¡Golpistas! Coups and Democracy in the 21st Century

@font-face {
font-family: "Verdana";
}@font-face {
font-family: "Cambria";
}@font-face {
font-family: "Berkeley-Book";
}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.TextParagraphIndent, li.TextParagraphIndent, div.TextParagraphIndent { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 0.15in; line-height: 12pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: Berkeley-Book; color: black; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }NACLA has collected in this Report a series of articles analyzing 21st-century coups in the Americas—in Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004), and Honduras (2009)—against the backdrop of popular movements for democracy and economic justice. The fight to overcome neoliberalism in the region has produced not only left-leaning governments but, perhaps more significantly, a widespread, commonsensical respect among citizens for transparent, democratic norms and institutionality. Coups are seen as an extra-legal retrogression to a barbarous past. The dark days of the region’s late-20th-century military dictatorships, which came to power through U.S.-sponsored coups, comprise a sinister legacy that continues to inform how leaders and social movements in the region frame current events. Coups, and the threat of coups, are still a part of the Latin American reality, even in the 21st century.
 
 

Title:
¡Golpistas! Coups and Democracy in the 21st Century, print edition
$6.00

Taking Note

Open Forum

Hollman Morris
@font-face { font-family: "Verdana"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } An edited transcript of a talk given November 3 by the Colombian journalist Hollman Morris at Georgetown University in Washington. He gave the talk on the invitation of the Adios Uribe Coalition, organized to oppose the appointment of former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe as a Distinguished Scholar at the university. Morris accompanied the talk with video clips of Uribe denouncing journalists and human rights defenders as terrorist accomplices.  

Updates

Margaret Power
Demands for the release of Oscar López Rivera, the last of the 16 Puerto Rican political prisoners arrested in the early 1980s to remain in prison, have intensified in recent months. Several elected officials and prominent figures, both in Puerto Rico and stateside, have endorsed the cause of his release as a necessary measure of justice and reconciliation. Ahead of the parole hearing, more than 16,000 letters supporting his release were sent to the Parole Commission. Yet he was denied parole on February 18.

Report

Carlos de la Torre
The Ecuadoran government's official narrative that conspiratorial forces attempted to overthrow the Correa administration in September transforms the administration's democratic adversaries—including the leaders of social movements—into irreconcilable enemies. The rebellion, in fact, was the logical consequence of the Correa government's attempt to do away with long-standing "corporatist" privileges as a part of its anti-neoliberal platform, while excluding popular participation in that process.
Roger Annis and Kim Ives
Haiti's election debacle of November 28 can be directly linked to the 1991 and 2004 coups. The political upheaval in both cases allowed the de facto president to unilaterally select members of the electoral council, bypassing constitutional provisions requiring popular representation. The result this time: the arbitrary banning of 14 political parties, including Haiti's largest and most representative, the Fanmi Lavalas party of ousted, exiled former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle
The Honduran coup is best understood within the long-term struggle for meaningful democracy and economic justice—not only in Honduras but on the Central American isthmus. This is reflected in the fact that the coup was precipitated by both growing popular demand for a constituent assembly and a modest increase in the country's minimum wage.
Fernando Coronil
The opposing sides in the 2002 Venezuelan coup harnessed the particularities of the country’s ideology of democratic governance, which developed a historical emphasis on balancing and protecting the nation's "two bodies"—its social body (the citizenry) and its natural body (natural resources, especially oil). One of the coup's most important consequences has been the strengthening of respect for democratic procedures throughout Venezuela's political spectrum.
NACLA
@font-face { font-family: "Verdana"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }@font-face { font-family: "Berkeley-Book"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.TextParagraphIndent, li.TextParagraphIndent, div.TextParagraphIndent { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: justify; text-indent: 0.15in; line-height: 12pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: Berkeley-Book; color: black; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }We have collected in this Report a series of articles analyzing these 21st-century coups in the Americas—in Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004), and Honduras (2009)—against the backdrop of popular movements for democracy and economic justice.The fight to overcome neoliberalism in the region has produced not only left-leaning governments but, perhaps more significantly, a widespread, commonsensical respect among citizens for transparent, democratic norms and institutionality. Coups are seen as an extra-legal retrogression to a barbarous past. The dark days of the region’s late-20th-century military dictatorships, which came to power through U.S.-sponsored coups, comprise a sinister legacy that continues to inform how leaders and social movements in the region frame current events. Coups, and the threat of coups, are still a part of the Latin American reality, even in the 21st century.

Reviews

Dawn Paley
Land, a documentary film by Julian T. Pinder (distributed in the United States by 7th Art), 2010, 52 mins. (TV version) (landthemovie.com)
NACLA
Lula of Brazil: The Story So Far by Richard Bourne (University of California Press, 2008); We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States by James N. Green (Duke University Press, 2010); This Land Is Ours Now: Social Mobilization and the Meanings of Land in Brazil by Wendy Wolford (Duke University Press, 2010).
Bill Weinberg
Bolivia's Radical Tradition: Permanent Revolution in the Andes by S. Sándor John, University of Arizona Press, 2009, 320 pp., $55 (hardcover)

Letters

Tracking the Economy

Timothy A. Wise
Because of U.S. agricultural dumping under NAFTA, Mexican farmers on average lost more than $1 billion per year during the nine-year period of 1997–2005, with more than half the losses suffered by the country's embattled corn farmers. Mexico's own subsidies, meanwhile, have only exacerbated inequalities.