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Greg Grandin reviews ‘Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War’ by Tanya Harmer · LRB 19 July 2012
"Harmer dispatches two myths favoured by those who blame the coup on Allende himself. The first is that his commitment to democracy was opportunistic and would soon have been abandoned. ‘One might even,’ Falcoff writes, ‘credit the Nixon administration with preventing the consolidation of Allende’s “totalitarian project”’. The second is that even if Allende wasn’t a fraud he was a fool, unleashing forces he could not control – for example, the left wing of Popular Unity, and the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, which was further to the left of Allende’s coalition and drew inspiration from the Cuban Revolution, Cuba conceived here as a proxy for Moscow.

Harmer shows that Allende was a pacifist, a democrat and a socialist by conviction not convenience. He had an ‘unbending commitment to constitutional government’ and refused in the face of an ‘externally funded’ opposition ‘to take a different non-democratic or violent road’. He invoked history to insist that democracy and socialism were compatible, yet he knew that Chile’s experience was exceptional. During the two decades before his election, military coups had overthrown governments in 12 countries: Cuba in 1952; Guatemala and Paraguay in 1954; Argentina and Peru in 1962; Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and again Guatemala in 1963; Brazil and Bolivia in 1964; and Argentina once more in 1966. Many of these coups were encouraged and sanctioned by Washington and involved subverting exactly the kind of civil-society pluralism – of the press, political parties and unions – that Allende promoted. So he was sympathetic to the Cuban Revolution and respected Castro, especially after he survived the CIA’s Bay of Pigs exploit in 1961. And when Allende won the presidency, he relied on Cuban advisers for personal security and intelligence operations.

But Cuba’s turn to one-party authoritarianism only deepened Allende’s faith in the durability of Chilean democracy. Socialism could be won, he insisted, through procedures and institutions – the ballot, the legislature, the courts and the media – that historically had been dominated by those classes most opposed to it. Castro warned him that the military wouldn’t abide by the constitution. Until at least early 1973 Allende believed otherwise. His revolution would not be confronted with the choice that had been forced on Castro: suspend democracy or perish. But by mid-1973, events were escaping Allende’s command. On 11 September he took his own life, probably with a gun Castro gave him as a gift. The left in the years after the coup developed its own critique of Allende: that, as the crisis hurtled toward its conclusion, he proved indecisive, failing to arm his supporters and train resistance militias, failing to shut down congress and failing to defend the revolution the way Castro defended his. Harmer presents these as conscious decisions, stemming from Allende’s insistence that neither one-party rule nor civil war was an acceptable alternative to defeat.

A photograph of Allende taken during his last hours shows him leaving the presidential palace, pistol in hand and helmet on head, flanked by bodyguards and looking up at the sky, watching for the bombs. The image is powerful yet deceptive, giving the impression that Allende had been at the palace when the coup started, and was beginning to organise resistance to it. But Allende wasn’t trapped in his office. He’d gone there earlier that morning, despite being advised not to, when he heard that his generals had rebelled. The Cubans were ready to arm and train a Chilean resistance and, Harmer writes, ‘to fight and die alongside Allende and Chilean left-wing forces in a prolonged struggle to defend the country’s revolutionary process’. But Allende ordered them not to put their plans into operation, and they listened: ‘The Chilean president,’ Harmer says, ‘was therefore far more in control of Cuba’s involvement in his country than previously thought.’ He also rejected the idea of retreating to the outskirts of Santiago and leading an armed resistance: in Harmer’s assessment, he committed suicide rather than give up his commitment to non-violent revolution.

Many, in Chile and elsewhere, refused to believe that Allende had killed himself. The story had to be that he was executed, like Zapata, Sandino, Guevara and others who died at the hands of traitors. Che fought to the end and had no illusions about the bourgeoisie and its democratic credentials. Allende’s legacy is more ambiguous, especially for today’s revived Latin American left, which despite its remarkable electoral success in recent decades still struggles to tame the market forces set free after the Chilean coup. In 2009 in Honduras, for instance, and last month in Paraguay, democratically elected presidents were unseated by ‘constitutional coups’. In both countries, their opponents dressed up what were classic putsches in the garb of democratic proceduralism, taking advantage of vague impeachment mechanisms to restore the status quo ante.

