Posts Tagged ‘due-obedience law’

Update: Torture, The STL in Lebanon, and Obama’s “Way Forward” in Afghanistan

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Today we introduce a new feature in The Trenchant Observer, an occasional column commenting on some of the more important events of the previous weeks in international affairs, as seen by the Observer.

This week’s stories include U.S. policy toward torture prosecutions, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and President Obama’s speech on “the way forward” in Afghanistan.

The United States’ Adoption of the “Due Obedience” Defense in Cases of Torture

This week the Justice Department announced that it would pursue investigations into two cases involving the deaths of detainees who were preseumably subjected to “harsh interrogation techniques” that went beyond the types of torture (as defined in the U.N. Convention Against Torture) that were permitted under the George W. Bush Administration’s “legal guidance”on “harsh interrogation technicques”.

See Eric Lichtblau and Eric Schmitt, “iU.S. Widens Inquiries Into 2 Jail Deaths,” New York Times, July 1, 2011

With that, the Justice department has ended its investigation into the broad class of cases that appear to qualify as cases involving the commission of torture under the terms of the Torture Convention, to which–it must always be stressed–the United States is a party.

By taking the position that it will not prosecute individuals for acts of torture if they were permitted under the legal guidance provided by their superiors in the Bush Administration, the United States has in effect accepted the “due obedience” argument rejected by the Nuremburg Tribunal in its trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II. This rejection of the “due obedience” defense is universally accepted in international law. It is expressly confirmed in the Torture Convention in Article 2 paragraph 3, which provides:

Article 2 (3). An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

Other countries parties to the Torture Convention may now proceed to prosecute individuals suspected of committing torture found within their territory, without much concern that the U.S. will rquest their extradition for trial in the U.S., given the Justice Department’s position.

This signals a clear and final decision by the Obama administration not to pursue other cases of torture committed during the Bush administration.

It is significant for two reasons. First, it represents a final decision not to prosecute cases of torture by the state with primary jurisdiction, in violation of U.S. international legal obligations under the Torture Convention.

Second, it further opens the way for other states that are parties to the Torture Convention to prosecute U.S. officials for acts of torture they may have committed.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has now issued arrest warrants and delivered the same to the Government of Lebanon for it to carry out the arrests.

In an earlier article, published on March 3, 2011, The Observer wrote:

In Lebanon, Hezbollah withdrew in January from the unity government of Sa’ad Hariri, among thinly-veiled threats of civil war, if the government of Lebanon does not break ties with the U.N. International Tribunal for Lebanon, established by the Security Council to investigate and try those responsible for the assassination of Hariri’s father, Rafiq Hariri, in 2005. Hezbollah is militating against the United Nations Security Council, international law, and the tribunal established by the Security Council because, according to reports, it fears the Tribunal will issue indictments against Hezbollah members in the coming days or weeks.

The Tribunal itself has a statute which establishes due process of law for the hearing of the charges which may be brought by the Prosecutor of the Court. Hezbollah is arguing, if effect, that the Court is biased before any judicial proceedings against its members are initiated, and without regard to the fact that they will have a chance for a fair hearing, the questioning of evidence and of witnesses, in any proceedings that might be brought. With black shirts menacing and threatening to take physical control of West Beirut and large parts of the country, Hezbollah has positioned itself as an anti-democratic force opposed to the struggle for the rule of law within Lebanon, and one opposed to the United Nations, the Security Council and international law.

Outside parties have rushed to mediate. A Saudi-Syrian initiative has now been replaced by a Qatari-Turkish mediation effort. Democracy is in the balance.

What is at stake is the authority of the U.N. Security Council, the United Nations Charter, and international law. If Hezbollah can halt the cooperation of the government of Lebanon with the STL by threats of civil war and dividing the country in two, its success would not bode well for the future of the International Criminal Court or other international tribunals that might be established in the future to deal with issues such as the Hariri assassination or issues of transitional justice.

We will now see whether Hezbollah has changed it position, and is willing to turn away from its opposition to international law, the United Nations, and the authority of the Special Tribunan for Lebanon established by the Security Council.

Democracy and the rule of law in Lebanon hang in the balance.

Obama’s “Way Forward” in Afghanistan

Recently Ambassador Carl Eikenberry completed his term as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He is being replaced by an extraordinarily skilled deplomat with deep experience in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

Eikenberry’s departure should not go unnoticed, however. A former head of the coalition forces in Afghanistan before becoming Ambassador in 2009, Eikenberry headed an able diplomatic team. In 2009, toward the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s much-touted review of Afghanistan policy, cables written by Eikenberry in November, 2009 were leaked to the press.

In those cables, Ekenberry, who had a deep knowledge of Afghanistan before assuming his post as Ambassador, set forth his thinking about President Hamid Karzai’s government, the narrow limitations of the Afghanistan policy review, and his own cautionary words about the risks of proceeding with the “surge” of over 30,000 U.S. troops without a broader review.

Today, his words seem prophetic, and read more like the history of the last two years than the risk assessment they were originally intended to be.

See The Observer’s previous columns on this subject:

Eikenberry Memos Place Spotlight on U.S. Dilemmas in Afghanistan
January 27th, 2010

Commentary on Eikenberry Cables, Intelligence on Afghanistan
January 28th, 2010

On June 22, 2011, President Obama delivered an important speech to the nation setting forth his thoughts and policies on “the way forward in Afghanistan.”

Adminral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated publicly that Obama’s new strategy of withdrawal represented more risk than he had originally been propared to accept. The military, including Petraeus, did not agree with what in all likelihood will represent an abandonment of the modified and limited counter-insurgency or COIN strategy Petraeus had led. Toby Harnden of The Telegraph reported, for example,

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, said: “Petraeus loses, Biden wins. And I respect the vice president, but I think that we have undercut a strategy that was working. I think the 10,000 troops leaving year is going to make this more difficult.”

The Pentagon fought a rearguard action to prevent the surge force ordered into Afghanistan by Mr Obama in December 2009 from being pulled out by early spring next year but the withdrawal plan announced by Mr Obama, which had initially been tabled as a “compromise” by Robert Gates, the defence secretary, was not supported by Gen Petraeus.

There were reports of heated discussions during the month before Mr Obama’s prime-time speech on Wednesday night.

White House officials, aware of the soaring costs of the war and its questionable progress could be a political liability in the 2012 election, are said to have clashed with Gen Petraeus, who argued that with more time he could repeat his success in Iraq.

Harnden reported further that Obama had rejected Petraeus’ proposal to move thousands of troops from the south to the east “in order to build a counter-insurgency campaign there.” Obama also overrode Petraeus’ request to keep some of the 33,000 troops to be withdrawn by this spring until 2013.

Two military officers with close ties to Petraeus told “National Journal” that Gen Petraeus disagreed with Mr Gates’s compromise proposal and had not endorsed Mr Obama’s drawdown plan.

–Toby Harnden, “Admiral Mike Mullen says withdrawal plan is a risk,” The Telegraph, June 23, 2010

To those who have followed developments in Afghanistan over the last five to eight years, including readers of The Trenchant Observer, there was nothing new in his speech.

Rather, the Observer’s appraisal of Obama’s approach to international affairs, offered in an analysis of his failed leadership in Libya, seems to describe his Afghan policy as well:

When one looks hard at the decisions he has made, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the president’s primary objective is “to manage” international conflicts and affairs, as domestic affairs, in a manner that will enable him to be reelected in 2012.

Reelection is probably a goal of almost all politicians. Certainly there are exceptions. Winston Churchill comes to mind. But with Presdent Obama, it appears to be the primary and overriding goal.

It is perhaps the prism through which the president’s actions can best be understood. In this sense, Obama’s current policy towards Libya seems to be succeeding.

For commentary on the president’s speech, see

Jennifer Rubin, “Liberals give thumbs down on Obama’s speech,” Washington Post, June 23, 2011

A “conditions based” withdrawal of 10,000 troops is meaningless. The “conditions based” withdrawal of additional troops from the surge will meet its test if and when one or more provinces fall to the Taliban.

