north america https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/2550/all cached version 15/06/2018 06:17:53 en Trump’s folly with Iran means Europe must show what it stands for https://www.opendemocracy.net/mary-fitzgerald/trump-s-folly-with-iran-means-europe-must-show-what-it-stands-for <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A collapse of the Iran nuclear agreement could spark catastrophic, global conflict. Time for Europeans to close the gap between words and action.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/564976/PA-36391214_460.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/564976/PA-36391214_460.jpg" alt="United States President Donald J. Trump makes a statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran " title="" width="460" height="342" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>"Criminal folly with global implications" Image: Martin H. Simon/CNP/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p> <p>In 2003, as United States troops arrived “at the gates of Baghdad”, openDemocracy’s prescient columnist Paul Rogers <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/conflict/article_1127.jsp">predicted a 30 years’ war</a>. He warned that “the US’s current global ambitions guarantee bitter and prolonged conflict in the Middle East and beyond”. Along with Rogers, the late Fred Halliday&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/globalization/again_3267.jsp">emphasised that Iran</a> was bound to be the strategic victor of the United States’ conquest of Iraq. </p> <p class="mag-quote-right">For Trump to abandon rather than build on the deal is a criminal folly with global implications</p> <p>At least our writers expected the war to be fought and ended in the Middle East. President Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision, announced yesterday, to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal makes their predictions not nearly pessimistic enough. Trump means the opposite of what he says: he claims he is blocking an Iranian road to war, but in fact he and his allies in Israel are sparking a new, potentially global, round of conflict. </p> <p>Using remote-control murder by drone as his shield, President Barack Obama attempted to limit the United States’ Iraq defeat and to rebuild the global alliance that had supported his country when it invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Obama’s expansion of drone warfare to achieve this end was a cynical calculation. It had devastating consequences for some of the world’s most powerless people and has set a dangerous precedent. But Obama had one outstanding success: the 2015 Iran deal. Washington brought Russia, China and the European Union together to oblige Iran to relinquish its nuclear weapons programme, in an unprecedented, practical and enforced worldwide agreement. </p> <p>For Trump to abandon rather than build on the deal is a criminal folly with global implications. The least of it is that the United States will be seen in the Middle East as a patsy for Israeli-inspired regime change and inhumane expansion into Palestinian territories. Washington is already becoming increasingly isolated in this respect: this is what lies behind the vow of its United Nations ambassador, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/20/politics/nikki-haley-taking-names-on-jerusalem/index.html">Nikki Haley, to “take names”</a> of countries that vote in favour of a motion criticising the United States’ decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. </p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 6pt;">Provoking China</h2> <p>But beyond the Middle East the situation is graver still. Last week the United States demanded <a href="http://xqdoc.imedao.com/16329fa0c8b2da913fc9058b.pdf">a new trade relationship</a> with China. The provocation is vividly summarised by Martin Wolf in the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/dd2af6b0-4fc1-11e8-9471-a083af05aea7"><em>Financial Times</em></a>, who concludes, “No great sovereign power could accept such a humiliation. For China, it would be a modern version of the ‘unequal treaties’ of the 19th century.” </p> <p>As if an all-out trade war with Beijing were not enough, Trump has announced there will be far-reaching sanctions on those who continue to do business with Iran. The European Union has vowed a “united approach” in opposition to this, and Germany, France and Britain have issued a statement <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/08/europe-denounces-trumps-us-withdrawal-from-iran-nuclear-deal?CMP=twt_gu">reaffirming their commitment to the Iran deal</a>, which they see as essential to preventing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. A destruction of the international economic system, even without the likely economic crash, could follow from a stand-off between the United States, China and the European Union as oil prices rise. That’s before an open conflict across the Middle East that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to relish. If those already fighting the proxy war that has devastated Syria attack each other directly, it could close the Straits of Hormuz, throttling the world supply of oil whatever the price.</p> <p class="mag-quote-left">The president will have consulted with Rupert Murdoch before making his final call</p> <p>When Trump amplified his rhetoric against North Korea he prevailed on China to force it to the negotiating table. No such way out seems likely now with respect to Iran. His folly is possibly unsurpassed by any previous United States president. <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/mehrdad-khonsari/europe-must-honour-its-commitments-and-protect-nuclear-deal">Mehrdad Konsari, a former Iranian diplomat</a>, writing for openDemocracy’s <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia">North Africa West Asia project</a> just a few days ago, noted the irony of “the rise of ‘Iran Hawks’ in the US… when ideological radicals are but a minority in Iran’s ruling establishment with very little public support”. Trump’s threats to renege on the deal have been, he added, a “god-sent gift for reviving the fortunes of Iranian hard-liners”.</p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 6pt;">Dreamers of the left</h2><p>The results will be felt far beyond Iran. Every act of unilateral, international aggression, such as the one the United States has just perpetrated, has immense domestic consequences. This is something the Trump team perhaps understands well, and the president will have consulted with Rupert Murdoch and other United States oligarchs skilled at public manipulation before making his final call. With few exceptions, across the United States and Britain, the democratic and liberal centre and left have been largely paralysed since the surprise of Brexit and the election of Trump, hoping that these horrors will somehow be foiled by impeachment or a parliamentary vote, as if they are nightmares from which their countries can awake if they try hard enough. In fact, it is the opponents of Trump and Brexit who have been dreaming rather than getting to grips with reality, as the political philosopher <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/michael-j-sandel/populism-trump-and-future-of-democracy">Michael Sandel has argued</a> in a powerful lecture which we are publishing today. </p> <p>As Trump demonstrates, the hard right prefers to up the stakes rather than embrace a more moderate approach, which the president’s allies and some advisors pressed him towards. This means we have to prepare ourselves for worse to come. The first popular test will be the upcoming midterm elections in the United States, when voters might well drum out Republican candidates. But international confrontation is always used to rally people to the flag and legitimate the suppression of opposition. Trump will bring the war home. </p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 6pt;">What Europe can do</h2> <p>And yet Trump’s leap into the unknown provides an opportunity for the divided continent of Europe to find common ground and to play a constructive role in the world. Progressive democrats in Europe are mired in problems on their own doorstep: Brexit is less of a threat than Hungary’s slide into xenophobic autocracy (read Anthony Barnett’s <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/anthony-barnett/orb-n-get-lost-to-tulipy-cunt-hungary-threatens-european-union-photo-essay-from-buda">recent dispatch from Budapest</a>), historic victories for the far right in Austria, and Poland’s rapid de-democratisation, all swelled by a surge in anti-immigrant and racist propaganda. There is certainly a risk, compounded by Brexit, that Britain will buckle on the Iran deal in an attempt to curry favour with the Trump regime; the free-trade-at-all-cost, buccaneering Atlanticists who hold sway over the weak government of Prime Minister Theresa May will push in that direction.</p> <p class="mag-quote-right">Remember, too, the hypocrisy on view in dealings with Saudi Arabia</p> <p>However, Britain is still scarred by its last experience of following a United States president who promised a crusade of good against evil; the French president, Emmanuel Macron, despite warm personal relations with Trump, has described the United States’ <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/25/macron-goes-against-trump-on-paris-climate-deal-and-iran-nuclear-accord">flip-flopping on international agreements as “insane”</a>; and the continued commitment of Russia and China to the Iran deal offers European leaders an opportunity to follow a different path, both in style and substance. </p><p>It will require bravery and vision, given the United States’ economic muscle. Europe badly needs to reassert a shared narrative, but the gap between the words and actions of Europe’s so-called leaders can be wide indeed: witness their anodyne press releases about ‘shared values’, while cutting cynical deals with Turkey in order to keep out the migrant “swarms” – to use the racist language of a former British prime minister, David Cameron. Remember, too, the hypocrisy on view – particularly from Britain – in dealings with Saudi Arabia, another regime which exports regional chaos and abuses citizens at home. It was remarkable that the British press seemed to swallow and parrot wholesale the official narrative of last year’s Saudi ‘anti-corruption’ purge by the new ‘reforming’ Crown Prince, as if allowing women to drive could counterbalance the direction of a brutal war in Yemen and countless other human rights outrages.