For Brazil’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), founded in 1980 by militant trade unionists including the future president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the coup in Chile reinforced the need to work with centrist parties to restore constitutional rule. Social issues weren’t completely sidelined, but attaining stability took precedence over class struggle; for the first time in Latin American history, a major left-wing party found itself fighting for political democracy as a value in itself, not as part of a broader campaign for social rights. ‘I thought a lot about what happened with Allende in Chile,’ Lula once said, referring to the polarisation that followed the 1970 election, when the Popular Unity coalition won with only a bit more than a third of the vote. That’s why he agreed to set the bar high for a PT win. During the Constituent Assembly debates leading up to the promulgation of Brazil’s 1988 post-dictatorship constitution, Lula insisted that if no one candidate received a majority in the first round of a presidential election, a run-off had to be held between the top two contenders, which would both give the winner more legitimacy and force him or her to reach out beyond the party base. Like Allende, Lula stood for president three times before winning at his fourth attempt. Unlike Allende, though, each time Lula ran and lost and ran again, he gave up a little bit more of the PT’s founding principles, so that the party went from pledging to overturn neoliberalism to promising to administer it more effectively.

In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez drew a different lesson from the defeat of the Popular Unity government. Soon after he was elected president in 1998, before coming out as a confrontationalist, indeed before he even identified himself as a socialist, Chávez began to compare himself to Allende. Wealthy Venezuelans were mobilising against even the mildest economic reforms, as their Chilean predecessors had done, taking to the streets, banging their pots and pans, attacking the government through their family-owned TV stations and newspapers, beating a path to the US embassy to complain, and taking money from Washington to fund their anti-government activities. In response, Chávez began to talk about 1973. ‘Like Allende, we are pacifists,’ he said of his supporters, including those in the military. ‘And like Allende, we are democrats. Unlike Allende, we are armed.’ The situation got worse and worse, culminating in the coup of April 2002 which, though unsuccessful, looked very like the coup against Allende. Chávez found himself trapped in the national palace speaking to Castro on the phone, telling him he was ready to die for the cause. Ever the pragmatist, Castro urged him to live to fight another day: ‘Don’t do what Allende did!’"
greggrandin  salvadorallende  history  marxism  socialism  democracy  2012  tanyaharmer  venezuela  economics  inequality  class  pacifism  cuba  fidelcastro  brazil  brasil  lula  luladasilva  latinamerica  us  richardnixon  intervention  revolution  government  argentina  honduras  guatemala  paraguay  perú  bolivia  hugochávez  pinochet  chile  henrykissinger  tanyharmer  coldwar  markfalcoff  dilmarousseff  authoritarianism  dictatorship 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Y-Fi
"Experience Loading Animations / Screens in wifi speeds around the world. This website was inspired by this conversation I had on twitter. I was home (Nigeria) for a bit before I started work and was annoyed at how long I had to look at loading animations. I wondered how long people wanted to wait around the world screaming.

Notes / How this works

• Data about wifi speeds is from: Akamai's State of the Internet / Connectivity Report.

• I chose countries based on what suprised me and to get diversity across speeds.

• To get most data about loading times, I used a combination of Firefox DevTools and the Network Panel on Chrome DevTools. For Gmail I used this article on Gmail's Storage Quota.

• The wifi speeds and sizes of resources are hard-coded in so you can see them and the rest of the code at the repo.

• Any other questions / thoughts? Hit me up on twitter!"

[via: https://twitter.com/YellzHeard/status/890990574827851777 via @senongo]
omayeliarenyeka  internet  webdev  webdesign  wifi  broadband  nigeria  loading  speed  diversity  accessibility  paraguay  egypt  namibia  iran  morocco  argentina  india  southafrica  saudiarabia  mexico  china  chile  greece  ue  france  australia  russia  kenya  israel  thailand  uk  us  taiwan  japan  singapore  hongkong  noray  southkorea  perú 
july 2017 by robertogreco
The end of post-neoliberalism | openDemocracy
"The time when dictatorships and neoliberal governments in Latin America were replaced by several progressive governments which benefited the poor without seriously affecting the income of the rich is coming to an end. Governments are back on the Right track. This signals a new time when unity of the popular sectors is once again the only way forward.

