US Imperialism and child labor

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Dec 10 10:04:27 MST 1999

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 28, 1999 Sunday



The U.S. Labor Department has given a grant worth more than $6 million to
keep 21,000 children from working on coffee plantations in Central America.

The grant to the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor
will set up programs in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. A seventh project will coordinate the
six country projects and collect data on child labor in those countries,
the department said.

Child labor is becoming an issue for the coming World Trade Organization
meeting in Seattle. President Clinton has said he will propose at the
meeting that a working group be formed to study labor issues. AFL-CIO
President John Sweeney said Nov. 19 that his organization will step up its
efforts to block U.S. imports from nations that engage in child labor if
the World Trade Organization doesn't punish them...

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Invaded by the US in 1965 in order to preempt liberal
politician Bosch's electoral victory. Victorious Balaguer dictatorship
terrorizes union organizers.

EL SALVADOR: US funding and military advisers key to victory over FMLN in
the 1980s. A Christian Science Monitor article from Oct. 21, 1988 states,
"The land redistribution, initially projected to benefit between one-half
and two-thirds of the rural poor, ended up affecting only 20 percent. By
the end of Duarte's first year, it had completely stalled in the face of
powerful coffee growers - and the American Embassy."

GUATEMALA: "On June 15, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the
CIA to launch an operation code-named PBSUCCESS, an attempt to overthrow
the communist-leaning, reform-minded government of the small Central
American nation of Guatemala. 'I want you all to be damn good and sure you
succeed,' the president told his CIA director, Allen Dulles. 'When you
commit the flag, you commit it to win.'" (Oct. 22, 1995, Washington Post)

HONDURAS: " A US-built military base in Honduras contains cramped metal
cells apparently used to torture and kill political prisoners, a senior
Honduran official said yesterday. The cells - along with dozens of possible
graves - were discovered at El Aguacate airbase in eastern Honduras, which
the US built for Nicaraguan contra rebels in 1983. It was also used by
Honduran army troops." (Aug. 13. 1999)

NICARAGUA: "AT THE headquarters of Nicaraguan president-elect Arnoldo
Aleman of the Liberal Alliance, red-shirted volunteers revel in the
euphoria of Sunday's election victory and dream of glorious days to come.
First, they'll bring back the Miami Nicaraguans, or as many as they can of
some 200,000 of the country's richest and most powerful who went into exile
when dictator Anastasio Somoza was brought down by the Sandinistas in 1979.
Then they'll take back their land, the 8,000 homes in Managua and hundreds
of thousands of hectares of the lushest green grasslands and coffee-growing
slopes in the rest of the country."

Louis Proyect

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