A collapse of the Afghan government is not to be ruled out. It could come at a most unexpected moment. If it were to come before the presidential elections in 2012, it could have a decisive impact on their outcome.

The folly of following a strategy in foreign policy that is decisively determined by domestic political considerations is likely to have hard lessons to teach its authors.

The Trenchant Observer

¿Por dónde está la América del Sur? El terremoto, Clinton y el continente olvidado

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010


Reflexiones, comiendo una madeleine*, en una mañana de sábado lluvioso

(*referencia a Marcel Proust)

Las noticias procedentes de Chile sobre el terremoto del 27 de Febrero evocan la simpatía para aquellos que han sufrido pérdidas personales y otras. Las personas tienen varias opciones, si desean contribuir a los fondos de alivio.

El único beneficio positivo del terremoto en Chile (8,8 en la escala de Richter) es que ha recordado a los lectores de noticias y oyentes norteamericanos que hay un gran continente al sur de los Estados Unidos y México, que se conoce como Sudamérica. Chile, donde se produjo el terremoto, es el país más meridional de la costa oeste de América del Sur.

Las Islas Malvinas y los reclamos argentinos a las islas también han sido mencionados en las noticias esta semana, como resultado de la exploración británica de petróleo en el área. Argentina es el país más austral en la costa este de América del Sur.

Dada la falta de conocimiento de la geografía del mundo e de la historia, estas explicaciones pueden ser útiles ahora.

Uno puede legítimamente preguntar, en efecto, “A dónde fue la América de Sur?”

En nuestra conciencia, en nuestra conciencia del mundo. En los Estados Unidos, pero sospecho que también en otras partes del mundo.

Un país que ha descubierto la América del Sur es la China, que ha realizado importantes inversiones en Brasil y otros países, y que tiene una relación de comercio creciente con los países de la región.

La doctrina de Monroe de 1823 hace mucho tiempo está muerta, que es una buena cosa. De hecho, murió en 1933 con “la Política de Buen Vecino” de Franklin Roosevelt y la Convención de Montevideo. Su muerte legal fue reforzada con la carta de las Naciones Unidas (1945), la carta de la Organización de Estados Americanos (1948) y el Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca (“Tratado de Río” o “TIAR”) (1947).

No obstante, estos tratados no impidieron que la CIA derrocara el gobierno izquierdista de Jacóbo Arbenz en Guatemala en 1954, la invasión de la Bahía de Cochinos de Cuba en 1961, la intervención de Estados Unidos en la República Dominicana en 1965, o la participación de la CIA en los acontecimientos que condujeron al derrocamiento de Salvador Allende en Chile en 1973. O la invasión de y derrocamiento de los gobiernos de Granada en 1983 y de Panamá en 1989.

Ah! Sí. Chile, un país en el extremo sur de América del Sur, en la costa oeste. Ahora los recuerdos comienzan a fluir nuevamente. Tortura. Desapariciones forzadas. La película de Costa-Gavras “Missing” (1982), con Jack Lemmon, contando la historia. Surge una memoria aún más profunda, de la película de Costa-Gavras “Estado de sitio” (1972), que relata la historia del secuestro de 1970 de Dan Mitrione, un agente de los EE.UU. reportado como habiéndo sido profundamente implicado en la formación de la policía y militares en las artes de la tortura en Uruguay, y antes en Brasil en la década de los 60.

Luego había toda la cosa con la Argentina, en la que se informa de que el gobierno ha matado a algunas 10,000-30.000 personas durante “la guerra sucia” de 1976 a 1982. Una película memorable, “La historia oficial” (Oscar por mejor película extranjera en 1985), trata de estos eventos de manera poderosa, aunque de forma oblicua, lo que plantea la cuestión de la complicidad de los ciudadanos individuales en la tortura y las desapariciones ordenadas por los generales. (Esta película podría ser de especial interés para los fans de la serie de televisión de Estados Unidos “24”).

