As a person who has lived and worked in South and Central America for many years, I read with joy and sorrow the comment by Ariel Dorfman [“Advice for Maduro,” March 11/18]. Joy—as well as gratitude—for the clarity and directness with which the author speaks for Salvador Allende. Sorrow for the powerful truth of his words as he recalls the tragedy of the coup against Allende and the people of Chile, as well as the misguided steps of the current government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. Dorfman does not overlook the destructive interventions of the US government in Latin American, either.
Dorfman’s points are well made, and I hope Maduro pays heed to them. That said, today’s world is not the world of the 1960s and ’70s. Globalization has extended the reach of US foreign policy (and our goons have also built upon our past experiences of regime change), while the moderating influence of the Soviet Union is sorely missed (a critical France, too). Also, we have codified the association between our military and organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
So, if I were a member of the jury deliberating over Maduro’s missteps and authoritarian acts, I would push for leniency. Maduro faces a formidable fifth column, and Venezuela’s powerful oligarchy, in residence in Miami, was even enabled by President Obama. As with our dirty works in Honduras, Europe has been MIA, while Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina have all eagerly encouraged the US manipulations against the duly elected Venezuelan leadership.
I see very dark times ahead in all of Latin America, if John Bolton and Eliot Abrams achieve their goal.
Re George Zornick’s “A Fighter From Within” [March 11/18]: We can argue that all of the Democratic contenders have some blots on their résumés, but the most pressing problems in the United States right now are inequality in wealth and the corrupting influence of money in government. Once these problems are solved, all of the other progressive goals will be easier to achieve, from a New Green Deal to universal health care. Elizabeth Warren knows all the tricks that the banks, billionaires, and corporations use to get around the law. She is the most capable person to correct this rigging of our system. That’s why I vote for her.
I share The Nation’s enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren: She is a fighter, a brilliant woman, and one of our nation’s foremost experts on bankruptcy. I know she will not be intimidated by Donald Trump’s juvenile nicknames. She can give it to Trump as well as take it. She will prove to be a formidable candidate.
new york city
In Mark Hertsgaard’s article “The Climate Kids Are Coming” [March 25], the group of young activists who met with Senator Dianne Feinstein were identified as members of the Sunrise Movement. The group also included members of Youth vs. Apocalypse and the Bay Area Earth Guardians.