November 6, 2023
From The Real News Network
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For centuries, the US has officially and unofficially treated the entirety of Latin America as its ‘backyard,’ a position long-enshrined in the Monroe Doctrine. The nations of Central America in particular have long endured the suffocating embrace of their northern neighbor. From CIA-backed coups and genocidal civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador to the US invasion of Panama, Central America is still living with the legacy and ongoing violence of US imperialism. In an all-new podcast co-produced by The Real News and NACLA, Mike Fox takes a deep dive into the history and present of US meddling in the region. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Mike Fox about his upcoming project, “Under the Shadow.”

Editor’s note: The Kickstarter referenced in this podcast has ended, but you can still support Mike’s work through his Patreon.

Post-Production: Jules Taylor


Transcript

The following is a rushed transcript and may contain errors. A proofread version will be made available as soon as possible.

Maximillian Alvarez:

Welcome, everyone, to The Real News Network Podcast. My name is Maximillian Alvarez. I’m the Editor-in-Chief here at The Real News, and it’s so great to have you all with us. This year, 2023, marks the 200-year anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine, the US foreign policy that has defined Latin America as its exclusive backyard to do with what it likes. At his seventh annual message to Congress on December 2nd, 1823, then-President James Monroe declared that European powers were obligated to respect the Western Hemisphere as the United States’s sphere of interest and influence.

Under the Monroe Doctrine, for 200 years, the United States has given itself license to approach Latin America as what historian Greg Grandin famously called Empire’s Workshop, perpetually imposing its will across the hemisphere, orchestrating and/or supporting coups in countries like Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic; annexing territories like in Panama; imposing sanctions and utilizing other mechanisms to wage economic and political warfare against democratically elected governments and resistance movements that challenged US hegemony and the prerogatives of capital.

In part to commemorate the anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine, as well as to provide a deep analysis of how the ongoing legacy of US intervention in Latin America continues to shape the political landscape across the hemisphere, today, we at the Real News are once again honored to be teaming up with the North American Congress on Latin America, AKA NACLA, and Latin America-based journalist and longtime Real News contributor Mike Fox to produce an important new multi-part narrative podcast series called Under the Shadow. Under the Shadow will be a highly produced, sound-rich investigative podcast series that takes listeners across Latin America to the scenes of some of the region’s most devastating, revolutionary, and historic moments, both good and bad. Season one of the show, which is coming very soon to The Real News Network, will dive deep into the past of Central America, uncovering the history of US intervention that still lingers in the region today.

For the past six months, Mike Fox has been traveling throughout Central America, conducting on-the-ground interviews and intense research for this project. I could not be more excited to be joined by Mike on The Real News Podcast today to give people a bit of a preview of his upcoming podcast series and to take stock of the current political landscape in Central America and the ways that that landscape is still being shaped today by the outsized influence of US Empire.

Mike Fox is a longtime radio reporter, editor, and journalist who has spent the better part of the last 20 years in Latin America. He’s the former Editor of the NACLA Report on the Americas, the former Director of Video Production at teleSUR English, and a former member of the steering committee of the Daily Radio News Show FSRN. Last year, in collaboration with The Real News and NACLA, Mike reported and produced the highly successful investigative podcast series, Brazil on Fire, which was about Brazil’s descent towards authoritarianism under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Mike, thank you so much for joining me today on the Real News Podcast.

Mike Fox:

Thank you so much, Max. Glad to be here.

Maximillian Alvarez:

As always, man, you are out there doing important work. I wonder when the hell you ever sleep. But don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful for the work that you do, and I’m incredibly grateful that we get to work with you on it. I know you’ve been really busy traveling, like I said, across Central America, conducting research for this incredible podcast series that we’re working on together. I hope folks who are listening to this recognize how much work goes into producing that podcast that you consume within 30, 40 minutes. Mike’s out there doing the work, but while he’s doing that work, he’s been getting a really up-to-date, on the ground, intimate sense of what the political landscape in Central America looks like right now and what those continued residues of US Empire and 200 years of the Monroe Doctrine… What residues that has left on Central American politics today.

Mike, I wanted to start by asking if you could build on that intro and just tell folks more about the podcast series that you’re working on now, the kind of research that you’ve been doing on it, and what, over the past six months, you’ve been getting from that research that is going to translate to the podcast series itself.

Mike Fox:

Excellent. We started in Guatemala and we’ve worked our way through Central America. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and now in Panama. Just arrived in Panama a few days ago. In each of the places it’s been really, really key… I wanted to go to places that were off the beaten path that people hadn’t already thought about, that people hadn’t already heard about. For me, it’s about bringing things to life. I want to go to the past, go to these places to see what still lingers into the past. That’s one of the exciting things about this podcast. In fact, it’s in the back of my head for roughly the last 10 years because it’s not just about, “I’m going to tell a story and try and tell the history there,” but I actually go to places to see what still exists today of that history.

The very first spot is a town called Tiquisate in Guatemala. It’s a small industrial town, a couple hours south of the capitol, toward the Pacific side. This was essentially built and created by United Fruit. It was one of the top areas of their industry. Thousands and thousands of workers worked there in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and it was really key. The union organizing there was really key, A, in the Democratic revolution that happened in 1944. And in fact, the very first union in Guatemala that was recognized by the government was the Bananas Workers Union in Tiquisate.

I wanted to see those connections, see what still existed from United Fruit there today, and from that organizing. You talk about the past and the present. Nowhere is that more clear in Guatemala, right, where you have Bernardo Arévalo, who’s just won the election, who’s still fighting Lawfare to try and block him from coming to power. He’s coming to power on January 14th, I believe. So we’re going to start to launch the podcasts just ahead of his inauguration. The first two episodes are about Guatemala. And remember that his dad was the president. He won the first Democratic Democratic elections in Guatemala in 1945. He ushered in the Democratic spring in Guatemala, and that connection is huge. That’s part of what I start to get into and the story…

That’s why this is so exciting. I’m walking into the past, I’m trying to understand what still lingers there, but also bringing it up into the present and, particularly in the case of Guatemala, is so huge. Also looking back into the 1980s, the continued US intervention abroad. Obviously, in that first chapter we talk about the 1954 coup, the CIA coup that United Fruit helped encourage to happen. Then we get into the 1980s Reagan policies in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras. What do these mean? The death squads and different countries and the US support for authoritarian regimes. I visited Soto Cano, the largest US Air Force base in Central America, in Honduras, obviously. And that’s where US did so much of its organizing and backing of authoritarian militaries across the region. When we go to memorial spots for the dead and the disappeared in so many different countries, you see what those look like today.

That’s another fascinating thing about Central America, is that in so many places you had areas where massacres had happened or where the people had been disappeared, and in so many cases you have groups and organizations and people today that are trying to remember to hold on to the past and not let that go, but to convert it into something else. They talk a lot about memoria histórica in Central America, and that’s really key, and that’ll be key in my podcast. I try and walk back to the past and then walk into the present. Each of my episodes is straddling this, but at the same time, I’m curving this arc that begins literally, you mentioned the Monroe Doctrine, that’s where the introduction begins, in the Monroe Doctrine here in Panama, in particularly because a lot of people don’t know. Monroe, he made a statement, like you said, 200 years ago. But just three years later, Bolívar, Simón Bolívar, or the Liberator of South America, he tried to have this massive conference in Panama in which all of the different countries would send representatives.

This was just after they had won their liberation and independence from Spain. The idea was to bring everybody together to create a Gran Colombia that would stretch from basically the southern border of the United States all the way south into what is now Chile and Argentina. Of course, that failed. But those are these two worlds. It’s this Latin America, the potential and the hope of a united Latin America. And then the Monroe Doctrine, which is, of course, the shadow. When we talk about the podcast is called Under the Shadow, and that’s under the shadow of the United States, and it’s under the continual shadow of the Monroe Doctrine.

That’s a very big overview of what I’ve been doing. It’s extremely exciting. It’s powerful to go to these places. In Tiquisate, I was able to find former homes, buildings built by United Fruit, whole areas that are still there, and then walk into some of the nuance of how United Fruit is remembered today in this region as both this massive conglomerate, this huge banana company, but that also paid fairly good wages at the same time as it overthrew countries. This is the nuance, the complexity that I try and get into.

Maximillian Alvarez:

If y’all listen to Brazil on Fire, Mike’s extensive podcast series that I mentioned in the intro, then I imagine you’ll be as excited as I am for this upcoming series because Mike does incredible work, not only as a journalist, but as an audio designer. That’s another really important part of all of this, is how do you take a project of that magnitude with that much history and emotion and sense of place? How do you accomplish that in the medium of audio? So I wanted to ask more about that, man.

Open the hood a little bit and give people a sense of the work that goes into producing that kind of a series and how you are going to try to achieve the goal of this show in audio form. I mentioned in the intro that, of course, this year is the 200 anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine, so there’s a built-in historical reason to want to do the show. But I wanted to ask even beyond that, as you and I have discussed many times off-recording, why do you think it’s so important to do this show now, in the year of our Lord, 2023?

Mike Fox:

That’s awesome. I love this under-the-hood stuff, and this is where the magic happens. For me, this is literally magic. Putting together these podcast episodes, for me, it’s like writing music. And I’m a musician, too. It’s like writing music and then laying out a song from beginning to end, but being able to do it in a way that empowers and grabs you and engages you. And for me, it’s all about sound. That’s what this is. But it’s how to use some of that archive sound to try and bring you to that place. And we’re very, very, very blessed today because so much of this stuff is online and because the US government is so open about what it’s saying. Anywhere from the 1940s up until today, there’s US representatives talking about Guatemala. So I’m able to grab a ton of sound and then layering that with the music and layering that with the own sound footage and stuff that I’m getting on the ground. It’s all about taking you there.

I’m going to say something Max. I think more than anything, for me, audio production, podcasting, and I’ve done a ton of video work, but for me, audio is even more powerful. And I realized this maybe a decade ago when I had recorded my uncle and just left an audio recorder, 15 years ago or 20 years ago, just recording on a table over Christmastime and recorded my uncle and my aunt and my grandma and whatever else. It was a random conversation. I was listening back through tapes maybe 10 years ago. They had all passed, and I got to this tape, and I could close my eyes, Max, and I could transport myself into their room. I was with them. There was no scream between me and them. I could smell it, I could feel it.

That’s why audio is so powerful, because I can literally take you, it is the only medium where it is time travel. I can walk you back in time, and if you’re with me, we’re going there together, and you feel like you’re there. That’s why this is so powerful for me, and that’s why I will always do video, I’ll always do print, but for me, audio… I got into journalism through audio, through music, through recording sound and stuff like that. This is why it’s so much where I’m rooted, and this is why it’s so powerful, because your second question about why this is so important. Oftentimes, we can talk about intervention, we can talk about the role of the US government, and it’s left in the history books. It’s something you have to sit down and read, or it’s a documentary that you have to watch, it’s going to take you two hours, or it’s just like you’re not there. It’s not present. It’s something in the past. And particularly, when we’re talking about stuff that happened…

I was alive in the 1980s. I do remember when the Iran-Contra stuff was happening. I was a conscious being, maybe I was nine or 10, so I remember that. Ollie North and whatnot. But that didn’t mean anything to me, at the time. But people that are anywhere younger than I am, and there’s a lot of people that are younger than I am, they were not there. That is ancient history.

We need to understand the past to understand the present because the US continues to do what it does everywhere. It continues to have its shadow over Latin America. We had the coup that happened in Honduras in 2009, the coup against Lula, that basically… First against Dilma in Brazil, US-backed, and then Lula that sent him to jail, that blocked him from running, that led to Bolsonaro coming to power. And the US still works its machiavellian ways, so we need to understand the past to understand the patterns and also to understand just how ridiculous this is, man. William Walker. This is one of the chapters, this is one of the episodes in this podcast.

William Walker, he’s a businessman. He’s what they call the filibuster. He decides that he’s going to go to Nicaragua and overthrow the president and self-proclaim himself present, like what Juan Guaidó wanted to do in Venezuela. And he does it, and he takes power, and he’s literally the president of Nicaragua for a couple of years. And he’s heralded in the United States as this great guy. Of course, they recognize it. People are like, “Oh my gosh, he’s one of ours. It’s great.” And it’s the idea many people have to say, “Maybe we could do that more. Send our people down and take over countries.” The fact that that was even imagined as something that was positive or good, something that somebody could even do back in the 1800s, is just insane.

Of course, that was done, in part, because Nicaragua was the place that they thought that they were going to be able to build the canal at the time. That’s where everyone traveled to when they were going west to California. Nicaragua was this point where you would sail down through the Caribbean and then you had sailed up to California. And so much of the gold money that they dug up through California came back through Nicaragua on the way through. Of course, the US wanted to build its first canal in the Nicaragua, and then it decided to go ahead and build a canal in Panama once it was able to actually annex Panama and make it its own country. Panama used to be part of Columbia.

