17 March 2014

America’s war on immigrants

Al Jazeera America

As the interminable debate in Washington over immigration reform wears on, undocumented migrants in the U.S. continue to exist at the mercy of law enforcement efforts that defy all pretenses of justice and legality.
Earlier this year, Al Jazeera America reported on the stop-and-frisk-style raids being conducted in New Orleans by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to boost migrant deportation quotas. In that article, a Honduran immigrant recounts his experience of being handcuffed and shackled in the back of an ICE vehicle, which had been deployed to round up undocumented people using racial profiling techniques, saying, “I heard one of the agents say to another, ‘This is like going hunting.’ … And the other responded, ‘Yeah, I like this s---.’” READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA AMERICA.

04 March 2014

Remembering Hugo Chavez

Al Jazeera

In 2009 in the northern Venezuelan city of Barcelona, I approached an elderly street sweeper and asked to purchase her baseball cap, which was red and featured a Hugo Chavez-related slogan.

As I saw it, the item would be an optimal addition to my collection of revolutionary paraphernalia, which thus far consisted of posters, flags, and a CD containing various musical performances by Chavez himself - most of them upbeat numbers critiquing the Venezuelan political opposition.

The woman, however, refused the offer despite my best efforts at capitalist persuasion. I left empty-handed.

Such levels of devotion to the former president, who died one year ago, are not uncommon among sectors of the Venezuelan population.When my friend and I inserted ourselves into the February 2009 pro-Chavez referendum campaign as a means of acquiring oversized pink Chavez t-shirts, we caught a glimpse of the individual commitment and collective energy sustaining Venezuela's Bolivarian project, and were treated to more than one teary-eyed tribute to its leader.  READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.