Category Archives: El Salvador

Anatomy of a Lie: All Latin American Revolutions Came from Cuba and the USSR

Jason: Also, the left not only believes the other side will torture them like on Hostel, but they believe the US is aiding the right. I suppose at one time, the right thought the USSR was aiding the left, but I think the real facts were exaggerated.

They have good reasons to think that. Do you realize that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have in fact been tortured like in Hostel? All with the approval, coaching, cheerleading and assistance of the US?

The USSR was aiding the Left only in a sense. In only a very few countries had an armed revolutions had sprung up and Cuba was aiding them. Russia gave the Cubans lots of arms and the Cubans smuggled them to Nicaragua and then to the rebels in El Salvador. That was it as far as I can tell.

The revolutionaries in the following countries never got one bullet or one nickel from Cuba or the USSR:

Guatemala: URNG and others 1954-1994
Colombia: ELN, FARC 1964-present
Peru: focos in the 1960’s, Sendero Luminoso 1980-present, MRTA 1984-1996
Ecuador: Sendero Luminoso 1990
Venezuela: small focos in the 1960’s and 1970’s
Brazil: urban guerrillas in the 1960’s
Uruguay: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Bolivia: Sendero Luminoso 1990, MIR 1960’s
Paraguay: recent guerrillas supported by the FARC 2012-present
Argentina: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Nicaragua: Sandinistas 1964-1979
Honduras: small guerrilla bands in the 1980’s
Chile: Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front 1970-1989, Lautaro Front 1990’s

As you can see, armed revolutions started up in all of those countries at one time or another usually for very good reasons. The Right tried to blame all this revolutionary activity on the USSR bogeyman. But the USSR never gave any of those groups one bullet or one dime. The Right also claimed and still does that everything was peachy clean and hunky dory in all of those countries except for the evil Soviets coming in and stirring things up by giving those university students all those funny ideas. This is complete nonsense. The truth is that if you have a decent country, you never get Left guerrillas, rural, urban or otherwise.

You only get an armed Left when your country is a complete Hellhole. The way to defeat an armed Left is to create at least a semblance of a decent society. If you do that, the Left will lay down its arms and even join the government.

The US always wants to say that rebels have no agency.

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Are Brownshirt Gangs a Necessary Component of Fascism?

In many respects, Trump and Trumpism looks like the Latin American Oligarchic Right. He also looks a lot like the rightwing, basically fascist Right in Latin America. Every time I look at his regime, I think of the Venezuelan Opposition Right. In fact, the Republican Party increasingly looks like the Latin American Oligarchic Right, and it has been slowly resembling them for some time now.

The rightwing fascists in Latin America do not all have Brownshirt street gangs, do they? Where are the Brownshirts of the Latin American rightwings? They have death squads, yes, in a number of countries, and they have street rioters, but Brownshirts who actually go around attacking the Opposition? Not really.

But there is something like this in the Chilean Right, which regularly engages in all-out street riot-wars with the street fighters of the Left. In this sense, Chile represents Germany in the interwar period.

Something similar goes on in Venezuela, where the Right engages in relatively continuous rioting, and sometimes there is fighting with leftwing mobs. Most of the fighting is with the police though.

The death squads of El Salvador were often made up of the fanatical anti-Communist street thugs of the lower middle class neighborhoods. Have you ever seen an ARENA rally in El Salvador? That looked something like a Brownshirt mob, but they did not take to the streets.

Yes there is a thuggish rightwing in Brazil, but is it really of the Brownshirt variety? The recent coup was a legislative one.

There are something like Brownshirt mobs in the east of Bolivia (who also fashion themselves as White supremacists), but they have not been very active lately, and they are countered by leftwing Indian mobs in the capital and east of the country.

There were rightwing Peronist mobs a while back, but that seems to be through. The only mobs in Argentina anymore are with the Left. The Right only has the support of the out of touch Rich.

The only rioting mobs in  Peru are on the Left, and riot they do, on a near-constant basis. There is no rightwing presence on the streets in Peru, as once again, the Right here is simply an out of touch White wealthy elite.

There are death squads in Ecuador, but they are not active anymore. The Right only has a presence in the security forces. The huge street mobs are in the capital and are of the Left.

The mobs in Nicaragua are mostly pro-Sandinista, as the Right down there has no street presence, since nobody much likes them.

The street is owned by the Left in Honduras too. The Right only has presence in a small number of rich and the security forces.

There are no street mobs of any kind in Guatemala. The murderous Right is present in the security forces.

In Colombia, the Right does have support, but there are no rightwing street mobs. The violent Right down there are the death squads run by the security forces who work in concert with civilian paramilitaries. There are not even many leftwing protests since a few weeks after huge leftwing protests, 10-15 of the protesters will end up murdered. So the Left in Colombia is armed to the teeth yet underground by necessity.

I do not think you need Brownshirt mobs to have a deadly fascist state as many examples in Latin America show us. When the rightwing government is running around murdering the Left, I am not sure if it matters whether that government is classically fascist or not. They are murderous rightwing thugs whether they earn the official fascist moniker or not. Officially fascist or not, they are still coming out to kill you, so at the end of the day, what difference does it make?

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Trump Is Catastrophic No Matter What His Stance on Globalism Is

Jason Y: OK, one choice is taking up Ron Paul anti-globalism, which would reduce him to Jimmy Carter uselessness, or just lie and actually be a globalist, and a massively militaristic one at that.

Why is it down to globalism versus anti-globalism? Leaving that aside altogether, looking at his Cabinet appointment shows him to be an ultra-rightwing fanatical reactionary. Look at those Cabinet appointments. That’s all you need to know right there. Those are some of the scariest people I have ever seen in my government.

Actually, the truth is that he is an out and out fascist. That’s no exaggeration. It is absolutely correct. People have been calling the Republicans fascists since the election theft of 2000, and I think they were onto something. That is, they were moving more and more in that direction.

The Republicans are now about as evil as a typical brutal and corrupt Latin American ultraright fascist oligarchy. This is exactly what they remind me of. I look at them and I think of the oligarchical Right in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.  The only thing missing is overt coup attempts and death squads. To be more precise, they remind me of the Right in Venezuela, but comparisons to Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Haiti and Ecuador are not far off base.

The leaders of the Latin American Right pretty much deserved to get killed based on how they act. I do not blame the Left down there for killing those people. They very much deserve it. Look at how they act!

They have an extreme hatred for democracy, and basically their attitude is that they will not tolerate the Left being in power for one day. And when the Left gets in, they will try everything in the book, legal, illegal and in between, to get rid of them. There is nothing too low for them. If they have to tell 10 million lies, they will do it. If they have to steal elections, then they will do it. If they have assassinate leftwingers, they will do it. If they have to destroy the whole economy, they will do it. If they have to riot in the streets, they will do it. If they have to run death squads, then they will do it. If they have to mount coups, military or legislative, than they will do it. The ends justifies the means, and it’s “whatever it takes to get rid of the Left, damn morality.”

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Problems of Communist or Socialist Democracy

Steve: I think the worst thing about 20th century communism was not the economic system but the totalitarianism, the police state and the spying and prison camps.

Maybe it was the revolutionary origins, the utopianism, the materialism, the fact the government had too much power because it owned and controlled everything BUT if it were possible to have communism with democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury etc it really wouldn’t be so bad, you could live with the economic system.

Remember the communist countries had the cold war and sanctions and stuff to contend with too.

They have a certain amount of free speech in China, Vietnam and Cuba, but maybe not as much as you would like. They have anti-government demonstrations in Vietnam, and there are 100 protests every day in China.

There is critical press in Cuba that no one does anything about (check out Havana Times) and dissidents are mostly allowed to publish openly (check out the famous Cuban woman dissident blogger). There is freedom of religion in Cuba, and believers can now join the Party. They have trial by jury in Cuba. I am not sure how fair it is though. But there are some defense attorneys who are taking anti-government cases right now, people accused of criminal charges, police brutality cases, etc. You can read about them in Havana Times. Nobody does much to them.

