep flowing and prices would be negotiated. Brazil’s state energy firm, Petrobras, holds the largest interest in Bolivian gas, followed by Repsol, a Spanish-Argentine company. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that the meeting would send a signal to investors of regional stability and dialogue.

Peru: Nationalist ex-officer Humala to face APRA’s Garcia in runoff election

By César Uco, 24 April 2006

Ollanta Humala, a former army officer who ran on a nationalist program denouncing the rich elite and foreign capital, won the first round of presidential elections in Peru. He will face former president Alan Garcia (1985-90) from the bourgeois APRA party (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance) in a runoff election scheduled for late May or early June.

The Lula government and the “new ruling class”

The definitive bankruptcy of centrism in Brazil

By Hector Benoit, 20 April 2006

When the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began to win mass support among workers, beginning with the big metalworkers’ strikes of 1978-80, many so-called “Marxist” intellectuals maintained that we would finally see a “legitimate” workers’ party.

Political crisis deepens in Brazil: The rise and fall of Palocci

By Mário Y. de Almeida, 30 March 2006

The Brazilian government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, having seemingly survived a series of corruption scandals that appeared on the verge of bringing it down last year, was wracked once again this week by the resignation of its finance minister, Antônio Palocci Filho, amid a scandal involving bribes, payoffs and prostitutes.

Puerto Rico sues FBI for stonewalling probe of independentista’s murder

By Bill Van Auken, 30 March 2006

The government of Puerto Rico went to federal court last week, accusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Justice Department of obstructing justice by stonewalling a local investigation of the FBI’s killing of a leading figure in the island’s independence movement during a raid last September.

Ford Motor charged as accomplice in Argentina’s “dirty war”

By Bill Van Auken, 25 February 2006

Ford Motor Company has been charged in an Argentine court with playing a direct part in the illegal detention, torture and “disappearances” of its own workers under the dictatorship that ruled the South American country from 1976 to 1983.

Washington reluctantly concedes Préval is Haiti’s president-elect

By Richard Dufour and Keith Jones, 21 February 2006

The attempt of Haiti’s traditional elite and elements in and around the Bush administration to prevent René Préval, the clear winner of the country’s February 7 presidential election, from being proclaimed president-elect has failed.

Warning of new Haiti intervention

US troop deployment sparks protests in Dominican Republic

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2006

The landing of hundreds of US troops at a port city in the Dominican Republic, barely 80 miles from the Haitian border, sparked protests and warnings that Washington may be preparing another military intervention aimed at quelling the popular unrest that has erupted in Haiti over attempts to rig the presidential election.

“Made in the USA” election crisis in Haiti

By Bill Van Auken, 15 February 2006

The front-runner in Haiti’s election charged Tuesday that the vote count—now entering its second week—was plagued by “gross errors and probably gigantic fraud.” The totals being reported by the country’s electoral council “do not correspond with reality,” he said.

Haiti: mass protests erupt over vote count

By Jonathan Keane, 14 February 2006

Nearly a week after Haitians went to the polls in the first election since the 2004 Washington-backed coup and subsequent US invasion, official results have yet to be announced, and the impoverished Caribbean country is spiraling into another intense political crisis.

New date set for Haitian vote as crisis mounts

By Jonathan Keane, 18 January 2006

For the fourth time in the last five months, the date has been reset for elections to replace Haiti’s interim government installed in a US-backed coup in February 2004. The new date—February 7—has been announced after Washington, the United Nations and the Organization of American States placed significant pressure upon the regime. The US is desperate to cloak the government it has installed in Haiti with some form of institutional legitimacy.

Michelle Bachelet elected president

Socialist-Christian Democratic coalition retains power in Chile

By Bill Van Auken, 17 January 2006

Sunday’s election victory of Michelle Bachelet, a leader of Chile’s Socialist Party, has been widely reported as another indication of a “turn to the left” in Latin America. Much of the media attention focused on the 54-year-old pediatrician becoming the country’s first woman president.

Bolivia’s “socialist” president-elect Morales guarantees private property

By Bill Van Auken, 4 January 2006

In the two weeks since his December 18 victory at the polls, Bolivia’s president-elect Evo Morales has combined verbal swipes at Washington and lightning visits to Cuba and Venezuela with solemn pledges at home to respect the private property of the transnational corporations and the Bolivian oligarchy.

Pre-election terror and repression in Haiti

By Jonathan Keane, 30 December 2005

While the Bush administration and the US mass media focused enormous attention on the recent elections in Iraq—promoting them as supposed proof of Washington’s “democratizing” mission—preparations for another vote taking place in another invaded and occupied country just a few hundred miles off US shores are virtually ignored, and for good reason.