</p> <p>But standing up to Trump, a bully who represents the very antithesis of what it <i>should </i>mean to be European right now, might just help to start closing the gap between words and action in Europe. An epochal fight for democracy, liberty and human rights for all, of every race, gender and religion, is under way. It is time for all who can to stand together, demonstrating the wisdom, solidarity and imagination that Trump’s toxic, polarising project lacks. There is no margin for error.</p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Can Europe make it? Conflict International politics north america europe american power & the world Mary Fitzgerald Wed, 09 May 2018 10:59:48 +0000 Mary Fitzgerald 117766 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The ‘mafia principle’ and godfather Trump https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/amir-ahmadi-arian/mafia-principle-and-godfather-trump <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Donald Trump is not an aberration. He is the extreme manifestation of an existing foreign policy doctrine - the ‘mafia principle’ – and he is determined to release the whole potential of its violent core.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-30446788.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-30446788.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="325" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>U.S. President Donald Trump. Picture by Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>In his first few weeks in office, Donald Trump issued executive orders the way he has been sending out tweets. For a reason: being an active user for years, he has learned from it how to distract. He knows that the best way to cover up a provocative tweet is to issue a dozen more irritating, more brazen, more insane tweets, and people forget about the first one. We all have been with him on this rollercoaster dashing down to the bottom of the abyss, and the speed is such that we hardly get to pause and look around. Sometimes, however, the formula fails, and Trump’s move is so disturbing that people can’t move on. The first travel ban, issued on January 27, was that kind of moment. </p><p>The new travel ban came out in March 6, seemingly better articulated and fixed. However, fundamental questions are still in place, and the removal of Iraq from the order, while bringing deserved relief to Iraqi travelers, throws up new ambiguities. Now that the order is ‘updated’, it is timely to take a look at it again, in order to, in Donald Trump’s eloquent words the first time he raised the ban on Muslims, ‘figure out what the hell is going on.’</p> <h3>Behind the selection </h3><p>While signing the first order, Trump mentioned the lessons he learned from 9/11 and pentagon, omitting the fact that the ban initially included Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, and none of the hijackers on that day were from those countries. In an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkHa2-c_8Pk">interview</a> with David Muir on ABC, he added San Bernardino on the list, carried out by a Chicago born man radicalized in Saudi Arabia, which is not on Trump’s list. Unsurprisingly, Muir let him off the hook without pressing for a less absurd answer. </p> <p class="mag-quote-left">The Trump administration has demonstrated mind-blowing imperviousness to facts</p><p>The Trump administration has demonstrated mind-blowing imperviousness to facts, but dismissing facts don’t make them go away. We know that the post-9/11 terror attacks motivated by radical Islamism were mostly carried out by either American born radicalized young men, or immigrants from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. In none of the major <a href="http://www.dailywire.com/news/11410/complete-list-radical-islamic-terror-attacks-us-james-barrett">attacks</a> on American soil since the 1970s (San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Boston, etc), was a single citizen of the banned countries involved. </p> <p>Why singling out the countries that have caused no harm? The simplest explanation is that Trump put the ban on countries where he has no business <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/">ties</a>. That perfectly fits his character, and his idea of presidency as, among other things, a means to protect and boost his brand. But still, there are 50 Muslim majority countries in the world, and Trump has business only in a few of them.</p> <p>Donald Trump is so off the known spectrum that many tend to look at him as an aberration, an exception to an otherwise consistent, sensible foreign policy. However, we understand this chaos better if, all his shenanigans notwithstanding, we look at him in the context of the US foreign policy as a whole. Without that perspective, we may well put all emerging controversial policies down to his chaotic style of governance, and miss the chance of understanding it for what it is. After all, those seven countries were first selected by Obama as ‘<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/how-the-trump-administration-chose-the-7-countries/">countries of concern</a>’. The continuity is stronger than it seems. </p> <h3>The mafia principle </h3><p>One place to go for making sense of this executive order is a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Mafia-Principle-Global-Hegemony-Activism/dp/B00FGVS4Q0">book</a> Noam Chomsky published in 2010, where he proposed the notion of ‘mafia principle’ in US foreign policy. </p> <p class="mag-quote-right">Like any other mafia organization, nothing riles up the godfather more than defiance</p><p>The idea is rather simple: like any other mafia organization, nothing riles up the godfather more than defiance. Apart from hurting his ego, successful defiance might be noticed by other discontented parties, and embolden them into action. So when someone defies in that world, the godfather does not suffice to put them down. He tries to make a lesson out of them, so that, as Iranians say, others keep their swords in the sheath. The history of US invasions comes down to this mentality: Japan, Vietnam, Iraq, all were punished, not because any of them posed a threat to US national security, but for their stubborn disobedience. </p> <p>As to the travel ban, if one thing holds the banned countries together, it is their defiance to the US hegemony in the world in different periods: Islamic republic in Iran, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Assad family in Syria, Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, Yemen after Houthi resurgence. Some of them have already been severely punished: the US army decimated Iraq and turned Libya into a failed state, Sudan and Iran have suffered the most brutal economic sanctions in history. They have little else in common, and none has ever been a direct national security threat to America. </p> <p>The leniency towards Iraq in the updated version should be understood in this context: fighting ISIS as reason for the exemption makes no sense, because in that case Iran would have been off the list too. What distinguishes Iraq is the way the Iraqi government negotiated over the ban: first, Iraqi prime minister Haidar Al-Abadi in a <a href="http://www.iraqiembassy.us/in-the-news/prime-minister-dr-haider-al-abadi-receives-a-telephone-call-from-us-president-donald">phone call</a> ensured Trump that his country remains neutral in regional conflicts, and then Iraq agreed to hand over private information of its citizens to the US for <a href="https://www.rt.com/usa/379617-trump-executive-order-travel-ban/">background check</a>. In other words, one of the rebels in the mafia world comes around and makes up with the godfather. Exemption from punishment is his reward. </p> <h3>Capone-style sentimentality </h3><p>American governments, democrats and republicans alike, have displayed a discernible style of breaking defiance: a strange mix of massive brutality at start, and ensuing sentimentality, poured lavishly on villains when they are on their knees. Take Japan and Vietnam: when the godfather makes sure that the villain is devastated, he comes over, give the defeated a pat on the back, helps them up, and calls them allies. No wonder that, of all candidates, Al Capone grew to become the mythical figure of American mafia: a man at ease with murdering everyone he deemed enemy, while eager to help out the families of the victims and contribute to charities. </p> <p class="mag-quote-left">Now the American voters have elected the closest thing to an actual mafia godfather into office</p><p>Now the American voters have elected the closest thing to an actual mafia godfather into office: a brutal billionaire with a checkered past who, to mention only one attribute he shares with a mafia godfather, hides his tax record in his vault. He seems like a gangster boss straight out of a Martin Scorsese film: vulgar, ruthless, dishonest, thin-skinned. He has already shown incredible penchant for revenge, and huge eagerness for mafia-style retaliation. </p> <p>In that context, Donald Trump is not an aberration. He is the extreme manifestation of an existing foreign policy doctrine - ‘mafia principle’ – and he is determined to release the whole potential of its violent core. The ban is only the beginning: the new godfather on the block will go out of his way to crack down on all forms of defiance, domestically or internationally.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/halim-shebaya/trump-and-islamophobia-discrimination-fuels-terror">Trump and Islamophobia: discrimination fuels terror</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mishana-hosseinioun/original-sin-of-us-foreign-policy-in-middle-east">The original sin of US foreign policy in the Middle East</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/ragnar-weilandt/is-trump-repeating-bush-s-worst-mistakes"> Is Trump repeating Bush’s worst mistakes?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia United States north america middle east Iraq Trump Muslim Ban Amir Ahmadi Arian Fri, 10 Mar 2017 09:45:12 +0000 Amir Ahmadi Arian 109291 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The cold heart of ICE https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/cold-heart-of-ice <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is arresting immigrants in a number of US states. The agency insists that it is only targeting dangerous criminals, but many have no criminal records.&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/el-coraz-n-helado-de-la-polic-de-inmigraci-n-en-estados-unidos">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-30156080.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-30156080.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>A demonstration was held on February 16th, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Varick Street Federal Building) in New York City. Erik McGregor SIPA USA/PA Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p class="blockquote-new"><em>We’re going to deal with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)</em> <em>with heart.