In Cuba it was supposedly inside the revolution, total freedom of speech, outside of it nothing. But it never really worked out that way, and they went after a lot of loyal opposition types. In Cuba today, you can’t try to overthrow the government and you can’t advocate getting rid of the socialist system. Outside of that, you can supposedly say what you want, but even that may be limited. Check out Havana Times though. There are some very government-critical people there being published all the time, and I think they are mostly left alone.

Every time they try that, the capitalists go berserk, cause chaos and make endless coup and assassination attempts. Also they engage in mass economic sabotage. But this was only tried in places where the economy was still capitalist. The US starts flooding the country with millions of dollars to the dissidents and spends more millions setting up countless “democratic” pressure group that mostly spend every second of their time trying to overthrow the government. You going to let people own newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. Guess who’s going to buy up all the media? In Venezuela even today, 75% of the media is privately owned. OK you will allow free elections. How about campaign contributions? Guess who’s going to buy the elections?

You can’t have Communist democracy. That’s why Lenin talked about parliamentary cretinism.

You can’t have somewhat socialist democracy in a lot of places. Look what happened in:

  • Brazil (military coup, parliamentary coup)
  • Guatemala (military coup + 200,000 murdered over 40 years)
  • Iran (military coup + 150,000 murdered)
  • The Congo (military coup + assassination)
  • Haiti (military coup + chaos + contras + 3,000 plus murdered)
  • Dominican Republican (US invasion to topple regime)
  • Guyana (regime toppled by British)
  • Honduras (military coup + 1,000 murdered)
  • Syria (military coup)
  • Greece (military coup)
  • Italy (election fraud)
  • Indonesia (military coup + 1 million Communists murdered)
  • Colombia (assassination + death squads)
  • Panama (assassination)
  • Mexico (election fraud)
  • Afghanistan (contras)
  • Nicaragua (contras + sanctions)
  • El Salvador (military coup followed by 75,000 murdered)
  • Chile (economic sabotage, chaos, military coup, 15,000 murdered, defense attorneys tortured to death)
  • Venezuela (military coup, economic coup, constant riots and chaos), endless assassination plots, assassinations and murders, death squads, economic sabotage)
  • Argentina (military coup, 30,000 murdered)
  • Uruguay (military coup, 300 murdered)
  • Peru (military coup, 1.5 million arrested)
  • East Timor (military coup, invasion to topple regime, 300,000 murdered),
  • Paraguay (legislative coup + death squads)
  • Zimbabwe (sanctions)
  • Ukraine (coup)

Mao warned about this. He said there were always capitalist elements in the party trying to restore capitalism. That was the reason for the cultural revolution. Mao thought you would have to have cultural revolutions all the time to keep weeding out the reactionary elements in the party because they would keep springing up again like weeds.

Look what happened when Mao died. The reactionaries in the party around Deng took over and restored capitalism (sort of). Mao was right.

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Have Countries Improved by Moving Away from Social Democracy and Towards Neoliberalism?

HBD investor: Many countries floundered in various socialist schemes and their economies massively improved when they became less socialist.

None of this is true.

Many countries had problems with centrally planned economies with many or all state firms. This is called either state socialism or Communism and the record is not so wonderful. It isn’t so bad either. Been to Eastern Europe? See all that infrastructure? That was all built by the Communists. Go to Russia and see the same thing. Same in China. Communists built Russia and China up from nothing. They were nothing before, and Communism turned them into superpowers. They also had very high economic growth in industry and agriculture for decades. They massively expanded the nearly nonexistent education system. The Communists made monumental gains in housing in both countries. Health care improved to an incredible degree in both countries.

Now with Communism you can get great economic growth for a while, maybe a few decades, maybe more, but at some point it all starts bogging down in bureaucracy, lack of a pricing mechanism and a market, a lot of people just not working very hard and massive thievery of state property. In addition, the rate of economic growth slows. Although Communist countries usually wipe out poverty, in its place they only allow a relatively low standard of living. People probably want to live better than that. In addition, the collectivization of agriculture has been such a failure in Communist countries that I believe we should stop trying it. Production usually goes down by quite a bit and there are sometimes famines at the start if they try to do it too fast.

Yugoslavian Communism worked very well by the way, and they had a very good standard of living, the highest in Eastern Europe.

In addition, state socialist schemes with central planning had a lot of problems in Syria, India, Tanzania and other places. It just doesn’t work very well.

On the other hand, some form of social democracy is the norm all over the world. It’s not true that social democratic countries did a lot better as they shed most of their social democracy and adopted neoliberalism. The world has been doing that for a long time now and the record is in. It’s been a massive failure.

All of Europe except the UK is voting in Left parties, and at least the people want more social democracy and less neoliberalism. There’s no move towards neoliberalism and away from social democracy in Europe outside of Latvia and the UK.

There is no neoliberal free market capitalism in the Arab World. Arabs actually don’t believe in neoliberalism because Arabs and Muslims are sort of “naturally socialist” people. The Gulf states are huge social democracies. There is a lot of social spending and considerable state involvement in the economy in much of the Arab World.

Iran has been pretty much a socialist country ever since the Revolution. There is vast social spending, and the state is involved in the economy. Afghanistan is collapsed, but Communism was actually pretty popular there. Pakistan has been run by social democratic parties in recent years. India is officially a socialist country. It’s written right into the Constitution. An armed Maoist group is very powerful in India. Communist Parties have been running the states of West Bengal and Kerala for decades. Nepal is run by a coalition government consisting of a socialist party and a Communist party. The large opposition is made up of Maoists. I believe Sri Lanka is run by a social democratic party.

Myanmar’s been socialist forever. Vietnam and Laos are Communist. Cambodia has been run by Communists in recent years. The Philippines is a bad example, but they have free state health care for all, and education is free through the university level. Indonesia recently elected a socialist, a woman. The very popular newly elected president says he is a socialist. An armed Maoist group is very active in the country.

Australia and New Zealand are longstanding social democracies on the Canadian model.

Canada is a longstanding social democracy.

The largest party in Mexico is a member of the Socialist International, and the oil industry is state owned. Education is free through the university level, and health care is also free. El Salvador and Nicaragua are now run by former Marxist guerrillas, the FMLN and the Sandinistas. Costa Rica has been a social democracy since after World War 2. Honduras recently elected a leftwing president who was quickly overthrown in a state-sponsored coup. The military is still in power in Honduras, but everybody hates them.

A socialist party called Lavalas, the party of Jean Bertrande Aristide, continues to be the most popular party in Haiti, even though it has been declared illegal. To show you how popular Lavalas is, in the last election they ran in, they got 92% of the vote. During his short reign, Aristide built more schools than had been built in the entire 190 years before him.

A number of Caribbean island states are members of the Bolivarian economic bloc set up by Venezuela. Most Caribbean political parties are leftwing parties with the words socialist, revolutionary, workers, labor, or popular in them. Cuba is Communist and has a lower infant mortality rate than we do. A few years ago, they also had a longer life expectancy than we did.

Venezuela is still run by the Chavistas, a socialist party. Ecuador is run by a Leftist. Peru recently elected a leftwing Indian, although he has not been able to do much as his hands are tied. Brazil has been electing the socialist PT or Workers Party for many years now. A former Marxist guerrilla was the most recent president, and she was only removed by an illegal US-sponsored legislative coup. Paraguay elected a Leftist Catholic priest, a preacher of Liberation Theology, but he was soon overthrown in a legislative coup. The illegitimate party is now in power.

Uruguay has been a social democracy forever, and it is now governed by a former Marxist guerrilla. Juan Peron put in a social democracy in the 1950’s. Argentina was recently governed by a leftwing husband and wife team who alternated in the Presidency. Chile has been electing presidents from the Socialist Party for about 20 years now. The most recent Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, is a radical, but it remains to be seen what she can do. Chile has a huge class divide, the upper and lower classes  want to murder each other, and there are regular violent protests, leftwing versus rightwing street brawls, and riots, lately by students.

In Latin America, radical neoliberalism was imposed for 20 years, and it failed so badly that the whole continent has been electing leftwingers ever since.

