Tag Archives: James Petras

Leader of Deathsquads Wins Colombian Election

The following article from VoltaireNet is by James Petras:

With just a 30 percent turnout, the election of new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was celebrated as a “victory for democracy” by major western media outlets. However, they blithely omitted to report on Santos’ role in the killings of over two thousand people presumably by the security forces while he was Defence Minister and his close involvement with death squads and narco traffickers. As one of Washington’s staunchest allies in Latin America and enthusiastic free-market champion, Colombia’s appalling human rights record and model of brutal political and social repression is news that doesn’t make the news.

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Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP

The following book review is from Fight Back!, the newspaper of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization:

Book Review
Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP

By Josh Sykes | February 6, 2010

Professor James J. Brittain’s new book, Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP (Pluto Press, London: 2010), is a thoroughly researched and documented academic study of the Colombian revolution and of its largest and longest lasting guerrilla organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP). This alone makes it almost unique. Add to this the fact that it is based on five years of extensive research in Colombia’s countryside, both with the FARC and with the rural population, and it becomes clear that we have a one-of-a-kind book. What this study amounts to is a systematic and thorough defense of the FARC, facing the myths and allegations against the FARC squarely and putting them to rest. On this point, the book is invaluable.

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Latin America’s ‘New Left’ in Crises as the ‘Free Market’ Collapses

James Petras

James Petras

The following article is from Venezuela Analysis:

October 30th 2008, by James Petras

Latin America is entering a period of profound economic recession, financial crises, collapsing stock market quotations, prices, deep devaluation of its currencies, growing unemployment, declining revenues and the prospect of a prolonged socio-economic recession. The economic breakdown, which is still unfolding, affects the entire political spectrum, extending from the far-right Uribe regime in Colombia to the social-liberal Chilean and Brazilian governments of Bachelet and Lula da Silva to the ‘center-left’ regimes of Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador and even to the leftist government of Hugo Chavez.

It is not surprising to see that rightist regimes [1], embracing neo-liberal doctrines and deeply enmeshed in free trade agreements with the US, following its path to economic collapse. The deepening crisis has affected, with equal or greater force, the so-called ‘center-left’ regimes of Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

The uniformity of the collapse of Latin American economies raises important questions about the changes and claims of independence, decoupling and post-liberal models, which many regime leaders, ideologues and progressive US-European Latin American writers made over the past several years.

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Human Rights Watch in Venezuela

The very logic of bourgeois ‘human rights’ denies class struggle, opposes revolution, and props up the status quo. This article demonstrates that well. One might want to read the following article along with the French Marxist-Leninist philosopher, Louis Althusser, who in his essay Marxism and Humanism, explains how ‘humanism’ (and with it the discourse of ‘human rights’) is an ideology maintaining and reproducing the current capitalist mode of production. The following article is from Venezuela Analysis and serves as clear case in point of how this works. It is interesting in showing how the bourgeois discourse of ‘human rights’ serves to slander and attack anti-imperialist struggles such as in Venezuela’s progressive social-democratic movement led by Hugo Chavez. See also “Human Rights Watch and elections in Venezuela” by Francisco Domínguez.  

Human Rights Watch in Venezuela: Lies, Crimes and Cover-ups

September 29th 2008, by James Petras

Human Rights Watch, a US-based group claiming to be a non-governmental organization, but which is in fact funded by government-linked quasi-private foundations and a Congressional funded political propaganda organization, the National Endowment for Democracy, has issued a report “A Decade Under Chavez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela” (9/21/2008 hrw.org). The publication of the “Report” directed by José Miguel Vivanco and sub-director Daniel Wilkinson led to their expulsion from Venezuela for repeated political-partisan intervention in the internal affairs of the country. Continue reading

Fidel Castro and the FARC: Eight Mistaken Theses of Fidel Castro

I’m reposting this article by James Petras because I think it illuminates a larger problem Leftists have been suffereing from (take the ISO for example). This is what Mao Zedong once called the “It’s terrible!” theory. I’m a supporter of Fidel Castro, but these statements of his need to be looked at more closely. That said, while the overall thrust of the article is good, I think some of what Petras says about Cuban elections is unfair. Nonetheless, I encourage people to read it.

Fidel Castro and the FARC:
Eight Mistaken Thesis of Fidel Castro

by James Petras

I have been a supporter of the Cuban Revolution for exactly fifty years and recognize Fidel Castro as one of the great revolutionary leaders of our time. But I have never been an uncritical apologist: On several crucial occasions I have expressed my disagreements in print, in public and in discussions with Cuban leaders, writers and militants.

07.07.2008

Introduction

Fidel Castro’s articles and commentaries on the recent events in Colombia, namely his discussion of the Colombian regime’s freeing of several FARC prisoners (including three CIA operatives and Ingrid Betancourt) and his critical comments on the politics, structure, practices, tactics and strategy of the FARC and its world-renowned leader, Manuel Marulanda, merit serious consideration.

Castro’s remarks demand analysis and refutation, not only because his opinions are widely read and influence millions of militants and admirers in the world, especially in Cuba and Latin America, but because he purports to provide a ‘moral’ basis for opposition to imperialism today. Equally important Castro’s unfortunate diatribe and critique against the FARC, Marulanda and the entire peasant-based guerrilla movement, has been welcomed, published and broadcast by the entire pro-imperialist mass media on five continents. Fidel Castro, with few caveats, has uncritically joined the chorus condemning the FARC and, as I will demonstrate, without reason or logic. Continue reading