</em></p> <p class="blockquote-new">-- President Donald Trump at a press conference on February 16, 2017.</p> <p>The future of a North Carolina nursing student rested in the hands of immigration officials on Valentine’s Day. It’s hard to believe anyone could turn away the gentle and sincere 25-year-old, who embraces each of his supporters with an extended hug and a big smile. But he was there expecting to be deported.</p> <p>Felipe Molina Mendoza travelled from Durham to Charlotte, NC, this morning, prepared for what he thought would be his last moments as a free man in the United States. Brought to the US when he was 8, Felipe attended middle and high school in Durham. He felt compelled to return to a barely known Mexico upon graduation, when he, a straight-A student, could not continue his education because he was not a legal resident of the United States.</p> <p>Unable to pass the subtle manoeuvres a young gay man in his new community must make, the American-bred-if-not-born teenager was subjected to taunts and assault and became seriously depressed. He was strip-searched and ridiculed by Mexican police for lodging a complaint after being threatened with gang rape. “Growing up here, I always thought the police would do something,” he explained last week in Durham. When his grandmother died after his first semester, he needed to come home.</p> <p>Turned back at the US border in 2013, Felipe tried again and petitioned for asylum in 2014. He was further traumatized by a stay in the infamous “ice box” and a harrowing time in a privately-run immigration detention center. “They put chains on my hands and feet just to take me to court,” he said, his voice breaking as he relived the experience. But he passed his “credible fear” interviews and was allowed to return to Durham and his family after they raised a $7,500 bond and an American citizen, now his boyfriend, came forward to sign as his sponsor. Felipe began to study for a career in nursing and has been working in a Chapel Hill restaurant to pay for it, his hard-won work permit in hand.</p> <p>“The only thing I’ve done is try to be a good citizen and a good student and make a life for myself… It’s not true what they say on TV, that they only want to deport people with criminal records. My work permit runs to November next year.”</p> <p>Agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aka ICE, the US government’s immigration police, were out in force in a number of states on Thursday morning, February 10, 2017.&nbsp; According to ICE’s own confirmation, 160 immigrants were arrested in Southern California, 200 in Georgia and the Carolinas, with ICE admitting to 680 apprehensions nationwide. The agency insists that it is only targeting dangerous criminals and avoiding sensitive locations with children, but numerous community reports show that its agents are using racial profiling, making arbitrary stops of construction vans, and casing work sites and, in at least two cases, elementary schools. The raids, not unlike the ones that wracked the immigrant community under the Obama administration last year, took place in or near the perceived sanctuary cities of Charlotte, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Seattle and Atlanta.</p> <p>Many of the people being arrested by ICE have no criminal records. A salient aspect of their stories is how many were in the process of residency or asylum petitions, such as Daniel Ramírez Medina, a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient in Washington State. In other words, despite the government’s insistence that it is arresting only the worst of criminals, it is apparent that ICE is abusing the list of immigrants who are “waiting in line” and “playing by the rules”.</p> <p>ICE contends that Daniel is a gang member, which he denies, based on a tattoo they say he sports that reads “La Paz BCS”. La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is the city in Mexico where Daniel was born. If he indeed were in a gang, however, he would be an American-made member, since he came to the US when he was 7. He has never been a suspect or accused of any crime.</p> <p>In its executive order prioritizing criminals for deportation, the Trump administration has effectively re-categorized misdemeanours such as traffic violations and working and paying taxes without or with a false social security number as felonies for undocumented immigrants, and gives ICE agents the authority to arrest immigrants they suspect could be a criminal or, “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”</p> <p>People like Felipe, who have made more than one attempt to rejoin loved ones in the US, are called repeat immigration offenders, even if they are later found to have a credible claim. When the police racially profile drivers, the number of tickets, DWL’s (driving without a license) and DUI’s (driving under the influence) become higher for Latinos and people of color. When local attempts to provide driver’s licenses to the poor and undocumented are banned, driving without a license may be the only alternative to get to a job, take care of children or in an emergency. Driving violations are misdemeanours, if you’re leaving a party at Mar-a-Lago – but not if you’re an immigrant.</p> <p>Nestor Ávila Miranda had a prior DUI. Like Felipe, he was brought to the US when he was only 8 years old. The star athlete and Appalachian State graduate is now in Stewart Detention Center, in a makeshift hospital bed because the driver of the ICE van he shared with other arrested immigrants collided after engaging in a road rage race with another vehicle. His right foot is swollen and, because of lack of care, a bone infection has set in and it may have to be amputated. DACA and now U-visa eligible, he remains incarcerated.</p> <p>Natalia Quintana-Rondón, a 46 year old mother, had just married a US citizen a week before her arrest on February 1. She and her new husband were in the process of adjusting her status when the car she was driving was pulled over in a traffic stop in Fort Mills, SC, outside of Charlotte, NC. Her daughter was present and attempted to reason with officers until Natalia’s husband could arrive with proof of his ownership of the car. Natalia, who speaks little English, was driving with a Venezuelan license, and is now awaiting transfer to an ICE detention center in Georgia. Her family is hoping that she will be released on bond.</p> <p>It was the Obama administration that started this epidemic of arrests, beginning with an operation specifically targeting Central American unaccompanied minors and women with small children who were seeking political asylum in the United States, especially over the summer of 2014. One of them, Ingrid Portillo Hernández, was learning English in the 11th grade in Durham. She had fled El Salvador after her father, a community activist, was assassinated during a period of increased violence in their home country. She was arrested walking to her new school in May, accompanied by two younger relatives, a little more than a month after she had turned 18. Ingrid was swiftly deported in September, despite the intercession of a U.S. Congressman from North Carolina, G.K. Butterfield, who has also interceded on behalf of Felipe and many others.</p> <p>As February’s round of raids is taking place, North Carolina’s House of Representatives passed the Citizens’ Protection Act, defining it as:</p> <p>“An act to reduce identity theft by increasing penalties for the possession, manufacture or sale of counterfeit documents; to create a rebuttable presumption against the pre-trial release of certain undocumented aliens; and to enact a penalty for cities and counties that violate state laws related to sanctuary cities.”</p> <p>Using another person’s social security number (SSN) to get a job and work would not only be a victimless crime, but also a benefit to the original owner in that another person is paying into their retirement. But usually, the “fake social” undocumented immigrants use is an Individual Tax-payer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is provided by the government for financial transactions, akin to an SSN except that it does not convey the right to work. Using an ITIN, undocumented immigrant employees pay taxes and Social Security but cannot claim tax deductions or reap benefits if they are injured on the job, become disabled or retire. In the recent past, ITIN’s were routinely converted into SSN’s upon approval for residency, and working on an ITIN was evidence of being a model immigrant at an immigration hearing.</p> <p>Arresting compliant, previously registered individuals is an easy way to boost ICE’s numbers. And people who have good cases are a windfall for private, for-profit detention center corporations GEO, based in Boca Raton, Florida, a half-hour’s drive from Mar-a-Lago, and CCA – which has “rebranded” its name to CoreCivic -- headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, The longer one’s case takes, the more money is to be made in their facilities, which detainees themselves maintain for a dollar a day. Families need to send money to pay the prison corporations’ extortionate prices for toiletries and phone calls.</p> <p>Felipe never had a DUI or committed any other infraction, he has only worked with permission, he should have been DACA-eligible, yet he has spent three years on the brink of deportation. His Valentine’s Day hearing ended in a reprieve, but only until March 5.</p> <p>This is Felipe’s page on Facebook, hosted by AlertaMigratoriaNC and Education Not Deportation:</p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/369839710061503/">https://www.facebook.com/events/369839710061503/</a></p> <p>And here is more information and a petition on behalf of Nestor:</p> <p>http://dreamactivist.org/petitions/nc/nestor/</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/mexican-president-is-adding-fuel-to-fire">Mexican President is adding fuel to the fire</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-keeps-on-deporting-central-american-teens-what-will-trump-do">Obama keeps on deporting Central American teens. What will Trump do?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/women-and-children-first-homeland-security-targets-family-units-for-">Women and children first: Homeland Security targets “family units” for deportation in May and June</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america mexico latin america Danica Jorden Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:37:40 +0000 Danica Jorden 109125 at https://www.opendemocracy.net El despiadado Servicio de Inmigración de los Estados Unidos https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/el-coraz-n-helado-de-la-polic-de-inmigraci-n-en-estados-unidos <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <P><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 13px; FONT-WEIGHT: normal">El Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE) está arrestando a inmigrantes en varios estados. Insisten en que se trata de criminales peligrosos, pero muchos carecen de antecedentes penales. </span><EM><STRONG><A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/cold-heart-of-ice">English</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <P><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-30156080_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-30156080_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Manifestación delante de la Agencia de Inmigración y Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE) en Nueva York. 16 de febrero de 2017. Erik McGregor SIPA USA/PA Images. Todos los derechos reservados. </span></span></span></p> <P><SPAN class="blockquote-new">Vamos a ocuparnos de DACA (Acción Diferida para los Llegados en Edad infantil) con el corazón. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;- Presidente Donald Trump en rueda de prensa, el 16 de febrero de 2017.</span></p> <P>El Día de San Valentín, el futuro de un estudiante de enfermería de Carolina del Norte estaba en manos de funcionarios de inmigración. Se hace difícil pensar que alguien pueda rechazar a este muchacho de 25 años, amable y sincero, que agradece el apoyo que le brinda cada uno de sus seguidores con un largo abrazo y una gran sonrisa. Pero allí estaba, esperando a ser deportado.</p> <P>Felipe Molina Mendoza había viajado esa misma mañana de Durham a Charlotte, Carolina del Norte, preparado para lo que él pensó que serían sus últimos momentos como hombre libre en los Estados Unidos. Llegado al país a los 8 años, Felipe asistió a la escuela media y secundaria en Durham. Tras graduarse, se vio obligado a regresar a un México que conocía apenas porque, a pesar de ser un estudiante con resultados sobresalientes, no podía continuar sus estudios al no ser residente legal en los Estados Unidos.</p> <P>Desconocedor de las maniobras sutiles que debe realizar un joven gay en México, el adolescente criado - aunque no nacido - en Estados Unidos fue objeto de insultos y agresiones y cayó en una depresión. Tras haber sido amenazado de violación en grupo, la policía mexicana le cacheó y escarneció por presentar una queja. "Habiéndome criado aquí, siempre pensé que la policía haría algo", explicaba la semana pasada en Durham. Tras su primer semestre en México, murió su abuela y necesitaba volver a casa.</p> <P>Rechazado en la frontera en 2013, Felipe volvió a intentarlo, solicitando asilo, en 2014. Quedó todavía más traumatizado por una estancia en la infame "<A href="https://www.google.es/search?q=hielera+migra&amp;ie=utf-8&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;client=firefox-b&amp;gfe_rd=cr&amp;ei=MJO2WLHUK4rBXq-Ok_gC">hielera</a>" y una experiencia horrible en un centro privado de detención de inmigrantes. "Me pusieron grilletes en las manos y los pies para llevarme al juzgado", explicaba, y se le quebraba la voz al relatar la experiencia. Pero logró superar sus entrevistas de “temor creíble” y se le permitió regresar a Durham con su familia después de que ésta consiguiera reunir el dinero para pagar una fianza de $ 7,500 y de que un ciudadano estadounidense - su novio - firmara como avalador. Felipe empezó entonces sus estudios de enfermería y, para costearlos, trabajaba en un restaurante de Chapel Hill, con su permiso de trabajo tan arduamente conseguido en mano.</p> <P>"Lo único que he hecho es tratar de ser un buen ciudadano y un buen estudiante e intentar labrarme un porvenir satisfactorio... No es cierto lo que dicen en la televisión, que sólo quieren deportar a las personas con antecedentes penales. Mi permiso de trabajo tienen vigencia hasta noviembre del año que viene.”</p> <P>Agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE), la policía de inmigración del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, entraron en acción en varios estados el jueves 10 de febrero de 2017. Según confirmó la propia ICE, 160 inmigrantes fueron arrestados en el sur de California y 200 en Georgia y las Carolinas, de un total de 680 en todo el país. La agencia insiste en que su único objetivo son los criminales peligrosos y que evitan intervenir en lugares frecuentados por niños, pero numerosos informes comunitarios indican que sus agentes están llevando a cabo prácticas de segregación racial, deteniendo arbitrariamente furgonetas e inspeccionando obras y, al menos en dos casos, también escuelas. Las incursiones, no muy distintas de las que asolaron las comunidades inmigrantes bajo el gobierno de Obama el año pasado, tuvieron lugar en o cerca de las ciudades santuario de Charlotte, Austin, Los Ángeles, Chicago, Nueva York, Seattle y Atlanta.</p> <P>Muchas de las personas que están siendo arrestadas por la ICE no tienen antecedentes penales. Un hecho a destacar es cuántos de ellos tenían en trámite solicitudes de residencia o de asilo, como por ejemplo Daniel Ramírez Medina, un receptor de DACA (Acción Diferida para los Llegados en Edad infantil) en el estado de Washington. En otras palabras: a pesar de la insistencia del gobierno en que se está deteniendo sólo a los peores criminales, es evidente que la ICE está haciendo un mal uso de la lista de inmigrantes que se encuentran "haciendo cola" y "siguiendo las reglas".</p> <P>La ICE sostiene que Daniel es miembro de una pandilla – hecho que él niega -, basándose en un tatuaje en el que puede leerse "La Paz BCS". La Paz, capital de la Baja California Sur, es la ciudad mexicana donde nació Daniel. Si fuera cierta su adscripción a una pandilla, sin embargo, se trataría en todo caso de un miembro estadounidense, ya que llegó a los Estados Unidos cuando tenía 7 años. Nunca ha sido sospechoso de nada ni se le ha acusado de ningún crimen.</p> <P>En la orden ejecutiva que prioriza la deportación de los delincuentes, la administración Trump ha recalificado delitos menores - como infracciones de tráfico, o trabajar y pagar impuestos sin tener número de seguridad social, o con un número de seguridad social falso - como delitos graves en el caso de inmigrantes indocumentados, y otorga poderes a los agentes de la ICE para arrestar a los inmigrantes que sospechen que pueden ser delincuentes o que, "a juicio de un funcionario de inmigración, representen un riesgo para la seguridad pública o la seguridad nacional".</p> <P>A personas como Felipe, que llevan ya varios intentos de reunirse con sus seres queridos en los Estados Unidos, se les llama reincidentes (de un delito de inmigración), incluso si posteriormente se descubre que su petición es lícita. Cuando la policía usa perfiles raciales al identificar a conductores, se incrementa el número de multas y de cargos por conducir sin licencia (DWL), o conducir “bajo la influencia” (DUI) para los latinos y las personas de color. Cuando se prohíben las iniciativas locales para proporcionar licencias a personas pobres e indocumentadas, conducir sin licencia puede ser la única opción para obtener un puesto de trabajo, cuidar a niños o en situación de emergencia. Las infracciones al volante son delitos menores en el caso que vengas de una fiesta en Mar-a-Lago, pero no si eres un inmigrante.</p> <P>Nestor Ávila Miranda tenía un DUI como antecedente. Al igual que Felipe, llegó a los Estados Unidos cuando tenía tan sólo 8 años. Este campeón de atletismo y graduado de Appalachian State se encuentra ahora en el centro de detención de Stewart, en una cama de hospital improvisada, porque la furgoneta de la ICE en la que viajaba junto con otros inmigrantes arrestados chocó después de que el conductor de la misma decidiera lanzarse a una desquiciada carrera con otro vehículo. Su pie derecho está hinchado y, por falta de cuidados, ha contraído una infección que podría obligar a que se le practique una amputación. A pesar de ser receptor de DACA y elegible para un visado U, permanece encarcelado.</p> <P>Natalia Quintana-Rondón, una madre de 46 años, acababa de casarse con un ciudadano estadounidense el 1 de febrero, una semana antes de su arresto. Ella y su nuevo esposo estaban en vías de rectificar su estado, cuando el coche que conducía Natalia fue retenido en un control de tráfico en Fort Mills, Carolina del Sur, a las afueras de Charlotte, Carolina del Norte. Su hija, que estaba presente, intentó razonar con los policías y ganar tiempo hasta que el marido de Natalia pudiera llegar para probar que el coche era de su propiedad. Natalia, que habla poco inglés, conducía con una licencia venezolana, y ahora está esperando su traslado a un centro de detención de la ICE en Georgia. Su familia espera que sea puesta en libertad con fianza.</p> <P>Fue la administración Obama la que inició esta epidemia de arrestos, en el verano de 2014, con una operación dirigida específicamente a menores centroamericanos no acompañados y a mujeres con niños pequeños que buscaban asilo político en Estados Unidos. Una de ellas, Ingrid Portillo Hernández, estaba aprendiendo inglés y cursando el último curso de secundaria en Durham. Había huido de El Salvador después de que su padre, un activista comunitario, fuera asesinado durante un período de mucha violencia en su país de origen. Fue arrestada en mayo, a poco más de un mes de haber cumplido los 18, mientras iba de camino hacia su escuela con dos parientes más jóvenes que ella. Ingrid fue deportada rápidamente en septiembre, a pesar de la intercesión de un congresista estadounidense de Carolina del Norte, G.K. Butterfield, que también ha intercedido en nombre de Felipe y de otros muchos.</p> <P>Mientras tenían lugar las redadas este mes de febrero, la Cámara de Representantes de Carolina del Norte aprobó una Ley de Protección Ciudadana y la definió del modo siguiente:</p> <P>"Una ley para: reducir los robos de identidad mediante un aumento de las penas por posesión, fabricación o venta de documentos falsificados; crear una presunción rebatible contra la libertad previa al juicio de ciertos extranjeros indocumentados; y decretar penas para las ciudades y condados que violen las leyes estatales relacionadas con las ciudades santuario ". </p> <P>Usar el número de seguridad social de otra persona (SSN) para conseguir un trabajo no es sólo un delito sin víctimas, sino que representa un beneficio para su titular, al que le está pagando la jubilación otra persona. Pero, por lo general, lo que utilizan los inmigrantes indocumentados es un Número de Identificación Fiscal Individual (ITIN), que es un documento que proporciona el gobierno para transacciones financieras, semejante a un SSN pero sin que comporte derecho al trabajo. Usando un ITIN, los inmigrantes indocumentados con empleo pagan impuestos y a la Seguridad Social, pero no pueden reclamar deducciones fiscales ni tienen derecho a prestación alguna por accidentes laborales, si padecen alguna invalidez o se jubilan. Hasta hace poco, en la práctica, los ITIN se convertían automáticamente en SSN en cuanto se concedía el permiso de residencia y, además, trabajar con un ITIN servía como prueba, ante cualquier tribunal de inmigración, de que uno era un inmigrante modelo.