US Interventions in Latin America Continue and Intensify
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US Interventions in Latin America Continue and Intensify


It’s the Real News Network. I’m Greg Wilpert coming to you from Quito,
Ecuador. Ten years ago, most of Latin America was governed
by center-left progressive or even leftist governments. For example, Cristina Fernandez in Argentina,
Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, Daniel Ortega in
Nicaragua, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, and Lula da Silva in Brazil, just as an example. And Hugo Chavez, of course, in Venezuela. Since then, the so-called ‘pink tide’ has
receded quite dramatically. Of these 10 governments that were left of
center, only four remain. Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia,
Vazquez in Uruguay, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. What happened? Some would argue that the U.S. played an important
role in at least some of these changes. Joining me to explore the role of the U.S.
in Latin America is Mark Weisbrot. Mark is the co-director of the Center for
Economic and Policy Research, and is the author of the book “Failed: What the Experts Got
Wrong About the Global Economy.” He’s also the president of the organization
Just Foreign Policy. Thanks for being here again, Mark. Thanks, Greg. Thanks for having me. So before we get into the role of the U.S.
in Latin America, it’s useful maybe to take a quick look at the impact that the leftist
or center-left governments had on Latin America. What would you say were the main achievements
or the main consequences of their governments in some of those countries? Well, if you look at the region as a whole,
the poverty rate dropped from 44 to 28 percent. That was from around 2003-2013. And that was after the two decades prior where
poverty had actually increased, there was no progress at all. So that was a huge change, and it was accomplished
in different countries in different ways. You know, there were large increases in public
investment in Bolivia and Ecuador. In Brazil you had also some increase in public
investment , big increases in the minimum wage. You know, every country did different things
to help bring healthcare, and increase, in some countries, education, access to education. And there were a whole lot of reforms. Changes in macroeconomic policy. Getting rid of the IMF. So there were a lot of different things that
these governments did that prior governments were either unable or unwilling to do to improve
people’s living standards during a period of higher economic growth, which they also
contributed to. And so how has Latin America changed now since
then, when right-wing governments took over most of the continent? Well, you have different things that have
changed. I mean, one is, of course, they’re implementing,
as you would expect, right-wing reforms. Trying to cut pension system, the pension
in Brazil, passing a constitutional amendment which, you know, even most economists in the
world wouldn’t support in Brazil, which prohibits the government from increasing spending beyond
the rate of inflation. You have, you know, huge increases in utility
prices in Argentina, laying off thousands of public sector workers. So everywhere where the right has come back,
you do have some regressive changes. And so how has the U.S. contributed to these
changes, and what goals would you say is the U.S. pursuing in the area? Well, I think the U.S. has contributed in
so many ways it would take an hour at least to summarize just some of this history. But I think the U.S. has been involved in,
in most of these countries in various ways. Obviously in Venezuela they’ve been involved
since the coup in 2002, and they tried to overthrow the government and tried to help
people topple the government on several occasions there. In Brazil they supported the coup against
Dilma, the parliamentary coup. So they didn’t do that strongly, but they
sent enough signals, for example, I’ve mentioned this before on this show, right as the House
was voting to impeach Dilma without actually presenting a crime that she committed, the
head of the Foreign Relations Committee from the Senate came and met with the number three
official from the U.S. State Department, Tom Shannon. And then of course in August of that year,
the Secretary of State John Kerry went down there and had a press conference with the
Acting Foreign Minister Jose Serra. And they, of course, talked about how great
relations with the U.S. were going to be before Dilma was actually removed from office. So these were ways of endorsing the coup. And of course, the Department of Justice contributed
to , the FBI, the Department of Justice contributed to the investigation that was instrumental
in imprisoning Lula. Now, what they did in that investigation we
don’t know exactly, but we do know enough about it to know that it wasn’t a neutral
investigation. That is, the investigation did end up decapitating
the Workers’ Party for now, first helping get rid of Dilma, but more importantly, or
more substantially, in terms of its contribution, they they helped put Lula in prison and prevent
him from running for office. And in other countries, in Paraguay, the U.S.
helped in the consolidation of that parliamentary coup by organizing within the Organization
of American States. In Honduras is probably the biggest role that
the U.S. has played, both in consolidating the military coup in 2009, Hillary Clinton
acknowledged her role in making sure that President Zelaya, the democratically elected
president, would not return to office, and then more recently in November they helped
consolidate the results of an election which pretty much all observers regarded as stolen. Those are just a few of the examples. I mean, I guess I didn’t even mention Argentina,
where other branches of government were involved as well as the executive, but the executive
cut off lending from multilateral development banks such as the Inter-American Development
Bank, and tried to block loans at the World Bank, as well. And they restored everything as soon as the
right-wing government was elected. And then there was Judge Griesa in New York,
who took all of Argentina’s, over 90 percent of Argentina’s creditors, hostage in order
to squeeze them so that the government would pay off the vulture funds. And this was very political, because he also
lifted the injunction as soon as you had the right-wing government. And I think this is very important, because
obviously it’s not necessarily a conspiracy of all these branches of government. The legislative branch was involved in this
as well, in the United States. But they all have the same mindset, and they’re
all trying to get rid of these left governments, and they had a massive contribution. I mean, Argentina, that did contribute to
the downfall of Cristina Kirchner. It contributed to balance of payments problems
that they had there. So this was important, and it’s totally ignored
here in the United States. And then why was it ignored in the United
States? I mean, what is it about U.S. media coverage,
and why is there so little coverage of U.S. role and Latin America? Well, you know, maybe you should interview
some of the reporters who cover it, if they’re willing to answer that question. I think that it’s it’s complicated in some
ways, but in some ways it’s very simple. First of all, for U.S. intervention anywhere
in the world they have a kind of a smoking gun standard. So you know, we have in our criminal justice
system the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. But this is a much higher standard. So nothing is really discussed in terms of
U.S. intervention unless it’s really a smoking gun, where they’re caught red-handed in a
way that nobody could deny. And that almost never happens. So in Venezuela, for example, in 2002 when
you had the coup, you had State Department and CIA documents which documented the involvement
of the United States. They helped fund and train the people who
did the coup, and they made statements following the coup that they knew were false in order
to help the coup consolidate itself, and they failed in that case. But you know, in Haiti in 2004, which I hadn’t
even mentioned, they took the president and put him on a rendition plane, and flew him
out of the country. That was in broad daylight. But in any case, they have a story that’s
not at all believable, and the press kind of accepts that and never looks back. Whenever they mentioned, you know, Chavez
complained about the coup, and it was a major obvious source of bad relations with Venezuela,
but they always just reported it as an allegation of a figure that they of course were discrediting
at every turn. So that’s kind of how they report all of these. When they report the facts at all, they put
it in the context that makes it look like there wasn’t any intent, or any real effect
of U.S. policy in the region. But mostly it’s like reporting on Ukraine
and never mentioning Russia, you know, it’s as if the United States doesn’t have any real
influence in the Americas, and of course anybody knows they have an enormous influence. GREG WILPERT: So what would you say are some
of the implications for the foreseeable future of this U.S. policy towards Latin America? MARK WEISBROT: Well, right now, of course,
they’re still involved. And you have intervention in Mexico, for example. U.S. officials have already said how worried
they are that AMLO, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is the frontrunner in the upcoming election
in July. And he’s probably going to win, but they’re
already trying to undermine him, lobbying accusations of Russia involvement, which is
the new trend. Of course, completely unsubstantiated. In Venezuela they’re doing something probably
never done in the last 50 years, openly calling for a military coup, and actually a financial
embargo they’ve put in place, and threatening even a worse embargo if they don’t get rid
of the current government. So that’s, I think, a more aggressive form
of intervention than you had even under the prior administrations. And they’re pretty open about it. And again, most of the media seems to treat
it as a non-issue. In fact, that’s actually a very important
example, because there’s an election going to take place in a couple of weeks, and the
media is pretending that it’s not really an election. But you have a credible opposition candidate
who’s leading in the polls, and they’ve reached agreement with the government on a set of
procedures which are similar to almost all the other elections they’ve had for hte last
20 years, and a set of guarantees, which of course, the candidate Falcon won’t recognize
the election if they don’t follow them. So you have a real contested election, but
the U.S. government has decided they don’t want that, and the hard-right opposition is
in line with them, and so they’re all pretending there’s no election at all, because they’re
committed to a strategy of violence, of regime change. GREG WILPERT: OK. We’ll certainly continue to follow this, especially
the U.S. role in Latin America. I was speaking to Mark Weisbrot, co-director
of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Thanks again, Mark, for joining us today. MARK WEISBROT: Thank you, Gregory. GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining the
Real News Network.

61 Comments

  • Benny Harriston

    i hate this secret government getting our boys killed….and giving the american people a bad name……….some of us call it treason ….for making america less safe

  • AnonymouS SuomynonA

    Please keep reporting on this in depth. I’m not sure if many people in the US understand that Latin American refugees end up seeking asylum here often due to the economic policies and political meddling by the US. Dispelling the tropes might help combat the demonization of these immigrants, and channel misguided, nonsensical hate toward beneficial action such as demanding that our government stop interfering in other countries’ affairs. People in the US are blinded by their perceived exceptionalism/delusion of unadulterated benevolence and unwavering innocence and zealously play the useful idiot for the elites pointing the finger at those with no power or influence.

  • Winston Smith in Oceania

    I would like to remind our non-Brazilian friends that the Brazilian middle class is the most stupid, reactionary, and ill-informed terrorist group in the entire world. Lula has been convicted by kangaroo courts and illegally arrested with NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER. He is a political prisoner in a country ran by the elites and multinational corporations. Brazil is under assault and your country is next!

  • Vince Miller

    Geez, you grow up your entire life proudly identifying with the guy in the White Hat, only to wake up in the middle of the Information Highway of the 21st Century and realize globally, America is the evil SOB in the Black Hat and has been for the last six decades.

  • Rafael Pena

    They don't wanna' consider the "front-runnin'" nominee in Mexico bc he want's to crack down on corruption and probably the dea/cia led drug trafficking..and we wonder why we have such a HUGE drug epidemic in America..and we wonder why we don't have legalized marijuana & we wonder why we have so much violence on our border..& we wonder why we have so much refugees..

  • LuisC

    Now they are targeting Nicargua for "regime change". Everything was peaceful in that country, until two weeks ago. At the moment, peace has returned, but not for long. There is already a media war on Nicaragua's government. The other day, the Spanish newspaper El País came out with an editorial entitled "Ortega must go". CNN en Español is also part of this campaign. The OAS is now practically controlled by US lackeys once more. Its Secretary General is the man chosen to coordinate this. Threats from Trump directed at Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. Marco Rubio is enjoying this. The Colombian government is also part of this scheme. Even though there is a lot political violence and volatility in that country too. Violence, electoral fraud and poverty in Honduras, but the US is silent. I guess that is a "democracy" while the others are "dictatorships". Same old story. By the way, things are going downhill in Argentina, economically speaking. Inflation, an incredible jump in interest rates, the fall of the peso. All of this under Macri, firm US ally, welcomed as an "improvement" over Cristina Kirchner.

  • Dom Trussardi

    But….but…..Sam Harris told me that 99.99% of people at the Pentagon just intervene to make countries more like Nebraska? Are you telling me this is not truth?

  • Mark Edwards

    Shock and horror.
    Russia has been "interfering" with the US election process !
    An unprecedented act of treachery ?

  • chickendinner2012

    Our history of war and imperialism all around the world is disgraceful, and yet there are still some people that watch corporate media and pretend we are just trying to help the world by killing every country that doesn't give up their resources.

  • Animal Farm

    Sadly you missed a major component to the undermining of Leftist Governments in South and Central America. Yes, there is US Corporate Government involvement using all branches of US Government and Intelligence Networks but there is also the private network that is used for intervention and the removal of Leftist Governments – the Atlas Network. The Atlas Network can be found worldwide working with Right-wing Governments to overthrow any form of government of the people. This has been extensively covered in the Intercept article by Lee Fang, “Sphere of Influence: How American Libertarians Are Remaking Latin American Politics”. If you read this article, you will find not only is the US Government a tool of the oligarchs in South and Central America, but the oligarch funded and owned Atlas Network is also responsible. The article explains the Libertarian and Koch origins and funding of the Atlas Network and its devastation on the majority of those who have been affected by this corruption.

    Sadly, it appears The Real News has only presented a superficial coverage of these Global phenomena and should look deeper into the oligarchs’ motivations and their efforts to control these countries. To get some understanding how insidious the oligarch movement is, you could reference the speech by Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Chavez. You might also mention the Kochs’ refineries are designed and tuned to refine Venezuelan heavy crude and with Chavez calling for a higher profit for the Venezuelan people and angering the Koch oligarchs, you might then explain the US oligarchs’ ongoing assault on the will of the Venezuelan peoples’ political will using every political and financial tool available. Is your coverage of the assault on these countries vague and incomplete intentionally but then again, with the standard of coverage we see in the oligarchs’ media, we can’t be too critical. Poor coverage is better than no coverage or outright lies.

  • Muslim Lover of Peace Man

    So..let me see if I got this right.? to keep the US number one in the world. we have to send in our troops, murder, rape and poison the populations of other countries. then we send in American or international corporations subordinate to the US by force, install a US backed brutal, genocidal, dictator. while openly polluting and plundering all the resources, sending everything to the US. am i forgetting anything.? oh yeah.. make sure our (free) media puts out the good word we're promoting freedom & democracy to an evil and corrupt nation. ummm? OK.. So where do I sign up and who do we kill next.?

  • drumsnbass

    Christina in Argentina created the incredible mess that Argentina is trying to dig out of right now. Anyone, or even my dog, would be better than her.

  • Carolina Wren

    could be that most Americans are aware of their government's role in undermining democracy in South and Latin America – as they are not unaware that two airplanes did not bring down the three towers of the World Trade Center. With enough hugs and drugs we can get through anything.

  • DXR

    The real history of US policy is conquest, from its inception its policies were conquest, period.
    Anyone who believes in Trump's victim card, that the US has been cheated, abused, the victim on the world stage is a dam fool!

  • Peter Knopfler

    James Monroe President, THE MONROE DOCTRINE says USA owns the WESTERN HEMISPHERE 1823, this has not changed Divide and Conquer is the blue print. America took this Doctrine GLOBAL, "Full Spectrum Domination" We own the world or else. USA way or no way at all. Arm both sides and train the killers. Shame USA, always first to kill. In final analysis it is the White Race ruling the world. Shame and guilt creates Denial and violence.

  • Christobal Colombo

    The pink tide begun Bush tried to interfere (coup in Venezuela in 2002) it was partially a reaction to his administration, the same will happen with Trump

  • Christopher Davis

    America has always been right wing evil making sure that they keep the southern hemisphere enslaved, carving up the world 1984 Orwellian style

  • rainbow sally

    Hi Mark and Greg.
    re. 5:22 the smoking gun standard.

    Mark, it's even worse now. Even with the smoking gun they won't report it.
    It took them 2 weeks to report that there was a Downing Street Memo in which Bush was alleged to have fixed the facts and the intelligence around the policy of invasion of Iraq, which by now is pretty obviously no mere "allegation", but now they won't touch the staged Ghouta chemical attack lies (see link at the bottom) which led the uk to bypass parliamentary procedure and which caused the President of the US to violate the clear explicit language of Art 1 Sec 8 in regard to war powers.
    https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html

    Gen Mattis said he thought Article 2 Section 2 gave the President authority to aggress against a sovereign member of the un.
    https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A2Sec2.html

    Trump is beyond being phased by "embarrassment" but what do you make of Gen. Mattis? Isn't he supposed to care at least a whit about the Constitution?

    These are very serious errors made by the executive branch and they follow from errors made by Congress which follow from errors made by voters. (Let's fix that right now.)

    At least two members of Congress have read the document they took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend. If more of them had they could have prevented the commission a blunder of this magnitude.

    This is the best YouTube compilation I've found on the recent situation so far.
    Please, everyone, do check this out.

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fud1RQVci7g
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Understand that this video only addresses the question of whether the "red handed" standard of proof is enough for the mainstream.

    The pattern of terrorist attacks balmed on the elected (82% majority) President of Syria goes back to the beginning of the CIA sponsored "civil war". The chicanery involves the Benghazi debacle, Sarin gas precursors moved through Turkey (exposed by Trurkish MP Eren Erdom and Seymore Hirsh) which was given to known ISIS members, and so on.

    The point being that even catching them red handed is no longer enough to prompt the mainstream journalists to go try to find their humanity.

    Tucker Carlson briefly put up a fight but it looks like he's sold his conscience to the paycheck too.

  • Learned Hand

    To truly cover the history of US interventions in Latin America, it would require a five part series in 3 hr segments, and yet you may still find that you had to leave a lot of important information out.

  • mariocrivera1000

    The US is a right wing regime. Just look at the progression: Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, Trump.

  • ALX Armed Liberation Xecutive

    ©™ ALX ⚖ Observations ✍✍

    Transnational Corporations who finance congressmen and White House campaigns and inturn use the military and CIA NSA FBI to leverage access to resources and markets for the benefit of stockholders equity and dividends and capital gains are dictating foreign and domestic policy for Uncle Sam who's dictating foreign policy for NATO coalition and EU members to some extent. The results are not pretty for the people living in their spheres of influence.
    Except for the stockholders of course.

  • john p

    Maybe if the US would stop all of South America could be forced to eat dog and not just Venezuela. The words South Americans are looking for are "Thank you America for saving us from the same fate as the starving Venezuelan populace."

  • Jack Klugman

    Always good to see our fine graduates from the renamed School of the Americas slaughtering the media and activists.

  • Jimme2020

    This is why the the real axis of Evil Isreal United States England France germany days are numbered………

  • Jimme2020

    Today every war that's going on in the world the United States is behind it…..so sad that the white people are still trying to rule the world with the new world order bullshit….

  • Laura Cortez

    Very strange! I'm not receiving alerts from the realnews! I have missed several videos 😒 interference from YouTube?

