A brief history of America’s imperialist involvement in South America. Pt. 1

Justin Higginbotham

December 14, 2020

For over a century the United States has forced itself into the regimes and elections of South American countries. The continent has proven to be a target of the United Stated for its vast natural resources and the tendency for its countries to attempt to nationalize them. Nearly every country in South America has had the United States meddle in its affairs. It would be impossible to tell the full story of the United States imperialism in South America, but it is important to break one’s perception of their own nation in order to begin to understand its history.


In Guatemala in 1944, the pro-worker and anti-colonialist Leftist President Jacobo Arbenz was democratically elected only to soon be overthrown in a US-funded and supported Coup. This followed decades of revolt and resistance from the workers and peasants against the capitalist and landowning class. This included what is now known as Chiquita Brands International, who would use coercion and violence against their workers. The coup led to the US installment of the far-right authoritarian leader Carlos Castillo Armas who had led 480 trained US CIA operatives to depose the former President Arbenz. Armas’ government killed thousands, crushing unions, silencing the press, hunting communists, and rolling back popular leftist policies. Armas was eventually assassinated by a member of his own presidential guard who had come to sympathize with the Guatemalan leftist movement after witnessing the atrocities caused by Armas first hand. Sadly, the destruction caused by Armas continued after his death, the nation spiraling into continuous chaos and civil war.


In 1957, the Duvalier dynasty began, a far-right dictatorship supported by multiple US presidents, including President Ronald Reagan, for their strong anti-communist sentiment. In 1985, a rebellion against the authoritarian regime was staged, and President Jean-Claude Duvalier who had lost even the support of the US was deposed and fled to France on an Air Force One flight. This led to the democratic election of Leftist President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was then s deposed in a military coup only eight months after his election. It is widely suspected that the US had a strong role in the deposition of President Aristide since the coup’s leaders received military training in the United States.


In 1970, President Salvador Allende, the first Marxist president elected in a liberal democracy in Latin America, assumed power. The results of the election were met with an economic war declaration by President Richard Nixon, causing Chile’s economy to suffer. On September 11th, 1973, with the country in disarray, a military-led coup with backing and support from the CIA was staged against the democratically elected President Allende. As La Moneda is surrounded, In Allende’s speech archived by Marxists.org titled “Last Words to The Nation” Allende gives one last speech declaringWorkers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again and free men will walk through them to construct a better society.” Soon after his speech, he proves his vow “I will pay for the loyalty of the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seeds which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever.” to be an honest one. Following his death was the rise of Augusto Pinochet, a far-right neoliberal fascist dictator who would rule Chile for decades. Under Pinochet’s regime, opposing political parties were systematically persecuted and freedom of speech was suppressed, resulting in 3,000 dead, tens of thousands tortured, and 200,000 exiled. Eventually, in 1990, democracy in Chile was restored with Pinochet’s resignation.


In 1973, the US-backed and supported a military coup against the democratically elected president, making the new President Juan Maria Bordaberry the dictator of Uruguay. Under his reign, Unions and political enemies were murdered and imprisoned, bringing criticism and attention from human rights organizations worldwide. Uruguay eventually restored its democracy through the 1984 Uruguayan general election. 

Over a century of US involvement in Latin America, and it still has not ended. As America continues to force itself into the affairs of other nations, its consequences inevitably will shine through. These are barely a handful of the vast number of Latin American countries that have been meddled with by the US, and those countries still represent only a fraction of the nations worldwide that the US has tampered with.  It is imperative that we as Americans educate ourselves on the actions of our government and its consequences.

Riding the Wave in Malibu

By: Sophia Pilot

December 14, 2020

School sports canceled, gyms closed, and equipment on backorder…what do we do now? This was a question that many Malibu students were asking in 2020 and were met with never-ending restrictions from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with Los Angeles county’s public health guidelines. With health becoming the priority, stay at home orders and restrictions following the outbreak of COVID-19 required people to find new, innovative ways to exercise. 

Upon transitioning to virtual school in March of 2020, the cancellation of school sports was inevitable. LA County was severely hit by the pandemic, and as the number of cases increased, holding sporting events was determined to be unsafe. The increased potential for spreading the virus among teammates meant that practices were also canceled. 

To those who frequent gyms, at-home workouts were quite the adjustment as they turned to live streams, YouTube videos, and Zoom workouts. The demand for at-home gym equipment increased as people wanted to translate the atmosphere of the gym to their house. Once the novelty of at-home workouts wore off, students were eager to get back on the field or court with their teammates. 

Working to make that happen while adhering to the CDC’s guidelines is MHS athletic director, Chris Neier. He explains how voluntary workouts are being conducted, “student-athletes are wearing masks at all times, keeping 8 feet from each other when working out (6 feet otherwise), and all workouts are outside.” Most of the boys’ and girls’ winter sports have resumed voluntary practice at Malibu High School. As for the rest of the sports, Mr. Neier assured us that the existing facilities will accommodate 13 different sports postponed to the new year. All the schools in the Citrus Coast league have different restrictions for practicing depending on their country, but they aren’t competing. The start dates are tentative as the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is monitoring the spread of the coronavirus. Thus, playoffs, regionals, and state championship dates are postponed until further notice. 

Both students and staff are eager to resume play. Neier wanted to send a message to the student-athletes, “First off I miss all of you! I miss Braedin Taylor tackling, Sydney Morrison’s left foot, Liam Moore’s spikes, Alex Sudmann sprinting, and Diego Franco’s passing…to name just a few. I love watching all of the student-athletes participating in games and practices. I also really miss the camaraderie that sports brings to our campus. I am hopeful we will get to play games this season!” Students can stay in shape at home knowing there’s a possibility they will return to the field or court in 2021.

Are Hallmark Movies Whitewashed?

By: Colin Murphy

December 15, 2020

Hallmark movies are famously known for their movie posters that feature white, heterosexual couples surrounded by beautiful landscapes and Christmas lights. Not only are these movies ridiculously silly and over-the-top festive, but they represent more than just what is seen in these films. These Hallmark movies represent a culture that is unwilling to change throughout societal pushes for diversity. In recent years, the Hallmark Channel has received a lot of negative pushback for their lack of diversity. 

In 2019, Hallmark released a record number of 24 Hallmark Christmas movies. Only four of which featured a black lead character. Some people complained that it was less than Hallmark’s 2018 movie’s  five out of 21 black lead characters, but that completely misses the point. This type of debate should not come down to a percentage difference, 24% in 2018 and only 16% in 2019. That statistic completely fails to show their lack of diversity in religion and sexuality. Streaming service Netflix and cable channel Freeform both show diversity in their holiday films. Freeform does not produce nearly the same amount of Christmas films as the Hallmark Channel does, yet they still have made steps to further diversify the stories that they do feature. 

In 2019, the channel released “Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas” and “Same time, Next Christmas”. Both of these featured films have leads of color in addition to other cast members who are people of color. Clearly, Freeform has put in their effort to further diversify their films and has increased their stories that are representative of their viewership. This use of teen romance and animation does a great job of expanding the scope of the holidays. Netflix’s lineup attempts to break molds and they succeed at showing more than just another happy couple. Their attempts are much more than what we’ve seen from Hallmark. 

Although the first Hallmark Christmas movie was only released in 2002, the “Countdown to Christmas” block was not released until 2010. Since then, the Hallmark Channel has released hundreds of holiday films. All of these films feature the seemingly familiar yet safe storylines over and over again, each with their own slight twists. 

Why are these movies that just repeat the same storyline each and every year with little to no diversity still so popular? Well, Hallmark movies are notably profanity free and steer clear of any sexual scenes or significant drama. It’s believed that these factors have a strong impact on Hallmarks viewership as their movies are watched during the holiday season when families are more likely to gather around the television together.  By avoiding significant drama, the Hallmark Channel believes they are trying their best to be as noncontroversial as possible. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter  Crown Media family Networks’ CEO Bill Abbott said, “In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential.” Abbott continues on to say that with all the work that goes into reviewing scripts, and with the network releasing several dozen original titles a year, there just is not enough time to spend emphasizing diverse casting. 

Ultimately, the Hallmark Channel seems to be content with their movies released each year as they mean no harm with their little to no diversity in their films. 

Distance Learning From a Student’s Perspective

By Liam Moore

October 5, 2020

As we all know, school has been online because of the pandemic. Last year, students were able to experience online learning, most likely for the first time. Last year’s online learning was a struggle for both students and teachers because of AP tests and no real prior experience with online learning.

    However, this year, both students and teachers are more experienced with distance learning, but has that affected the difficulty of learning in general? Personally, and I feel I can say this for the majority of students, online learning is not comparable to being in an actual classroom. For me, I feel that I get distracted easier and it’s harder to learn when I stare at a screen all day. When the teacher’s voice and lesson is all on a screen, it feels like I’m watching a less structured Khan Academy video for an hour.

   Teachers have it equally as hard because they too are experiencing online learning for the first time and it’s hard to balance the amount of work they give us. It’s harder and takes longer for teachers to communicate with each other and balance the workloads from different classes.

    Even though the days are two hours shorter than what we would normally have, I feel like I have even more homework. Anyone who takes AP Chemistry knows about the lengthy homework load which is overwhelming for just one class; add five other classes and it feels like there’s no escape from the homework.

    I think part of the reason why homework takes so long is because everything is always on a screen. When I try to do homework after five hours on Zoom, my eyes feel like they’ve been in a chlorinated pool for too long and staring at a screen all the time feels more draining than being in a class. Even though I get more sleep now, compared to during normal school, I still feel equally as tired and more unmotivated to do schoolwork.

    I don’t only speak for myself but for many others as well. Senior Ava Arlidge says “Being on a screen for four plus hours for school and then four plus more hours for homework gives me headaches.”

   Junior Buddy Mulder says “I don’t like the new zoom schedule and I want to go back to normal school.”

    However, there are positives to the distance learning schedule. Arlidge said, “I like that the days are shorter and it’s nice not being in the same class everyday”. Similarly, Mulder said that “Waking up later is nice,” which is definitely one of the biggest upsides to distance learning for me. Also, the alternating classes each day makes it easier to do homework for different classes. For example, having periods one, three, and five on a Monday means that the homework for those classes are due on Wednesday rather than Tuesday.

    In my opinion, distance learning is not comparable to in-person learning. Learning from a screen makes it harder to learn and it can be a literal pain. However, distance learning has allowed for more sleep and the school days are shorter. Hopefully, normal school is able to return as soon as possible.