CALEB MAUPIN—Their argument is this: capitalism is better because the refrigerator possessed by the average American family is better than the refrigerator possessed by the average Cuban family.However, anyone who has ever been to Latin America knows this argument is completely bunk. All throughout the region in places where free market capitalism reigns, there are millions and millions of people who do not have running water or electricity. Millions of Haitians, who live under US free market capitalism and in some cases eat dirt mixed with oil, have no refrigerator at all. In the jungles and mountains of Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras, there are millions of people who have never seen a flushing toilet in their lives, let alone a fully functioning refrigerator.
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MEDEA BENJAMIN—AIPAC attempts to silence all criticism of Israel by labeling critics as “anti-Semitic,” “de-legitimizers” or “self-hating Jews.” Journalists, think tanks, students and professors have been accused of anti-Semitism for merely taking stands critical of Israeli government policies. These attacks stifle the critical discussions and debates that are at the heart of democratic policy-making. The recent attacks on staffers at the Center for American Progress is but one example of AIPAC efforts to crush all dissent.
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ALAN MACLEOD—Due to the implementation of neoliberalism during the 1980s and 1990s, inequality between the classes in Venezuela greatly increased, and poverty rose rapidly. This led to profound social dislocation, particularly after the 1989 Caracazo, when the government ordered a military crackdown on working-class protesters from the barrios, resulting in the massacre of thousands. The event, and the economic crisis of the 1990s, led to the breakdown of the traditional social order and to the election of a former military officer and political outsider, Hugo Chavez, as president in 1998.Chavez, who came from a poor family, campaigned on the promise of a new Constitution. It was implemented the next year and contained new rights for indigenous groups, the poor and women, among others.
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JIM MILES—Kovalik reiterates this later, “By design, the United States…has unleashed indescribable chaos upon the region. This has not only caused untold loss of life and suffering to the people of the region, but has also led to the eradication of their history and culture.” The latter is very noticeable throughout Iraq, was on the path to succeeding in Syria, and has been practiced daily over the years in occupied Palestine.