FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wishing Kerry Would Shut Up About Latin America

by JUSTIN DELACOUR

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:
Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail