Latin America

This films review of Latin American history packs a punch

Remembering Latin America’s Forgotten Ones

“Olvidados” is one of those gripping, hard hitting political pictures about Latin America, a tradition including Sergei Eisenstein’s 1932 epic “Que Viva Mexico!”, Costa-Gavras’ 1972 “State of Siege” and 1982 “Missing”, Roger Spottiswoode’s 1983 “Under Fire” and Oliver Stone’s 1986 “Salvador.”

Photo by Balint Földesi

On May 29, the United States removed Cuba from the list of “state sponsors of terrorism” as one more step toward normalization of relations between the two countries. But, historically, it is the United States that has sponsored terrorism against Cuba.

"Nature is very tired,” wrote the frail Spaniard Luis Alfonso de Carvallo. The year was 1695. If only he could see us now.

Oscar Romero image by J. Puig Reixach

Romero taught us all an invaluable lesson: He stood up to bullies and he did not turn his back on his people. Image credit: J. Puig Reixach

I come from a long line of strong women. Women who left home and made a new life in a foreign land. These women’s blood flows in mine. I know their stories because they were revealed to me at the kitchen table, when the adults forgot I was listening with big ears and eyes.

Playa El Tirano, Venezuela

The contrasting coverage of problems in Venezuela and Mexico tells us less about these two countries and more about the biases of the U.S. government and major media in this country. Image credit: Laura Domínguez

Just in time for the holidays, we got a burst of cheery news from Washington. 

Obama's surprise gift--restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba--delighted everyone tired of watching the Administration's constant compromise and retreat from the far right. 

And, predictably, it brought out the Republicans' inner Grinch.

Mauldin cartoon from the Chicago Sun-Times depicts Fidel Castro musing to a portrait of Karl Marx, "I'll bet you never had to deal with Cubans."

From our 1963 archive, this piece explores the tension between the United States and Cuba after the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Wechsler writes, "Indeed, there have been moments in the last two years when one was tempted to wonder whether Castro is a larger threat to our national sanity than to our military security." Image credit: Mauldin/Chicago Sun-Times


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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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