Copy of Arpilleras Power Point

I’m posting to share a copy of the images I used in our discussion of Arpilleras.  Here it is: 23 Arpilleras

(Again, this is just one of the options for your primary source analysis: you can also pick a source from Fear in Chile, or the copy of the “Popular Unity Government: Basic Program” from Becker.)

And another copy of the LA Rev Final Exam Study Guide Fall 2019

I look forward to answering your remaining exam prep question on Wednesday!

Latin America in the news – Colombian Protests

Seven days of nationwide protests have weakened president Ivan Duque’s ability to pass tax and pension reforms. Tens of thousands of Colombians went on protested on the streets on an ongoing strike against Ivan Duque’s centre-right government. These protests have resulted in curfews being implemented in two of the largest cities and thousands of soldiers being sent to the capital to try to keep the peace. According to Bogota’s mayor, looting and vandalism after the protests have caused the city over 11 million dollars in damage.These protestors have borrows techniques used in other protests in Latin America, like posting footage of the protests in social media and banging on pots to make their voices heard. The protests erupted after an 18 year old was hit in the head with a tear gas canister fired by the police and then died in the hospital days later. This led to the strike committee to add the dismantling of the riot police to one of their 13 demands. The turmoil has alarmed investors who fear of a credit rating downgrade in Colombia. The peso has been hit hard over the last couple weeks reaching an all time low of 3,509 against the US dollar.Mr. Duque’s rating has dropped 30% over the last couple of weeks and despite economic growth, unemployment has reached its lowest in over a decade. This article is portrayed columbia fairly good. The article justified the protestors’ actions and blames Columbia’s problems on President Ivan Duque’s actions as president. When comparing Columbia to the rest of Latin America, the article had nothing negative to say about columbia. The article actually states that despite the protests, Columbia is said to be doing a lot better than its neighboring countries. When comparing this article to previous events in Latin America, we can see a clear connection to the “cacerolazo” movement in Chile.

Amazon Deforestation in Brazil Rose Sharply (LA)


Between August 2018 to July 2019, Amazon has lost much of its vegetation and President Jair Bolsonaro isn’t putting his priorities on fixing the issue or implementing any remedies for the restoration of the Amazon.  For years, Amazon has been considered to be the largest tropical rainforest in the world and its famous for its biodiversity. Almost 60% of the Amazon is located in Brazil, which becomes the responsibility of President Bolsonaro. In this article, many environmentalists have been concerned with Bolsonaro’s lack of response towards Amazon’s deforestation and his lack of effort against illegal mining, logging, and ranching. Previous governments had implemented efforts and strategy’s in order to preserve the rainforest but now Brazil is possibly making it worse.

(Jair Bolsonaro, right, with environment minister.)

Two trends have been happening that are concerning to researchers; the increase in deforestation and the increased reluctance to confront illegal activity that causes the deforestation of the Amazon. Once Bolsonaro took office, “his administration cut main environmental

agency’s budget by 24 percent”. His explanation was that “Brazil’s vast protected lands were an obstacle to economic growth and promised to open them up to commercial exploitation.” (Casado and Londoño 2019) While campaigning for president, it had become clear that Bolsonaro believed the Amazon was an obstacle for Brazil to make profits and flourish. One thing I found interesting in articles related to the Amazon, is that lack of incentive for amazon and its victims. The indigenous people of Brazil, forest residents, and environmental agents are being targeted by loggers who see them as obstacles to their efforts to dismantle the Amazon. (Phillips 2019) President Bolsonaro doesn’t seem concerned with his people and its responsibility to the rainforest.

This is similar to some of the themes presented in class. Although this is not like the revolutions of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua; there is a rebellion from the government against the Amazon, that could potentially affect global warming. Germany’s minister has described the consequences of deforestation saying, “protecting the Amazon is a global imperative, especially given the rain forest’s vital role in absorbing and storing carbon dioxide, essential to the effort to slow global warming.”(Casado and Londoño 2019) Through DeFronco’s theory, this kind of revolutions is by reform, there is a mass frustration concerning Bolsonaro’s lack of effort, there has been international intervention by neighboring countries as well as the US and Europe. It also relates to the abuse and neglect many indigenous people receive. There is a necessity to be more inclusive of how the government treats people. He is letting his people down and allies. Bolsonaro has to reevaluate his priorities concerning deforestation and its negative effect on global warming as well as looking into the victims affecting by illegal activity.


Links to Articles:

    1. (Main Article)
  3. He



Class Notes 11/22

Class began with the LA in the news by Joseph Z. The article was about a rejected bill by the Miami County Commission, that would have helped to reunite Cuban immigrant families. This article is an example of how LA news coverage in the US depends on regionality.

The topic of the class was modern Venezuela and its mass migration issue. Important questions to think about are:

  • Push/Pull factors—Why do people leave?
  • What information do we have right now about the crisis?
  • How is it portrayed by different news outlets?
  • What is the OAS approach and what are its implications?

In addition, here are some of the graphs that we looked at, displayed by the OAS:

Graph 1

Source: UNHCR Portal ( and IOM/UNHCR portal for monitoring the Venezuelan situation by R4V (

These graph help to provide a global context, but there are concerns about how readable they are and how relevant/accurate the other data is. The argument made by the graphs is highlighted by the use of red to show the dangers of the forecasted migrant numbers.

Overall, the factors causing much of the migration include:

  • Humanitarian Crisis
    • No clean water
    • Shortage of food
    • Shortage of medicine
  • Violence
    • Organized crime
    • State violence
  • Inflation
  • Little effort by the state to solve the issue

Helpful links:

OAS Report –

Somos Panas –

Miami-Dade commission rejects Democratic bill to help reunite Cuban families – Joseph Zagales

The Miami-Dade commission rejected the Democratic bill to help reunite Cuban families. The bill would expedite travel applications from Cuban relatives of U.S. citizens. Even though the democrats hold a slim majority on the commission, they still could not get the bill passed. Cuban Americans no longer hold a majority on the commission. Republicans claim that the bill was a way for Democrats to use the “pain of Cuban people” for politics. The bill was proposed by Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

This bill seeks to revive a program launched under George W. Bush. The bill allows Cuban-American families to apple for “parole” for relatives living in Cuba. The status allows family members to bypass some U.S. immigration delays and come to the United States while waiting for visas to be approved. The program was put on pause when the U.S. embassy in Havana.

In this article, Latin America is discussed in multiple ways. The main point is about Cuba. The article talks about Cuba as a place where people need to escape communism and socialism. The bill is trying to get people to escape the horrors that go on in Cuba. This is not a good look for Latin America in this article. Cuba is portrayed as a bad place to be in and live in.

This bill and article relates to what we learned about Cuba. We learned how Cuba was in revolution and how Castro lead the revolution, but we did not learn about what happened after. My grandparents are both from Cuba. They experienced the entire rise of Castro and what happened after. In Cuba, Castro began to take people’s land and homes. He then did not let them worship their own religion. Many people were in poverty and being oppressed. My grandparents were some of these people. This bill and article talks about the effects of everything Castro did to the country. The bill basically allows people who escaped to be able to bring their family members who are still in Cuba to America even while their Visa is still being approved. This article is directly talking about one of the places we learned about.

Class Notes 11/18- Joseph Zagales

We began class on Monday with announcements.  After announcements, we heard our LA in the News from Amber.  After this we discussed Chavez’s speeches and looked at what makes a speech a good primary source.  This is important for our class, because as a historian one of the most important things is to be able to look at primary sources and be able to make conclusions and tie the sources with our arguments in history.

We talked about questions we must ask when discussing a speech:

Context- is it a reactionary speech or a new policy speech?

Who is the audience?

The speaker’s point of view?

What are the limitations?

How is the tone and delivery?

After discussing this, we watched Chavez’s speech.  As a class we responded to what we saw in the speech.  Some of the responses included, that the speech seemed to be prepared and very theatrical.  Another word used to discuss this speech was provocative.  This is important to look at, especially with what we are learning because we got to see Chavez addressing other Latin American countries and other countries, discussing his policies and how he thought America was the real problem.  We then talked about Chavez’s vision for Venezuela.  He talked about how he wanted to use oil money to better the education and healthcare in Venezuela.  He then compared himself to Jesus and other Latin leaders from the past, like Bolivar and Castro.

We then split up into groups to discuss our HAP and the speeches we did the homework on.



Interested in the Impeachment? Come Learn More Tuesday 11/19 @7pm

I write to share this announcement from Phi Alpha Theta president Savanna Hitlan:


Dear All,

Hello! I am Savanna Hitlan and I am the President of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), the history honors society on campus. I wanted to let you all know about an upcoming event co-hosted by PAT and the Political Science Club.
As many of you know, the U.S., for the fourth time in the history of the nation, is currently beginning trials for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In loom of that, our two clubs have come together to create an event that can help students and faculty alike understand the situation from a historical and political science lens.
Professor Roche (History) and Professor Bas van Doorn (Political Science) have agreed to demonstrate their interpretations of the impeachment trials. They each will give about a six to ten minute synopsis of their points and once both done we will open the floor to any questions that the general audience may have. One person from each of the above clubs will moderate.
If that wasn’t enough, there will also be snacks provided by Spoon.
The event will be held Tuesday, November 19, from 7:00-8:00pm in Kauke 038.
Hope to see you all there!
Thank you,
Have a nice day!

This Mexican Village’s Embroidery Designs Are Admired (and Appropriated) Globally-News

This Mexican Village’s Embroidery Designs Are Admired (and Appropriated) Globally

Where it would be easy to assume that the American perspective of Latin America would glorify the American perspective. Rather, the New York Times paints Latin America, specifically Mexico, as the good guy and America as the villian. In an article written Nov. 13, 2019, “This Mexican Village’s Embroidery Designs are Admired (and Appropriated) Globally,”  the New York Times exposes an often ignored aspect of art: appropriation. In a small town in Mexico, San Nicolàs, embroidery runs through the veins of its artists.

An indegenous tribe called the Otomí have a distinct art style, depicting their vegetation and wildlife, unique to their location. The art was originally used for survival and has been adapted into an industry they call the tenangos. Since the expansion of their art, it has been distributed in a worldwide market. One look at their work, makes their unique nature clear. The art is vivid with distinctive colors and imagery as you can see in the photo below.In the past few months, “major international brands have advertised products decorated with the Otomís’ distinctive iconography, without mentioning Tenango de Doria or the Otomí as their source.” Many of us are familiar with the term cultural appropriation. It shows up in our social media feeds but it is rarely addressed in the art community, in particular with indegenous peoples. In this article, the author went a step further than appropriation, calling it plagiarism. This word choice exposes the severity of this infringement. These embroideries are a part of the tenango livelihood. It is not merely a pastime, but it is essential to their survival. This unqiue art form is dying as companies like Nestlé profit from the designs they are stealing from these uncompensated artists. 

In comparison to how I typically see Latin America portrayed in the news, this article was a pleasant surprise. It gave credence to the tenago artisans and respected their craft. It did so without painting these artists as victims as the artists pursued legal actions. I appreciated the way the author exposed the companies that plagiarized including the well-known Nestlé. 

The author did a beautiful job of displaying the various artworks of these genuine artists. However, I would have appreciated if the author had included some of the appropriated images as a point of comparison, particularly for Nestlé (partially out of curiosity). 

In relation to the course, I found this article fascinating in how indegenous peoples are continuing to be abused. In the same way we have seen so many revolutions spurred by indegenous rights, we continue to see the necessity for reform on these grounds. Systematically, it is clear that the artists did not find any solace in that they did not win their lawsuits against the plagiarists, only losing money in attempting to get the credit they deserve.

This is the most horrendous form of cultural appropriation in that it allows artists to be starved (figuratively and literally) of the credit for their hard work. They pour a piece of themselves into their art, only for big corporations to take credit and turn a profit, and for the artist to receive little to no credit and no compensation. This goes to show that cultural appropriation is not simply a fashion statement but it damages lives, perpetuating the cycle of poverty whilst large companies rake in money they don’t need.