In past weeks, the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia moved to shut down or expel major NGOs (non-government organizations) that work on issues of the environment, extractivism, and indigenous rights. Is this a reasoned assertion of sovereignty against foreign intervention or a move against social movements and democracy through an attack on their bases of foreign support?
The supposed “irony” of whistle-blower Edward Snowden seeking asylum in countries such as Ecuador and Venezuela has become a media meme. Of course, any such “ironies” would be irrelevant even if they were based on factual considerations.
On Friday, I participated in a panel discussion hosted by Al Jazeera English’s weeknight news program “Inside Story Americas,” along with Latin America scholars Gerardo Munck of the University of Southern California and Diana Villiers Negroponte of the Brookings Institution, on the ramifications of the U.S. hunt for whistleblower Edward Snowden.