MAPA members formed this group in 2019. While aware of the long, tragic history of U.S. interference* in Latin America, we initially focused on two timely issues: the U.S.-supported attempt to replace Venezuela’s legitimate government and the growing injustices of U.S. immigration policies and practices.
Our concerns have broadened. We oppose efforts of the United States to dominate (politically, militarily, economically) and exploit any country in this hemisphere—such intervention has a bloody history. We seek to act in solidarity with the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean in their struggles for self-determination, human rights, and justice for all sectors of their societies. Thus, for example, we oppose U.S. attempts at regime change in Nicaragua and Cuba; we condemn U.S. support for overturning popular gains that had been made in Bolivia, Haiti, and Honduras. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other groups to advance human rights in Latin American and Caribbean countries by, for example, supporting the passage of the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R. 1945), supporting the rights of indigenous peoples, working with “Stop Arms to Mexico” to end arms sales to Mexico and Central American countries.
Priorities for 2020
- Against Sanctions: We publicize—via workshops/forums/webinars, demonstrations/rallies, petitions, letters/articles—the deadly results of unilateral U.S. sanctions against countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, these sanctions—often causing shortages of medicine and food—are particularly destructive. Involving our government representatives, we advocate for a change in U.S. policy by joining with other anti-sanctions groups and by supporting legislation such as H.R. 5879 (filed by Rep. Ilhan Omar in February 2020), calling for at least congressional oversight of sanctions, if not their complete elimination.
- Against Regime Change: We publicize the continuing U.S.-supported threats (naval and paramilitary incursions) to Venezuela’s sovereignty. Involving our government representatives, we advocate ending U.S. efforts to undermine popularly elected governments.
- For Immigrant Rights: We advocate, educate, and seek state and national legislation that protects the rights of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, recognizing that a large segment of the Latin American and Caribbean population that is in the United States, or seeking entry here, is as a result of years of destructive U.S. intervention in their countries of origin. We demand that the United States adhere to its own and to international asylum laws and end the criminalization of immigration and practices such as detention, child adult separation, and deportation without due process. Instead, we propose that the Unites States create a path to citizenship open to most current immigrants and asylees. In Massachusetts we support local efforts to establish safe communities by ending police collaboration with immigration enforcement and by helping secure the right of all to obtain a driver’s license regardless of immigration status.
* Background readings we recommend include Empire’s Workshop by Greg Grandin and Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano.