Clifton Ross's blog

A Nicaraguan Farce

Clifton Ross
            Daniel Alegría still thinks of himself as a Sandinista, “a Sandinista, no Orteguista.” He looks pretty much the same as he did when I first met him at Comedor Sara in January, 1984 where he spent his evenings drinking beer and talking politics with the internacionalistas who gathered there in the evenings. The big question in those days, was when, or if the US would invade the country, and Daniel, who worked as Sandinista National
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Seeking New Ground

Clifton Ross
Please see the attached flyer on the event "Seeking New Ground," two perspectives on the catastrophe of our present and our need for transformation, featuring talks by Lierre Keith and Curtis White,  Friday, November 20th at Berkeley City College, not quite a block down from Downtown Berkeley Bart Station at 2050 Center Street.
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Tegucigalpa to El Paraiso: From Curfew to State of Seige

Clifton Ross

Here in Tegucigalpa I ran into a friend from Venezuela, Angel Palacio, a documentary film maker. He introduced me to Nery, a slightly chubby, dark skinned, gray haired school teacher who’s coming up to a month of protests. He and his wife Suyapa take me to STIBYS, the beverage workers’ union, but we don’t manage to get any interviews. I get back to my room in the early evening, but Nery is going to take me with him on the caravan to meet President “Mel” Zelaya at the border and hopefully accompany him back to Tegucigalpa.
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Honduras imposes State of Siege in South

Clifton Ross

Thousands of Zelaya supporters stranded en route to meet the presidentFoto

By Marcy Rein as reported by Clifton Ross from the Nicaraguan/Honduran Border
July 25, 2009 8:30 a.m.

Honduran national police have clamped a state of siege on the southern department of El Paraiso and blocked roads from Tegucigalpa to the Nicaraguan border. Thousands of Hondurans who caravanned from the capital to the border yesterday to support the return of President Manuel Zelaya are stranded in trucks, cars and buses along the road.

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Surreal Honduras: Putting the Narrative Together in the Local Press

Clifton Ross
Gabriel Garcia Màrquez could easily have written "A Hundred Years of Solitude" in any country of Central America. It's a region replete with characters and magical landscapes and myths with power to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck when you merely hear them. There's the one about the gringo who visited the mining region of Cabañas and soon thereafter the water turned bad and the fish in the river died and the people all began to die simply because a mysterious gringo passed through.
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Fast Forward to the (19)80s?

Clifton Ross

I arrived in El Salvador half-expecting to see soldiers guarding the corridors of the airport with made-in-the-U.S. machine guns, the way they did during my first, hour-long visit to the country on a lay-over on a flight to Nicaragua in 1982. More than once on my flight here this time I thought back to my second, longer visit a few years later. En route to Nicaragua again, I got stuck in San Salvador for nearly a week due to a transport strike called by the FMLN. That time I had a close encounter with the military in which, for a few tense moments, I feared for my life.

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Dr Jekyll and Mr. Good Neighbor

Clifton Ross

Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Good Neighbor
by Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein

(originally posted at www.upsidedownworld.org )

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Constitutions and Coups: The Honduras Case

Clifton Ross

Even in the best of times a coup in Honduras wouldn’t get much coverage in the U.S. since most North Americans couldn’t find the country on a map and, moreover, would think they have no reason to do so. Nevertheless, those in the U.S. who have been alert to the changes in Latin America over the past decade and almost everyone south of the border know that the coup d’etat (or “golpe de estado”) against President Manuel Zelaya has profound implications for the region and, in fact, all of Latin America. While the US press will glance from their intent gaze at reruns and specials on Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett only long enough to report on President Obama’s reaction to the coup, Latin Americans will keep their eyes on the governments of the region as well as the social movements in Honduras as they search for a key to how the whole affair will turn out. As President Rafael Correa said in the Extraordinary Summit of  ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) in Nicaragua on the evening after the early morning coup, “this is not just a coup against the people of Honduras, but one directed against the democracies of the peoples of Latin America.”

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American-Style Democracy Wins in Iran

Clifton Ross

The End of History: Part Two
Or, The Victory of American-Style Democracy in Mexico, Nicaragua and Iran


The poor, benighted left and Latin American Solidarity movement in the U.S. throughout the 1980s found it impossible to decipher the highly-sophisticated language of empire in its “B-Movie” phase under the senile actor from Hollywood, Ronald Reagan. Those who were alive and conscious in those years as History approached its End were told that the mercenary wars and official repression of the day in Central America, Afghanistan, Iran and elsewhere were simply aimed at “stopping the spread of Communism” and bringing about “American-Style democracy” (ASD)

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