Chomsky on U.S. Intervention in Central America | Under the Shadow, Bonus Episode 2

Under the Shadow looks back on Chomsky’s 1983 lecture at the University of Colorado, as some of the worst aspects of the Reagan administration’s Cold War-era foreign policy ravaged Central America.

June 25, 2024

Noam Chomsky, 1977 (Hans Peters / Collectie / Archief: Fotocollectie Anefo / Wikimedia Commons)


Noam Chomsky needs no introduction. He’s a celebrated linguist, who has long denounced U.S. empire at home and abroad. And he has a long relationship with Latin America.

Chomsky’s 1985 book, Turning the Tide: U.S. Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace, was formative for many academics and activists analyzing the U.S. role in the region.

In 2012, NACLA awarded him the Latin America Peace and Justice Award for his ongoing commitment to social justice in the Americas.

Chomsky’s wife, Valeria Wasserman, is from Brazil. That’s where he is now. Chomsky suffered a stroke last year and was recently in a hospital in São Paulo, though he has since been released.

You can think of this as our small tribute to the great Noam Chomsky.

In this second bonus episode of Under the Shadow, host Michael Fox takes us to an October 26, 1983 lecture by Noam Chomsky, at the University of Colorado, on the impact of U.S. military intervention in Central America. It’s fascinating to look into what we knew then, even as the events were still unfolding, and hear the historical context from someone like Chomsky.

Under the Shadow is an investigative narrative podcast series that walks back in time, telling the story of the past by visiting momentous places in the present. 

In each episode, host Michael Fox takes us to a location where something historic happened—a landmark of revolutionary struggle or foreign intervention. Today, it might look like a random street corner, a church, a mall, a monument, or a museum. But every place he takes us was once the site of history-making events that shook countries, impacted lives, and left deep marks on the world.

Hosted by Latin America-based journalist Michael Fox.

This podcast is produced in partnership between The Real News Network and NACLA.

You can listen to the first episode of Michael Fox’s new podcast, Panamerican Dispatch, here.

Follow and support him and Under the Shadow at

Theme music by Monte Perdido.

Monte Perdido’s new album Ofrenda is out now. You can listen to the full album on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube, or wherever you listen to music.

Other music from Blue Dot Sessions.

Many thanks to PM Press for their permission to showcase the clip from Noam Chomsky’s 1983 talk in today’s bonus episode.

You can find Noam Chomsky’s lectures, talks, and writings, through PM Press here and here.

Michael Fox’s documentary films and book collaborations with PM Press are available here.

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