• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Colin Powell and Latin America

 

Secretary of State Colin Powell’s resignation will have little impact on Latin America other than to confirm the fact that under his watch, U.S.-Latin American relations have reached their lowest level in years, with no improvement likely in the near future.

Powell’s disservice to the region was manifested in several distinct areas. In the personnel field, he advanced and defended the nomination of two of the most ill-prepared candidates to successively head the office of Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Powell defended his first candidate, Otto Reich, as an honorable man, even though the Bush administration could not get Reich’s candidacy through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee because of his controversial reputation for operating beyond the law. Reich, a raw right-wing ideologue, and his equally ill-prepared replacement, Roger Noriega, saw U.S.-Latin American relations almost exclusively through the prism of full-time Havana bashing.

If a Latin American government displayed a moderate and respectful attitude towards the Castro regime, it became the unremitting target of Reich’s and Noriega’s ire.

Rather than staunchly backing pragmatism and initiatives aimed at constructively relieving the regions’ social deficits, particularly the continued expansion of poverty and concentration of wealth, Powell’s relatively few speeches on Latin America emphasized only trade, market reform and an overly simplified view of the need for democracy. Additionally, rather than genuine concern, Powell’s interest in human rights always seemed to reflect selective indignation towards left-wing regimes, like Venezuela. When it came to the region’s reaction to the Iraq war, Powell saw to it that a number of Latin American nations were dragooned into joining the “Coalition of the Willing.” As for those that continued in their dissent, such as the Chilean and Mexican ambassadors to the UN, he pressured their respective government’s to withdraw them from their post.

The net result of Powell’s unprincipled positions ­ particularly evident in his sly and dishonorable strategy to oust Jean Bertrand Aristide from office on August 29 ­ was that an estimated 85 percent of Latin Americans were opposed to a Bush victory in the presidential election.

Powell could have used his prestige to advance mutual respect and cooperation in U.S.-Latin American relations. Instead, he sanctioned the roguish activities of Reich and Noriega, poisoning Washington’s image as a proud tower of ethical standards and turning it into that of the neighborhood bully, who unabashedly subscribes to the thesis that might means right and the ends justify the means.

LARRY BIRNS is director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

What’s Inside the New Post-Election Print Edition of CounterPunch!

How Bush Might Have Been Defeated by Robin Blackburn; Terror and Death: Iraq Falls Apart: Patrick Cockburn reports from Baghdad; From Detroit to Baghdad: Death of an Interrogator by Alexander Cockburn. CounterPunch Online is read by millions of viewers each month! But remember, we are funded solely by the subscribers to the print edition of CounterPunch. Please support this website by buying a subscription to our newsletter, which contains fresh material you won’t find anywhere else, or by making a donation for the online edition. Remember contributions are tax-deductible. Click here to make a (tax deductible) donation. If you find our site useful please: Subscribe Now!

Call Toll Free 1-800-840-3683
or write CounterPunch, PO BOX 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

 

More articles by:
June 02, 2020
Zoltan Grossman
Deploying Federal Troops in a War at Home Would Make a Bad Situation Worse
Nicholas Buccola
Amy Cooper is Christian Cooper’s Lost, Younger Sister 
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming is Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
An Unavoidable Recognition of Failure: Trump’s Withdrawal From Afghanistan
John Feffer
Is It Time to Boycott the USA?
Kathy Kelly
Beating Swords to Plowshares
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Urban Riots Revisited
Sam Pizzigati
“Failed State” Status Here We Come
Ron Jacobs
In Defense of Antifa
Cesar Chelala
Bolsonaro and Trump: Separated at Birth
George Wuerthner
The BLM’s License to Destroy Sagebrush Ecosystems
Danny Antonelli
The Absurdity of Hope
Binoy Kampmark
Sinister Flatulence: Trump Versus Twitter
John Stanton
How Much Violence and Destruction is Enough for Depraved American Leaders and Their Subjects?
Richard C. Gross
The Enemy Within
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s “Free Speech:” Doctrine: Never, Ever, Ever Mention He’s a Liar
John W. Whitehead
This Is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation
June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail