In his latest paranoid crackdown on free speech, socialist Venezuelan “President” Hugo Chavez arrested the chief of the last critical television network as well as a popular former governor. Their alleged crimes: criticizing the regime.
Many Cuban refugees risked everything to escape the murderous regime of Fidel Castro. Oftentimes they made treacherous voyages aboard rickety rafts, hoping only to reach the free shores of Florida with their lives. Many died along the way. But communist rule was vicious and unforgiving.
Olavo de Carvalho, an author and philosopher, is renowned as one of Brazil’s preeminent thinkers. He played a leading role in exposing subversive leftist organizations like the Foro de São Paulo in his work as a writer for some of Brazil’s most influential publications. In the course of writing an article about the socialist resurgence in Latin America, I interviewed Carvalho for The New American magazine.
Socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales, not satisfied with the results of the United Nations’ COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, announced this week that he will be hosting his own global-warming summit.
After sending 15,000 more troops to the border, leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is warning his military and the population to “prepare for war” against neighboring Colombia and the “Yankee empire,” further inflaming tensions in the region.
Adding to pressure mounting against the U.S. dollar, left-wing Latin American leaders gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia, over the weekend for the seventh Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) summit and agreed to create a new regional currency in a bid to stop using American Federal Reserve Notes, according to foreign news reports.
In the wake of failed “land reform” policies, Hugo Chavez’ socialist government is now aiming to invalidate pharmaceutical patents that his commerce minister calls a “barrier to production.” The plan would allow domestic drug makers to produce the medicines under a license from the government. But critics of the move warn that it will likely lead to shortages and less foreign investment, problems that have already begun to plague the nation as it continues its attacks on the private sector.
The “Socialist Revolution” will continue in Ecuador for at least another four years after President Rafael Correa was reelected by a wide margin Sunday. “We’ve taken a historic step in consolidating our social revolution,” he proclaimed to supporters after exit polls indicated victory. “We will never defraud the Ecuadorian people.”
Though the United States was still the focus of plenty of the usual criticism, observers noted that it was toned down at this year's meeting of the Summit of the Americas. Reporters commented that Barack Obama was the “star” of the gathering. The three-day summit began Friday, April 17 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Tiny, tragic El Salvador became on Sunday the latest Latin American country to lurch leftwards, following the lead of the likes of Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Popular former TV journalist Mauricio Funes was elected president as the candidate representing the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).