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Introduction: Colombia has received more US military aid–over $6 billion dollars in the past decade — than any country in the Western Hemisphere. For its part, Colombia allowed the Pentagon to build seven military bases, more than all the other countries in the region combined. There are over 2,000 US military officers and private US... Read More
Colombia, Iran, China, Cuba, Ukraine, Yemen and Syria
Introduction: On the 21st of May, the Colombian Air Force (FAC) bombed the base camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killing 26 guerrillas. Three days later the FAC bombed other FARC bases killing 14 more guerrillas, as part of an official offensive launched by President Juan Manuel Santos, the US’s most loyal... Read More
The Santos Regime’s Dual Strategy
Introduction: There are many fabrications and false assumptions underlying the Colombia peace negotiations between the Santos regime and FARC – EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – Peoples Army). The first and most egregious is that Colombia is a democracy. The second is that the Santos regime pursues policies which enhance non-violent social and political... Read More
This text is a comprehensive critical survey of Colombia’s political and social conditions and a homage to one of its most dedicated academics, Jorge Adolfo Freytter Romero, murdered by the regime, for his dedication to human rights. The twenty-eight essays and documents provide us with a deep understanding of the existing structures of power and... Read More
Introduction: The two paths to 21st century empire-building-via-proxies are illustrated through the violent seizure of power in the Ukraine by a US-backed junta and the electoral gains of the US-backed Colombian war lord, Alvaro Uribe. We will describe the ‘mechanics’ of US intervention in the domestic politics of these two countries and their profound external... Read More
Colombia is one of the largest recipients of US aid in the world ($2 billion in military and police aid, third behind Israel and Egypt; $1 billion in economic and social aid; plus $1 billion in arms sales over the last six years). But it’s not really on the radar in the United States. I... Read More
What rights do humans have? On a global scale, zip, actually. One of the by-products of an increasingly interconnected and interpenetrated world is that the difference between the way nations treat their citizens and the way they treat the rest of the world is becoming more apparent. The issue has been brought into sharp relief... Read More
Introduction: Washington has devised a dual strategy toward Latin America. This involves a new set of ambitious imperial initiatives designed to undermine the principal anti-imperialist governments (Venezuela), social movements and armed insurgency (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), while dismantling Latin America-centered integration and regional alliances, such as ALBA, Petro-Caribe, UNASUR and MERCOSUR. At the same... Read More
Interview with rpaSUR - Video in Spanish rpaSUR hizo contacto vía telefónica con James Petras sociólogo estadounidense y profesor de la Universidad Binghamton en Nueva York. Quien acepto una breve entrevista acerca del acontecimiento político mas importante en Colombia actualmente, nos referimos a los diálogos de Paz entre las Farc EP y el Gobierno Santos.... Read More
Introduction: In late August 2012, President Santos announced that the Colombian regime was opening peace negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, (FARC), with the aim of ending nearly 50 years of civil war. Several economic, social, political and military changes account for the Santos regimes abrupt shift from a policy of “peace” through... Read More
Invited paper to be presented at the national conference on “Multinationals, Violence, Trade Union Freedom and Democracy in Colombia” organized by the SINALTRAINAL International Trade Union on its 30th anniversary, July 26, 2012 at Autonomous University of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia. Imperialism and Violence in Colombia James Petras Introduction The US military intervention in Colombia... Read More
Colombia and the Mainstream Media
Introduction: By any historical measure, whether it involves international law, human rights conventions, United Nations protocols, socio economic indicators, the policies and practices of the United States and European Union regimes can be characterized as extremist. By that we mean that their policies and practices result in large scale long-term systematic destruction of human lives,... Read More
The International and National Context
Introduction: Between April 21-23, thousands of activists from most of the major urban and rural social movements and trade unions, human rights groups and indigenous , afro-colombian movements will meet to unify forces and launch, what promises to be the most significant new political movement in recent history. United by a common pledge to seek... Read More
Invited paper to be presented to the “Encuentro Nacional de comunidades Campesinas, Afrodescendientes e Indigenas por la Tierra y la Paz de Colombia: El dialogo es la Ruta”, 12 al 15 de agosto 2011, Barrancabermeja – Colombia Introduction: We live in a time of great destruction and grand economic opportunities and Latin America is no... Read More
The US media is not paying much attention to the growing crisis between Venezuela and Colombia, presumably because it would detract from the excitement of the Clinton wedding. Both countries have moved troops up to the border and are only an "accident" removed from shooting at each other. It would be the first actual war... Read More
Juan Manuel Santos, notorious Defense Minister in the regime of outgoing President Alvaro Uribe and closely identified with high crimes against humanity “won” the recent Presidential elections in Colombia, June 2010. The major electronic and print media CNN, FOX News, Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the once liberal Financial... Read More
The first casualty of state terror is the corruption of language, the invention of euphemisms, where words mean their opposite and slogans cover great crimes: There is no longer a world consensus that condemns crimes against humanity. Introduction The first casualty of state terror is the corruption of language, the invention of euphemisms, where words... Read More
For China Matters the Ingrid Betancourt story had everything: an official line that smelled fishy from Day One; a thrilling narrative chock-a-block with colorful personalities and amazing developments; conflicting stakeholders—and versions of events—coming out of Colombia, Venezuela, France, Switzerland, and the United States; credulous, stenographic reporting by the U.S. press; and a convoluted geopolitical context.... Read More
In an amusing punctuation point to the Ingrid Betancourt rescue in July of this year, on October 19 a television station in Colombia aired shaky footage of the event purportedly shot by a FARC grunt with a digital camera. It concludes with the helicopter containing the precious hostages whizzing off into the clouds while the... Read More
Hernando Calvo Ospina’s recent book, Colombia, Laboratorio de Embrujos: Democracia y Terrorismo de Estado is the most important study of Colombian politics in recent decades and essential reading in light of the Western media’s and politicians’ celebration of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Calvo Ospina’s study provides a wealth of historical and empirical data that highlights... Read More
Off the Script in Colombia
It was a perfectly executed rescue mission and they pulled it off without a hitch. A small group of Colombian military-intelligence agents, posing as aid workers on a humanitarian mission, touched-down in the heart of rebel territory, gathered up Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages, and whisked them away to safety while a small army... Read More
A few minutes with the Google leaves the Betancourt rescue story in tatters. Did the Colombian government push aside European hostage negotiators to take control of the impending Betancourt release, hog the credit, and spin it as a rescue and a victory for counter-terrorism instead of negotiated piece of ransom-for-hostages? If so, it wouldn't be... Read More
More Problems Emerge for the Betancourt Rescue Story
[I am also grateful to a reader who pointed out that Betancourt and the other hostages appear to be in good physical condition after their ordeal, in contrast to the photograph documenting Betancourt's ill health while in captivity. Advance preparation by FARC to deliver healthy hostages would also be consistent with a planned, negotiated release--CH]... Read More
Eight Mistaken Thesis of Fidel Castro
I have been a supporter of the Cuban Revolution for exactly fifty years and recognize Fidel Castro as one of the great revolutionary leaders of our time. But I have never been an uncritical apologist: On several crucial occasions I have expressed my disagreements in print, in public and in discussions with Cuban leaders, writers... Read More
South American affairs is obviously not China Hand's bailiwick, but I had the funny feeling that the the “rescue” of Betancourt and the other hostages from the hands of FARC by the Colombian government looked, walked, and quacked more like a negotiated release than a genuine piece of special ops derring do. It looks like... Read More
When President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela called on the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to end their armed struggle and declared the ‘guerrilla war is history’, he was following a path taken by many revolutionary leaders in the past. As far back as the early 1920’s, Lenin urged the nascent Turkish communist to... Read More
Pedro Antonio Marin, better know as Manuel Marulanda and ‘Tiro Fijo (Sure Shot)’, was the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army (FARC-EP). He was without a doubt the greatest revolutionary peasant leader in the history of the Americas. Over a period of 60 years he organized peasant movements, rural communities and, when... Read More
An interview with James Petras by Efrain Chury Iribarne: It’s pure Stalinism, to say that an insurgent group with 40 years of struggle is playing imperialism’s game is pure idiocy; imperialism functions well enough in Venezuela without need for a guerrilla movement. Chury: Good day Petras, how’s it going… Petras: It’s a good day here... Read More
A Very Limited Run
French President Sarkozy has twice appeared in the spotlight of the world’s mass media announcing his determination to free French-Colombian dual citizen, Ingrid Betancourt, held captive by the Colombian guerrilla movement, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army (FARC-EP). Following in the footsteps of Hugo Chavez’ successful negotiations in late December 2007 and early January 2008... Read More
The Cost of Unilateral Humanitarian Initiatives
President Uribe’s troop and missile assault, violating Ecuadorian sovereignty came very close to precipitating a regional war with Ecuador and Venezuela. During an interview I had with President Chavez, at the time of this bellicose act, he confirmed to me the gravity of Uribe’s doctrine of ‘preventive war’ and ‘extra-territorial intervention’, calling the Colombian regime... Read More
Cartagena, Colombia — These be pirate waters, the fabled Spanish Main, where freeboaters and buccaneers preyed like wolves on the Spanish Empire. In the 1600's, Spain's imperial expansion and European wars were dependent on silver and gold looted from Peru. Spanish treasure fleets transported tons of silver from Peru on a two-month voyage north to... Read More
On the humanitarian exchange of political prisoners in Colombia and the United States
I read with great interest your letter to FARC leader Manuel Marulanda. I share with you a humanitarian impulse to end the imprisonment of political prisoners in Colombia. However let us be clear, principled and realistic about this: The freedom of the political prisoners of the FARC is dependent on a quid pro quo –... Read More
On a November 9, 2006, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army, (FARC-EP) sent an “Open Letter to the People of the United States”. It was specifically addressed to several Hollywood producers and actors (Michael Moore, Denzel Washington and Oliver Stone) as well as three leftist academics (James Petras, Noam Chomsky and Angela Davis) and... Read More
A major diplomatic and political conflict has emerged between Colombia and Venezuela subsequent to the revelation of a Colombian government covert operation in Venezuela, involving the recruitment of Venezuelan military and security officers in the kidnapping of a Colombian leftist leader. Following an investigation by the Venezuelan Ministry of Interior and reports and testimony from... Read More
A major political controversy is raging in the mass media of Colombia and Venezuela, left-wing websites and elsewhere over the kidnapping of FARC leader Rodrigo Granda. Each day brings more pronouncement and revelations from ministers, military and police officials, as well as Congress-people and leaders of social movements. Intellectuals have written and signed petitions, some... Read More
Colombia has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of trade union leaders and activists assassinated in the world (180 in the first 11 months of 2001). Almost all these murders are committed by paramilitary forces closely associated with the Colombian Armed Forces. Over 30,000 people mostly workers, peasant, human rights advocates, leftist political... Read More
Plan Colombia, to be understood properly, should be located in a historical perspective both with relation to Colombia as well as in relation to the recent conflicts in Central America. Plan Colombia is both “new” policy and a continuation of past U.S. involvement in Colombia. Beginning in the early 1960s, under President Kennedy, Washington launched... Read More
Category Classics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about...
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?