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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, abbreviated AOC, a prominent US lawmaker and leader of the leftist movement, has called on her government to apologize for decades of meddling in the internal affairs of Latin American countries and undermining democracy in the region. After visiting Chile, he met with progressive President Gabriel Boric (pictured left). The visit by Spanish-speaking US politicians came ahead of the 50th anniversary of the US-led military coup against elected socialist President Salvador Allende. Thousands of political civilians were killed and imprisoned in the September 11, 1973 coup. The flow of refugees was also high. Democracy did not return until 1990.
“I think we forgive Chile, not just Chile, but many parts of the region,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. Interview with The Guardian. “It’s hard to move forward with this big elephant still in the room, the distrust it creates. The first step is to realize and clarify that we want to approach this region with mutual respect. That will be new and historic.”
In the early 19th century, the United States adopted the Monroe Doctrine, which states that Washington intervenes militarily or otherwise when American interests are at risk, such as the activities of American multinational corporations. The list of interventions is long. In the 1950s and 1960s, Guatemalan social-democratic President Jacobo Arbenz and leftist Brazilian João Goulart, among others, were overthrown by the United States in military coups. Also, the US is making several attempts to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro. In Nicaragua, after the Sandinista revolution against the dictator Somoza, the US set up a guerrilla army – the Contras – to destabilize the country. In Argentina, far-right dictatorships were supported, including the father of Dutch Queen Máxima. Just to mention a few examples. Time and again, left-wing governments were replaced by far-right, often military, rulers.
Ocasio-Cortez has introduced a bill to release classified documents related to the interventions because many Americans are unaware of those activities. Those activities are still ongoing. For example, Ocasio-Cortez points out that the hand of Trump’s top adviser, Steve Bannon, can be clearly recognized in the attack on Brazil’s parliament by supporters of far-right President Bolsonaro.
The Democratic politician points out that he is not only interested in supporting left-wing politicians in Latin America, but also in protecting democracy as a whole. Left-wing politicians must make it clear in practice that democracy is better for the country and the people than far-right dictatorship, on everything from healthcare to combating the climate crisis.
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