xer-files
Friday, May 20, 2005
  Holidays in the Danger Zone: America Was Here
This month to you too through BBC-World:

From the Vietnam War to the invasion of Panama, America's actions abroad have had a major impact across the globe. For many the U.S. has become a figure of hate – but why?
Ben Anderson takes another 'Holiday in the Danger Zone' in the footprints of American soldiers and politicians to find answers and perhaps a curtain-raiser to the challenges faced today, in America Was Here.

Vietnam
Saturday 4 June @ 14:10 GMT
The Americans may no longer be fighting the communists in South East Asia, but the mark they left there is indelible. Ben Anderson travels to Vietnam, where he meets the “Amerasians” – abandoned children of GI’s and Vietnamese women. He also witnesses backyard crocodile farming, meets would-be capitalists and hears from a third generation suffering the effects of Agent Orange.

Cambodia
Saturday 11 June @ 14:10 GMT
Cambodia will always be synonymous with Pol Pot and the Killing Fields. Ben Anderson discovers that the country is still ravaged by the effects of war and genocide. Law and order is failing and not a single Khmer Rouge leader has been brought to justice.

Nicaragua and Honduras
Saturday 18 June @ 14:10 GMT
The successful left-wing coup in Nicaragua that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerillas to power led to the US sponsoring anti-Sandinista contra-guerrillas throughout much of the 80s. Ben Anderson now finds a democratic Nicaragua where coffee exports are worth millions, but farmers are starving while millions of dollars of cocaine are washed up on the coastline every week. Nobody remembers General Noriega anymore. Why did the U.S. invade to get one man? Honduras was Reagan's base for the Contra war, a C.I.A. funded insurgency that led to the Iraq-Contra scandal. Today the country's trying to crush the street gangs, most of them deportees from the U.S.. Even a tattoo can land you in jail for years.

El Salvador and Panama
Saturday 25 June @ 14:10 GMT
A gun-carrying ex-gang leader from Los Angeles is reporter Ben Anderson’s guide through the Central American country of El Salvador which is riven by gang warfare. The war ended over a decade ago and he meets both right-wingers and leftist guerrillas to hear what peace has brought to the country. When he visits the resort island of Panama, chemical weapons await him. Whose are they?
 
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