También de este período, uno puede recordar, Argentina invadió las Islas Malvinas en 1982. Y recuerda también los argumentos interminables y sín sentido sobre si eran “The Falklands” o “las Islas Malvinas”, un argumento de conclusiones que impidió cualquier discusión analítica. La derrota de la Argentina a manos de los británicos tuvo mucho que ver con la caída de la junta militar que siguió, y la elección de Raúl Alfonsín en diciembre de 1983.

Uno recuerda a la embajadora de EE.UU. en la ONU, Jeane Kirkpatrick, y sus puntos de vista sobre las relaciones de “estándares doble y dictaduras” y las reaciones de Estados Unidos con los gobiernos autoritarios amistosos. Apoyó la invasión de la Argentina de las Malvinas, hasta que finalmente su posición fue anulada por otros en la administración de Reagan.

Alfonsín se desempeñó como presidente de su país hasta 1989. Él puso en marcha el juicio de los ex-dirigentes de las juntas en 1985, y domesticó a los militares, actuando de pie en el frente de una rebelión militar en la base militar de Campo de Mayo y en Córdoba en 1987. Después de esta rebelión, hizo concesiones a los militares, incluyendo la infame “ley de obediencia debida”. La ley, sin embargo, fue derogada en 2003. Un fiscal principal en el juicio de los ex-dirigentes de las juntas era Luis Moreno-Ocampo, que actualmente es el fiscal en la Corte Penal Internacional en La Haya.

Significativamente, Alfonsín estableció una Comisión Nacional sobre la desaparición de personas, que produjo en 1984 un informe entitulado “Nunca Más,” el que fue presentado a los tribunales.

Tortura, gobierno militar, la participación estadounidense. Las memorias vuelven. De los acontecimientos en Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile. Nicaragua bajo Anastásio Somoza. Fraude electoral y la represión de la oposición democrática en El Salvador en la década de los 70.

Desde 1977 o 1978 hasta los principios de los 90, la atención del público estadounidense estaba remachada en Centroamérica, donde la Revolución Sandinista triunfó sobre Somoza, escuadrones de la muerte se convirtieron en cosa común en El Salvador y los Estados Unidos respaldaba los esfuerzos de los contras que operaban desde Honduras. Surgen tambíen recuerdos del asesinato del arzobispo Óscar Arnulfo Romero mientras celebraba la misa en la Catedral de San Salvador en 1980 y de la trabajadora social y las tres monjas Maryknoll que fueron arrastradas desde su van y asesinadas por un escuadrón de la muerte salvadoreño más tarde en ese año.

El apoyo de de EE.UU. de los contras llevó al caso de Nicaragua contra los Estados Unidos en la Corte Internacional de Justicia en 1984 y el fallo de la corte contra los Estados Unidos en 1986. En respuesta, los Estados Unidos se retiraron de la jurisdicción obligatoria de la corte, mientras Óscar Arias, el Presidente de Costa Rica, ganó un premio Nobel por su papel en el plan de Arias o el proceso de Contadora, que trajo las hostilidades en la región a una cesación.

Un gobierno civil también fue elegido en Guatemala en 1985, lo que fue un presagio de esperanza tras las masacres y asesinatos de los indios y otros por el ejército guatemalteco en los principios de la década de 1980, y antes.

A continuación, por último, en 1989, los Estados Unidos invadió Panamá y derrocó al Gobierno de Manuel Noriega, un ex agente de la CIA que se había convertido en dirigente profundamente implicado en el tráfico de drogas. Tras un reflugio en la Embajada del Vaticano, donde fue intensamente acosado desde fuera por las tropas estadounidenses, finalmente se entregó y fue llevado a Miami, donde él fue sometido a juicio y ahora cumple una sentencia con pena por el resto de su vida.

Después de Panamá, parece que en EE.UU. todos se olvidadaron de la América del sur, poniéndo la atención sólo sobre México y el acuerdo de libre comercio de América del Norte, que entró en vigor en 1994. No obstante, hubo una reanudación de gran interés en la región en la década de 1990 por parte de las empresas estadounidenses, cuando el Mercosur fue creada en 1991 y la inversión privada fluía a Brasil, Argentina, Chile y México en particular.