Latin America was the only continent where neoliberal options were adopted in several countries. After a series of US supported military dictatorships carrying the neoliberal project, reactions were swift. They culminated in the rejection, in 2005, of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada, which came as a result of a joint effort by social movements, leftist political parties, non-governmental organizations and Christian churches.

The new governments of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, Paraguay and Bolivia put into effect policies which reestablished the role of the state in redistributing wealth, reorganizing public services, particularly access to healthcare and education and investment in public works. A more suitable share of the revenue from the exploitation of natural resources (oil, gas, minerals, agricultural produce) was negotiated between multinational corporations and the state, and the decade-long favourable international market situation allowed a significant increase in national income for these countries.

To talk about the end of a cycle conveys the idea of some sort of historical determinism that suggests the inevitability of the alternation of power between the Left and the Right - an inadequate concept if the goal is to replace an oligarchy’s hegemony by popular democratic regimes. On the assumption that the new governments were post-neoliberal but not post-capitalist, a number of factors allow us to suggest, however, that we are witnessing an exhaustion of the post-neoliberal experiences.

Obviously, it would be delusory to think that “instant” socialism is at all possible in a capitalist world during a systemic and therefore particularly aggressive crisis. The question of a necessary transition arises."
2016  latinamerica  progressivism  neoliberalism  brazil  brasil  argentina  uruguay  nicaragua  venezuela  ecuador  paraguay  bolivia  oligarchy  government  policy  development  economics  françoishoutart 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Sounds and Colours | South American music and culture magazine
"WHAT IS SOUNDS AND COLOURS?

Sounds and Colours is a magazine about South American music and culture. Through regular articles, news, reviews and audiovisual features we focus on the diverse cultures of the South American continent with music, film and the arts at the core of what we do.

WHAT MAKES SOUNDS AND COLOURS UNIQUE?

Sounds and Colours began in order to promote South American music and culture. We felt that Latin American culture was often shown through a narrow lens, missing much of the diversity that makes it such a rich culture. Our aim from day one has been to show all sides of South American culture, especially those that have been under-represented in the past.

WHO IS BEHIND SOUNDS AND COLOURS?

Sounds and Colours started in May 2010 by a team devoted to South America and its culture."
brazil  brasil  argentina  chile  colombia  perú  uruguay  paraguay  southamerica  culture  music  bolivia  venezuela  ecuador  playlists  mixtapes 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Memory in Latin America
"...the news headlines include a number of stories that reflect the persistence of a past that is everlasting and does not wish to pass... (Jelin, State Repression and the Struggles for Memory, 2003)"
chile  colombia  argentina  perú  brasil  brazil  guatemala  haiti  bolivia  paraguay  uruguay  venezuela  suriname  nicaragua  mexico  latinamerica  elsalvador  domincanrepublic  history  place  memory  blogs 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Americas South and North
"We are a collective of historians who study, analyze, and think about Latin America from a variety of time periods, countries, and topics. Out interests range from the borderlands region of Mexico to the southern part of Chile; from indigenous peoples and religion in colonial Latin America to middle-class cultures in the late-20th century; from gender history to human rights struggles; and much, much more. We started this blog to provide a forum to write, think about, and generally discuss Latin American history, culture, peoples, politics, and the place of Latin America in the region and the world. Here’s who we are, and you can contact us at americassouthandnorth@gmail.com and follow us on twitter @AmSouthandNorth."
panamá  honduras  elsalvador  costarica  guatemala  ecuador  bolivia  venezuela  colombia  uruguay  paraguay  argentina  brasil  brazil  chile  mexico  blogs  latinamerica  perú 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Latin American Pamphlets
"Harvard's Widener Library is the repository of many scarce and unique Latin American pamphlets published during the 19th and the early 20th centuries. One of the few institutions to have consistently collected Latin American pamphlets, Harvard has benefited from collections formed by Luis Montt (Chile), Nicolás Acosta (Bolivia), Manuel Segundo Sánchez (Venezuela), José Augusto Escoto (Cuba), Blas Garay (Paraguay), Charles Sumner, John B. Stetson and others. Chile, Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico are the countries most heavily represented in this collection.

