NACLA Update 10/06/2011

Dear NACLA friends,

President Barack Obama submitted the controversial free-trade agreements (FTAs) between the United States and Colombia, Panama, and South Korea for swift approval by Congress this week.

The U.S.-Colombian FTA in particular had been stalled for several years over Colombia's dismal labor and human rights record. The U.S. government now hopes Congress will approve these agreements by the end of the month. However, as we have shown in two recent articles, The Colombia FTA: Only Corporations Win and Buenaventura, Colombia: Where Free Trade Meets Mass Graves, the approval of the U.S.-Colombia FTA, will only deepen the human rights crisis, and enable multinational corporations to become the big winners.
Several solidarity organizations are urging people all over the country to call their representatives in Washington and ask them to vote against the Colombia, Panama, and South Korean FTAs. You can find more information here.

Online this week:

Joseph Nevins: Family Values at the Border

Fred Rosen: The Train of the Flies

Nazih Richani: Colombia's Military Expenditure and Its Impact

Emily Achtenberg: 'We Are All TIPNIS'

Preview of the Next Issue: "The Politics of Human Rights"

This edition of NACLA will examine how the United States government and its right-wing allies have adopted a human rights discourse to discredit Latin American governments that have undermined U.S. hegemony in the region. Arturo López Levy reflects on how the U.S. embargo against Cuba has been presented as a policy that favors human rights, but has itself caused many humanitarian concerns. Lorraine Bayard de Volo looks at Cuba's Damas de Blanco, and how WikiLeaks documents have linked them with the support of powerful allies, including the U.S. governement. Nicole Fabricant describes how right wing conservatives in Bolivia have used a human rights defense to prevent Evo Morales' government from redistributing wealth, and reclaim control over private media, transnational corporations, and mining companies. Gregory Wilpert examines how a role-reversal has taken place in Venezuela, whereby the center-right denounces the Venezuelan government for countless human rights abuses. And Honduran human rights advocate Bertha Oliva, in a NACLA interview with Micahel Fox, explains how human rights has been transformed from a tool that protects victims into a device for publicity and manipulation. 

Don't forget to read our current issue in print: "Cuba: Salvaging a Revolution?"

Upcoming NACLA Events:

NACLA will cosponsor "Impugning Impunity: A human Rights Documentary Film Series" from November 3-5 at the Museum of the City of New York. The festival will kick off with Hollman Morris' "Impunity" on November 3rd at 6 pm, followed by a Q&A with the Colombian journalist. Other films featured are: "Prosecutor," "The Mexican Suitcase," "Granito," and "Nostalgia of Light." Subscribers can read a review of "Nostalgia of Light" in our archive.

Stay tuned for upcoming interviews, event announcements, and a preview of our Human Rights issue.

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