In the Name of Democracy workshop Invitation
In the Name of Democracy
US Political Intervention in Latin America, 2006
January 28, 3-6pm, AC-12 La Carlota
Who we are:
In the Name of Democracy is a project of Pueblos En Camino, a collective dedicated to helping “weave autonomies” for justice and peace (www.en-camino.org). En Camino is devoted mainly to analysis and education in the service of social movements - to help them connect with each other. We work with the indigenous movement in Cauca, Colombia, and in other projects as well. Our 'In the Name of Democracy' project (www.inthenameofdemocracy.org) is dedicated to analysis and education on 'democracy promotion' in the interests of autonomous and independent movements.
Workshop, 2006 World Social Forum:
This workshop is designed to bring together representatives of social movements and community organizations in Latin American countries currently experiencing political intervention and independent journalists, researchers and activists from across the hemisphere for a popular education and strategy session. The workshop will begin with a series of brief presentations that, we hope, will provide the audience with some background and informational tools to understand US political intervention under the rubric of “democracy promotion,” and some strategies for exposing and resisting it. We are hoping to inspire a large number of people that participate in our workshop to join the In the Name of Democracy project by plugging into our hemispheric Intervention Monitor network. At the workshop we will be launching the website—in both English and Spanish—including both a semi-public and a public forum. We hope to convince members of the audience—particularly those from social movements in the countries most heavily experiencing this intervention—to participate in these forums by sharing information with us, and using us as a key resource in their own attempts at resisting US imperialism.
The goals of the workshop are: i) to introduce the concept of democracy promotion and highlight its importance, ii) to explain in detail how it works, including case studies, and iii) to discuss strategies and techniques for researching, exposing, and resisting this strategy. At the end of our scheduled presentations, we will open the floor to discussion, which should be one of the most interesting parts of the workshop.
Moderation: Manuel Rozental, Jonah Gindin, Honor Brabazon
I - Introduction
Moderators Introduction to the In the Name of Democracy project.
Introduction to the 2006 Presidential election cycle
II - What is democracy promotion?
William I. Robinson 1.a. Definitions of democracy
1.b. Historical introduction to “democracy promotion” as a fundamental pillar of US foreign policy.
III - How Does it Work?
2. Manuel Rozental: Three-pronged intervention: Military, Economic, and Political. Colombia
3. Anthony Fenton: Canadian and Multi-lateral democracy promotion in Haiti
IV - What Can we do?
4. Philip Agee Strategies and techniques for researching and
5. William I. Robinson exposing democracy promotion operations
6. Arquimedes Vitonas: Promoting real, genuine, autonomous democracies
7. Blanca Chancosa Intervention in Ecuador, and the struggle for genuine, autonomous democracies
8. Jonah Gindin In the Name of Democracy: Building a global intervention
V - Dialogue
Towards a global intervention monitor. Dialogue between and among panelists, invited guests, and audience members.
Philip Agee has been analyzing mechanisms of US intervention since he left the CIA in 1967. His tell-all book CIA Diary: Inside the Company, and subsequent activities in exposing CIA destabilization campaigns in Nicaragua and Cuba have made Agee the target of sustained harassment by his former employers. He was a founding member of Covert Action Quarterly (formerly Covert Action Information Bulletin), an independent magazine dedicated to exposing US intelligence operations abroad. He has most recently published a series of articles with the webzine Venezuelanalysis.com analyzing the US destabilization campaign in Venezuela.
Honor Brabazon is an organizer and graduate student in Political Science at York University in Toronto. She has published research on democracy, law, and empire in academic and non-academic periodicals. She is currently researching the Americanization of law in Latin America.
Blanca Chancosa is an indigenous leader from Ecuador. Blanca is one of the symbols of the indigenous and popular movement in the Americas. Among many other initiatives, she took a leading role in the direct action that brought down three governments in Ecuador. Beyond this, Blanca has come to symbolize the struggle against the neo-liberal policies of trans-national capital and the development of feasible alternatives.
Anthony Fenton is an independent investigative journalist. He has published detailed accounts of US and Canadian involvement in the 2004 coup in Haiti.
Jonah Gindin is a Canadian freelance journalist based in Caracas and Toronto. He publishes regularly in the English-language e-zine Venezuelanalysis.com, and occasionally in a variety of other online and print publications including ZNet, Canadian Dimension, Monthly Review and NACLA Report on the Americas.
William I. Robinson is professor of Sociology, UC-Santa Barbara. Dr. Robinson is author of two seminal books on US political and electoral intervention: A Faustian Bargain: US Intervention in the Nicaraguan Elections and American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era, (Westview Press: 1992) and Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony, (Cambridge University Press: 1996). Recent interview with Venezuelanalysis.com.
Manuel Rozental is a Colombian surgeon, human rights activist, occasional journalist and an active member of the Nasa indigenous community in the Cauca region of Colombia. He has been a leader of Colombia Solidarity work in Canada, and is a former director of a United Nations violence prevention project in Cali, Colombia.
Arquimedes Vitonas is a Nasa indigenous leader from Cauca, Colombia. Currently, Arquimedes is the fourth popular and indigenous mayor of Toribio, the Nasa community that has come to symbolize indigenous and popular resistance in Colombia. This man, who has been recognized as a Master of Wisdom by UNESCO and as the personality of the year in Colombia in 2004, has occupied several positions of authority within his communities, as well as within the legislative structures of Colombia where he was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly and President of this corporation. His ability to move in the indigenous and non-indigenous worlds is a reflection of the process he represents and of which he is a child. Arquimedes’ authority is based on obedience to the mandate of the communities. He is willing to share what they have constructed of real democracy in the midst of constant war and poverty. The process that Arquimedes represents has inspired resistance and the construction of alternatives to resist colonial regression since the era of the Spanish conquest to the present era of capitalist neo-liberal globalization. Due to war and persecution, this resistance has continued to consolidate an autonomous project that is inspiring popular movements in Colombia and has received national and international recognition including the National Peace Prize (twice) and the United Nations Development Program Equatorial Initiative Prize in 2004, for best community development project in harmony with nature.