  • landlogger

    Overthrowing Other People’s Governments: The Master List of U.S. “Regime Changes”https://www.globalresearch.ca/overthrowing-other-peoples-governments-the-master-list-of-u-s-regime-changes/5400829

  • landlogger

    Google this:      US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II

  • Sorb

    The media played an extremely active role in the coup d'état in Brazil, and the Brazilian media was directly founded by the US during the Operation Condor, as shown in the censored documentary Beyond Citizen Kane.

  • Cath' J J

    What about all the 'unofficial' meddling of US interest groups (see Animal Farm's post)? I'm thinking of some outfit that's been working under the radar for decades for their nefarious ends under a name like '"promoting democracy or truth"' or some other that's the opposite of their real program. of course, they're generally working in cahoots with US gov't covert as well as official activity, and corporate interests Edit: . Just found the name of this network in another post – the Atlas Network. This is seriously evil and unfortunately efficacious shit.

  • TnST

    With the US Gov't losing its global dominance, they're more focusing on regional powers & crushing down every young boy in Latin America

  • Dinal Abay

    Disgusting how USA continues to manipulate Latin American politics whilst being the biggest hypocrite in the world, with accusations against Russia during their own corrupt bullshit elections in 2016; yet a few years later there has been little evidence produced to support their claims. USA is definitely the worst country in the world by far.

  • Fernando Godoy

    I hope US goes all the way on this . All South America need to get out of this fake freedom. We are living under a communist idea in Brazil since 1985 after the military government (1964-1985).
    Dilma , Lula , FHC are a mixture of scums bags, corrupted and terrorists.
    33 years of bad administration and corruption!
    Today Brazil is on ashes.

  • Jayy Damour

    Why can’t they do like France 🇫🇷 wants to do, building a nato like army in Europe. Latin American should be an army against USA 🇺🇸

  • Don Omar

    The U.S.A has been playing that role for the past 200 years in Central and South America!!! The U.S have always protected there investments and investors in our countries at our expense… if our presidents don't play along they'll engineer a coup to overthrow the government and put a puppet that the U.S can control!! The country will also be labeled as communist in the Middle east the U.S calls them terrorist… if people would actually educate themselves they would see all the atrocities the U.S has committed throughout the world, Israel is right behind them doing the same thing I know cause they were in my country in the 80's….

  • Alvaro Salme

    Hey, why not also talk about the corruption scandals in south america? All those left leaning presidentes stole a lot of money from their people.

  • Facts Before Feellings

    The U.S. sends these country's tens of millions of dollars per year in aid. Honduras got 65 million dollars last year. The president has said any county that does not want U.S. involvement can tell him. The U.S. will stop sending the aid and us that money to help people in America. It is a very easy situation to fix. He has already said he will stop sending aid to those country's that continue to send caravans. Those country's dont have any thing that the U.S. needs from them. America does not go around looking for country to give money to. The governments of those country's go to the U.S. for money.

  • Ricardo Gonzalez

    I feel like the American nazis won IIWW,. In America we have interventions, civil wars, dumping of US merchandise to weaken economies, slaughter of civilians to orchestrate coups, election manipulations, etc etc and people in the USA feel uncomfortable because people in their country can’t have a normal dignified life and has to immigrate to the USA. The USA plays their card to keep them “illegal” for a very long time to control them with threats of deportation to fund USA social security, Medicare, and keep salaries low. I have to admit USA politicians know what they are doing it is evil, but they know what they are playing!

  • Carlos Sosa

    Thats bullshit mí fríend poverty Is higher on the región as a whole. Living standards have declined. As a result of the pink wave.

  • nazongo

    USA is for Latin America to USSR is for Eastern Europe.
    Dictatorships and thousend of deaths and dissapered people for the cold war due the fear of american gov to have another Cuba in its neighbor. Most of Latin America never tasted democracy and socialism like most of eastern europe never tasted democracy and capitalism during cold war. That is the reason why socialism had a big wave in 2000's in all the continent due democracy and capitalist system don't give them what their promised to them (the same for socialism and promise of equity in europe) what it's happening now in the world is a movement of people that feels like democracy and its institutions are not working for them, that why you have a Trump, Duterte, Maduro, AMLO, Bolsonaro, Evo and Kirchner. Is more tan just ideology from left or right, is about authoritarism against democracy, people feeling that democratic system is too slow and don't represent them that why they follow any promise them quick solution, easy implementation and of course the famous "is not your fault, is fault of others! (Immigrants, establishment, imperialism, american goverment, capitalism, socialism, oligarchs, minorities, etc, etc.)"

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