</p> <P>Arrestar a personas previamente registradas y que respetan las reglas es una manera fácil de hacer crecer los números de la ICE. Y la gente con buenos casos son un buen negocio para las corporaciones que operan los centros privados de detención GEO, con sede en Boca Raton, Florida - a media hora en coche de Mar-a-Lago - y CCA - que ha hecho un <EM>rebranding </em>y ahora se llama CoreCivic -, con sede en Nashville, Tennessee. Cuanto más largo sea el caso, más dinero ganan con sus instalaciones, a cuyo mantenimiento contribuyen los propios detenidos a razón de un dólar por día. Las familias tienen que mandar dinero para que los detenidos puedan pagar los precios exorbitantes que cargan las corporaciones penitenciarias por los artículos de higiene personal y las llamadas telefónicas.</p> <P>Felipe nunca ha tenido un DUI ni ha cometido infracción alguna. Ha trabajado siempre con permiso, debería haber sido elegible para la DACA, pero se ha pasado tres años de su vida al borde de la deportación. Su vista del Día de San Valentín terminó en indulto, pero sólo hasta el 5 de marzo.</p> <P>Ésta es la página de Facebook de Felipe, gestionada por AlertaMigratoriaNC y <EM>Education Not Deportation</em>: <A href="https://www.facebook.com/events/369839710061503/">https://www.facebook.com/events/369839710061503/</a></p> <P>Y aquí ser encuentra más información, junto con una petición en nombre de Néstor: <A href="http://dreamactivist.org/petitions/nc/nestor/">http://dreamactivist.org/petitions/nc/nestor/</a></p> <P>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/el-presidente-pe-nieto-echa-gasolina-al-fuego">El presidente Peña Nieto echa gasolina al fuego </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-sigue-deportando-j-venes-centroamericanos-qu-har-trump">Obama sigue deportando a jóvenes centroamericanos. ¿Qué hará Trump?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/10000-d-lares-para-liberar-un-adolescente-hondure-o-de-la-c-rcel-de-">10.000 dólares para liberar a un adolescente hondureño de la cárcel de inmigración en Estados Unidos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/las-mujeres-y-los-ni-os-primero-la-seguridad-interior-norteamericana">Las mujeres y los niños primero: la seguridad interior norteamericana busca ‘unidades familiares” para deportarlas</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america mexico latin america Danica Jorden Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:31:42 +0000 Danica Jorden 109123 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The current and future challenges of Middle Eastern studies https://www.opendemocracy.net/wfd/north-africa-west-asia/tarek-ghanem/current-challenges-and-future-of-middle-eastern-studies <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In the wake of Trump's victory, what are the challenges for Middle Eastern studies in the US? And what should be the role of academics in the field? </p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/wfd"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/bannerforarticle.png" alt="wfd" width="460px" /></a></p> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 00.13.27.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 00.13.27.png" alt="" title="" width="449" height="229" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Screenshot of a 2015 lecture by Dr. Bahgat Korany. </span></span></span>Two streets away from the finishing line of the Boston Marathon bombing’s site of 2013, and a few days after the announcement of Donald Trump winning the race to the White House, around 2000 experts and students of Middle Eastern studies gathered in downtown Boston to take part in the famous annual convention of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Many individuals came to participate in the convention’s 300 panels; some to seek job opportunities, few to attend meetings, but almost everyone came to also seize this opportunity to socialize with colleagues. </p><p>While the television screen in the hotel lobby was split into equal squares, with three CNN discussants commenting on the selection of Michael Flynn—an ex-general who was sacked for incompetence and who is remembered as saying that Islam is an ideology masquerading as religion—as a National Security Advisor in Trump's forthcoming administration, members of MESA were in session voting in favor of a resolution to edit out the word “nonpolitical” from the influential association’s bylaws. The step was necessary to move closer towards the cause of adopting a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli academic institutions. In addition, as some MESA members see the issue, it is an accurate description of some of the projects that scholars in the field are engaged in, and protects MESA from frivolous legal claims.</p><p class="mag-quote-left">What should be the role of academics in the field, in terms of influence within academia and reaching beyond it?</p><p>An important development that came on the heels of Trump’s win is the surfacing of watchlists produced by uber-nationalist ‘ultra-right’ activists; reechoing the mood of the McCarthyist era and targeting several “leftist” and Middle Eastern studies experts and students. For a long time, MESA has drawn a plethora of accusations; ranging from irrelevance to US national interests, to ideological preferences in representing Middle Eastern people and the causes of the regions’ civil society, and of being overtly critical of US foreign policy and involvement in the Middle East.</p><p>What do such challenges mean for MESA scholarship? What is its position in relation to other academic disciplines? What should be the role of the academics in the field, in terms of influence within academia and reaching beyond it? Should it be a tribune of voices from the region, or a distant, objective examiner?</p><p>When I sat down with Beth Baron, president of the 2016 MESA, to ask her these questions, she started by answering: “While the region is under tremendous stress, the field is blossoming. The scholarship is cutting-edge.” She shares with other MESA specialists the opinion that one of the reasons for such quality of scholarship is the inclusion of many scholars from the Middle East, who bring with them cross-disciplinary insights. There are other factors, of course, including the internet, which made studying the region easier in real-time, as well as the mounting focus on field research, and not just textual analysis, or the introduction of new special academic programs and journals. She also noted that, “history, in specific, is becoming thematically sophisticated”.</p><p>But the picture is not as bright as we might think. As a field, Middle Eastern Studies (MES) is an area-study that has had its share of controversies and politicization. This year’s MESA convention is special. It is special because of the immediate context; both the atmosphere in the post-Trump, ‘post-fact’ US, as well as the turmoil shaking up the Middle East and lurking in the background (I believe the world has always been post-fact. Trump only mastered manipulating that condition). Whether a publisher, or a presenter, a PhD candidate, or a tenured academic, the name Trump found its way out of the mouths of everyone I met, and rightfully so.</p><p>“With the ascendency of Trump, we are setting up a task force to study the effects of this new climate on the field as a whole,” explained Nathan Brown, professor of Middle Eastern law and politics at George Washington University, and a former president of MESA himself (2013-2015). “One of my concerns and focuses will also be to create a safe environment in the classroom, not just for my Middle Eastern students, but for Trump supporters as well--agreement is not a goal but understanding is,” as he emphasized. There is definitely better societal outreach and influence on policy, according to him. Still, this does not seem near enough, especially with regard to US policy on how to combat terrorism, an issue which became a defining theme of US foreign policy.</p><p class="mag-quote-right">With the region being battered by the tumultuous times of our age, MES is facing increasing challenges</p><p>It might be said, however, that just like other area-studies, which are all by definition inter- and multidisciplinary (combining history, literature, language, and politics); MES has been painted in a somewhat contemptuous light, compared to disciplinary sciences, like political science and history. Although this tension is not exclusive to it, yet it takes a special dimension in relation to MES. Experts in disciplinary sciences often argue that area studies are lacking in theoretical rigor, as well as for insufficient inclusion of the ‘universal’ ideas and principles that permeate disciplinary methodology. Another aspect of the criticism targeting area studies is their lack of instrumentality in serving policy, particularly US foreign policy. These reasons have inspired Martin Kramer, a controversial Middle East expert who previously served as a senior advisor to Rudy Giuliani in 2007, to author a widely-read book that is highly critical of the field, <em>Ivory Towers on Sand</em>, which calls for bringing the field back to orientalist roots, in order to serve imperial-like needs. His book is especially critical of two theoretical subjects in the MES: democratization and civil societies.</p><p>When compared to MESA, which is known for its rejection of orientalist discourse, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA), with its far fewer members, wields much more clout in terms of influence on US foreign policy. Kramer, along with his mentor Bernard Lewis, an arch-authority in orientalist approaches studying the Middle East, co-founded ASMEA.</p><p>Such concerns were previously successfully utilized as a case against funding MES in the US after 9/11; culminating in 2003 with the US Congress passing the International Studies in Higher Education Act H.R. 3077, creating an inquisitorial advisory committee to oversee teaching of MES in US universities.