The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
Land reform is popular in Latin America because it is practical for the people. 80 hectares is not a tiny farm. It is about 200 acres. The problem is that a lot of people, freshly given such a plot of land, would not immediately be able to make productive use of it. That would cause a drop in agricultural productivity in the country which would hurt everyone. And there will always be economies of scale for some types of agricultural endeavors.
The problem with a gradual approach is that it would likely be overturned before it bore fruit by the large land owners who would naturally be opposed. That is a recipe for bloodshed. It would seem that an alternative should be found - one superior to a repeat of the events of '72 except with a different set of victims.
It is quite reasonable to consider land as something that is a public common good and that the right to exclusive use should be a privilege obtained at a cost. That cost, in the form of a tax, could finance a gradual approach that included education and training before being able to undertake running your own farm, which, after all, would then also be paying the same tax, perhaps phased in over five or ten years. And, with good education, many more opportunities should open for young adults in non-agricultural occupations. But such a probaram would also be opposed by the beneficiaries of the existing system.
The great sin in Chile was the slaughter of such a large portion of the intelligentsia of the country in the stadium. The chief US interest served by that action was the protection of profit flows to US corporations and to a tiny number of very wealthy individuals who profited from the existing situation. Those mid-sized land owners should be preserved and/or indemnified.
The types of regimes Allende had and that Equator, Bolivia and Venezuela have do not pose a threat to any US interest other than the economic interests of a few wealthy individuals and the maintenance of the appearance that There Is No Alternative to the current world order. That might be more justifiable were the existing world order functioning a bit more effectively and better serving the interests of all, not just those who can afford to gather in Davos or attend a Bilderberg event. But it manifestly is not.
"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
In the 1970's the US was weaker politically, in still in a real contest for power over the world it conquered in WWII, due to certain rebellious Communist powers armed with nuclear weapons. A wave of anti-US, democratically elected governments throughout Latin America of the kind that occurred in the mid-2000's would have been very precarious for a US that was still struggling for supremacy with the USSR at the peak of its power.
By 2005, the US was supreme again in the world by any objective measure, with its own military expenditures being more at the time then those of the entire rest of the world combined, while still being a very low percentage of total US GDP historically and compared to other countries. There was no threat from communism, so if some Latin American countries wanted to experiment with it on their own, so be it, was the US foreign policy at the time. President Obama would subsequently make statements to that effect when criticized why he wasn't more harsh with people like Hugo Chavez. But this was not the world in 1970 for a US seeing communism on a winning streak everywhere.
by Oui - Sep 24 3 comments
by gmoke - Sep 24
by Cat - Sep 19 28 comments
by IdiotSavant - Sep 15 12 comments
by Oui - Sep 20 30 comments
by IdiotSavant - Sep 16 10 comments
by gmoke - Sep 12
by gmoke - Sep 5 14 comments
by Oui - Sep 243 comments
by gmoke - Sep 24
by Oui - Sep 238 comments
by Oui - Sep 22
by Oui - Sep 2030 comments
by Cat - Sep 1928 comments
by gmoke - Sep 19
by Oui - Sep 183 comments
by Oui - Sep 1615 comments
by IdiotSavant - Sep 1610 comments
by Oui - Sep 1524 comments
by Oui - Sep 159 comments
by IdiotSavant - Sep 1512 comments
by Oui - Sep 1420 comments
by Oui - Sep 149 comments
by Oui - Sep 1319 comments
by gmoke - Sep 12
by Oui - Sep 916 comments
by gmoke - Sep 514 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 211 comments