AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist is part manifesto, part memoir, and part national history. His discussion is interspersed with personal reflections that repudiate not only his own past words and actions, but also his parents and others. He is unsparing when it comes to becoming antiracist ("I arrived at Temple as a racist, sexist homophobe").
He argues that you can either be racist or antiracist. If you claim neutrality, you are leaving racist structures in place,...

End the Cold War Already

When do we get to end the Cold War? This year has been horrible in so many ways, and some icing on the cake is that I am pretty certain I haven't heard "socialist" and "communist" as epithets this much since, well, the actual Cold War. I had been thinking about this, then read this interview between Tim Padgett and Frank Mora, who is stepping down as director of FIU's Latin America & Caribbean Center:
So it's no secret you're a Democrat – but you're a Cuban-American Democrat in...

Biden and Trump on Venezuela

Donald Trump has been hard to sort out with regard to Venezuela. You really cannot start with any of the typical core assumptions. One of those is that Florida is critical for him in the presidential election, so he'll do whatever he can to get the hardline Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American vote. It ostensibly makes even more sense because during 2016, he actually courted the Bay of Pigs vote, which is way out there in terms of pure pandering.
But this assumption just does...

Review of Carol Anderson's White Rage

Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide is a clear, concise history of the never-ending anti-Black structures erected after the Civil War.  White elites built a system specifically designed to harm African Americans. It was obviously anti-democratic, but it was anti-capitalist as well, not to mention pro-terrorist. Capitalism entails workers moving freely and finding the jobs/wages they deem optimal, which African Americans...

Luis Almagro Sounds Just Like Donald Trump

Under Luis Almagro's direction, the OAS issued a remarkable statement about the ongoing public debate about the statistical soundness of the OAS analysis of the Bolivian presidential election. It is whiny, paranoid, blustery, defensive, hyperbolic, unprofessional, unconvincing, and does considerable damage to an already damaged institution. It is a PR disaster, unless you went to the Trump School of Public Relations.
Almagro sounds exactly like Donald Trump: "Obviously,...

Review of George Orwell's Animal Farm

After many years, I reread George Orwell's Animal Farm (I think it was assigned to me in high school at some point). It is, of course, an allegory of the Soviet Union, with Stalin (Napoleon the pig) gradually subverting a revolution for his own power, eventually becoming indistinguishable from those who ran things in the past.
As we listen to an administration that lies in precisely the same ways as the ruling pigs in the novel, who changed the revolutionary commandments...

Colombia Ambassador Talk

I watched a talk by Colombia Ambassador Francisco Santos Calderón, organized by Global Atlanta. Yes, that Santos family--he was Vice President under Alvaro Uribe and related to past presidents. You can, then, guess what kinds of things he would emphasize. The discussion was aimed at investment, but a few things caught my attention. I actually had tuned in because I was interested in hearing about the response to Covid-19, but that didn't get discussed a lot.
He was asked about...

Colombia in the OECD

Colombia joined the OECD, which was news I hadn't even noticed. Sara Danish and Norberto Martinez write about it at Global Americans.
Membership carries real weight and gaining entry requires more than currying favor with a few key “sponsors.” Beginning in 2013, Colombia underwent technical reviews by 23 OECD committees spanning topics from trade to environment to public governance and justice, a process that prompted various reform measures, including the 2014 Transparency...

Bolton, Trump, and Venezuela: Just As Crazy As You Think

I am not going to read John Bolton's memoir. Maybe when we're back on campus and the library has it, I'll look at the Latin America parts, but I am not sure it will tell us much beyond what we already know. The Washington Post has some juicy parts about Venezuela, for example.
In one May 2019 phone call, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, part of what Bolton terms...

Chile and the U.S. Deal With Covid-19 Similarly

Bloomberg takes a really interesting look at Covid-19 in Chile, which has been hit hard. The bottom line is that the "stay at home" message is an inherently privileged one. 
What went wrong in Chile goes to the heart of the debate over lockdowns, which health experts now acknowledge work well for the haves but not for the have-nots. In the end, Chile’s virus fight seems to have fallen victim to the same factors that sparked crises in other emerging markets -- poverty, overcrowding...