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Why is Latin America Burning?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/03/why-latin-america-burning

“In addition, in almost all countries judicial institutions are weak and as a result widespread corruption remains unpunished. As the worldwide economy has slowed down, governments lack resources to pay for social programs”.

People should get upset if they are suffering because of widespread corruption or if their government lacks resources to pay for social programs because an elite has greedily and unfairly pocketed money and renounces that would otherwise be available (by for example, a tax code and economic system skewed in their favor and widespread tax avoidance).

It’s not surprising that, “You must have austerity so that the rich can have opulence”, incites rage .

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Your comments are perfect.

the worldwide economy has slowed due to the extreme inequality ** people cannot spend money they do not possess**and this is due to the greedy elite who rape the earth and do not pay for the damage while pocketing all the profits from efforts of the workers.

Growing up in a large city there were many programs available for the general public because the tax requirements were more equitable and so there were funds available for services including health care.

I’m shocked to find this piece published here by an organization begun by John Perkins, who exposed so well the U.S. role in the destruction of democracy in Latin America in his book Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Why is Latin America burning? Populist leaders? Really, you’re not going to mention the U.S. Department of Justice program Lava Jato, which has targeted progressive leaders in Latin America for years, its latest victim being Brazil’s Lula? You’re not going to mention Milton Friedman’s Chicago Boys nor Kissinger, Nixon and the CIA imposing his neoliberal religion on Chile via Pinochet, to the tune of 60,000 dead? You’re not going to mention that this U.S. intervention and its subsequent dictatorship led directly to the extreme wealth inequality Chile is now facing? Nor that the U.S. helped implant dozens of these dictatorships across Latin America in countries facing similar wealth inequality? Governments find themselves unable to pay for social services, really? But countries like Brazil can afford to hand over nearly half its budget to pay off its enormous debt to Northern banks, thanks to unwise loans taken on during those U.S.-imposed dictatorships. The glaring omissions and lack of context in this article make it of limited use.

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Excellent - please post again!

I accept Ms. Nelson’s criticism of other causes for the unrest in Latin America. I have been raising the same issues in dozens of articles widely published. However, when she concludes, “The glaring omissions and lack of context in this article make it of limited use” it only shows that Donald Trump’s example of unkind behavior is catching up. César Chelala

I find that your piece does cover the cause and effects of mismanagement of resources well enough without finger pointing of international politics. Starting with a parable and concluding with an additional story is quite clever and even light handed. Perhaps Ms. Nelson needs to hear more rage and anger.