This is why these stories are so important. We need to understand the past to understand the present and understand the role of the US government, our US government, what it has done abroad in our name. And so that’s why it’s so key. That’s why it’s important for me as someone from the United States, but someone who has lived most of my adult life in Latin America to be doing this.

I do just want to say, Max, that doing all this work is a lot of work, and particularly the development and the audio production. It’s not just me talking to somebody and then we’re done. The idea is this is a story. It’s a documentary thing. I have just launched a Kickstarter. I’m trying to raise funds for that for me to continue interviewing and producing and to scripting and editing and finalize the podcast over the next few months. That’s out there, and if anybody wants to support, that’s fantastic, be a huge help.

Maximillian Alvarez:

Yeah, I want to second that to any of y’all listening out there. Again, if you’ve heard Mike’s work, you know how special it is and why we’re so excited to collaborate with him every chance that we get. But we are also still a relatively small media outlet. We’re a nonprofit based here in Baltimore. We don’t have infinite resources, so we as always are trying to kick in everything we possibly can to allow Mike to do the incredible work that he does, but to do a project of this magnitude and to do it right, we need as much help as we can get.

So I just wanted to also say from the Real News side, please do contribute to that Kickstarter because it will allow us to really take this project to where it needs to go. We will link to that Kickstarter Mike mentioned in the show notes for this episode. If you click on the description of this episode on whatever podcast player you’re using, you’ll be able to find that Kickstarter. Share it around, let people know about this great upcoming series, contribute what you can. We really appreciate it, and we promise you it will be worth it, and that money will go to very, very good use.

Now, I wanted to build on what you were saying about the importance of recognizing just how at-risk this history is of perennially being lost to new generations. I have people, even older people, who get bug-eyed and stare at me in disbelief when I say… Because in my past life, before I got really into journalism, I was still trying to be an academic. My PhDs are in history and comparative literature. I focused a lot on Mexico and radical movements around the time of the revolution. And I love bringing it up to people like, “Hey, did you know the US military occupied Veracruz in 1914?” And they were like, “Wait, what?” Or “Did you know that the US military occupied Haiti from 1914 to 1934?” And people are like, “Wait, seriously?” So it’s not only-

Mike Fox:

This is the same time that they’re occupying Nicaragua. The US military was everywhere. It was crazy. They’re like the tentacles. We talk about United Fruit, but the US had its people everywhere, moving and shaking, whatever they wanted. They’re going to just send their people in to make sure that they can stabilize it enough so their people can be in power.

Maximillian Alvarez:

Yeah. There are literal documents people can read, which I read for my dissertation, of US companies and business people imploring the government to intervene in the Mexican Revolution to ensure that their oil-drilling territories were not annexed by whatever people’s government emerged from this. They’re like, “We don’t care about the people’s revolution in Mexico, we just want to make sure that our property holdings and investments are not compromised, and we are literally beseeching our government to go in there and impose our will through its own military might.”

This is the case across the hemisphere, and it’s obviously not just in Latin America, as we cover extensively and continuously here at the Real News. But I say all that to say, first, to just reaffirm your point that we cannot lose that history. We cannot forget about it or forget about what we never knew in the first place. Because then you lead to a totally warped political worldview. But it’s also, this isn’t just about knowing what happened in the past. As you said before, and as the entire soul of this new podcast series is going to try to communicate, it’s not just about recognizing past harms done in previous centuries. It’s about acknowledging the continued legacy of that intervention that continues…

That intervention itself, the mentality of the Monroe Doctrine, the imposition of international capital, and through institutions like the IMF and so on and so forth. That intervention continues diplomatic, financial and otherwise. But also the more military and direct intervention that we’ve been talking about here, that also has created the conditions for the political realities that have developed over time in the region itself. I wanted us to jump on that side of things, because I know I got to let you go soon. But in the course of your travels and research over the past six months alone, like you said, you’ve been to El Salvador, you’ve been to Honduras, you’re in Panama now. A lot of shit is going on in Central America right now. We mentioned the Guatemalan elections.

You reported brilliantly for us on the bizarre, but no less fascistic rise of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador and his massive campaign to basically institute a state of exception and mass arrest people under the guise of ending organized crime in the country. And the fact that while he is suspending human rights and mass-imprisoning people, and you spoke to the families of people whose loved ones who were innocent have been lost to this and swallowed into this prison system. But Bukele is the most popular politician in the world, so what do we do with that? And then that model of authoritarianism, scarily, seems to be spreading to other parts of the hemisphere.I just wanted to ask, for people who may say, “Well, yeah, all that US intervention was bad, but that’s in the past.” What has the past six months taught you or do you think that you can communicate to people who have that mentality about how yes, this is in the past, but the past is alive and well today in Central America?