Venezuelan vote boycott: Washington paves road to intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 7 December 2005

With predictable brazenness, the US State Department on Monday questioned, on grounds of a low turnout, the legitimacy of Sunday’s legislative elections in Venezuela. But, as the US government is well aware, the low vote total was caused in large part by a boycott and sabotage campaign mounted by right-wing opposition parties that Washington supports, both politically and financially.

Peruvians demand extradition of ex-president Fujimori

By Cesar Uco, 26 November 2005

Thousands of angry workers, students and human rights advocates marched in Lima last week demanding the extradition of former president Alberto Fujimori from Chile. If returned to Perú, Fujimori would face trial on 22 criminal charges of corruption and human rights abuses. The charges carry sentences of up to 30 years in jail and $29 million in fines.

No deal in Argentina

Americas summit ends in debacle for Bush

By Bill Van Auken, 7 November 2005

President Bush left Argentina Saturday after failing to achieve an agreement on reopening talks on forming a hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The Fourth Summit of the Americas turned into a debacle for the US administration, with rioting in the streets of Mar del Plata, mass repudiation of Bush by the Argentine people and open defiance of US policies on the part of South America’s principal economic powers.

Bush’s visit sparks upheavals in Argentina

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2005

The participation of US President George W. Bush in the Summit of the Americas in Argentina has unleashed a wave of popular outrage in that country and across much of Latin America.

On eve of Americas Summit

Bush faces mass protests, opposition to trade pact in Argentina

By Bill Van Auken, 2 November 2005

Wracked by multiple political crises at home and receiving the lowest approval rating for any recent US president, George W. Bush is leaving the country Thursday to face an even more hostile audience.

Ibero-American summit criticises US policy

By Paul Mitchell, 29 October 2005

Heads of state attending the 15th Ibero-American summit have criticised the US administration’s policy towards Cuba and Venezuela.

Exhibition at International Center of Photography

Images of El Salvador carnage reprised in light of Iraq war

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2005

Over the past several weeks, thousands of people have visited New York City’s International Center of Photography (ICP) for the restaging of an exhibition that the museum presented two decades ago, but which has taken on fresh urgency in the shadow of the ongoing war in Iraq.

Allegations of £1 million in arms bribes paid to Pinochet

By Simon Whelan, 7 October 2005

Britain’s largest armament manufacturer, BAE Systems, is identified on American banking records as clandestinely paying the former dictator General Augusto Pinochet £1 million. According to allegations made by the British Guardian and the Chilean La Tercera newspapers, their research shows that front companies situated in the British Virgin Islands acted as a conduit for most of the payments made in return for Chilean armament contracts.

A letter on the FBI murder of Puerto Rican independence figure

5 October 2005

The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site on “FBI murders Puerto Rican independence figure.”

FBI murders Puerto Rican independence figure

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2005

The fatal September 23 shooting of Puerto Rican nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios represents an act of state terror and cold-blooded murder by the US government. It is one more proof that in the name of a “global war on terrorism,” Washington has arrogated to itself the right to conduct political assassinations and act as judge, jury and executioner against opponents of US policies and interests.

Bush administration snubs Cuban hurricane relief offer

By Bill Van Auken, 9 September 2005

Among the many offers of aid for New Orleans and Gulf Coast disaster victims that the Bush administration has either blocked, squandered or delayed is that of a substantial emergency medical brigade from Cuba.

The crisis of the Lula government: the end of an era in Brazil

By Hector Benoit, 7 September 2005

The deep crisis of the Workers Party (PT) government of Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva marks the end of a long cycle of bourgeois rule in Brazil, which opened up with the fall of the military dictatorship more than 20 years ago.

Brazil: angry protests hit state murder in London

By Bill Van Auken, 27 July 2005

The July 22 police execution of Brazilian-born electrician Jean Charles de Menezes on a London subway car has provoked shock and angry protest in the 27-year-old immigrant’s native land.

Protest against poverty

Couple set themselves on fire at Chile’s presidential palace

By Bill Van Auken, 27 June 2005

An unemployed man and his wife set themselves on fire in front of Chile’s La Moneda presidential palace Thursday to protest their impoverished condition and the government’s failure to provide them with adequate assistance.

Posada Carriles case

Venezuela demands US hand over CIA terrorist for trial

By Bill Van Auken, 17 June 2005

The Venezuelan government Wednesday filed extradition papers with the US State Department demanding that Luis Posada Carriles be handed over to stand trial for the 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cuban airliner in which 73 people lost their lives.

Hundreds face trial for dictatorship’s crimes

Argentine court strikes down amnesty for torturers

By Bill Van Auken, 16 June 2005

Nearly three decades after the US-backed military coup that led to the “disappearance” of an estimated 30,000 people in Argentina, the country’s Supreme Court Tuesday struck down a pair of laws that effectively granted an amnesty to those responsible for the dictatorship’s crimes.

