Latin America

Much media fanfare has been made about US President Donald Trump pledge to deliver US$20 millions worth of humanitarian aid, in the form of food and medicine, into Venezuela via its borders with Colombia and Brazil. But in all media coverage, almost nothing has been said of the impact that the devastating and illegal US sanctions have had on the Venezuelan people, or that the latest round, including the impact that the seizure of Venezuela’s oil assets in the US will have.

The statement below was released by 15 left groups from the Asia-Pacific region on January 25. To add your organisation’s name, email int.psm@gmail.com.

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We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the Donald Trump administration for its support for an on-going coup attempt in Venezuela.

The US administration under Donald Trump has declared its recognition for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as “interim president” in its latest coup attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

The world’s biggest producer of iron ore, Vale, has again distanced itself from an ecological and workplace disaster of its own making, writes Pip Hinman.

The death of George H.W. Bush has dominated the U.S. news for days, but little attention has been paid to the defining event of Bush’s first year in office: the invasion of Panama. On December 19, 1989, Bush Sr. sent tens of thousands of troops into Panama, ostensibly to execute an arrest warrant against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. General Noriega was once a close ally to Washington and on the CIA payroll.

The recent death of 24-year-old Mapuche activist Camilo Catrillanca, who was gunned down in a police raid, has sparked wide condemnation and protests throughout Chile, writes Rodrigo Acuña.

In 2008, the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations published a report titled US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality. Timed to influence the foreign policy agenda of the next US administration, the report asserted: “the era of the US as the dominant influence in Latin America is over.”

Then, at the Summit of the Americas the next year, then-president Barack Obama promised Latin American leaders a “new era” of “equal partnership” and “mutual respect”.

Much of central Santiago de Chile has been brought to a standstill by protests against the police killing of 24-year-old indigenous Mapuche activist Camilo Catrillanca on November 14. Catrillanca joins Matiás Catrileo, Jaime Mendoza Collio, Alex Lemún, José Huenante and Rodrigo Melinaeo, all young Mapuche men who have been killed by Chilean police or disappeared while in police custody in recent years.

The cabinet picked by Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the most progressive in generations, despite some dubious choices, writes Ryan Mallett-Outtrim from Puebla.

Mexico’s first left-wing president in decades is one month away from taking office, though his cabinet picks — half of whom are women — remain a mixed bag for progressives. On one hand, AMLO supporters have welcomed selections like Olga Sanchez Cordero, the incoming interior minister who supports legalising abortion and recreational marijuana.

Within 24 hours of Brazil’s election result being announced, protesters gathered outside the Brazilian consulate in Sydney to express their opposition to president-elect Jair Bolsonaro and his fascist agenda.

Far-right candidate Bolsonaro was elected president in a second round run-off against Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad on October 28.

Brian Mier, editor of Brasil Wire and Voices of the Brazilian Left: Dispatches From a Coup in Progress, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes about the victory of fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential elections, and what it means for the coming period.

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