Operation Latin American Freedom

Preparations are underway for renewed US militarization and intervention in Latin America. To protect its own hegemony and economic interests, the US government is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse for military operations aimed at destabilizing leftist movements and governments and securing natural resources such as oil and gas.

By focusing on social programs in education, land reform and healthcare, many of the region's new leaders have put the needs of the people ahead of the demands of multinational companies. This leftist resurgence makes corporate investors and other harbingers of the free market nervous. Recently, the Bush administration has gone to extreme measures to ensure that this leftist trend is put in check.

Labor Protest

Diverse Anti-war Protests Largest in DC Since Vietnam

Kicking off three days of actions aimed ultimately at pressuring the US government to pull troops out of Iraq, scores of protesters converged on Washington, DC on Saturday, September 24 for an all-day protest that included an array of speakers, a march past the White House and a concert that lasted well into the early morning hours. Estimates of the demonstration's size ranged from 100,000 to 300,000 protesters. Participants from across the country spent long hours riding overnight on buses and in caravans to take part in the largest anti-war event the nation's capitol has seen since the Vietnam War era. Groups began assembling on the Ellipse in front of the White House early yesterday. In preparation for the event, police blanketed the Ellipse, Federal Triangle and the grounds of the Washington Monument with a confusing maze of orange-plastic and wooden fences, closing many roads to both automobile and pedestrian traffic.

Paraguayan Base

U.S. Military in Paraguay Prepares to “Spread Democracy”

Controversy is raging in Paraguay, where the U.S. military is conducting secretive operations. 500 U.S. troops arrived in the country on July 1st with planes, weapons and ammunition. Eyewitness reports prove that an airbase exists in Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, which is 200 kilometers from the border with Bolivia and may be utilized by the U.S. military. Officials in Paraguay claim the military operations are routine humanitarian efforts and deny that any plans are underway for a U.S. base. Yet human rights groups in the area are deeply worried. White House officials are using rhetoric about terrorist threats in the tri-border region (where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet) in order to build their case for military operations, in many ways reminiscent to the build up to the invasion of Iraq. (1) The tri-border area is home to the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world's largest reserves of water. Near the Estigarribia airbase are Bolivia's natural gas reserves, the second largest in Latin America. Political analysts believe U.S. operations in Paraguay are part of a preventative war to control these natural resources and suppress social uprisings in Bolivia.


Worker Unions in Iraq: An Interview with Amjad Aljawhary

Amjad Aljawhary is the North American Representative of The Federation of Worker Councils and Unions in Iraq. In this interview he discusses his union's main objectives, the US government's response to union organizing in Iraq, how the money for reconstruction is being spent, public opinion in Iraq regarding the presence of US troops there and what activists and workers outside of the country can do in solidarity to help Iraqi workers.


What is the U.S. Military Doing in Paraguay?

The U.S. military is conducting secretive operations in Paraguay and reportedly building a new base there. Human rights groups and military analysts in the region believe trouble is brewing.However, the U.S. embassy in Paraguay denies the base exists and describes the military activity as routine. According to an article in the Bolivian newspaper, El Deber, a U.S. base is being developed in Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay, 200 kilometers from the border with Bolivia. The base will permit the landing of large aircraft and is capable of housing up to 16,000 troops. A contingent of 500 U.S. troops arrived in Paraguay on July 1st with planes, weapons, equipment and ammunition. (1)

With Bolivia's recent uprisings, their enormous gas reserves, and a presidential election on the way, this questionable activity could pave the way for a U.S. intervention.Rumors of Al Qaeda training grounds near Paraguay may also work to the Bush administration's advantage as it makes a case for military operations in the region.


Argentina: Hope in Hard Times

"Imagine you lost your job and the government closed down the banks, so you couldn't get out your savings.  What would you do?" asks the narrator of the new film, Argentina: Hope in Hard Times.  In the case of Argentina's economic crisis in 2002, the situation brought about a renewal in grassroots democracy. This film covers the social movement that broke out in Argentina during that crisis, taking the viewer on a wild ride to street protests, worker-controlled factories, barter fairs and a Citibank transformed into a community center.  It discusses the rise and fall of a country that, in a matter of days, went from being one of the richest nations in the region, to one of the poorest.