These pamphlets are valuable primary resources for students and researchers working on Latin American history. They document the emergence of the Latin American colonies as independent states, and illuminate many aspects of their populations' social and cultural life. Many pamphlets are devoted to boundary disputes, territorial expansion, the description of unexplored territories and the relationship between Church and State…"
history  latinamerica  chile  pamphlets  cuba  bolivia  mexico  paraguay  venezuela  primarysources 
july 2011 by robertogreco
CDI - Center for Digital Inclusion
"Our mission is to transform lives and strengthen low-income communities by empowering people with information and communication technology. We use technology as a medium to fight poverty, stimulate entrepreneurship and create a new generation of changemakers"

"Founded in 1995, pioneer of the digital inclusion movement in Latin America, CDI (Center for Digital Inclusion) is one of the leading social enterprises in the world with a unique socio-educational approach. CDI Founder and Ashoka Fellow Rodrigo Baggio and our work at CDI have been recognized with more than 60 international awards. Today, we are a network of 816 self-managed and self-sustaining CDI Community Centers throughout Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay – monitored and coordinated by our 32 regional offices."
education  design  technology  social  community  latinamerica  brasil  argentina  bolivia  chile  colombia  ecuador  mexico  paraguay  perú  uruguay  digitalinclusion  cdi  poverty  activism  digitaldivide  learning  grassroots  computers  software  ngo  brazil 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Un Techo para mi País
"MISIÓN: Mejorar la calidad de vida de las familias que viven en situación de pobreza a través de la construcción de viviendas de emergencia y la ejecución de planes de habilitación social, en un trabajo conjunto entre jóvenes voluntarios universitarios y estas comunidades. Queremos denunciar la realidad de los asentamientos precarios en que viven millones de personas en Latinoamérica e involucrar a la sociedad en su conjunto, logrando que se comprometa con la tarea de construir un continente más solidario, justo y sin exclusión."
activism  architecture  argentina  chile  haiti  perú  bolivia  brasil  latinamerica  colombia  costarica  ecuador  elsalvador  guatemala  honduras  mexico  nicaragua  panamá  paraguay  dominicanrepublic  uruguay  social  housing  volunteerism  glvo  yearoff  charity  community  untechoparamipaís  brazil 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Global Voices in English » Getting to Know the Global Voices Latin America Team
"As outgoing Editor for Latin America, I have seen the Global Voices team from Latin America grow tremendously over the past three years. Each of the volunteer authors has dedicated time and energy to serve the mission of Global Voices, and to share their part of the world with a global audience. At any given time, each of the countries that make up the Latin American region has been represented by a talented blogger tasked with the challenge of presenting a wide range of issues in a balanced and fair manner. Now that I am moving on to take the helm at Rising Voices, I am eager to see how the team will take the coverage of such a diverse region to greater heights under the leadership of the new Latin America Editor, Silvia Viñas. Continuing a recent tradition, let's meet some of these amazing people that have been part of the Latin American team (in alphabetical order by first name)."
globalvoices  blogs  blogging  chile  argentina  mexico  uruguay  colombia  perú  paraguay  costarica  guatemala  venezuela  latinamerica  dominicanrepublic  ecuador  honduras  panamá  nicaragua  bolivia  elsalvador  cuba  spanish  español  portuguese 
september 2010 by robertogreco
GOOD Magazine | Goodmagazine - Blacker-than-black Market
"In Ciudad del Este, Latin America’s lawless capital of contraband, $500 goes a long way. “To protect the markets, Ciudad del Este is patrolled day and night by men with shotguns, though few are police.”
paraguay  markets  economics  argentina  crime  trade  uruguay 
june 2008 by robertogreco
ECO • E N L A C E • C I U D A D E S • O T R A S
"ECO es una red de trabajo, pensamiento, acción y colaboración de arquitectura y urbanismo. Es una conversación abierta entre arquitectos, estudiantes y profesores de arquitectura que comparten el deseo de construir vínculos transversales entre discip
chile  brasil  paraguay  argentina  córdoba  society  sãopaulo  españa  spain  madrid  montevideo  uruguay  asunción  talca  portoalegre  urban  urbanism  architecture  design  brazil 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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