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Rick Mercier

For Rick Mercier's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary / World May 14, 2002

Time for U.S. to scrap Cuba embargo

FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia -- In his travels around Cuba this week former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will meet a friendly, resilient people who have bravely withstood the stupidity and cruelty that have emanated from both sides of the Straits of Florida. For more than 40 years, ...

Commentary / World Jul 8, 2001

U.S. stays silent on its own 'dirty wars'

Carlos Mauricio and Martin Almada can only marvel at the self-righteousness with which the United States has insisted on punishment for former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The two former political prisoners -- both survivors of torture at the hands of U.S.-backed thugs -- know all ...

Commentary / World Apr 25, 2001

Riding roughshod over planet and people

While many of us were celebrating Earth Day on Sunday, environmental activists Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera spent another day in a Mexican jail. Soldiers arrested the pair in May 1999 and, says Amnesty International, tortured them until they confessed to guerrilla ties. Amnesty ...

Commentary / World Mar 18, 2001

'Zapatour' gives hope to Mexico's poor

Seven years after stunning the world, the leaders of the Zapatista rebels have come out of hiding in the Lacandon jungle and traveled to the concrete jungle of Mexico City to promote indigenous rights and work toward a just and peaceful resolution to the ...

Commentary / World Jan 27, 2001

GOP keeps its faith in the Confederacy

President George W. Bush's nominee for attorney general, John Ashcroft, must wonder why he's gotten so much heat for comments he made about the Confederacy. After all, in the ultra-conservative circles he frequents, there's nothing taboo about his unreconstructed opinions -- even his likely ...

Commentary / World Nov 17, 2000

Deadly defoliant continues to take a toll

BOSTON -- U.S. President Bill Clinton's historic visit to Vietnam this week conjures up troubling memories from the past, but it also draws attention to a Vietnam War-related public-health disaster that continues to plague both Vietnamese and Americans: Agent Orange contamination. Vietnamese researchers claim that ...

Commentary / World May 14, 2000

Myanmar's Karens fight for freedom

MAE SOT, Thailand -- Theirs is the longest-running insurgency in Asia, against a regime widely recognized as one of the world's most repressive. And yet the Karen National Union, which launched a guerrilla war in 1949 to secure a homeland for the Karen ethnic ...

Commentary / World Mar 24, 2000

Election aftershocks rocking Taiwan

TAIPEI -- Taiwan continues to feel the aftershocks of the political earthquake that hit last Saturday, when Democratic Progressive Party leader Chen Shui-bian's presidential victory rocked the foundations of party politics on an island that has been ruled by the same party for more ...