</p><p>MES also has its own counter-argument against social science disciplines. MES experts who are in the thick of this tension argue that it is the parochialism of disciplinary social sciences, and their one-size-fits-all view and first-world-focused universal principles that are at the crux of this tense relationship. In a valuable paper by Pinar Bilgin, a professor of International Relations at Bilkent University, entitled: "What Future for Middle Eastern Studies?" she argues that in the light of this tension, there are three possible futures for MES; first, going back to the orientalist roots of MES, as suggested by Kramer, second, MES aligning itself with disciplinary theory and method, or, third, more innovatively, using interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and comparative insights to strengthen and completing disciplinary sciences through ‘testing’ and modifying the applicability of their theories in real world contexts; thereby freeing disciplinary sciences from their self-inflicted parochialism and western-centrism.</p><p>In a forthcoming paper by Pinar, in which she ultimately calls for a ‘cross-fertilization’ between MES and the social science disciplines, she examines this tense relationship between these two camps, within her work on security studies in the Mediterranean. Through her findings, she shows how parochial limitations of the disciplines of world politics work in action (mainly that what is thought of as “universal” is western-centric and embeds western interests and limiting epistemology). Pinar borrowed this concept of cross fertilization from the work of Morten Valbjorn, Aarhus University. She also demonstrates how ignoring local voices, elites and otherwise, in the region is detrimental to scholarly findings and perspectives. This last point surely would have helped MES experts anticipate the tidal waves of the ‘Arab Spring.’</p><p>In October this year, Kramer stood in front of an ASMEA crowd and delivered a speech in which he cited the failure of interdisciplinary MES in predicting the 'Arab Spring' as proof of the superiority of his proposed approach. Pinar’s argument of focusing more on non-state actors, and away from the western interest-focused, orientalist outlook, seems to be a more balanced solution that surely would not only strengthen disciplinary theories, but also help predict social phenomena; even though prophecies and predictions are not the objective of academic research.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">MES enriched academia worldwide with valuable contributions, like the critical theory of orientalism and other valuable contributions to postcolonial criticism.</p><p>But this tension does not equally affect MES in all disciplines, as relations with different disciplinary sciences differ. There is of course a difference in applying theory in MES, as emphasized by Bahgat Korany, one of the most renowned authorities in the field of MES, between the perception of the role of theories in soft sciences (history, sociology, anthropology), on the one hand, and in hard sciences (economics, and psychology).</p><p>“I come from anthropology, where there has been a longstanding conversation regarding the relationship between researchers and the communities they study, and where there has been a drive for anthropologists to advocate for the societies they represent,” comments Angie Abdelmonem, Graduate Student Member of the Board of MESA. As a discipline which requires extensive field work and ethnographic efforts, anthropology naturally deals with the issue of representation. It also enjoys a more progressive political stance among its practitioners. For example, The American Anthropological Association (AAA) beat MESA into adopting a resolution to send BDS to a membership vote in its annual business meeting last year (a resolution which was later defeated by a narrow lead by full AAA members). Expounding more on the issue of activism and representation, she continues: “There has been a significant attempt to bring together NGO activities and academia, including more collaborative efforts between NGO activists, scholars, and students. I myself am involved in such efforts. 'Giving back' is a critical facet of the relationship between researchers and their interlocutors.”</p><p>With the region being battered by the tumultuous times of our age, MES is facing increasing challenges, some of which are challenges ‘from above,’ that are common with other area studies, like disciplinary analytic pretension, and others from outside the field, like diminishing funds and ideological attacks by opposing political actors and institutions. Other challenges are particular, like the politicization of the field by voices from within and without, something that will surely exacerbate under Trump’s reign. Other challenges ‘from below,’ include the dangerous environments in the Middle East and restrictions on academic freedom and freedom of expression. Listening to voices of people and experts from the region itself is surely lacking, and is welcome. This will certainly help the field put disciplinary theory and method to task. It can be said that it is these mounting challenges that face this particular field, rather than any claims to the particularism of the region, that are likely to make the field stronger, in the same way that the field has enriched academia worldwide with valuable contributions, like the critical theory of orientalism and other valuable contributions to postcolonial criticism.</p><p><strong><em>A shorter version of this article was published by The National on February 16, 2017 under the title <a href="http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/under-historic-challenge-what-is-the-future-of-middle-eastern-studies">Under historic challenge, what is the future of Middle Eastern studies?</a></em></strong></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/wfd"><img style="padding-top: 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u548777/edu2.png" /></a>openDemocracy was at the World Forum for Democracy, exploring the relationship between inequality, education and democracy. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wfd/ahdaf-soueif-nick-buxton/our-common-ground-salute-to-young-global-collective">Our common ground: a salute to the Young Global Collective </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mishana-hosseinioun/original-sin-of-us-foreign-policy-in-middle-east">The original sin of US foreign policy in the Middle East</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wfd/north-africa-west-asia/mona-abaza-benjamin-geer/surviving-sociology-in-egypt-and-elsewhere">Surviving sociology in Egypt and elsewhere</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Science </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia Science north america middle east the future of higher education Education World Forum for Democracy 2016 Tarek Ghanem Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:46:48 +0000 Tarek Ghanem 108443 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The seeds of a new special relationship: US voices for justice in Palestine https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/fadi-nicholas-nassar/seeds-of-new-special-relationship-us-voices-for-justice-in-pales <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While the ideological compatibility between Trump and Netanyahu will improve ties between the two leaders, it will have long-standing implications on US approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-29557111.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-29557111.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Graffiti of US President Donald Trump is seen on the Israeli West Bank barrier or wall at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. Picture by MICK TSIKAS AAP/PA Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Though President Trump has recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-netanyahu-trump-visit-20170213-story.html">backtracked</a>&nbsp;on his&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/02/statement-press-secretary">muted stance</a>&nbsp;toward illegal Israeli settlement construction, telling an Israeli daily that he does not believe that “settlements are a good thing for peace,” his relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises to be a close one. Trump has signalled his support for Israel’s right-wing government, for instance, through the nomination of David Friedman, a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/15/trump-israel-ambassador-david-friedman">hardline pro-settler lawyer</a>, to be the US ambassador to Israel. Friedman’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for&nbsp;tomorrow. In the meantime, Trump and Netanyahu will meet today in Washington, with Netanyahu likely focused on securing continued US diplomatic, military, and financial support with little if any room for the human rights of Palestinians.</p><p>Yet Trump’s presidency is caught in a highly polarized political environment, and the once unconditional support for Israel and elision of Palestinian rights in the United States is changing. The question of Palestine is on track to become a divisive issue in American politics – and one that Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement can join together to use in their struggle for Palestinian rights.&nbsp; </p><p class="mag-quote-left">The once unconditional support for Israel and elision of Palestinian rights in the United States is changing</p><p>In order to fully understand the budding relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, one must&nbsp;<a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/no-matter-who-wins-us-election-door-stays-shut-palestinians-1051321472">examine</a>&nbsp;their common approaches to issues of national security, immigration, and racial and religious profiling.