Latin America is rebelling against America's neoliberalism

The mainstream media largely ignored the collapse of the center-left over the past decade. The ideology of "progressive on social issues, while being almost indistinguishable from the right-wing on economic issues" had died in 2008, but its zombie corpse lives on because the ruling class requires it.
Western democracy has been crumbling from within for a long time.
The people are fed up.

The people we’ve tasked with running the world have, for the most part, turned out to be corrupt. Did they really think that citizens wouldn’t notice?

The ruling elite pretended that nothing had changed, because you can't talk about a global movement against rising inequality without talking about class. Instead, the embarrassing victories of right-wing demagogues were treated as inexplicable failures of average voters, rather than reactions to the greed and failures of the ruling elite.
In the rare case when the media notices the widespread revolt, neoliberalism and U.S. policies never get mentioned.

But ignoring a movement doesn't make it go away, and now it's growing into a full-scale, working-class revolution on a global scale.
Not only that, this revolution has a distinct anti-U.S. flavor and that explains why we don't hear much about it.


This was what happened when Nancy Pelosi met some prominent Haitian Americans.

A meeting in Miami between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some of South Florida’s most prominent Haitian Americans ended Thursday with a message for the Democratic leader to take back to Washington: The U.S. needs to stop meddling in Haiti’s internal affairs — and Haiti President Jovenel Moïse needs to go.


Ranking right up there with Haiti is Ecuador, where Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, and the rest of the government has fled the capital of Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil.
A good example of who is in charge is this.

Indigenous leaders in Ecuador captured and publicly paraded eight police officers before a crowd on Thursday, pushing back against a tough government crackdown on anti-austerity protests that have shaken President Lenin Moreno’s administration.

In an escalation of week-long demonstrations over Moreno’s ending of fuel subsidies and loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), protesters detained the officers at a cultural center in Quito being used as an opposition base, Reuters witnesses said.
The eight officers were forced on stage in front of thousands of people.


Parading captured police is the next to last stage of a revolution.
The country is paralyzed by a nationwide strike.

“What the government has done is reward the big banks, the capitalists, and punish poor Ecuadorians,” said Mesías Tatamuez, head of the Workers’ United Front umbrella union.

The IMF agreement requires the government to make sweeping cuts the federal budget – equivalent to about 6 percent of GDP over the next three years.

Argentina will have an election in just a few weeks, where they are expected to vote out the IMF-loving neoliberal president and install a leftist president in his place.

When President Mauricio Macri, heir to one of the country’s largest fortunes, came to power in late 2015, he vowed to eradicate the oppressive poverty that draws “slum priests” like Padre Paco to the villas miseria (misery towns). Instead, the number below the poverty line has swelled by four million under Macri — more than a third of Argentina’s population of 44 million now live in the kind of poverty seen in Barrio Eva Perón.

But the people aren't waiting around for the election.

The Hondurans have been fighting back against the U.S.-backed coup for a decade, so far in vain.

Grassroots resistance in Honduras has flared at each new step toward authoritarianism and the private takeover of public goods. Hondurans have survived a coup regime perpetuated through electoral fraud and exclusion, as well as some of the world’s most extreme experiments in neoliberalism, like the introduction of “Special Economic Zones” that exempt investment areas from legal protections against corporate plunder. The country suffers savage forms of extractivism that take water, land, and territory and assassinate defenders...
“We’re not just talking about the privatization of health and education, we’re talking about the fact that the Honduran people have seen just about all basic services privatized: They’ve privatized electrical energy, telecommunications, roads—in a country where there’s no other way to get around. This has meant an exponential rise in the cost of living for the population, and wages haven’t gone up.”


In our media all you hear about is the Honduran government's involvement with drug lords.
While that is important, it's also a way to avoid talking about the way the social safety net has been completely destroyed.

49 percent of the public health budget had been diverted to other purposes in recent years, and the nation’s head of finances reported that the health ministry underspent its budget in 2018 by 800 million lempiras, or about $33 million, as surgeons operate by cell-phone lanterns on patients sharing a single bed...
We think they’re purposely causing deterioration in the health system to justify handing it over to the private sector,” says Dr. Figueroa.

Honduras is reaching a tipping point. Like Haiti almost everything has been stolen, so the people have nothing left to lose.

An important exception to the rule is the protests against the socialist government in Bolivia.
...or is it an exception?

Demonstrators on Monday launched a series of rolling protests demanding the Bolivian government grant more benefits from a massive lithium project with Germany's privately owned ACI Systems.

Residents in the province of Potosi say they will not receive enough royalties from the plan to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries and a lithium hydroxide plant.

Protesters marched and blockaded streets in the first of a series of protests planned by the Potosi Civic Committee, which will amplify their demands in the coming days with public and education strikes if President Evo Morales doesn't respond.

So in reality the people of Bolivia are protesting when their socialist government does something like a neoliberal.