Mike Fox:

That’s right. The first thing I think that’s really important, we need to understand that the US has this image, or has had this image, this myth, that it has always intervened to help bring democracy to other countries. It’s like we want to bring US-style democracy elsewhere. One of the things I was researching, one of the political analysts that I was speaking with recently, this academic at Johns Hopkins, and then he said, “No, no, no, no, that’s just completely false.” 1940, 1950s, 1960s, the US wanted dictators in power. And in fact, the United States overthrew the democratically-elected President Arbenz in 1954 in Guatemala. Did the same thing in Iran, did a coup in Iran recently before, installing dictators into power.

That was something very clear because Democrats could be too wishy-washy. Democrats might want to go in the other direction. Democracy wasn’t good for the United States at the time. Later on, they moved in the direction of, “I guess we have to do this.” but at the time, they wanted dictators who would be strong armed and who would be able to push for us interest in the region and did not care about the rights of locals. We need to remember that history first, that what we learn about in terms of this whole idea of US spreading democracy, that’s just a lie. And that’s one thing.

Past in the present. We cannot forget that the endemic gang violence that we’ve seen in Central America in recent decades. The gang violence that led to Bukele to come to power and led him to do this massive crackdown on gangs everywhere, picking up 70,000 people, jailing them over the last 18 months, many of them innocent. Those gangs, where did they come from? They came from the United States because people fled the Civil Wars in the 1980s. US backed authoritarian regimes that, long before there was a civil war… Let’s say, just speaking about El Salvador, the US was backing a regime that literally had death squads and was killing many, many people.

Terror reigned in the country, the US backs the regime, people flee the country to go up to the United States, and get involved in gangs, get involved in other situations, and they’re deported back into El Salvador years later. The US is absolutely responsible for sowing and helping to prop up authoritarian regimes across the region, help to push more and more violence in the region, whether that’s from the contra wars… Nicaragua was facing US-backed violence throughout the 1980s, the entire time US-financed, US-backed Contra wars. These things have legacies that last until today. The fact the Soto Cano Air Force base is still there, you can drive right up and you’re like, “There it is, the largest US military base on Central American soil.” And so much was sown there, so much terrifying plans and analysis throughout the Reagan years, which I get into at length in this podcast. It’s really deep. And like I said, those legacies exist until today.

Just Panama. In Panama, like I’ve mentioned before, it was part of Colombia. It was not a separate country. And it was when there was a civil war that was happening, the United States moves in, it’s able to annex Panama because they want to push the canal. They annex Panama, they get the sole ownership of the canal, and literally, that entire region is independent US soil around the canal. People move in, it’s like you’re living in… I don’t know, Florida, but you happen to be living in Panama today.

Fast forwarding to today, of course they handed the canal back to Panama. Fine. But you still have this legacy of… The town that we’re in right now is this small town called Boquete, up in the mountains. And it’s this US expat retirement area. You walk around town, and there’s all these expats that are walking around. It’s really crazy. But Panama is one of the countries that has the best retirement plans or packages for US expats that are interested in moving abroad. And part of that has to do with the longtime legacy of the connections between the United States and Panama. All of this runs absolutely, absolutely so deep. It still exists today. The US interests abroad still exists today as we know so well, and we will be telling lots of those stories in the podcast.

Maximillian Alvarez:

Oh yeah, man. I could go on for days about this. This is why I’m so jazzed about this podcast, and I think others should be as well. Jesus Christ. This year, there were Republicans in Congress saying, “Let’s invade Mexico. AMLO needs to go.” Just literally frothing at the mouth to continue doing the very same things that we’ve been doing for 200 years under the Monroe Doctrine. And it was bonkers to me to hear that. Or hearing the Trump administration talk so openly about regime change in Venezuela. And the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay is one of the most persistent reminders of everything that we’re talking about here. We could go on for days, but I know I got to let Mike go, and I got to let you all go, too. And I want to keep the suspense a little bit so that y’all are ready for the podcast series Under the Shadow when it drops.