I do not know much about Africa, but most African parties have been officially social democratic for a long time now. The Communist Party was recently part of a South African government. If anything has failed in Africa, it is neoliberalism.

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Socialists Are Generally Elitist, and That’s Ok

Oops I did it again writes:

What socialists are not “elitist”? Aside from the “revolutionary masses”, all those who fancy leading/instructing them are and must be “elitists”.

It’s people who need a mission, something that will make them heroes, and are too intelligent to find that kind of gratification doing jobs even for 120 IQ people.

Of course this is true. It’s always been true. It’s surely true with Leninists and Communists. It always bothered me that Communist Party membership was limited to say, 6% of society. Every time I saw that, I felt pained. Why only 6%? How can you ever limit party membership to such a low number without that 6% becoming an elite in fact if not in essence? Assuming a person is sufficiently revolutionary, why can’t they join the party? And if they start lagging or going reactionary, just pull their membership. No problem there. Communists aren’t exactly democrats anyway.

Are the masses really that stupid and unaware of their own needs that only the top 6% of society is capable of addressing those needs, as 94% of them are class cucks who will always oppose their own interests?

If you read early Marxists, they were quite clear that the masses didn’t know what the Hell they were doing, had no idea of what their needs or even wants were, and were very easily swayed to support their class enemies on the basis of nationalism, jingoism, tribalism, racism, sexism, values conservatism, or religion.

They had no idea what they were doing and were incapable of figuring out what was best for them, so a paternalistic yet benevolent socialist elite (vanguard) was needed to show them the way. Granted, that may be the case, but it always seemed insulting towards the masses.

And even after years or decades of Communism, the masses are still as retarded as ever? After all those revolutionary classes and sessions, and they haven’t transformed in the slightest? That seemed so dubious to me.

The Chavistas, Sandinistas and others were trying to get away from that. I believe anyone can join the Sandinista Party, and members were often poor urban workers or peasants. The FMLN party in El Salvador is the same. Both of those parties managed to sell their project very well to the masses. Of course they were helped by decades of ruling class brutality and dictatorship that showed even the most blind of the masses that the ruling classes could never possibly be their friends in any formation or guise.

The Chavistas in Venezuela are much the same. In fact, the party itself is a grassroots party such that the grassroots nearly control the party direction, and those at the top are nearly beholden to those at the bottom, a complete transformation of typical human political relations, or probably of typical human relations in just about anything for that matter.

That’s not quite Direct Democracy, but it’s getting awful close.

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Guess What? National Governments Have Little to Nothing to Do with Crime Rates

S. D. writes: Salvadoran gangs might wreak havoc with in Anglo countries, but the Iberian ruling class of Central America keep them under their thumb.

This is absolutely not the case at all. Neither Anglo countries nor their own Hispanic societies can control these maniacs at all, and the Hispanics are actually worse at controlling them then we are. The street gangs and crime in general are completely out of control in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, in part due to the aftermath of the wars. We have much better control over these gangs up here than they do down there.

It just goes to show you that when you have an insanely out of control crime situation, there is only so much you can do about it. The states down there are throwing everything they have at the crime problem (I assume), and the crime rages on nonetheless. When crime reaches a certain level, there is not a whole lot you can do. You can put bad guys in prison. You can execute bad guys, you can simply assassinate criminals on the streets. Which is what the police down there often do, as the death squads formerly used against the Left are now attacking the criminals.

Yes, you can arrest criminals (until your jails fill up), imprison criminals (until your prisons fill up and turn into criminal manufacturing facilities), execute criminals after they are convicted and even assassinate criminals with roving gangs of cop assassins. Sure, you eliminate a lot of criminals that way, but crooks are like mushrooms in these places: they just keep springing up new ones.

I would add that crime has raged in all of these countries through all sorts of governments for maybe 20 years now.

In Honduras it raged on during the Left government the same as it did during the Right government. Now Honduras has an out and out Death Squad Dictatorship courtesy of Hitlery Clinton and crime rages on nonetheless. Even military dictatorships can’t stop the crime!

