US Secretary of State John Kerry recently called on the Venezuelan government to end the “terror campaign against its own citizens.” Kerry’s words are just the latest effort by the US government and mainstream media to portray the month-long protests in Venezuela as peaceful popular demonstrations against an authoritarian regime that has resorted to repression to quell the uprisings. As a result, the Venezuelan government, as Kerry’s statement illustrates, is being blamed for most of the 28 deaths that have occurred. But is this portrayal accurate? A closer look at the reality on the ground paints a very different picture. From the beginning, the protesters have been armed, have conducted widespread arson and have been intent on achieving the unconstitutional overthrow of a democratically-elected government. Continue reading
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Cuba proved to be an influential force at the 2012 Summit of the Americas held in Cartagena, Colombia even though the country was not represented at the meeting of members of the Organization of American States (OAS). The summit ended without a final declaration because two—the United States and Canada—out of the 31 participating nations adamantly opposed a proposal to allow Cuba to participate in the next summit to be held in Panama in 2015. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to a lack of democracy and human rights in Cuba as the primary reasons for their veto of the proposal. Ironically, Obama stated his position on Cuba while standing beside the president of Colombia, the country with the worst human rights record in the region, in yet another blatant illustration of the hypocrisy that exists in U.S. foreign policy.
“A gripping tale of savagery and terror, but also of tenderness, compassion, and renewal.” —Noam Chomsky