Punto Final! Globalization and Beyond: What We Need to Learn From Latin America

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Media hype about globalization's glories had missed a lot of the real story -- that a substantial part of humanity was not prospering. Yet, Latin Americans have been registering these and similar messages for years. As the century ended, a totally new constitution was approved by popular plebiscite in Venezuela, a country largely ignored by U.S. media after a watershed election in December 1998, when the electorate voted into office a previously imprisoned colonel who had staged a military coup against the government in 1992. His 1998 election did get some coverage. The story that did not get covered was how Hugo Chávez was able to rally the support of close to 60 percent of the electorate. Like the Seattle protesters, he had run a campaign that said the people would not be kept prisoner by a small group of bureaucrats in international financial institutions. The masses, he said, deserved more.

Since the early '90s, CONAIE, the confederation of indigenous people in Ecuador, has protested the way that Ecuador's political elite have ignored its protests and petitions. Like many of the farmers in Seattle and common people throughout the hemisphere, they sought policies that would give them the resources and access to land to make a living and care for their families. With little U.S press coverage this past year, some of the CONAIE groups in Ecuador also have been vigorously protesting the despoiling and pollution of their environment by some multinational oil companies.

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The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, v. 10, issue 10