Conflicts, crises and struggles appear into the news media without much context. This is for two reasons. First, the compression of space – the brevity of a television news report or of the print media’s 300 word story – prevents any broad context from being offered to a readership which might not know how to assess a conflict, crisis or struggle. Second, the ideology of the governing class is one that proceeds with the premise that too much depth would give people too much understanding of how the world works. Far better to have a ‘free media’ that merely skims the surface, if it at all reports on a story. Shallow news reports saturated with corrosive ideological implications are what is on offer particularly when a crisis strikes. Events appear as a sudden crisis with no history.

From the Tricontinental, each month, we will produce a brief dossier on a current event that we believe requires some elaboration. These dossiers will provide a short anti-imperialist history of the crisis, offer interviews with key experts on the region and on the issue at stake and provide human stories of the people who are at the heart of the crisis.

To suggest crises that need elaboration or to offer information as well as stories for these events, please contact us at [email protected].

 


In July 2018, protests developed in Haiti and then escalated against the government. The immediate spur for the protests came when the government of Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant raised fuel prices by 38% (gasoline) and 51% (diesel and kerosene). Thousands of people took to the streets in protest. The government hastily cancelled the price rise, but the protests did not end. More was at stake. The people then made much bolder demands. This dossier takes stock of the events that transpired this summer in Haiti and in their long-term meaning. 


One cannot look at Trump and his policies in isolation from the crisis of ‘trade wars’. Trump promised to ‘make America great again’. He wants to resolve the crisis for America caused by neo-liberalism without violating its core characteristic, which is free global mobility of finance.  At Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we have wondered about the essential nature of these ‘trade wars’ that have broken out between key allies. We turned to Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi (India), for assistance.