&nbsp; It is this shared right-wing vision that will be a point of continued cooperation between the two governments, especially against the backdrop of a more polarized political environment. Evidence to support this can be found in the fact that Trump&nbsp;<a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/no-matter-who-wins-us-election-door-stays-shut-palestinians-1051321472">drew on</a>&nbsp;Israel and Netanyahu’s policies to support two of his most controversial plans: the “Muslim ban” and the wall on the US-Mexico Border. </p><p>While the ideological compatibility between Trump and Netanyahu will improve ties between the two leaders, it will have long-standing implications on US approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump’s presidency is highly contested in the country, not only due to his personality, but also because of the right-wing ideology he represents and aims to further. </p><p>It is unlikely that the Democratic Party itself will change its commitment to supporting Israel, as we saw with the final outcome of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/no-matter-who-wins-us-election-door-stays-shut-palestinians-1051321472">the Democratic platform</a>&nbsp;failing to incorporate Palestinian rights. The more meaningful and politically significant challenge to Trump and his policies is coming from a growing grassroots movement that is rallying across the country and on social media. </p><p>Two instances stand out and are representative of how Palestinian rights are becoming integrated in political conversations of reform and resistance against Trump’s vision for the country. First, after Trump reiterated his controversial and divisive plans to move forward with building a wall on the US-Mexico border, Netanyahu <a href="https://twitter.com/netanyahu/status/825371795972825089?lang=en">tweeted</a>&nbsp;in support that his wall “stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.” </p><p>Prominent voices in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/30/netanyahu-border-wall-mexico-trump-executive-order">Mexico</a>&nbsp;and the US fighting to stop the breakup of families and the criminalization of immigrants heavily criticized the Israeli prime minister’s statement. Black Lives Matter in DC, for example, took a screenshot of the tweet and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/BLACKLIVESMATTERDMV/photos/a.814819041922982.1073741828.813752332029653/1383811055023775/?type=3&amp;theater">reiterated</a>&nbsp;its support for incorporating Palestinian justice in the Movement for Black Lives’ widely circulated and influential&nbsp;<a href="https://policy.m4bl.org/invest-divest/">platform.</a></p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The momentous opposition to this right-wing tide is not coming from establishment Democrats, but rather is championed by grassroots movements, activists, and progressive actors within the Democratic Party</p><p>And in the Women’s March on Washington, Angela Davis, an iconic and pioneering leader in shaping this intersectional liberation movement, made a point to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/22/angela-davis-womens-march-speech-countrys-history-cannot-be-deleted">say</a>, “Women’s rights are human rights all over the planet, and that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine.” In light of the tepid welcome of Palestinian rights by some of the organizers of the Women’s March, Davis’s statement conveys the intention and commitment to highlight Palestinian rights in these emerging progressive spaces as part of a full agenda fighting for comprehensive liberation. </p><p>The United States is at a crossroads where the values that are considered essential to the fabric of the nation and the future of the country are being fiercely contested. On one hand, the right-wing movement behind Trump and critical members of his cabinet, such as Steve Bannon, champion an “America first” agenda that will actively pursue policies aimed at criminalizing immigrants, incorporating racial and religious profiling in the national security apparatus, and limiting the reproductive rights of women, among other radical positions. </p><p class="mag-quote-right">The United States is at a crossroads where the values that are considered essential to the fabric of the nation and the future of the country are being fiercely contested.</p><p>The momentous opposition to this right-wing tide is not coming from establishment Democrats, but rather is championed by grassroots movements, activists, and progressive actors within the Democratic Party, such as Bernie Sanders. It is this movement – the one that marched on Washington and across the country – that will shape the future of progressive politics in the country. In turn, justice for Palestine and Palestinians is becoming part and parcel of this resistance against Trump and his vision for the future of the United States and its people. </p><p>A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsdpg-9cmSw">video</a>&nbsp;by more than 60 leading black and Palestinian artists and activists, released when Obama was in the White House, captures the extent of this shifting political landscape and the depth of the new solidarities emerging between those struggling for racial justice in the US and for Palestinian rights, with the simple but powerful title: “When I see them, I see us.”&nbsp; </p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/michele-monni/legalising-occupation-netanyahus-trump-card">Legalising occupation: Netanyahu&#039;s Trump card</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/sam-bahour/two-state-solution-s-silver-bullet">The Two-State solution’s silver bullet</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/rod-jones/palestinian-rights-and-israel-s-agenda">Palestinian rights and Israel’s agenda</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/yossef-rapoport/two-states-in-one-homeland-solving-riddle-of-resolution-2334">Two states in one homeland: solving the riddle of Resolution 2334</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Palestine </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia Palestine north america middle east Palestine and the Israeli Occupation Israel Fadi Nicholas Nassar Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:58:02 +0000 Fadi Nicholas Nassar 108837 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Why hitching across the USA led me to give £2500 to the ACLU https://www.opendemocracy.net/julian-sayarer/why-hitching-across-usa-led-me-to-give-2500-to-aclu <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Julian Sayarer explains why, inspired by his trans-USA hitchhike and by John Berger's example, he is <a href="http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/interstate-and-the-aclu">donating</a> £2500 of his Stanford Dolman award, to the ACLU.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500307/Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 11.39.00.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/500307/Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 11.39.00.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="438" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><p>At a ceremony in London, earlier this week I received the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/julian-sayarers-interstate-named-travel-book-year-480146" target="_blank">award</a>&nbsp;for my book,&nbsp;<em>Interstate</em>,&nbsp; which tells the story of a hitchhiked journey from New York to San Francisco. Although I spent much of my twenties travelling, that journey was unique in so much as it was almost entirely unplanned. I went to the US to work on a documentary project that, soon after the crew’s arrival, was postponed when some key promised funds failed to materialise. With my ties to the UK cut for two months, and already in the US, I made the decision to hitchhike across the country, with California the destination that seemed most logical. The rest of this article is a more polished version of the speech I gave when accepting the award, announcing I would share the £5000 prize money with the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aclu.org/" target="_blank">American Civil Liberties Union</a>, encouraging others to join in matching my donation, and also a detail – outlined in this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/interstate-and-the-aclu" target="_blank">Crowdfunder</a>&nbsp;– that I felt unable to explain in the immediate and very public setting of making a speech for an award I hadn’t known I would receive.</p> <p>There were many reasons for why the trip was difficult. Hitchhiking is an onerous exercise in causing repetitive rejection and suspicion; the roadsides where I slept lightly saw me disturbed by animals and other drifters; that I’d gone to the US for other plans meant – when things were rough – that I myself was unsure why I’d ever put myself in such a situation. As I remarked when given the award, it was strange to receive acclaim for a book in such a prestigious setting, having whilst writing it been frequently judged a beggar (“panhandler”), criminal, or one of the many miscellaneous homeless Americans. For all that it lacked romance, by the same token the journey helped strip some of pretence and myth from the contemporary US, leading us to the book’s subtitle: “hitchhiking through the state of a nation”.</p> <p>I have to say that I never expected to receive such a prestigious award. Only three years ago I had never even expected that I would ever get even my first book published, and sort of believed that it was destined not to happen in direct proportion to how much I wanted it to happen. I was born in London, but grew up ten miles outside of Leicester, in a small town (back then it was a village, but the many housing estates added to its periphery have seen it upgraded) where the hosiery, textiles and automotive industries of the twentieth century have all disappeared, taking their jobs with them. Whether in Trump or in Brexit, we have seen the reaction of people who – if they are not forgotten at least feel they have been forgotten – as they go about lives in anonymous towns such as that. The views that I would find expressed in that town are often not those that I share, and perhaps some of that is part of what prepared me for the suspension of judgment that I believe is necessary in useful travel writing. The movements of the far right and populist right have always done well in that part of the Midlands; they are spearheaded by wealthy, cynical and attention-seeking individuals who deserve our contempt, and only deserve our attention so that the methods of their thinking can be understood and undone – but often, tragically, they have found a home with good people who have picked up poor responses to their legitimate grievances.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last month, the great and generous thinker John Berger, died aged 90. When he won the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/john-berger/clarity-is-more-important-than-money" target="_blank">Booker Prize in 1972</a>, having learned of Booker’s connection to slaveholding sugar plantations in the Caribbean, Berger felt obliged to give half of his money to the UK chapter of the Black Panthers. Throughout my travels I have always been conscious of the power that is implicit in a passport, and in travelling in America I have been doubly conscious of the additional protection I am granted by my appearance and the colour of my skin. Hauled off of interstates by state troopers and police, I was treated borderline politely where a black man may have been shot dead. I am half Turkish, with many influences of Muslim culture in my upbringing, but I do not look outwardly like “a Muslim” and presume that this too made my journey easier than it would otherwise have been. For these reasons, it feels only right that at a time of fast-creeping authoritarianism from the regime of Donald Trump, I should share this prize money with the American Civil Liberties Union; in order that they might protect these and other rights for me, and extend them to those who do not receive such full versions of them. I would invite and encourage others to match my donation so that we might eventually give £5000 to the ACLU.