News Articles

Meet General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, General Augusto Pinochet's Heir Apparent in Egypt

Last July 4, the day after the military coup in Egypt that toppled President Mohamed Morsi, the Wall Street Journal editorialized, “Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.” It appears the business newspaper is getting its wish.

A Cuban Spring?

 

by Roger Burbach

This is a fruitful period of experimentation and debate in Cuba. It is now almost seven years since Raúl Castro replaced his brother Fidel, first as interim president in 2006 and then as president in 2008. Under Raúl, the country is taking steps to transform the economy, and a critical discussion is erupting over the dismantling of the authoritarian Communist model. Julio Díaz Vázquez, an economist at the University of Havana, declares: “With the updating of the economic model, Cuba faces complex challenges . . . in its social and political institutions. . . . The heritage of the Soviet model makes it necessary to break with the barriers erected by inertia, intransigence, [and] a double standard.” He adds, “These imperfections have led to deficiencies in [Cuba’s] democracy, its creative liberties, and its citizens’ participation.”

Chavez Renewed Latin America and Revived Socialism

By Roger Burbach

Published in The Progressive, March 6, 2013

Hugo Chavez cut a wide swath on the international scene, more than that of any other leader in the recent history of Latin America, putting forth a vision of a world based on equitable relations among nations and peoples. His rise to hemispheric prominence began at the third Summit of the Americas in April 2001 in Quebec, Canada when the newly inaugurated George W. Bush attempted to ram through the Free Trade Area of the Americas that was to extend from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego in South America.

In Assange Asylum, A Stand Against Neo-colonialist Policies

By Roger Burbach and Marc Becker

New America Media

August 20, 2011

Rafael Correa, the president of one of South America's smallest countries with almost 15 million inhabitants is taking a dramatic stand against Great Britain, Sweden and the United States by granting political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
 

Cuba, A Society In Motion

New America Media

By Roger Burbach

June 26, 2012

In Cuba change is in the air. But such change should not be read as an end to the revolution.

“The United States and the exile community are dead wrong if they think that regime change will take place at any time in the near future,” said Julio Diaz Vazquez, a professor at the Center for Investigations of the International Economy at the University of Havana.

Whether one talks to government and Communist party officials, university professors, or simply to people on the street, it is clear that in Cuba, socialism is very much alive and well.

The Global Revolt and Latin America

By Roger Burbach

Two thousand and eleven was a year of global protest and revolt. The Arab Spring, the indignados movement of Spain and southern Europe, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States captured the world’s attention. Latin America also played a role in this global tumult: with the student upheaval in Chile, the Gandhian-like citizens’ campaign against state and narco terrorism in Mexico, the indigenous led uprising in the mining regions of Peru, and the grassroots agitation in the Bolivian social movements that brought Evo Morales to power. These movements are highly diverse in their social and political composition, and they are anti-systemic, raising fundamental questions and challenging the existent order.

The Global Revolt of 2011 - A Turning Point in History

By Roger Burbach

November 21, 2011

Editor’s Note: Occupy Oakland is part of a global movement that is questioning the basic structures of the political and economic system to an extent not seen since 1968. Whether it will succeed in changing these structures is unclear. But it has already created something far more powerful: a global shift in consciousness.

OAKLAND, Calif.—“Shut It Down,” “No More Shipping for the 1 Percent” and “Death to Capitalism” proclaimed some of the banners near me as I joined thousands of demonstrators who converged on the Port of Oakland on a sunny afternoon. This city is part of a global movement that has changed the terms of the political debate, stealing much of the thunder from the Tea Party movement and shaking governments around the world in a way not seen since the 1960s.

Chilean Student Movement Leads Uprising For Transformation of the Country

New America Media

By Roger Burbach

August 13, 2011

Chile is becoming a part of the global movement of youth that is transforming the world bit by bit—the Arab Spring, the sit-ins and demonstrations in the Spanish plazas, and the rebellion of youth in London. Weeks of demonstrations and strikes by Chilean students came to a head August 9, as an estimated 100,000 people poured into the streets of Santiago. Joined by professors and educators, they were demanding a free education for all, from the primary school level to the university.

Mortality and the Utopian Quest

By Roger Burbach

It's been about a year since I posted an article on Censa's web site Global Alternatives. Some of you have written me, inquiring what has happened. The simple truth is that life is catching up with me. Twenty two years ago I suffered a back injury in Nicaragua that put me in a wheel chair. Then in 2004, while on a return trip to Nicaragua I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. an incurable blood cancer. The prognosis was that I had three to five years to live. I defied the odds, actively pursuing and participating in a number of promising clinical trials that have kept me alive. By late last year, however, the chemo-like drugs had taken their toll. My last treatment had me flying to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona once a month to see a doctor for 20 minutes in order to pick up my designated drug.

Communitarian Socialism in Bolivia

By Roger Burbach

 When Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, was sworn in to a second term in January, he proclaimed Bolivia a plurinational state that would construct “communitarian socialism.” In an accompanying address, Vice President Álvaro Garcia Linare, envisioned a “socialist horizon” for Bolivia, characterized by “well-being, making the wealth communal, drawing on our heritage . . .” The process “will not be easy, it could take decades, even centuries, but it is clear that the social movements cannot achieve true power without implanting a socialist and communitarian horizon."

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