Prices of food, and most specifically necessary foods like rice and grains (generally) have been skyrocketing http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL2464117420080424?sp=true.  More broadly, food prices have risen over the last few years, this last one in particular, to the point where riots are occurring internationally http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/agflation.  “World food prices rose by 39 percent in the last year. Rice alone rose to a 19-year high in March — an increase of 50 per cent in two weeks alone — while the real price of wheat has hit a 28-year high” (http://www.alternet.org/workplace/83457/).   Some countries in Latin America have responded with a recent pact to increase food production http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKN2344733220080423.  This food price crisis has affected most if not all of the global South, including most of Africa, Latin America, much of Asia, etc.  Consequently, global poverty has increased and, in many places, riots either have occurred, are occurring, or are a constant threat.

Moscow News Weekly summarizes: “Large-scale poverty is fraught with social explosions. A wave of massive unrest caused by the growth of food prices has swept Egypt, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Madagas­car, and Ethiopia in Africa alone. There are hunger riots on Haiti in the Caribbean, and in the Philippines in South-East Asia. Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jacques Diouf, predicts new hunger riots in many Asian countries as well, including food producers. ”

If riots continue and governments are overthrown, the emerging governments would likely be geared towards the satisfaction of needs an some egalitarian principles of distribution.  Oftentimes this is the response to a crisis of the people such as this current food crisis.  Additionally, this tends to promote a swing of Leftist movements (and strengthening of existing ones).  But in light of history, Leftist and populist movements need to be cautious and look out for (1) U.S. intervention, and (2) IMF penalties. 

The United States has a history of interfering with and opposing any Leftist or populist movements, foreign or domestic, either democratically elected or emergent from a revolution.  A few notable examples of CIA-backed coups and coup attempts (from a rather large list) see http://theinsurgent.net/index.php?volnum=13.2&article=usterror.  Chomsky also writes heavily on this topic, and Naomi Klein’s recent The Shock Doctrine goes into detail over at least a few notable examples.  Historically famous examples are the attempt to overthrow Casto in the Bay of Pigs Invasion (1963), the socialist Indonesian president Sukarno (1965), the assasination of democratically elected Marxist president Salvadore Allende in Chile (1973), CIA training of the Contras to oppose the Leftist Sandanista government in Nicaragua (throughout Reagan’s presidency), etc.  Domestically, suppression of populist, Leftist, and labor movements has been widely documented throughout US history (look at the early history of the American labor movement, the period of McCarthyism throughout the late ’40’s and 50’s, or the Reaganite war on labor (http://www.dickmeister.com/id89.html).  America has a strong history of destroying Leftist, populist, and labor movements internationally and domestically, and consequently, whatever governmental situations these revolting countries end with, they need to be ever watchful.

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