Pero durante los últimos diez años, al menos, el público en los Estados Unidos parece haberse olvidado acerca de Sudamérica, y hasta el resto de Latinoamérica excepto México–que se ha convertido en un lugar peligroso al ritmo que los traficantes de droga se han instalado. Este fenómeno puede estar relacionado con el éxito de los Estados Unidos y Colombia en la lucha contra el tráfico de drogas en ese país. Por otra parte, mucho ha venido sucediendo en Venezuela, con Hugo Chávez reescribiendo la Constitución con apoyo popular–pero también con aparente acoso en las calles y el aumento de las restricciones sobre las médias independientes. Pero poco de esto ha atraído mucha atención en los Estados Unidos.

Ah Sí, memorias traídas a la mente por un terremoto, y una renovada conciencia de que existe un continente allí abajo llamado la América del Sur, y un área aún más grande llamado Latinoamérica.

Mientras que Norteamérica duerme, otros parecen interesarse en la América del Sur. En noviembre de 2009, el Presidente iraní Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visitó Brasil, Bolivia y Venezuela. El departamento de Estado parece haber tomado nota, anunciando el 26 de febrero de 2010 que Secretario de Estado Hillary Clinton viajará a Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brasil y Costa Rica durante la primera semana de marzo.

Las possibilidades son, en los próximos 10 o 20 años, que la América de Sur — y América Latina–volverán a las noticias en EE.UU.

Para aquellos que son un poco vago sobre exactamente donde Uruguay, Argentina, Brasil. Chile y Costa Rica se encuentran, es el momento para sacar los mapas, y para leer y hacer algunas preguntas acerca de lo que ha acontecido allí en los últimos 50 años.

El Observador Incisivo
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Where is South America? The Earthquake, Clinton, and the Forgotten Continent

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Reflections, Eating a Madeline, on a Rainy Saturday Morning

(*reference to Marcel Proust)

The news from Chile regarding the earthquake on Februray 27 evokes sympathy for those who have suffered personal and other losses. Individuals have several options if they wish to contribute to relief funds.

The one positive benefit from the earthquake in Chile (8.8 on the Richter scale) is that it has reminded North American news readers and listeners that there is a large continent to the south of the United States and Mexico, which is known as South America. Chile, where the earthquake occurred, is the southernmost country on the west coast of South America.

The Falklands and Argentine claims to the islands are also back in the news this week, as a result of British exploration for oil in the area. Argentina is the southernmost country on the East coast of South America.

Given the lack of knowledge of world geography and history, such explanations may be useful now.

One might rightfully ask, indeed, “Where did South America go?”

In our consciousness, in our awareness of the world. In the United States, but I suspect also in other parts of the world.

One country that has discovered South America is China, which has made important investments in Brazil and other countries, and which has an expanding trade relationship with the countries of the region.

The 1823 Monroe Doctrine is long dead, which is a good thing. In fact, it died in 1933 with Franklin Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy and the Montevideo Convention. Its legal death was reinforced with the United Nations Charter (1945), the Charter of the Organization of American States (1948) and the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance or “Rio Treaty” (1947).

Nonetheless, these treaties did not prevent the CIA overthrow of the leftist Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, the U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, or CIA involvement in events leading to the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. Or the invasion of and overthrow of the governments of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989.

Oh yes, Chile, a country at the southern extreme of South America, on the west coast. Now the memories start to flow again. Torture. Forced disappearances. Costa-Gavras’ movie “Missing” (1982) with Jack Lemmon, telling the story. An even deeper memory emerges, of Costa-Gavras’ movie “State of Siege” (1972), which told the story of the 1970 kidnapping of Dan Mitrione, a U.S. agent reported to have been deeply involved in training the police and military in the arts of torture in Uruguay, and earlier in Brazil in the 1960’s.