As Mike said, we are angling to have that out ahead of mid-January to coincide with the presidential succession in Guatemala, which is going to be and is currently a really big story that has sorely been under-covered in US media. By way of rounding things out, I wanted to ask if you mentioned some of those key stories that are literally unfolding around you as you are traveling and researching and recording for this podcast. The elections in Guatemala, the rise of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador, so on and so forth. I just wanted to ask if there are other key developing stories, particularly in Central America, that you think folks out there need to be paying attention to and that the podcast itself will provide the necessary historical depth and context for people to understand why these are important stories?

Mike Fox:

I’ve just spent the last few months in Costa Rica. It was fascinating, because we have this myth of Costa Rica as this democratic, green, beautiful place of social equality, as if it were the Switzerland of Europe or something like that. And we now have one of the latest authoritarian president nationalist to be elected in Latin America, more aligned with Trump than say with Bukele, but still with Bukele’s style, Bolsonaro’s style, with his whole media campaign over social media. An outsider that wants to go in and destroy the system, attacking universities, attacking press and the media saying that they’re political hitman. And many people are concerned about what that means for Costa Rica. Costa Rica, fascinatingly, 30 years ago, in the time of the Central American wars of the 1980s, Costa Rica was the outlier, in part because it had the support from the United States that were funneling dollars into the country to prop it up so it wouldn’t fall or go in another direction.

At the time, it had one of the highest inequality rates of all the countries in Latin America. Over the last 30 years, the inequality has continued to get worse and worse. It’s now one of the highest countries with the highest inequality in the entire region. It’s gone from a much more egalitarian country to now almost completely unequal, and violence is skyrocketing. We’ve seen 40% increase in the number of homicides and violent deaths just over the last year. Unemployment, et cetera, et cetera. And they’ve just elected this president into power. It is important for us to understand that because it still has this myth of like, “It’s beautiful and nature reserves and stuff.” And that’s all there, but it’s within this. If you go and you talk to people within Costa Rica, there’s these two worlds. There’s the tourist world, and then there’s the other world that is Costa Rica, that most people don’t see because they go bouncing from one island to another. That was another fascinating story that I wanted to dive into.

And of course, being here in Panama… I’ve just arrived. I’m extremely excited to do this piece of the work because oftentimes, when we talk about US intervention abroad, and we think about 1980s, we think about the Central American wars, and Panama is also like this outsider. It’s almost like we forget the US invasion of 1989 that literally moved in and bombed and just destroyed, set on fire entire neighborhoods, killing thousands of people, US Marines. And it’s almost like, “Oh yeah, that’s just something of the past.”

So I’m really excited to dive into the legacy of all that in Panama today and what that looks like today. And then of course, walking back to the far history to tell the story of the Panama Canal and tell the story of Simón Bolívar Congress in order to juxtapose this with Monroe. My plan is to have all this done with the Panama stuff and have the Panama introduction to this out in early December for the exact date of the 200th anniversary of Monroe. We’ll see. But there’s so much to tell. There are so much stories of the past, and so much of the past still lingers in the present. Those ghosts still exist. And that’s my goal in this podcast, is to find them and to tell those stories.

Maximillian Alvarez:

That is the great Mike Fox. Mike is a longtime radio reporter, editor and journalist who has spent the better part of the last 20 years based in Latin America. Mike is the former Editor of the NACLA Report on the Americas, the former Director of Video Production at teleSUR English, and a former member of the steering committee of the Daily Radio News Show, FSRN. Last year in collaboration with The Real News and NACLA, Mike reported and produced the highly successful Investigative podcast series Brazil on Fire, which was about Brazil’s dissent towards authoritarianism under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Mike is currently working on a new, major, multi-part narrative podcast series for The Real News and in collaboration with NACLA called Under the Shadow. We could not be more excited about this podcast series, but as we mentioned earlier, we need y’all’s help to make it happen and to do it right. Please, one more time, I just wanted to encourage folks to find the link to the Kickstarter that we are launching to help raise additional funds for this project. You can find the link to that in the show notes for this episode. Thank you all so much for contributing. And Mike, thank you so much for joining me today on The Real News Podcast, man, and thank you for doing the work that you do.

Mike Fox:

Thanks so much, Max. Always a pleasure.

Maximillian Alvarez:

For everyone listening, this is Maximillian Alvarez. Before you go, please head on over to TheRealNews.com/support. Become a supporter of our work so we can keep bringing y’all important coverage and conversations just like this. Thank you so much for listening.

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