here to save demockracyPosted: July 4, 2011
Who are the biggest transgressors against democracy in the Americas today? Well, according to witnesses and members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua lead the field (see here for the Voice of America report).
So what are the list of transgressions? Here’s a quiz. See if you can fit the country to the crime:
1) In 2006 the ruling party’s candidate won in a fraudulent Presidential election. It has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world. It’s President launched a ‘war against drugs’, which so far has seen 35,000 people killed, without weakening the powers of the cartels.
2) In 2009 the President in this country was removed in a coup. Immediately after, widespread oppression was organised against trade unions, feminists, environmentalists and the media, including disappearances and killings. Presidential elections were then held under a state of siege to ‘restore democracy’. In 2010, under the restoration, it was the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist, according to Reporters without Borders, with at least ten murdered.
3) In 2000 widespread electoral fraud was carried out across many of the constituencies, organised by electoral and judicial officials loyal to one of the candidates. The deciding votes came down to one state, where the fraud was supervised by the candidate’s brother. The new President then systematically misled his own Congress, leading to the invasion of a country which killed somewhere between half a million and a million people.
And the countries? Well, unfortunately they were not on the US Senate Committee’s list – Mexico, Honduras, and the United States itself.
But the US, and its junior partner, the UK, have always dealt in irony. The latest example is the unveiling today of a statue in London to remember the contribution of Ronald Reagan to democracy (see here for a briefing from our sister organistion, the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign). The 250,000 victims of Reagan’s policy across Central America in the 80s would surely laugh at this Independence Day joke, except of course, they can’t.