In El Salvador it is raging right along during the new Left government the same as did under the Right governments.

Also the Right governments in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras involved a number of changing political  parties, but all of the parties and administrations were powerless to stop the crime.

Sure they can try to stop it after it happens, but can they stop it before it happens (prevention)? Not really.

I am so sick and tired of the despicable Venezuela haters accusing Chavez of causing Venezuela’s wild crime rate and blaming him for it. Venezuela has the exact same problem that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador had during decades of Right governments, and they weren’t able to stop it either in those places.

Apparently the Venezuela critics who insist that it is Hugo Chavez’ personal fault that Venezuela has such a bad crime problem are all degreed criminologists.

You will never hear more garbage and crap in a political debate with your typical moronic American than when you try to discuss what causes crime. Everyone’s got their own theory! Isn’t that amazing? We have 170 million Emil Durkheims right here in the United States! Gadzooks Batman!

I would like to tell all of these Junior Einsteins that since they know what causes crime, that they all need to head to the nearest university and look up the Criminology professors and tell them this stunning news. The Criminology professors would be overjoyed to hear what really causes crime!

Do you know why? Because criminologists have been studying crime for a century now and still do not have the fainest idea what causes crime or what makes crime rates go up or down. Sure, they have all sorts of theories and charts, and they publish books all the time, but really it’s just another Dismal Social Science, and it’s a notorious black hole of theory just like the ridiculous original dismal science.

I would like to tell all of these idiot Venezuela critics who insist that Hugo Chavez himself somehow miraculously caused a massive crime rate in Venezuela (How? By massively bettering the lives of the poor? That’s sure to make the crime rate skyrocket.) to take their stupid theory that it is governments that cause crime and that crime rates go up due to bad governments and go down due to good governments to the closest Criminology professor to inform him of the shocking news.They are in for a surprise because the professor will probably laugh right in their faces.

The truth is that national governments have very little if anything to do with crime, either causing it in the first place or making it go up or down. This is because crime largely occurs outside of politics and the only thing governments can do is politics. But crime is a sociological phenomenon (sort of like drinking, gambling, promiscuity or drug use) that has little if anything to do with politics. Sociological phenomena like those listed above occur for their own reasons that are 100% to do with society and sociological phenomena and ~0% to do with national governments and politics.

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The Curious Politicization of US Refugee Laws on Latin American Immigration to the US

S. D. writes: Through all of the revolutions, somehow, someway the Iberian ruling classes have managed to remain on top and the Mestizos and Indians end up fleeing to the United States.

South Americans are not coming here, but S. D. is correct that Mexico and Central America do a piss poor job of distributing the wealth in their countries, and that is one reason why so many of their citizens come here.

I do not know how many Nicaraguans are coming here, but under the Sandinistas, it was mostly the upper and middle classes who were fleeing to Miami. Now large numbers of White upper and middle class Venezuelans have been leaving for Miami, but this has been going on for over a decade now through the whole time the Chavistas have been running things. Traditionally, it was the Whiter Cubans who used to be in the upper to middle classes who fled to Miami.

Of course 100% of the Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans all get admitted straight in because they are fleeing from “evil leftwing governments.” In reality, 100% of these people, including the Cubans, are economic refugees. There are zero political refugees fleeing Cuba due to persecution or Venezuela or Nicaragua for that matter.

If you are that much of a dissident in Cuba that the state really hates you, they may put you in prison, or they may just ask you to leave the country and not come back. There is something called the Orderly Departure Program in which you have to wait in line for 6 months in order to get a chance to leave the country. Then you can leave if you can get some country to accept you, which is the major problem because ~100% of them want  to go to the US, and we only let in ~22,000/year, which is ~20,000 too many if you ask me. A few want to go to Spain.

What is fascinating is that we always hear how wonderful the capitalist countries of Latin America and how much better they are than Cuba, but when it comes time to leave, ~0% of Cubans want to go to the capitalist countries of Latin America. Gee, are the Latin American capitalist countries really so much better after all?

