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Sun May 9, 2021, 11:07 PM

Ten Things to Understand about Latin America

MAY 7, 2021
BY LAURA WELLS

The United States — the land and people — will be a lot better off when the idea of US supremacy is dropped. Toward that end, and toward the goal of a better world, here are ten things for the US to understand about Latin America.

1. Threat of a good example. That is the main reason countries get on the “bad lists” of the US, not oil since not all maligned countries even have oil. The reason is that the countries do not “have the interest of the United States at heart” as CIA director George Tenet said during the US-backed 2002 coup against Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. The bad lists include Trump’s “Troika of Tyranny” — Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela — and the 30-plus countries around the globe suffering from the deadly effects of US sanctions. The US justifies sanctions by saying they are based on matters people care about deeply, such as human rights abuses and trafficking. Meanwhile, the United Nations charter clearly prohibits “unilateral coercive measures” taken by one country against another.

2. Sovereignty YES, Sanctions NO. Latin American countries are sovereign nations. They are not a “backyard” requiring US protection or interference. They have many leaders, in government and not in government, who are very intelligent with in-depth knowledge of history. They are not, as the US government and media call them, dictators, regimes, strong-men, or tyrants. To repeat, they are sovereign nations capable of choosing their own leaders. Certainly anyone familiar with US elections can believe it is possible to find better, more easily verified electoral systems outside the US, for example, Venezuela’s system, which is computerized and has paper ballots that allow for audits.
3. Constitutions get updated. Most Latin American countries are among the more than 90 countries in the world with proportional representation. PR is the key to having multiple parties, which allow voters to actually affect their governments because they can vote for the candidates most aligned with their values, not just against the worst candidates. It is said that it’s virtually impossible to eliminate from the US constitution even the based-on-slavery Electoral College, which installed two recent presidents who lost the popular vote, both Bush and Trump.

4. Term limits are not a solution. Term limits are not the great electoral reform many people believe them to be. Nicaragua and some other “bad list” Latin American governments have dispensed with them. When Venezuela held a vote to remove term limits, there were loud cries that “Hugo Chavez wants to be dictator for life!” but significantly, those accusers did not point out that Venezuela joined other nations without term limits, like the U.K., Germany, Italy, Japan, and most Scandinavian nations. When facing term limits, elected officials tend to be less focused on their current duties and more focused on positioning themselves and their campaign contributors for their next move. Terms limits came in after FDR and stopped voters from being able to re-elect presidents they still wanted. More effective electoral reforms are proportional representation, free and fair media coverage, and open debates.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/05/07/ten-things-to-understand-about-latin-america/

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Reply Ten Things to Understand about Latin America (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 9 OP
KPN May 9 #1
niyad May 10 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 9, 2021, 11:55 PM

1. Food for thought.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 10, 2021, 10:16 AM

2. KNR and bookmarking.

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