Spanish court sentences Argentine “dirty warrior” to 640 years

By Debra Watson, 14 June 2005

In April of this year, the Spanish High Court found Adolfo Scilingo, 58, a former Argentine navy officer, guilty of crimes against humanity committed in Argentina 30 years ago. Scilingo was sentenced to 640 years in prison for his role in what was known as Argentina’s “dirty war.”

Bolivia’s president resigns warning of civil war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 June 2005

The resignation of Bolivia’s President Carlos Mesa Monday has failed to halt the explosive confrontation between masses of working class and indigenous peasant demonstrators and the country’s ruling oligarchy, backed by Washington and the transnational corporations.

Washington sees threat to “stability”

Bolivia rocked by mass protests over energy law

By Bill Van Auken, 3 June 2005

Bolivia’s capital of La Paz has entered its second week of mass protests by workers, indigenous peasants and students demanding the nationalization of the country’s energy industry.

Brazilian daily reports multinationals aided Latin American death squads

GM, Chrysler, VW implicated

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2005

Major US and European corporations collaborated intimately with Latin American military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s, fingering militant workers for arrest, torture and often death, according to an article that appeared this week in the Brazilian daily O Globo.

Latin America’s social crisis

Unemployment, child labor grow side-by-side

By Bill Van Auken, 11 May 2005

Unemployment in Latin America is rising to levels that exceed those of the so-called “lost decade” created by the debt crisis of the 1980s, according to a recent report released by the United Nations-sponsored Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (or CEPAL, the agency’s Spanish acronym).

US forced to back down on OAS presidency

By Bill Van Auken, 4 May 2005

For the first time in its 57-year history, the Organization of American States Monday elected a secretary general whose candidacy had initially been opposed by Washington.

Rumsfeld’s Latin American tour

Pentagon chief escalates threats against Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 26 March 2005

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used his brief three-nation tour of Latin America this week to step up US threats against Venezuela and pressure the region’s governments into joining Washington’s campaign to isolate the government of President Hugo Chavez.

Haiti: the forgotten milestone in Bush’s crusade for “freedom”

By Bill Van Auken, 12 March 2005

Dozens of Haitian men, women and children drowned when their rickety homemade craft went down in the waters of the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Some 50 people had crowded onto the boat, which sank under their weight.

Mounting provocations against Venezuela

Washington backs kidnapping of Colombian guerrilla exile in Caracas

By Bill Van Auken, 26 January 2005

The barrage of US provocations against Venezuela since the beginning of the year is a clear indication that the oil-rich South American country will be one of the principal targets in the global war on “tyranny” elaborated by George W. Bush in his inauguration speech last week.

Brazil: profit and poverty fuel Amazon deforestation

By John Levine, 15 January 2005

Deforestation in Brazil destroyed nearly 8,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest in 2004. In 1970, only 1 percent of the Brazilian Amazon had been deforested. By now, between 15 and 25 percent has been lost, with an estimated 1 percent disappearing every year. The area of forest overrun in three decades equals the size of France.

Broad Front reassures US and local elite

Uruguay: victorious left turns sharply to the right

By Bill Van Auken, 7 January 2005

The unprecedented victory of the Broad Front coalition over a two-party system that has ruled Uruguay for over a century touched off mass celebrations throughout the country last October.

Death toll reaches 185

Demonstrators demand “justice” in Argentine nightclub blaze

By Bill Van Auken, 5 January 2005

Thousands of friends and family members marched through the streets of Buenos Aires Monday chanting for “justice” for the hundreds of youth who were killed and injured in the early morning hours of December 31 in a fire that raced through an overcrowded nightclub.

Chile’s arrest of Pinochet and the ”Condor” killers in the US

By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2004

The indictment and arrest of Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet Monday for the killings and disappearances of political opponents carried out under his rule has provoked no comment from the US government and relatively little attention in the American mass media.

Pinochet arrested in Chile on “Condor” killings

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2004

Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet was indicted Monday and placed under house arrest in connection with Operation Condor, a conspiracy hatched by US-backed military regimes in Latin America in the 1970s to hunt down and murder their political opponents.

The victims of Operation Condor

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2004

The indictment handed down by Judge Juan Guzman against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in connection with Operation Condor includes brief biographies of the ten Chileans whose disappearance and murder he is accused of ordering.

Chile’s ex-dictator Pinochet tied to multi-million-dollar payoffs

By Bill Van Auken, 11 December 2004

A series of revelations emerging from US investigations into money-laundering and corruption charges against the Riggs Bank have implicated Chile’s ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet in illicit payoffs totaling in the millions of dollars.

Bush pledges more funds for Colombia’s dirty war

By Bill Van Auken, 24 November 2004

President George W. Bush used a brief stopover in the Colombian seashore city of Cartagena Monday to announce his intention to pour billions more in US military aid into the country’s 40-year-old civil war.