All posts by Camilo Gómez

Commies From Outer Space

The Left Forum took place last week in New York City. This is an annual confab of Marxists and left-wing anarchists of different varieties. In past years, they’ve gathered in a series of plenaries to discuss diverse topics ranging from the Russian Revolution to Mexican politics. While in other years, left-wing academic celebrities like Zizek or Cornel West were central parts of the event, this time many panels had tiny socialist and communist outlets of which the majority of mortals probably have never heard.

In attendance were the Posadists––a Trotskyist organization that sounds more like science fiction comedy than a revolutionary cadre. Their name comes from the founder of this peculiar form of Trotskyism, the late J. Posadas, who was an Argentine who believed that extraterrestrial beings are communists. His followers think that intergalactic travel could only be developed by a communist society, so they believe that if there are aliens able to travel the cosmos, they are logically commies from outer space. Their own annual event is hosted by the aptly named Intergalactic Workers’ League.

Read the rest at: Splice Today

Foreign Intervention in Venezuela is a Bad Idea

Once the richest country in Latin America, Venezuela is suffering its worst ever economic crisis. Inflation is sky high, products of necessity like food aren’t available, and there are shortages of most medicines and medical supplies. Poverty is crushing large parts of the population, there is high malnutrition, and infant mortality is rising at dangerous rates. Given these conditions, it is not a surprise that Venezuela has become a common feature in international news.

Venezuela presence in the media started after the massive protests in different cities around the country that began in March of this year, since the Supreme Court of Venezuela released a decree to take the functions of the National Assembly of opposition majority which was considered a coup d’etat by the opposition.

Read more in Counter Punch

How Black Markets Created an Arthouse Film Boom in Peru

When people think of Peru, they imagine archeological sites like Machu Picchu and delicious food, but few outsiders know that in Lima, the nation’s capital, is the largest film library in Latin America. The collection is housed inside a truly unlikely place: a shopping center. But not just any shopping center. Polvos Azules, a 30-year-old market, started when immigrants from rural regions of the country came to Lima and became street sellers in order to survive.

Continue reading in FEE

The “Conservative Socialism” of Bolivia’s Evo Morales

The left‘s romance with Bolivia’s President Evo Morales is not as strong as it was in the past, especially after the backlash over trying to build a road inside the ecological reserve TIPNIS.

They even accuse Morales of being a neoliberal, but the label conservative socialist is more accurate. The term may sound strange, but there is no other way to describe a pro-life, anti-imperialist, fan of Che Guevara who also manages the economy in the style of Margaret Thatcher, according to the Financial Times.

Read more at PanAmPost

Why Governments Always Exaggerate the Prostitution Threat

Although prostitution has been taboo for centuries, the current sex trafficking paranoia complicates the situation—both authorities and the public believe sex trafficking is far more common than it is.

To inflate the numbers, the American government includes people that know the sex workers personally, or who are just buyers as “pimps,” in the list. That being said, sex trafficking and human trafficking exists, butdecriminalization—that is, to stop regulating sex work among willing adults—is the only tool to fight back.

Prohibition Doesn’t Work

Prohibition in one form or another has been used for a long time without good results. Even Amnesty International now concedes that by decriminalizing sex work, resources can be devoted to preventing and resolving actual cases of trafficking, not paranoia supported by people with a narrow political agenda.

The only people who have always stood for sex worker rights are libertarians.

The sex trafficking paranoia is like the new War on Drugs and there is even a bipartisan consensus in opposing sex work. Conservatives usually oppose legalized sex work on religious, moral, or societal grounds. Even liberals often oppose it by saying that sex work oppresses women, or assume that all prostitutes are really victims of sex trafficking—or worse, are somehow culpable criminals.

Thanks to this paranoia, a teenage sex worker who was the victim of trafficking herself, was recently accused of human trafficking for getting in contact with another teenage girl while she was under influence of a violent pimp. This is a perfect example of victimizing the victims—exactly the opposite of what proponents of prohibition said would happen if their favored laws are enacted.

Continue reading on FEE