Then there was the whole thing with Argentina, which is reported to have killed some 10-30,000 people during “the Dirty War” from 1976-1982. A memorable movie, “The Official Story” (Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1985), deals powerfully with these events, although in an oblique fashion which raises the question of the individual citizen’s complicity in the torture and disappearances ordered by the generals. (This movie could be of interest to fans of the U.S. TV series “24”.)

Also from this period, one may recall, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982. And remember also the endless and mindless arguments over whether it was “The Falklands” or “las Islas Malvinas”, an argument from conclusions that impeded any analytical discussion. Argentina’s defeat at the hands of the British had a lot to do with the fall of the military junta that followed, and the election of Raúl Alfonsín in December 1983.

One recalls U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick, and her views on “Dictatorships and Double Standards” and U.S. relations with friendly authoritarian states. She supported Argentina’s invasion of the Falklands, until finally overruled by others in the Reagan administration.

Alfonsín served as President of Argentina until 1989. He set in motion the trial of former junta leaders in 1985 and tamed the military, standing firm in the face of a military rebellion at the Campo de Mayo military base and in Cordoba in 1987. After this rebellion, he made concessions to the military, including the infamous “Due Obedience Law”. The law, however, was repealed in 2003. A principal prosecutor at the trial of former junta leaders was Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who is currently the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Significantly, Alfonsín set up a National Commission on the Disappearance of People which produced in 1984 a report entitled “Nunca Más,” (“Never Again”), which was presented to the courts.

Torture, military government, U.S. involvement. The memories return. Of events in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile. Nicaragua under Anastásio Somoza. Electoral fraud and suppression of the democratic opposition in El Salvador in the 1970’s.

From 1978 or so through early 90’s, the attention of the American public was riveted on Central America, where the Sandinista revolution triumphed over Somoza, death squads became common in El Salvador, and the United States backed the efforts of the contras operating in and against Nicaragua from bases in Honduras. Memories surface of the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero while saying mass in the cathedral in San Salvador in 1980, and of the American lay worker and three Maryknoll nuns who were dragged from their van and killed by a Salvadoran death squad later that year.

U.S. support of the contras led to Nicaragua’s case against the U.S. in the World Court in 1984, and the decision of the Court against the U.S. in 1986. In response the U.S. withdrew from the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court, as Óscar Arias, the President of Costa Rica, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Arias Plan or Contadora Process which brought the hostilities in the region to a halt.

A civilian government was also elected in Guatemala in 1985, which was a harbinger of hope following the massacres and assassinations of Indians and others by the Guatemalan military in the early 1980’s, and earlier.

Then finally, in 1989, the U.S. invaded Panama and overthrew the government of Manuel Noriega, a former CIA agent who had become deeply involved in the drug trade. After holding out in the Vatican Embassy, where he was intensely harassed from outside by American troops, he finally emerged and was whisked away to Miami where he stood trial and now serves a life sentence.

After Panama, we all seem to have forgotten about South America, as attention turned to Mexico and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in 1994. To be sure, there was a great resumption in interest in the region in the 1990’s among U.S. businesses, as Mercosur was formed in 1991 and private investment flowed to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico in particular.

But for the last ten years, the public in the United States seems to have forgotten about South America, and even the rest of Latin America except Mexico–which has become a dangerous place as the drug traffickers have moved in. This development may be related to the success of the United States and Colombia in fighting the drug trade in that country. A lot has been going on in Venezuela, with Hugo Chávez rewriting the constitution with popular support–and also apparent thuggery in the streets and increasing restraints on independent media–but little of this has drawn much attention in the United States.

Ah yes, memories brought to mind by an earthquake, and a renewed awareness that there is a continent down there called South America, and an even larger area called Latin America.

While America sleeps, others seem interested in South America. In November, 2009, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela. The State Department seems to have taken note, announcing on February 26, 2010 that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica during the first week in March.

Chances are, in the next 10 or 20 years, South America—and Latin America–will be back in the news.

For those who are a bit hazy on exactly where Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil. Chile, and Costa Rica are, it’s time to get out the maps, and to read and ask a few questions about what has happened there in the last 50 years.

The Trenchant Observer

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