Now, it is true that there are numbers of Cubans holed up in some Latin American countries. There are quite a few in Mexico and also in Ecuador, but ~100% of them in both countries are trying to get into the US and have no intention of staying in Mexico or Ecuador.

Of course, during the revolutionary wars in Central America in the 1980’s, many Guatemalans and Salvadorans were desperately trying to get into the US due to genuine fears of persecution; however, 98% of them were turned away because the US assumed that anyone fleeing those countries due to political persecution was a leftwinger.

In the case of the Salvadorans, the US immigration agents did paraffin tests on the palms of  the male refugees to see if they had fired a gun recently. If they had, it was assumed that they were guerillas. The US then sent them back to El Salvador with the positive paraffin test and said, “This guy is a guerrilla.” In most cases, the Salvadoran security forces were waiting outside the planes when they came back from the US with lists. The men who were on the lists as possible guerrillas were typically grabbed, carted away and tortured to death or disappeared.

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Latin America Is a Very Socialist Region: Central America

The largest party in Mexico is officially a socialist party and a member of the Socialist International. In Panama, since the US invasion, the government has been run by a party associated with Torrijos, a leftwing President murdered by the CIA. It alternates with an ostensibly rightwing populist party that has nevertheless put in many new social programs.

The Left in El Salvador and Nicaragua had to literally shoot their way into power at the cost of 155,000 dead. Costa Rica got rid of their army and put in a social democracy after World War 2 in part to ward off revolution. There was a military coup in Honduras a few years back which overthrew a Left president and put in a death squad government that has murdered 2,000 Leftists ever since.

Yes, the Right is in power in Guatemala, but they have stayed in power by killing 200,000 people, a project which is ongoing. The Left has now disarmed, but they were armed for over 30 years.

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Problems and Achievements of Left Governments in Latin America

S. D. writes: I’m not sure that Socialism would benefit them to the same degree that it has benefited Norway or Sweden.

It requires each citizen to assume a fairly high degree of personal responsibility to see the entire society as a family.

And truthfully this is difficult outside of a super-homogeneous country.

Right-wing countries lead to more racial animosity because they are more of a meritocracy that do less for the poor worker, I agree.

But to what extent socialism is better I am not entirely sure.

Mind you, I have only two Poly-Sci classes to my college education. What do I know?

Some form of socialism is the only solution for Latin America, and most of the region is already formally socialist in one way or another and has been for some time now. Formally socialist or Leftist parties rule most of the continent in Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Chile. I understand that most political parties in the Caribbean are Left parties of some sort usually with “Revolutionary”, “Labor” or “Socialist” in their names. A number of them were allied with Chavez in Venezuela.

Leftwing governments have made massive strides in most of the countries above. The lives of the average Latin American have improved dramatically in every one of those places.

The recent rulers of Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador have made serious leftwing changes in their countries.

Latin Americans hate the Right. Rightwing governments have never done jackshit for the vast majority of Latin Americans.

The main problem with any form of socialism or Left government in Latin America is that the Latin American Right is extremely fascist, violent and anti-democratic. According to them, the Left simply has no right to ever rule any of their countries. Hence any time the Left takes power in any of their countries, the Latin American Right tries to overthrow them by unconstitutional means such as military coups, lockout strikes, deliberate sabotage of the economy, legislative coups, etc.

South America serves as an instructive example.

Hence the implementation of any Left regime is often met with violence, sabotage or coups. There are often widespread street protests even leading to Left and Right street fighters fighting in the streets like Germany in the 1920’s. This sort of thing often occurs in Chile and Venezuela where  the Right is strong, radical and violent. The Right has been rioting in the streets for 15 years now in Venezuela ever since Chavez took power. Political protests in Chile usually turn violent as the Left attacks the rallies of the Right and vice versa.

There was a rightwing legislative coup in Paraguay to remove a Left President recently, and there is one ongoing in Brazil. The National Police made an aborted coup attempt to overthrow a Left President in Ecuador. The Right used economic sabotage to ruin the economies of Chile in the 1970’s and Venezuela at the moment. The Left President of Argentina also appears to have been voted out due to economic sabotage by the Right in league with the Obama Administration.

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