Chicago, IL – On January 24, over 60 people crowded the Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to join a discussion with Juan González of the Great Cities Institute and David Ramirez of the Cuban Embassy around the current immigrant crisis and its root causes. The discussion was co-hosted by two campus groups: New Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at UIC and Mexican Students de Aztlán (MeSA) at UIC.
San Salvador, El Salvador – On Sunday, February 4, right-wing Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele illegally ran for reelection even though the country’s constitution doesn’t allow presidents to serve two consecutive terms. With extreme irregularities throughout the year leading up to the election and systemic chaos bringing ballot counting to a halt on election night, Bukele still declared himself the winner of the presidency, and his party the winner of 58 out 60 Legislative Assembly seats. Opposition parties stated that Bukele’s claim that his party had won 58 of 60 Legislative Assembly seats was wildly inaccurate.
Miami, FL – On December 1, immigrant groups representing several different countries in the Caribbean and South America rallied together at the Torch of Friendship to show unity and strength against U.S imperialism and far-right political violence in Latin America. Various groups of immigrant activists united in what they said was just the beginning of a new movement in South Florida to bring together the various struggles in Latin America against neo-liberalism and neo-colonialism.
Chicago, IL – Today, a military coup took place in Bolivia. The first act began on October 20 – the day that Evo Morales was re-elected president by a ten-point margin against his nearest opponent, starting with violent protests in the country's urban middle-class neighborhoods. The final act was carried out by the head of the Bolivian Armed Forces, Gen. Williams Kaliman, who went on national television today and demanded that Morales resign. This followed a day of police mutinies in key cities, and in totality it was clear that the elected government had lost the support of the armed apparatus of the state. Without arms to fall back on, and fearing the slaughter of their supporters, Morales, his vice president Álvaro García Linera, and the president of the Senate, Adriana Salvatierra resigned. Morales stated, ”I am resigning so that my comrades will not continue to be intimidated and threatened, so that [the reactionaries} will stop burning their homes and persecuting the humble people.”
Today, I am proud to be Latin American. Today I will not complain about injustices. Today I will not cry. Today, in addition to celebrating our heritage, we must reflect and begin to love our America, just as José Martí, to really love her! It is time to be proud, to raise your forehead high and not be afraid. It is time to feel the pride of coming from a land where the cosmic race was born, where people from all over the world were merged into a clash where there was death, blood, conquest and colonialism. But from this brutal change, hope was born ... a new culture, with strong roots, mixed with earth, mud, stone and full of life. Today I want to tell all of you, old, young and children to discover your roots! This way you can have the pride of being who you are and want to fight for what is yours.
Milwaukee, WI – On Dec. 18, Donald Trump announced his administration’s National Security Strategy, essentially laying out the worldview of the American ruling class and how the U.S. intends to project its power into the future. All in all, it is more of the same: “peace through strength” by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars away from the needs of the American people and into the Pentagon, border militarization and the use of all means available to extend U.S. influence to every corner of the globe.
U.S. Latin Americanist cold warriors and their far-right allies in the region kicked off a propaganda campaign in May to influence Congress and U.S. citizens against Venezuela and fellow ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas) countries. With declining attention being paid to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, neoconservatives and neoliberals want to turn our attention to rolling back social and economic advances in Latin America.
President Bush embarked on a Latin American tour March 8-14 that included stops in Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. The tour was billed in the mainstream media as an opportunity to ‘bolster relations with our neighbors to the south’ and to ‘remind Latin Americans that Bush hasn’t forgotten about them,’ but people who know better recognized Bush’s true motives: to strengthen free trade agreements that maximize corporate profits through the exploitation of resources and workers and to minimize the influence of Hugo Chavez, the widely popular president of Venezuela.