The financial collapse of Ireland, coming as the latest in a string of disasters, hardly shocks global public opinion. For people engaged in the development debate, however, it is resonant with meaning.
Many economic justice activists felt intimidated by the complexity of the Third World debt crisis in the 1980s and overwhelmed by the intricacies of the World Trade Organization in the 1990s. Now people are facing a confounding global financial catastrophe, and though we certainly need more activist education on the workings of financial markets, it’s remarkable to see how much progress civil society has made since the 2008 crash.
China’s hostility toward African traders in its midst mirrors its ambivalence over its integration into the world economy.
The unexpected death of Nestor Kirchner provides us with a moment to look back on the trials and successes of one of Argentina’s most remarkable and controversial leaders. Kirchner was one of the few global south leaders to successfully challenge international financial institutions, and get away with it.
At the onset of the Third World debt crisis in the 1980s, many economic justice activists were afraid to engage on the issue because they felt it was just too complicated. Then, in the 1990s, the hot issue was trade. And again, many people thought, “I’ll never understand the World Trade Organization.” But eventually, in both of these cases, large numbers of people bit the bullet and learned enough to have a voice in these debates. And they built strong movements for debt and trade justice that continue today.
As the United States continues to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, the Islamic regime is engaging in a foreign policy counter-attack with profound strategic consequences. The theater of strategic warfare between the United States and Iran has expanded well beyond the Middle East.From sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, Iran is selling arms, offering aid and investments, and otherwise establishing a new pattern in south-to-south relations as it battles what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls “Western arrogance.”
Just about everything you hear about Cuba in the U.S. media is a lie.
I learned that from the moment my TACA Airlines charter jet landed in
Havana last Sunday. It was filled with Cuban-Americans returning to
their homeland carrying clothing, DVDs, microwave ovens, electronic
games, and other consumer goods missing from the Cuban market. I’d
always read that the “Miami Cubans” hated the very thought of
socialist Cuba. So I was surprised and even a little shocked when the
entire plane burst out in loud applause when we touched down.
The U.S. and India should not sign a treaty that will only serve the short-term interests of large corporations, and undermine the authority of governments to protect their people from financial crisis.
The unexpected death a few days ago of Nestor Kirchner deprived not only Argentina of a remarkable, albeit controversial leader. It also took away an exemplary figure in the Global South when it came to dealing with international financial institutions.
Kirchner defied the creditors. More importantly, he got away with it.
Dilma Rousseff came very close to winning in the first round of voting in Brazil, she ended up on the threshold of the government currently led by Lula de Silva. Lula, the most popular president Brazil has ever had, is stepping down after eight years that changed the face of the country and transformed its place in the world.