Posted: 06 Mar 2013 08:11 AM PST Pan-American Post
After 14 years in power and a two-year battle with cancer, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died yesterday at 4:25pm Caracas time. There are a number of good overviews of his legacy in the press today, both positive and negative.
In The Atlantic, The Caracas Chronicles’ Francisco Toro blasts Chavez for “craft[ing] a state where his will wasn’t just unchecked, but where he would never suffer the indignity of having to account for his decisions.” The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson, who met with the Venezuelan leader several times, offers a more personal look at Chavez’s characteristically frank leadership style, referring to him as a “warm and amiable showman.” Simon Romero’s obituary of Chavez in the New York Times is a well-written portrayal of a complex, divisive figure, and is definitely worth reading in full. Also in the NYT, Guardian correspondent Rory Carroll excoriates Chavez not for his ideology or authoritarian government, but for poor management. Continue reading
By David Bacon Truth-Out oped, February 15, 2013 http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14569-lets-stop-making-migration-a-crime
We need an immigration policy based on human, civil and labor rights, which looks at the reasons why people come to the U.S., and how we can end the criminalization of their status and work. While proposals from Congress and the administration have started the debate over the need for change in our immigration policy, they are not only too limited and ignore the global nature of migration, but they will actually make the problem of criminalization much worse. We need a better alternative. Continue reading
(Max Fisher — The Washington Post)
Read the Whole Story: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/14629-why-latin-america-didnt-join-washingtons-counterterrorism-posse
Monday, 18 February 2013 11:05 By Greg Grandin and Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch | News Analysis ….What’s most striking about the Post’s map is that no part of its wine-dark horror touches Latin America; that is, not one country in what used to be called Washington’s “backyard” participated in rendition or Washington-directed or supported torture and abuse of “terror suspects.” Not even Colombia, which throughout the last two decades was as close to a U.S.-client state as existed in the area. It’s true that a fleck of red should show up on Cuba, but that would only underscore the point: Teddy Roosevelt took Guantánamo Bay Naval Base for the U.S. in 1903 “in perpetuity.”….
Obama Signals Four More Years of Bad Relations with Latin America [with video]
Dec 19th 2012, by Mark Weisbrot – Al Jazeera
Many in Latin America pray for a healthy recovery for Venezuela’s Chavez, who is undergoing cancer treatment [EPA]
President Obama went too far in throwing gratuitous insults at President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela on Friday, in an interview in Miami. By doing so, he not only offended the majority of Venezuelans, who voted to re-elect their president on October 7, but even many who did not. Chavez is fighting for his life, recovering from a difficult cancer operation; in Latin America, as in most of the world, this wholly unnecessary vilification of Chavez by Obama is a breach not only of diplomatic protocol but also of ordinary standards of civility. Continue reading
Mariano Andrade. AFP. December 12, 2012
Energy, education and freedom of expression in Latin America are “specific challenges” that U.S. President Barack Obama plans on addressing during his second term in the White House, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said on Tuesday.
In a presentation to the New York-based Council of the Americas, Jacobson declined to address the future of Venezuela, although she expressed hope for a quick recovery of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, who flew to Cuba this week for emergency cancer treatment.
December 12, 2012 5:53 PM
Andrew Biraj/Reuters A scarf of a garment worker in the burnt interior of the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh.
Recent factory fires in Pakistan and Bangladesh have killed more than 400 people. Yet, the stricken garment manufacturers had apparently passed inspection — despite bars on windows and locked exits — and been deemed safe.
Honduras: The Honduran People under a Permanent Coup d’Etat (final entry below)
Not bad AP article on the current institutional crisis in Honduras. AP seems to be the only news service regularly covering Honduras. They deserve kudos for that.
Judicial Independence Under Fire in Honduras Posted: 11 Dec 2012 05:19 AM PST
The conflict between Honduras’ Supreme Court and the executive and legislative branches heated up yesterday after the Honduran Congress voted to create a special commission charged with investigating the “administrative conduct” of federal judges in the country. El Heraldo reports that the initiative, which was passed late yesterday afternoon by the ruling majority of President Porfirio Lobo’s conservative National Party, will focus mainly on the five-member Constitutional Branch of the Supreme Court.
see below: NATO EXPANSION ONTO GLOBAL STAGE DANGEROUS THREAT TO WORLD PEACE
Tomgram: David Vine, The True Costs of Empire Posted by David Vine at 9:13am, December 11, 2012. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.
Mars? Venus? Earth-like bodies elsewhere in the galaxy? Who knows? But here, at least, no great power, no superpower, no hyperpower, not the Romans, nor imperial China, nor the British, nor the Soviet Union has ever garrisoned the globe quite the way we have: Asia to Latin America, Europe to the Greater Middle East, and increasingly Africa as well.
Build we must. If someday Washington took to the couch for therapy, the shrink would undoubtedly categorize what we’ve done as a compulsion, the base-building equivalent of a hoarding disorder.
Published on Monday, August 20, 2012 by TruthDig.com The War in the Shadows by Chris Hedges
A Swedish documentary filmmaker released a film last year called “Last Chapter—Goodbye Nicaragua.” In it he admitted that he unknowingly facilitated a bombing, almost certainly orchestrated by the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, which took the lives of three reporters I worked with in Central America. One of them, Linda Frazier, was the mother of a 10-year-old son. Her legs were torn apart by the blast, at La Penca, Nicaragua, along the border with Costa Rica, in May of 1984. She bled to death as she was being taken to the nearest hospital, in Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica.Illustration by Mr. Fish
Interesting commentary on the situation in Haiti…
August 20, 2012, Manufacturing Contempt 
 In a July 29th speech  at a fundraiser in Jerusalem, presidential candidate Mitt Romney attributed the stark difference in economic development between Israel and Palestine partly to cultural factors. To illustrate his case, he provided incorrect data showing that Israel’s per capita gross domestic product was twice that of Palestine (the difference is actually around 20 to 1 ).
In any case, it was but one indicator that allowed Romney to “recognize the power” of “culture, and a few other things” in determining “economic vitality.” One of “a few other things” that has influenced Palestine’s economy, unmentioned by Romney, is Israel’s crippling, U.S.-funded military occupation of Palestine, now in its 45th year , which has dispossessed the Palestinians of land, water, and sovereignty.