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In a Foreign Affairs article in January 2019, Senator Elizabeth Warren explained how the U.S. “began to export a particular brand of capitalism, one that involved weak regulations, low taxes on the wealthy, and policies favoring multinational corporations. And the United States took on a series of seemingly endless wars, engaging in conflicts with mistaken or uncertain objectives and no obvious path to completion. The impact of these policy changes has been devastating.”

What Senator Warren skated over, without connecting the dots, was that the real objective of those wars, coups and other regime change operations was precisely to impose the “particular brand of capitalism” she described, and, if necessary, to do so by the illegal and deadly use of military force.

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@gjohnsit we export anything else, Liz? Does Warren seriously think that before Trump, Bush, Reagan, America did NOT "export a particular brand of capitalism, one that involved weak regulations, low taxes on the wealthy, and policies favoring multinational corporations. And the United States took on a series of seemingly endless wars, engaging in conflicts with mistaken or uncertain objectives and no obvious path to completion." When was that Liz? Before Vietnam, Batista's Cuba, the Panama Canal?

Elizabeth Warren seems to confuse the rhetoric of the Kennedy era "Alliance for Progress" and Johnson and Nixon's "democratization" and "people's capitalism" we exported to Vietnam for something else. Was that the sort of benign development program we exported? Where is this other brand of capitalism we've exported, Liz? China? Honduras, Haiti?

I certainly hope she's a better economist than she is a historian. But, I seriously doubt it.

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Lily O Lady's picture


“War is a racket.”

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady

Holly Petraeus To Be Elizabeth Warren’s Pick For Top Post In New Consumer Protection Agency (EXCLUSIVE)
By Shahien Nasiripour and Chris Kirkham
01/04/2011 02:09 am ET

Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration appointee now establishing a consumer financial protection agency, plans to name the wife of General David Petraeus—the top American general in Afghanistan—to a new position tasked with protecting military families from predatory lenders, according to sources familiar with the planning.

Holly Petraeus, a longtime advocate for military families, is expected to be named to the senior post sometime later this week, according to the sources, who spoke on condition they not be named. They characterized her selection as part of the administration’s designs to crack down on unscrupulous lending operations that have thrived by focusing on vulnerable Americans—not least, military personnel and their families, who have been contending with a weak economy at home just as many breadwinners are serving overseas in the dangerous conflict zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Petraeus’s appointment is aimed at empowering the agency to target abusive lenders without running afoul of Republicans in Congress, said the sources. Member of the GOP have portrayed the new institution as an enemy of free enterprise, warning that it could restrict credit by impeding the financial industry.

A generally respected commander in the Iraq war and now in Afghanistan, General Petraeus enjoys the favor of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers—boosting the administration’s hope that his wife and her initiative will be politically difficult to oppose, the sources said.

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Does anyone think that the State Department, the IMF or the CIA will let the peasants get away with this?

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Wally's picture

I watched joe's link to the helpful French TV spot on Bolivia, but it just begins to touch upon the issues there.

Looks like Evo Morales ratcheted up the economy through increased extraction of oil which built up a middle class which, in turn, is now backbiting him. And industrialization is a double-edged sword that also cuts against the peasanty and indigenous peoples and crosses environmenalists. And his legal manueverings to keep himself in office are problematic, too. On top of it all, it seems he's also cut some IMF deals. I haven't really found much to read about it aside from neolibcon sources.

Edit/add: The presidential election is coming up on October 20th and it looks like he'll wind up in a run-off acccording to an article in the Guardian a couple days ago:

Morales would need 40% of votes nationwide and a 10-point margin for a first round victory, but polls published on Thursday showed him on just 36.2% of votes, behind his main challenger, the former president Carlos Mesa.

“A couple of months ago it seemed Morales was set for a first-round victory, but his handling of the fires have seen him lose support,” said Raúl Peñaranda, a political analyst. “The fires have also caused increased tension and polarisation in Bolivian society.”

Earlier this month hundreds of thousands of people joined a mass protest in Santa Cruz over what they said was a slow response to the fire. Speakers held Morales responsible for the destruction because of his decrees promoting slash-and-burn agriculture in forest areas.

Thing is, peasants have been using this method for millennia (TEK / Traditional Ecological Knowledge) and some ecologists have argued that it is actually beneficial for the environment because it increases carbon sequestration in the soil. Seems like Morales got caught in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation -- he would have lost peasant and indigenous votes , his primary base, if he opposed slash and burn. And no doubt there are other international forces that are helping promote the protests against him.

In any event, and however the fires spread, the impact on the rainforests has been devastating:

According to figures from the government of the Santa Cruz department, more than 4m hectares (9.9m acres) of forest and arable land – an area almost the size of Switzerland – have been ravaged by the fires.

A further 1.3m hectares were destroyed in the northern Beni department. Seven firefighters died and 10,000 families were forced to leave their homes.

More than 2 million animals are estimated to have been killed and huge swathes of forest turned to ash.

What's a socialist president to do? It don't come easy.

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It's the essence of Obamaism!

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.