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In December the DREAM Act failed to get the “super majority” of 60 votes required for closure in the U.S. Senate. It would have provided more than two million undocumented youth a legal pathway to obtain U.S. citizenship upon meeting eligibility requirements. Despite this, DREAMers (a term used to refer to those who would fall under the legislation) appear unrelenting in their determination to continue their struggle to push for the rights of immigrant youth.
Colombia's judicial and executive inconsistency in the case of ex-Senator Piedad Córdoba, who had her senatorial credentials revoked in September, underscores the Colombian government's rejection to accept or pursue any non-military solutions to the ongoing internal conflict. As is illustrated with the Córdoba case, the neglect of peaceful strategies coincides with the increased use of political subversion by the state to spy on, target, and ultimately remove any dissenting voices from the national political discourse.
Obama’s State Department has become indistinguishable from that of the Bush era. Last week the State Department announced that it would expell Venezuela’s Consul General in Miami, Livia Acosta. No official reason was given, but it was clear that the move was in response to an uncredible Univision “documentary” and the response from right-wing Cubans in Miami.
I have come to a deeply painful decision: I can no longer in good political conscience support the DREAM Act because the essence of a beautiful dream has been detained by a colonial nightmare seeking to fund and fuel the U.S. empire machine.
On December 10, President Evo Morales promulgated Bolivia’s new pension law at the headquarters of the Bolivian Workers Central (COB), the country’s militant national trade union federation. The unprecedented and highly symbolic event culminated a four-year negotiating process, during which the COB agreed to suspend its mobilization for higher wages in exchange for comprehensive pension reform.
From November 24 through 28, police and military staged Rio de Janeiro’s largest armed offensive against drug traffickers in decades. The operation has been hailed as a turning point in Rio’s efforts to improve security before it hosts the 2016 Olympic games. However, the perception of greater public safety in Rio is credible only to those willing to look past both the human rights abuses carried out in its midst and the systematic corruption among Rio police that is linked to much of the major crime in the city.
Why is it that there is not a strong coalition between Latinos and African Americans? Why haven’t these two groups, which share so much in common, not been able to sustain long-term social and political alliances? One of the reasons is the discourse of citizenship embedded in the new right-wing, anti-immigrant xenophobia which poses a challenge to building multiracial alliances in Chicago-and elsewhere.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2010 edition of NACLA Report on the Americas.
Amidst the flurry of recently published books on the dynamics of contemporary Latin American politics, Ben Dangl’s Dancing with Dynamite stands out for his reporting on social and political change from the vantage point of social movements themselves. In this polemical book, Dangl studies subaltern struggles vis-à-vis states, drawing primarily from targeted interviews with social movement activists and analysts from seven South American countries that are generally seen as part of the region's move to the left. The resulting product is a view from below of countries ranging from Ecuador to Venezuela.
The U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement has slid off the radar, but the deal is far from dead. It has been more than three years since the Colombian congress approved the deal, but it is still awaiting congressional approval in the United States. The agreement was a political hot potato for President Obama and congressional Democrats, who decided to put the agreement on the back burner in 2008. This year's mid-term elections have shifted the balance of power in the House, but it isn't clear whether or not there will be a push to ratify the controversial agreement.
When leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies met at the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, on November 12-13, the only story in the news was a currency face-off between the United States and China. Missing was real movement on two issues with implications for Latin America and the Caribbean: Reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a new “consensus” on development for the world's poorest countries. This was the final nail in the coffin of the Washington Consensus, the economic model that has held sway in the region for the past quarter century.