Latin American Marxist writers

Sam Pawlett rsp at
Wed May 17 09:25:10 MDT 2000

Chris Brady wrote:
>  I have some catching up to do.  When I went to South America about two
> years ago, NACLA Reports had just published an article by Tomas
> Moulian about soccer fan clubs Los de Abajo (La U) and Gancha Blanca
> (Colo-Colo) that I thought was very informative and insightful.
> They also had a profile of the leftist head of the Teachers Union.

I remember the issue. The head of the teachers union in Argentina,

> Maybe it is like the case of The Nation whose stances are clearly more
> and more drifting toward the Vital Center (not that they would call it
> that)
> but in its pages we can read Robert McChesney on occasion, at least.

The drift to the right among these pubs might be attempt to capture more
market share though I think their subs have probably dropped because of
it. Is sorta like the case with the NDP, our socdem party here in Canada
which has moved to the right to try and become more "mainstream",
"modern" to capture more votes. It has lost its traditional constituency
among the working class. It needs to move left to gather more votes.

 The Nation is of limited appeal to those of us outside the USA since
so much of it is focussed on domestic electoral politics.

> Marxist should always try to break on through by whatever means
> possible.
I agree.

> Back in Santiago, though, every street corner newspaper kiosk–along with
> the mainstream dreck, yes—displays Punto Final and that hilarious
> satirical
> rag The Clinic

Yes the newstands are great. Most in Colombia (in Bogota and Medellin at
least) carry the weekly Voz Proletaria a non-sectarian paper oriented
towards the CP and the (hush-hush, wink-wink) armed groups. The survival
of this paper is a story unto itself. Many of its writers have been
killed and the offices have bombed many, many times including one day
after I left Bogota for good. One of their old editors, Manuel Cepadas
was elected to congress on the CP ticket and was promptly assassinated a
shortime later.(this was in '94)

> El Mercurio is an excellent example that “Un fantasma recorre America
> Latina: el fantasma del comunismo.”  There is always some anti-communist
> content, and on the weekends whole pages with photos of Lenin and
> other big shots.  You see more pictures of Marx and Lenin in El Mercurio
> than in Punto Final and El Siglo put together!

Yes. I guess you're aware that El Mercurio is a longtime conduit for CIA
disinformation (good book: Death in Washington by Landis and Freed goes
into this)and published photos of dissidents who were wanted by the
military. One of the armed groups assassinated the editor of El M or his
son in the early 80's. THey haven't been caught (yet).

> It is really unfair and amnesia ridden to condemn the red left in its
> entirety when they for the most part did stand for their convictions and
> were
> ripped and rent limb from limb, tortured and humiliated, and slowly
> murdered
> by the thousands.

Its part of the red left--those who stayed behind-- criticising those
who fled, not because they fled but because the country has changed so
much since they left and that now they shouldn't be in leadership
positions. Many were gone for 20 years.

The idea that "the left will only bring back dictatorship" or teh
perception that this will happen is a serious problem though. Chile is
still to a large degree a military-run society. The military even have
their own TV channel!

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:
> If I am reconstructing your trip properly, you came here via the
> Northwest (that is, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán). If so, you entered the
> country via the best road. 10 days along that road may have taught
> you more on Argentina than a whole year in Buenos Aires.

I left the country that way and entered Bariloche-Neuquen-Bahia
Blanca-B.A. In terms of contrasts, the Bolivia-Argentina border is
almost as bad as Mexico-USA.
> I would like to know if Sam believes that "nationalists" and
> "socialists" should have a different agenda on this issue[cultural imperialism]
Depends on the nationalist, you are talking about left nationalists
right? Nationalism makes me squeemish especially in my own country but I
do recognize that it can be a progressive force against imperialism.
Much of the Canadian left is nationalist too, constantly railing about
being recolonized by the USA. The problem is not to fall into xenophobia
and hatred of all things foreign.

Sam Pawlett

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