Alborada e-news: September 2009
Welcome to the September 2009 Alborada e-news. Our e-news will inform you about our activities, as well as the latest news and events related to Latin America. This e-news can also be found here:
The Miami Five are Cuban trade unionists arrested by the FBI in 1998 while trying to gather information on right-wing paramilitary groups working out of Miami responsible for terrorist attacks against the Cuban people.
Rock Around the Blockade are hosting an open-air rally in London on Saturday 12 September (12-3pm) in London - more info here:
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign will host a protest vigil for the five outside the US embassy in London - more info here:
For more info about the Miami 5 visit:
A selection of contemporary Brazilian features and documentaries exploring urban life
Providência: Process, Art and Change in a Brazilian Favela
August 2009 by Damian Platt
“The woman is the gateway to a country. If the women are OK, then it means that society has a chance of being OK too” says JR. In August 2008 the Parisian street artivist and his team arrived in Rio de Janeiro to work on the Brazilian leg of Women, an international project in which JR takes portraits that he then pastes in giant black and white format in the street and on the side of buildings, buses, empty swimming pools and rooftops. In Brazil he plans to cover the side of a favela with a wall of eyes and faces that overlook the city. The eyes and faces of women from that favela.
Favela is a word that many people know. But few are aware that the name was first used to describe a place now called Providência, a morro (hill) that sits overlooking the city docks behind Rio’s Central Station (made famous by the Walter Salles film of the same name). It is here, in what is by denomination the first favela in the world, that JR is going to work.
Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz
Listen to his music here: www.myspace.com/robertofonseca
Watch a short video on Fonseca talking about his latest album
Marco Enriquez –Ominami: The Obama of Chile?
August 28th 2009, by Rachel Godfrey Wood - Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)
A Perilous Stretch Ahead for the Ruling Concertación
Coming off of Barack Obama’s stunning success in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the “Change” campaign has been making its way down the western hemisphere and into the heart of Chile’s 2009 presidential race. In this instance, the candidate attempting to emulate Obama’s success is 36 year old newcomer Marco Enriquez-Ominami, better known as Marco. In a nation where the last four presidents have all emerged from the same political coalition, Marco intends to run on a platform based on “Cambio.” Running as an independent, Marco is a breath of fresh air in a nation dominated by fetid coalitions. The Chilean youth movement is growing restless and longs for a candidate they can call their own, and Marco is seeking to step in and fulfill that role. Given the substantial support that’s Marco’s “change” campaign enjoys from the youth movement in Chile, combined with the increasingly shabby performance of Concertación’s center piece, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) this election, could result in the unprecedented event of a third-party candidate overpowering candidates from both the historically powerful center-left Concertación, and the right-wing Alianza por Chile coalitions.
Colombia: U.S. Bases Stoke the Flames of Regional Conflict
August 19th 2009, by Roque Planas - NACLA
It was a moment that promised to define a new era in U.S.-Latin American relations: Obama greeted Hugo Chávez at the Summit of the Americas with a smile and a handshake, and Chávez responded with a gift and a heavily accented “I wanna be your friend.” The Cold War-style chasm between Washington and the leftist leaders of the Andes that had widened during the Bush administration finally seemed to be narrowing a bit.
But a nearly completed agreement between Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the Obama administration to grant the U.S. military access to Colombian bases is rapidly undermining whatever diplomatic progress was made in that fleeting moment.
Afro-Colombian Hip Hop/Fusion
Listen to their music here:
Watch them perform 'San Antonio' here:
A short video about them (with English subtitles)
More info about the band here:
In July 19, 1979, massive crowds flooded the square now known as Plaza de la Revolucion in the Nicaraguan capital Managua to celebrate the success of the revolution that overthrew one of the most brutal dictatorships in the region.
The Sandinistas, headed by Daniel Ortega, emerged victorious from a bitter conflict that had left tens of thousands of people dead promising social justice and freedom.
They launched a revolutionary project unprecedented in Central America, but their socialist policies, close alignment with communist Cuba and suspicions they were assisting Marxist rebels in neighbouring El Salvador concerned the US which had long-influenced government in Nicaragua.
Washington responded by funding counter-revolutionaries from the former national guard of the deposed dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle known as Contras.
A bitter civil conflict ensued only two years after the revolution which lasted until 1990 when a war-weary public handed the Sandinistas a heavy defeat in elections.
Neoliberalism Needs Death Squads in Colombia
Thursday September 3rd 2009, by Hans Bennett (Upside Down World)
In her new book Blood & Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, author Jasmin Hristov writes: “For roughly forty years, the Colombian state has been playing a double game: prohibiting the formation of paramilitary groups with one law and facilitating their existence with another; condemning their barbarities and at the same time assisting their operations; promising to bring perpetrators of crime to justice, while opening the door to perpetual immunity; convicting them of narco-trafficking, yet profiting from their drug deals; announcing to the world the government’s persecution of paramilitary organizations, even though in reality these ‘illegal armed groups’ have been carrying out the dirty work unseemly for a state that claims to be democratic and worthy of billions of dollars in US military aid.”