FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wishing Kerry Would Shut Up About Latin America

Now that Andrés Oppenheimer –that obnoxious columnist over at the Miami Herald who routinely bashes Hugo Chávez and supports U.S. military aid to murderous right-wing thugs in Colombia– is saying such nice things about John Kerry, I’m getting a little worried.

The title of Oppenheimer’s recent column, “Kerry stance may force focus on Latin America,” is particularly worrisome. In my view, the less the U.S. government focuses on Latin America, the better. If Kerry’s latest emphasis on Latin America could “force” both Republicans and Democrats alike to “focus” on Latin America, progressive Latin Americans better start bracing for the worst.

There’s nothing like Uncle Sam trying to shove more bad economic advice down Latin America’s throat, or worse yet, to send more weapons to pliant militaries in the region. Such policies never have the interests of ordinary Latin Americans at heart; rather, those policies are designed to:

1) bring more profits to U.S.-based multinationals, at the expense of Latin America’s own economic enterprises and the region’s socio-economic development as a whole;

2) keep the money flowing to U.S. weapons manufacturers and inefficient, militarized bureaucracies like the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Southern Command, which deceptively claim to fight a “drug war” but really work hand in hand with traffickers like the Colombian paramilitaries for the disguised purpose of defeating any efforts by Latin Americans to develop their own independent, democratic and equitable model of social and economic development.

According to Oppenheimer, Kerry claims to have a regional agenda of “supporting a five-year, $2.5 billion Social Investment and Development Fund for the Americas.” “The proposal,” Oppenheimer continues, “is contained in a congressional bill that would expand U.S. aid for education, health and small startup businesses in the region.”

Gee, that sounds great. But, of course, if history is any indication, such “aid” will be dangled out there before Latin American electorates as a way to bribe them into voting for “pro-American” politicians; such “aid” is almost invariably designed to stifle movements for equitable and democratic socio-economic development. You can bet your hiney that Venezuela, under Hugo Chavez, won’t be seeing much of that “aid.”

Oppenheimer cites Rep. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., as noting –with great concern– that Washington is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of Latin Americans, as indicated by recent polls.

Well, good! Washington doesn’t have anything worthwhile to offer Latin America in the way of social and economic development, so Latin Americans are better off telling Uncle Sam to buzz off.

Noting that “Kerry has become the second U.S. presidential candidate in recent memory to devote a full campaign speech to Latin American affairs (The first one was Bush, in August 2000),” Oppenheimer joyously concludes that this “will most likely force Bush to double the bet in coming weeks, which can only do good.”

Yeah, sure. Latin Americans must be just thrilled at the prospect that a stupid, missile-toting U.S. President who is clearly in the pocket of U.S.-based oil corporations could “double the bet” on new U.S. government initiatives for Latin America.

John Kerry should just shut up about Latin America.

JUSTIN DELACOUR is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the Masters program in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico. He has written for Latin America Data Base, a University of New Mexico-based news service. He receives email at jdelac@unm.edu

More articles by:
August 21, 2018
Anthony DiMaggio
Fascist Nation: The “Alt-Right” Menace Persists, Despite Setbacks
Chris Floyd
Dial “N” for Mayhem: Wording Our Way to a New Level of Hell
Creston Davis
The Education Impasse in the USA
Jonathan Cook
In Detaining Peter Beinart, Israel Has Declared it No Longer Represents Millions of Jews Overseas
Kshama Sawant
UPS Teamsters, We Have Your Back in this Fight
Kenneth Culton
Trump Supporters: the Joyous Cult Bound by Shared Story and Ritual
Andy Thayer
Why the Chicago ‘68 Convention Matters Today
Simone Chun
Sea of Tears: The Tragedy of Families Split by the Korean War
William Blum
The Russians Did It (cont.)
Manuel E. Yepe
How Capitalism Erodes Mental Health
Doug Noble
Thomas Mountain
Djibouti Faces Dark Days to Come; Eritrean Ports, Pipeline Threaten Ethiopian Trade Lifeline
Binoy Kampmark
Finding Fault and Faulty Infrastructure: Genoa’s Morandi Bridge Disaster
Kary Love
“Suffer Not the Little Children….”
Thomas Knapp
Omarosa Manigault Newman, Public Servant
August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Mighty Voice for Peace Has Gone Silent: Uri Avnery, 1923-2018
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail