#5: The Venezuelan Opposition, Chinese Stock Market Crash, and Arctic Oil Drilling | América Otherwise August 03, 2015

América Otherwise with host Christy ThorntonOn today’s show, we speak to journalist Roberto Lovato about his recent piece in Foreign Policy magazine about Venezuelan opposition figure Leopoldo López. Lovato argues that although López’s international support relies on his image as a fighter for democracy, he has, in fact, much closer ties to the 2002 coup that tried to unseat Hugo Chávez than he has admitted. Lovato is a writer and visiting scholar at University of California Berkeley’s Center for Latino Policy Research.

We also look at the recent turmoil in Chinese stock markets, which have wiped out over $3.2 trillion in value — equivalent to the market capitalizations of France and Spain combined. But despite the overwhelming numbers involved, the Chinese government did not, as some western observers seemed to be hoping, suffer any kind of related collapse, and in fact, the crisis did not spread to the broader financial system. That’s because of the structure of the Chinese stock markets and banking systems, argues my guest, Sean Starrs, in a recent piece in Jacobin magazine, called “A Crash with Chinese Characteristics.” He joins us to talk about it.

And finally we speak to journalist Arun Gupta about the recent “Blockadia” protests in Portland, Oregon. The protestors’ 36-hour action highlighted the danger to the climate and the local environment posed by drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi sea. We speak to Arun about what he saw at the protest, how arctic drilling fits into the larger changes happening in the petroleum industry, and just what those changes mean for the global economy and geopolitics.

Originally aired on WBAI on 08/03/15. Listen to the full episode here:


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