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Victor Jara Singer of Hope

This is a poem by Carlos Muñoz, El Diantre, which I put music to. Muñoz captured the popular feelings of many Chileans regarding Victor Jara and he summarizes those feelings on his introduction:

Yesterday you sang for me
To give me hope
Your songs gave me strength
Today I sing for you.

To play the song click here.

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From Chile to Guantanamo: A Survivor of Torture Speaks Out

Interview by Sofia Jarrin for the "Boston Underground" - Winter 2007-2008

This January (2008) marks the sixth anniversary of the first arrival of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, yet Guantanamo is not the first island known for the unlawful abuse and torture of detainees. Island Dawson on the southern tip of Chile is known for its inhospitable, freezing weather, and for many Chileans is also the location of a concentration camp where Pinochet ordered the detention and torture of hundreds of political prisoners.

Sergio Reyes, a Boston resident and activist, was 19 years old when he was abducted from his home in Punta Arenas, faced a mock execution in front of his mother, was regularly beaten, electrocuted, and suffered from simulated drowning. Between 1973 and 1976, he was a political prisoner in a forced labor camp at the now infamous Dawson Island.

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Victor Jara in YouTube

August 10, 2007.- Sometimes capitalism creates non-traditional media that revolutionize the dissemination of ideas. The fundamental reason for this almost always has to do with profit making. That is the case of a project to publish low-resolution non-commercial video, which in few years has grown in geometrical progression: YouTube. This project started in San Bruno, California early in 2005 headed by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. In one year alone this succesfull project caught the attention of Google Inc. which bought the company at a price of $1.65 millions in October 2006.

Inevitably, this type of public media leaves the door open for the participation of progressive people, competing with all the consumerist trash. That is how today we can find some old videos of our dear Victor Jara. You can also find new renditions of his songs.

To see Victor Jara in YouTube click here

For a translation of his song "Te Recuerdo Amanda" click on the [+] below.

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Bolivia: From Pre-Revolution to General Elections

As we meet this morning of December 18, 2005 (*), the people of Bolivia are attempting to find an outlet through the ballot to a sustained crisis that has shaken the country up for the last three years. Nearly 3.5 million voters out of a population of 8.5 millions will decide today among 6 candidates to the Presidency and, for the first time, for Governorships to the 9 Departments of Bolivia. These elections are general elections and therefore also senators and congressmen will be elected.

According to the polls, the leading candidates are Evo Morales from the Movement Toward Socialism (Spanish acronym, “MAS” for Movimiento al Socialismo) with about 40% of support. Jorge Quiroga of the neoliberal coalition Democratic and Social Power (with the Spanish acronym “Podemos” for Poder Democratic y Social) is expected to obtain about 27% of the vote. The third preference goes to businessman Samuel Doria Medina of National Unity, with about 9% of the vote.

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 It isn't just 30 pesos (Chilean revolt 2019)

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How to activate the WiFi adapter on the Dell Latitude 2100 for use with Linux Lubuntu

Trying to reuse an old netbook Dell Latitude 2100 with a light version of Ubuntu, Lubuntu, everything installed okay, except for the wifi card. As it is typical with good old Linux, it is not easy to find solutions, unless you find a guru that by no means would be able to guide anybody who is not or to explain what can be done.

To be fair, there are so many solutions that have been developed by volunteers throughout the world that chances are that someone had already worked on this, and there it was. After days of general Google searches and impossible suggestions that didn’t work, I came accross documentation from Ubuntu itself about the subject.

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Chile: In Debt with Human Rights Truth, Justice and Reparation

Today, on the 69th anniversary of the declaration of the United Nations International Human Rights Day (established in 1950 to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948), President Piñera defended the role of the Chilean state after 1989 in this area. Full of emotion, the president recalled President Aylwin's words that "never again" human rights in Chile would be violated, after the civilian-military dictatorship. Ironically, the president raises those false hopes of Aylwin, when we have lived, continuously, throughout the period after Pinochet, living these violations. And, in our days, as of popular revolt since October 18, 2019, these violations have multiplied and have been widely documented.

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Chile: the social agenda of the government doesn't satisfy the demands of people on the streets

Chile is on its seventh day of protests and revolt. People’s participation is in crescendo. Hard to explain how in seven days these people turned against the neoliberal economic system that shaped a society that very few now defend. Many activists for social change find it strange why it was so difficult to mobilize people just a few weeks ago for the same causes that now the masses are embracing.

The Chilean ruling class that benefited from the bonanza of the capitalist neoliberal system, are also finding hard to blame the usual evils, like the communists, for this massive movement that is expressing its power right out on the streets. The right-wing coalition in power, is now trying to maneuver between understanding what is going on and applying control of the state and the military to regain a hold of the situation.

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Chile: Beyond the Metro Riot

Last March 2018, President Sebastian Pinera, was elected President of Chile. Pinera won the election with 54% of the vote. Let’s remember that Pinera followed the presidency of the Socialist Michelle Bachelet. His government, however, was determined by a Congress where his coalition didn’t have majority. He has managed to pass laws with the support of some members of the previous coalition, New Majority, which crumbled under the presidential election defeat.

Last January 2019, Pinera happily inaugurated a new metro line, which was positively received by many who benefited from this transportation service. On October 4, the Ministry of Transportation announced an increase in the Metro fares. This increase had to be added to increases in utilities and others. Furthermore, for months the government had to deal with confrontations between students and the Carabineros police.

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Chile: Presidential Elections 2017 - What's in it for the People?

On November 17, 2017, Chile will hold its 7th presidential election since the civilian-military dictatorship of Pinochet gave way to capitalist democracy in 1989. The capitalist democratic system left behind by Pinochet is tightly controlled by the superstructure of the system (constitution, congress -with designated senators and all, armed forces, courts, media, etc.). The first two elected presidents were members of the Christian Democratic Party, Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei, Jr. They were followed by two Socialist Party member, Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachelet. The fifth president was a member of a right-wing party, National Renewal, Sebastian Pinera. Finally, in 2013 Michele Bachelet was reelected.

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