"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


Conference: Latin America and Opposition to Neo-Liberalism

So, somebody who doesn't have to finish two chapters before they go to Colombia on Tuesday (like me), please go to this and tell me how it was:

Latin American Opposition to Neo-Liberalism: Janey Program Annual Conference at the New School

Friday, April 11, 2008 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
New School
79 Fifth Ave, Room 906

The Latin American region has witnessed mounting opposition to neoliberalism over the course of the last decade. Recent developments in Bolivia and Venezuela in particular raise questions with critical implications for various fields of study, from political economy to political theory. Are these 21st-century revolutions turning the tide against the neoliberal consensus, or do they represent a regression to statist models of growth discredited long ago? Is Latin America finally finding its own way to participatory democracy, or are these recent political trends part of a worrisome global movement away from freedom and liberal rights? Do these developments suggest the possibility of forms of social reproduction that escape the logic of liberal capitalism by opening a space to the people? Must we then completely rethink the meaning of “populism,” or will it always be equivalent to demagogy?

These questions will be addressed by a panel of experts including Sujatha Fernandes, Greg Grandin, Bernardo Kliksberg, Philip Oxhorn, Fred Rosen, and David Schneiderman. The keynote speech will be delivered by Mario Gustavo Guzmán Saldaña, Bolivian ambassador to the United States. Estela Carlotto, president of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo and recipient of the 2006 New School University in Exile Award, will be the special guest speaker.

9:45 a.m.
Opening remarks
Michael Cohen, Director, graduate program in International Affairs, and Courtney Jung, Director, Janey Program in Latin American Studies

10:00–11:30 a.m.
Panel 1:
Latin America’s New Consensus?”
Greg Grandin, New York University
“Against Neoliberalism: Confronting Obsolescence and Insecurity in Mexico”
Fred Rosen, North American Congress on Latin America
"A Turn to the Left or a U-Turn? Understanding Voter Opposition to Neoliberal Economic Reforms”
Philip Oxhorn, McGill University

11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Panel 2:
“Investment Rules, the Immobilized State, and the Difficulties of Counterhegemonic Resistance”
David Schneiderman, University of Toronto
“Everyday Wars of Position: Media, Social Movements, and the State in Chavez’s Venezuela”
Sujatha Fernandes, Queens College, City University of New York
“Violence and Inequality in Latin America”
Bernardo Kliksberg, United Nations Development Program

1:00–2:30 p.m.
Lunch break

2:30–4:00 p.m.
Keynote speech
Mario Gustavo Guzmán Saldaña, Ambassador of the Republic of Bolivia to the United States

4:00–4:30 p.m.
Coffee break

4:30–5:30 p.m.
Special guest speaker
Estela Carlotto, President of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo and recipient of the 2006 New School University in Exile Award

5:30 p.m.
Wine and cheese reception

Caen jefe de las FARC y socio narcotraficante

Dizque la operación tuvo lugar en "una área rural de Buenaventura," pero no dicen donde. Enlace


Bill Clinton's Ties To Colombia Trade Deal Stronger Than Even Penn's

Check it out. Link Not that Penn himself ever actually quite the Hilary campaign or the lobbying firm... Link

60 Años de Modernidad Colombiana/60 Years of Modernity in Colombia

Se ha dicho que el Siglo XX empezó en Colombia el 9 Abril 1948 con el asesinato de Gaitán. Antes de esa fecha, la mayoría de colombainos eran campesinos y el país estaba apartado del mundo. Hoy, un gringolombiano hace post en su blog desde el Bronx para que lo lean en Tumaco. Obviamente, este corto Siglo XX colombiano ha traido violencia también. Ojalá no nos dure hasta el Siglo XXII.

Unas reflexiones de El Tiempo sobre esta fecha tan importante: enlace


It's been said that the 20th century started in Colombia on April 9, 1948, in a paroxysm of violence that, paradoxically, transformed the country from a peasant majority with its back to the world to a modern urban nation. So, today marks 60 years of modernity and violence in Colombia.


Conference: Ethnicity, Sexuality, Age and Gender in Brazil

April 11
Ethnicity, Sexuality, Age and Gender in Brazil: Comparative Perspectives
ETHNICITY, SEXUALITY, AGE AND GENDER IN BRAZIL: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES. Sponsored by: The Institute of Latin American Studies, The Center for Brazilian Studies, and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Columbia University. Friday, April 11, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Conference Room 420, Hamilton Hall. Welcome and Introduction - 9:00am: Thomas J. Trebat, Columbia University, Lilia Schwarcz, Columbia University. Racial Relations - 9:30am: Lilia Moritz Schwarcz; AnaniDzidzienyo, Brown University; Antônio Sérgio Guimarães, Princeton University. Gender and Age(Part I) 11:00am: James Green, Brown University; Bila Sorj, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Guita Grin Debert, UNICAMP. Gender and Age(Part II) 2:00pm: James Green, Brown University; Jerry Dávila, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Bryan McCann, Georgetown University. For more information: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ilas/

Colombian Migration Conference / Conferencia sobre la migración colombiana

Colombian Migration Conference: Transnational, Political, and Cultural Perspectives
Saturday, April 12, 2008, G08 Uris Hall Cornell University

** Open to the Public*

This Cornell University conference aims to create a space for addressing the increasingly important phenomenon of Colombian migration around the world by bringing together various disciplines and viewpoints.

· Inform academics, scholars, and graduate/undergraduate students within the Cornell community about relevant research on Colombian migration to the U.S. and elsewhere
· Encourage networking among researchers that will facilitate on-going collaborations in interdisciplinary scholarship and public policy initiatives
· Encourage and support students who may be interested in engaging in research on Colombian migration issues.


Welcoming by *Arturo Ignacio Sánchez, Robert Blake, and Claudia G. Pineda
Transnational Perspectives and Political Participation
*"Colombo-londinenses: Colombian migrants in the British Capital"*
*Luis Eduardo Guarnizo*, University of California, Davis
*"Colombian Organizations, Civic Engagement and Political Participation"*
*Cristina Escobar*, Princeton University
*"Colombian Migration to Jackson Heights, New York: The Politics and Scales
of Immigrant Demonization and the Built Environment"*
*Arturo Ignacio Sánchez*, Cornell University
Discussant: *Mary Roldán*, Cornell University

12:00-2:00 Lunch

Colombian Youth Culture, Education, and Religious Organizations
*"Religions and Spirituality: Building up a Transnational Colombia"*
*Ana María Bidegain*, Florida International University
*"Immigrant Cultural Identity: Social Class, Status & Mobility"*
*Vivian Louie*, Harvard University
*"Colombian Youth Cultural Engagement through a Colombian Dance Program"*
*Claudia G. Pineda*, Cornell University
Discussant: *Vilma Santiago-Irizarry*, Cornell University

4:00-4:15 Coffee Break

4:15-6:15 Representations of Colombians in the Media
*Javier Castaño*, Editor-in-Chief HOY Nueva York
*Héctor Abad-Faciolince*, Revista Semana. EAFIT University
*Juan Carlos Iragorri*, Harvard University
Discussant: *Elvira Sánchez-Blake*, Cornell University

6:30 Open Reception

*Sponsored by:*
Latin American Studies Program<http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/LatinAmerica/>
City and Regional Planning <http://www.aap.cornell.edu/crp/>
Latino Studies Program <http://latino.lsp.cornell.edu/>
International Living
*Co-Sponsored by:*
American Studies Program
Cornell University Colombian Students Association (CUCSA)
Colombian Studies Institute at Florida International University
Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission (GPSAFC)
Department of History
International Students Programming Board (ISPB)
Polson Institute for Global Development
Society for the Humanities

For more information visit:
http:// www.einaudi.cornell.edu/LatinAmerica/conference/colombian_migration/

Latin American Studies Program
190 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone:(607) 255.3345
Fax: (607) 254.5000
Email: lasp @ is.cornell.edu


New Bill May Speed U.S. Visas for Artists

From the NY Times:

April 3, 2008
New Bill May Speed U.S. Visas for Artists

When it comes to artists trying to obtain visas, notorious performers like Amy Winehouse usually get the headlines. That British soul singer’s application to come to the United States for the Grammy Awards in February was initially denied, with speculation that the refusal was because of her alleged use of illegal drugs.

But as the House of Representatives voted this week to speed up the visa approval process for some foreign artists and entertainers, the heads of arts organization said attention was finally being paid to the real problem: the time, money and complexity involved in getting visas for lower-profile artists, including dancers, singers, musicians and actors.

“It has become a huge burden,” said Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival, the renowned arts showcase that this summer will bring together 57 performances and events from nine countries.

“We hire someone in January whose only job is to do visas,” he said. Once, when the festival sought to bring in a cast of Chinese acrobats and soloists, a “visa wrangler” in China asked for $75,000 to smooth the way for the group to travel to the embassy and get the necessary papers in order.

“We’re turning the United States into fortress America,” Mr. Redden said. “It turns everyone into an enemy. It loses us friends around the world and respect around the world.”

Now, those seeking entry must run a bureaucratic gantlet that can include having to establish their artistic credentials, hire a lawyer, pay visa fees and visit a United States embassy or consulate.

All of that requires money and time, said Jonathan Ginsburg, an immigration lawyer in Fairfax, Va., with the firm of Fettmann, Tolchin & Majors. An entertainer from London who has an arrest record, for example, would need a report from Scotland Yard, which can cause more delays.

Once the application is made, the Homeland Security Department is supposed to act within two weeks, but recently it almost never has; in the worst cases, getting an answer takes as long as six months, arts organizations said. So-called premium processing is available to expedite an application, at a cost of $1,000 for each petitioner.

The House bill, approved on Tuesday, extends the processing time to 30 days from two weeks. If the deadline is not met, the department is required to provide free expedited processing. The bill, which applies only to visa applications made by nonprofit arts groups, still needs the Senate’s approval.

Heather Noonan, the vice president for advocacy for the League of American Orchestras, called the bill an important step.

“We’re very pleased to see Congress support opportunities for international cultural exchange this way and particularly happy to see such broad bipartisan support for the measure,” Ms. Noonan said.

Sandra Gibson, the president and chief executive of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, said: “We’ve been watching this issue for 10 years. The premium-processing fee meant the nonprofit community would not be served.”

A task force on visas was formed in 2001, she said, when premium processing began. But the Sept. 11 attacks slowed everything down. “There were delays in interviews, inability to get interviews,” Ms. Gibson said. On applications, problems like inverted birth dates and misspelled last names made problems snowball. Around the world, the embassies and consulates that were part of the process were staffed at different levels. “In China and India it can take 100 days to get an interview,” she said.

With the value of the dollar waning, more and more artists have decided to stay home, Ms. Gibson said, echoing other officials. And fewer of the presenters, she said, are willing to go through the contortions of bringing in foreign artists.

Cyril M. Ferenchak, a spokesman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department, said in an e-mail message that the government had worked hard to make the visa application easier and more efficient.

“Over 570 new consular positions have been created to handle a growing visa demand and the added security measure in our visa adjudication process,” Mr. Ferenchak wrote, adding that embassy Web sites provide information on things like required documents to demystify the visa process.

Matthew Covey, executive director of Tamizdat, a nonprofit group that helps artists get visas, said the House bill was a step in the right direction. Emerging artists without much money or the organizational skills to get together a visa application are the ones especially hurt by the visa labyrinth.

“An awful lot of musicians don’t make a lot of money,” he said. “They are looking to break even, to promote their work. Most musicians need to expedite their visas because many clubs book six to eight weeks in advance.”

And American audiences may never know what they are missing.

More on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement

This from the Afro-Latino Working Group at University of California Berkeley:

Take Action to Stop the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The FTA is a Threat at to Afro-Colombian Rights. Afro-Colombian grassroots organizations are opposed to the FTA.

As President Bush rushes to pressure the U.S. congress for a favorable vote on the U.S.-Colombia FTA, under the guise of national security, we need you to take action and let your representative know that approving the FTA will sentence Indigenous and Afro-Colombians communities to a live of poverty and

While the Bush administration tries to mislead Congress and public opinion on Colombia¹s advancements on peace and justice, the paramilitaries, military and guerrillas carry on threatening, terrorizing and assassinating union leaders and Afro-Colombian and Indigenous peasants. Impunity continues unabated and President Bush¹s FTA campaign ignores the real threats to national security: injustice, impunity, lack of governance, and disrespect for human rights. Trade alone will not resolve these threats and in fact there are vital conditions that need to be met to ensure just trade.

We join people all over the United States who are calling for international trade and investment systems that respect and promote the dignity of Afro-Colombians and Indigenous peoples, ensure the development and
well-being of these vulnerable populations, foster gender and racial equity and lead to environmental sustainability. The current FTA fails to do that, and will only increase the plight of Afro-Colombians:

1. A Threat to Ethnic and Human Rights The FTA was conceived by violating the rule of law. It was not consulted with Afro-Colombians or Indigenous Peoples as required by the Colombian constitution and ILO convention 169. These laws were created to protect Indigenous and Afro-Colombian¹s rights to
territory, environment, food security, and to self determination. The FTAviolates these laws and is therefore a threat to their rights.
2. A Threat to Land Ownership and a Dignified Life Land is a principle of life and strengthens identity for ethnic groups in Colombia. As land is threatened, the right to life is threatened. Systematic human rights
violations including murder, terror, and forced displacement, are used on a daily basis to take over Afro-Colombian and Indigenous lands that are rich in natural resources. Of the Afro-Colombians who held title to their land 79% are currently homeless due to this violence. In Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement caused the displacement of 3 million rural farmers, Colombia¹s ethnic and rural populations cannot afford further displacements. The FTA cannot be discussed or voted on until
Afro-Colombians and Indigenous are able to safely return and live on their lands.
3. A Threat to the Environment The FTA contains an ambitious project to supply the world with bio-fuels produced from Oil Palm, sugar cane and corn¹s large scale cultivation. Large scale monocrops target the best lands, most of which are collectively and individually owned by Afro-Colombian grassroots communities. Oil palm cultivation has been linked to massacres and expropriation by paramilitaries in Chocó, Nariño, South of Urabá and the East Llanos region. Nevertheless, the Colombian government aspires to grow 6 million hectares of this product by 2020. The cultivation of just 456 hectares of African palm requires 86 kilometers of drains and 11 kilometers of roads. This type of infrastructure has extremely high cultural, social and environmental cost for the communities, the nation and the world. To approve the FTA is to approve large scale monocrops that will devastate environmental heritage of humanity.
4. A Threat to Colombia¹s National Sovereignty The FTA will undermine Colombia¹s sovereignty by allowing corporations to sue governments that pass environmental and public health laws that might reduce corporate profits. The to pre-emptive legal changes the Colombian government made in preparation for the FTA negotiations, undermine the rights to self determination and governance of the ethnic groups, particular those rights that Afro-Colombians, gained through a legal framework created by Law 70/93. These pre-emptive changes consequently jeopardize their cultural rights and their rights over traditional knowledge and natural resources. In the same way, while the US advocates for protection of the US population¹s food
security, the U.S. and Colombian government put Colombia¹s food security at risk by promoting extractive industries and large scale monocrops, increasing food imports, and adopting public and economic policies that contribute to the most unequal distribution of land in Latin America. Arguing that the FTA is a matter of national security to approve it undermines Colombia¹s ethnic groups¹ most basic right, the right to be fed.
5. A Threat to Labor Rights President Bush and President Uribe along with FTA supporters insist there is improvement in the situation for labor unions and that the FTA will bring more employment. But they forget that plantation based economies have a well known history of labor rights violations. Indeed, sugar cane, African oil palm, plantain plantations in the past and the present have been characterize by violent expropriation of land, slave like labor conditions, and labor union repression. As Colombia moves toward agricultural imports while using rich and productive lands for bio-fuels, subsistence farmers are violently forced to migrate and urban workers face the threat of lower wages as competition increases. Since
Afro-Colombian communities have an agricultural vocation and strong network of support based on rural extended families, their lost is greater in terms of productivity, labor and employment. And Afro-Colombians face additional racism and discrimination in the labor market which leads to unequal
opportunities and ignores their existence, contributions and struggles within the larger society.

Under these circumstances, considering the US-Colombia FTA is a threat to the security of a population that is a third of the Colombian population and a significant part of the African Diaspora.

A few calls can sway your members of Congress to take a public stand. It¹s easy. Here¹s how:
1. Call (202) 224-3121 and ask the Capitol Switchboard operator to connect you to your member of Congress¹ office. Visit www.congress.org <http://www.congress.org/> to find out who represents you in Congress.
2. Talking Point: Please stop President Bush from forcing a vote on the
U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement by taking a public stance against it. Or select one of the above talking points.
3. And Call 1-202-224-3121 again and ask for one of your two senators. Repeat the message, than call your other senator.

To know more about on Afro-Colombians you can contact Charo at charo@io.com or go to: http://www2.renacientes.org:8080/renacientes (Spanish);

Vielka Cecilia Hoy
African Diaspora Studies, PhD Student
Afro-Latino Working Group, Co-Founder
University of California-Berkeley

Author Silvana Paternostro at Museo del Barrio/ Autora Silvana Paternostro en el Museo del Barrio

El Museo presents
In Our Lingo: James Cañon with Silvana Paternostro
Tuesday, April 15, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: El Museo del Barrio

In Our Lingo: Dialogues Between Latino Authors
In Our Lingo brings together Latino authors in conversation with filmmakers, artists, and other authors to share their views on the ideas, themes, and social issues addressed in a specific work presented each session. These intimate dialogues give the audience a unique perspective on contemporary Latino literature.

In connection with New York City’s 5th Annual Immigrant History Week, New York based Colombian author James Cañon will interview Silvana Paternostro, author of My Colombian War: A Journey Through the Country I Left Behind (Henry Holt and Co., 2007). The authors will discuss Paternostro's two wars: the bloody, decades-long battle between leftist rebels and the Colombian government, and the author's own struggle to embrace her Colombian identity while making a life for herself in the U.S. Admission: Free. For advance registration e-mail public_programs@elmuseo.org .

Guess what - the music industry is changing / Sabías? Se está cambiando la industria discográfica

How do I know?/Como es que lo sé?

  1. Apple's iTunes, which sells mp3s, is now the #1 music retailer, passing WalMart, which sells CDs. Link
  2. Jay-Z ditched record companies to sign, like Madonna and U2, with a booking agency, of all things... Link
  3. MySpace is getting in on the act. Link
  1. iTunes, de Apple, que vende mp3, ya es el vendedor más grande de música, pasando el almacén WalMart, que vende CDs. Enlace
  2. El rapero, productor, y empresario musical Jay-Z ha roto su relación con las disqueras tradicionales para firmar con una agencia promotora, una manera completamente diferent de distribuir y financiar sus proyectos. Enlace
  3. MySpace también se ha lanzado a la industria musical. Enlace


Violent Intersections of Commerce and Conflict in Colombia (and why we will be hearing about Colombia on the nightly news in the US very soon...)

The Bush administration has just fast-tracked the US Free Trade Agreement with Colombia (fast-tracked by the Bushadministration for Congressional debate), has put out a report called "The Violent Intersections of Commerce and Conflict: Examining the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and Plan Colombia." I haven't read it yet, so I can't vouch for it 100%, and I am far from an economist, but it seems like the connections being made in the report between foreign trade, Colombia's civil war, and the disproportionate impact of these policies on black and indigenous Colombians, are right on. AFSC has also put up a website campaigning against the current US policy in Colombia: http://www.tradeandwar.org/connections.html.

Speaking of the FTA, it looks like it might get some attention in the US press very soon, since purportedly anti-trade agreement Hilary's chief camaign strategist, Mark Penn, also works for a lobbying form hired by the Colombian government to get the FTA passed. So much for Hilary calling out Obama for waffling on NAFTA. Obama, meanwhile, has reiterated his opposition to these kinds of trade agreements, playing to the Democratic base, which is generally opposed to the idea of jobs going overseas. So, as the Center fo International Policy blog puts it,

"As the Pennsylvania primary draws near, Colombia may become the subject of a national campaign controversy. If that comes to pass, we can expect an onslaught of distorted, simplistic rhetoric about security improvements, labor-union killings, Alvaro Uribe’s popularity, the drug trade, and much else.
Readers who know Colombia well: prepare to have your patience sorely tested."


The World that Made New Orleans

Book Presentation
The World that Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
Ned Sublette

Thursday, April 17 (originally scheduled for April 3)
, Room 607
King Juan Carlos Center
53 Washington Square South

Sponsored by:

The Department of History
The Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Praise for The World that Made New Orleans:

"With staggering erudition and dazzling style, Sublette weaves things you always wanted to know together in a harmonious whole." ­Madison Smartt Bell, author, Toussaint Louverture and All Souls' Rising

"A compelling portrait of the city as a capital of the Caribbean, an irrepressible source of artistic and political creativity." ­Laurent Dubois, author, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution

"Before Katrina, this book would have been merely excellent. Now it is essential." ­Ted Widmer, author, Martin Van Buren and editor, the Library of America's American Speeches

"It's a different kind of music book, focusing on movements and eras rather than cataloging artists, unfolding with a remarkable number of details that you never knew you wanted to know. And like the living cultural stew of its subject, it's an energetic and fascinating read, never a dusty history lesson. Sublette, who drew raves for "Cuba and Its Music," has produced another important resource - and the best argument yet for why we need to save New Orleans." – Boston Globe

Ned Sublette is a musician, songwriter, and historian. He is the cofounder of the Cuban music label Qbadisc and former coproducer of public radio's Afropop Worldwide. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a fellow at the New York Public Library's Center for Scholars and Writers. He is the author of Cuba and its Music.