</p> <p>I would like to say, first of all, that this is not an insignificant amount of money to give away but the world we want to live in will not make itself for free, and those who wish to dismantle liberty in the name of a perverted version of ‘freedom’ have deep pockets. I do not have a great deal of money, but I have enough money to survive, and trust that the ACLU can put the funds to better use than I could. On this subject, of having enough money to survive, another valuable lesson in travelling long distances with limited means is that you come very quickly to appreciate the beauty, simplicity and generosity of the natural and human world in which we live. Where they develop a surer sense of this security, people are harder to sway with the threats of demagogues and our politics can be made a better and more generous place. We are at a time where we must frankly assess how much a small number have and can afford to have taken away, how much we have ourselves and can afford to give, and how others – very simply – are in a far greater need than our own.&nbsp;</p> <p>There was an element of my thinking that I omitted from the speech I gave when receiving the award – that was the significance of climate change and renewable energy. There have already been very many early casualties in the regime of Donald Trump; civil liberties are the greatest and most immediately urgent, but the sabotage of climate science is an act with greater long term consequences for a greater number of people. Fossil fuels and extractive industries are at the heart of the Trump administration. From the appointment of lifelong ExxonMobil devotee, Rex Tillerson, as Secretary of State, to Donald Trump’s shares in the company behind the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners; oil is so&nbsp;<a href="https://thenearlynow.com/trump-putin-and-the-pipelines-to-nowhere-742d745ce8fd#.kpox2unas" target="_blank">informally central</a>&nbsp;to the fortunes and worldviews inside the administration that it scarcely need even be named. The accuracy and severity of climate change science is zealously denied inside such circles because, if it were not, then their businesses could not function in their current forms. To strip them of the business model on which their politics subsists is what, long term, will eventually de-fang their movement.</p> <p>At a time when renewable energy technologies are becoming increasingly competitive, they now face an enormous challenge to their legitimacy and funding, in the form of attempts by the White House to deny their need or usefulness. For this reason, of all&nbsp;<a href="http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/interstate-and-the-aclu" target="_blank">additional funds</a>&nbsp;raised beyond my donation, half will be given to the ACLU and the other half will sit in a renewable energy fund (many of which now exist, including in institutions such as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.abundanceinvestment.com/" target="_blank">Abundance</a>&nbsp;and<a href="https://www.triodos.co.uk/en/personal/" target="_blank">Triodos</a>), with the profits of this investment also paid to the ACLU and providing them a regular income. The money will simultaneously support action against climate change and generate a return that will go towards fighting for civil liberties.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Corrupt politics and heartless business models go hand-in-glove, with injustice functioning as a network. In order to successfully erode their influence, which we will, we must do likewise and the candour of our feeling has to be joined by a clarity of constructive thinking.&nbsp;Donald Trump is not the marker of a new darkness coming, but of an old one dying.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><hr /><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><a href="//www.crowdfunder.co.uk/interstate-and-the-aclu"><strong>Contribute to Julian's Crowdfunder for the ACLU</strong></a></h2><p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Contribute to Julian's <a href="//www.crowdfunder.co.uk/interstate-and-the-aclu">matching donation crowdfunder</a></p><p>A <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/julian-sayarer/us-roadside-politics-guns-meat-and-engines">flavour of Interstate</a>, published on openDemocracy after Trump's election</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Interstate-Hitch-Hiking-Through-Nation/dp/1910050938/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=1486295114&amp;sr=8-1">Buy the book</a> on Amazon</p><p>A <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/tony-curzon-price/bike-courier-in-london-messenger-is-medium">review of Julian Sayarer's previous "Messegers"</a>&nbsp;and a review of his previous "<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/tony-curzon-price/recording-broken-records">Life Cycles</a>"</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/julian-sayarer/us-roadside-politics-guns-meat-and-engines">US roadside politics: guns, meat and engines</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/julian-sayarer/real-need-to-figure-out-what-is-going-on">Trump &amp; the real need to “figure out what is going on”</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tony-curzon-price/bike-courier-in-london-messenger-is-medium">Bike courier in London: the messenger is the medium</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> United States north america Julian Sayarer Sun, 05 Feb 2017 11:56:05 +0000 Julian Sayarer 108605 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Is Trump repeating Bush’s worst mistakes? https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/ragnar-weilandt/is-trump-repeating-bush-s-worst-mistakes <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The early signs of the new Trump administration’s policies towards the Middle East suggest that he is poised to repeat some of the Bush administration’s most fatal errors. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-29963457.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-29963457.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Donald Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Picture by Win Mcnamee DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved. </span></span></span>Even if one subscribes to the questionable concepts of collective guilt and collective punishment, it is quite clear that Donald Trump’s decision to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US serves only one purpose: To satisfy the alt-right, a loose set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals united in their opposition to multiculturalism, social justice movements and mainstream conservatism whose torchbearer Steve Bannon is a key power broker within the new administration. </p><p>Notably, not one of the 9/11 attackers came from any of the seven countries affected. In fact, according to an <span><a href="https://www.cato.org/blog/little-national-security-benefit-trumps-executive-order-immigration">analysis by the Cato Institute</a></span>, none of their nationals has killed Americans on US territory between 1975 and 2015. </p><p>While the ban doesn’t make the United States any safer, it is likely to make both the US and the rest of the world a less secure place. Just like the Bush administration’s “global war on terror” rhetoric, the ban will help extremist demagogues to convince potential followers that the US is at war with Islam. But while Bush repeatedly emphasized that it was not, Trump doesn’t even distinguish between ‘moderate’ and less ‘moderate’ Muslims. Both his rhetoric and his actions alienate the&nbsp;Muslim community and the leaders of Muslim-majority states which are key to fighting domestic and international&nbsp;Islamic extremism.<em> </em></p> <p class="mag-quote-left">Trump's most outlandish and dangerous populist slogans could become US policy.</p><p>As scary as the ban and its potential ramifications might be, what it tells us about what to expect over the coming four years is alarming as well. </p><p><span><a href="https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration">Trump first called for</a></span> a “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” during the early stages of a campaign that was full of outrageous promises. The executive order putting the ban in place shatters any remaining hope that there might be a difference between the candidate and the president. It also indicates that the Republican party isn’t able or willing to contain him. As a result, even Trump's most outlandish and dangerous populist slogans could become US policy. </p><p>Just like the ban, <span><a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/15/middleeast/donald-trump-isis-strategy/">his promise</a></span> to “quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS”, if kept, is likely to make things worse rather than better. <span><a href="https://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0814_Inherent-Resolve">As of 25 January, 2017</a></span>, the US led coalition has conducted a total of 17,734 air strikes in Iraq and Syria. It is hard to see how to further expand the campaign and intensify the bombing without destroying entire cities and causing a major increase in civilian casualties. More bombing raids are unlikely to force ISIS to back off. But just like the Iraq war provided a boost for recruitment for al-Qaeda, ISIS recruiters know all too well how to use them to their advantage. Pictures of Syrian and Iraqi children killed by American bombs are highly effective in this regard. </p><p>The same goes for <span><a href="http://time.com/4267058/donald-trump-aipac-speech-transcript/">Trump’s </a>campaign </span><span>promise</span> to make it his “number one priority” to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran”. The last days have seen an escalation of rhetoric, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoc4SPT0yGU">with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn</a> “officially putting Iran on notice”, citing ballistic missile tests and support for Houthi forces in Yemen. President Trump <a href="https://youtu.be/f1tIEYrxU7Q?t=54s">refused to rule out military action</a> against the Islamic Republic. </p><p>Teheran responded to Trump's travel ban by barring the US wrestling team from participating in the Freestyle World Cup competition in the western city of Kermanshah. Further retaliation might follow, as <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-iran-idUSKBN15C0NR?il=0">Teheran has already announced that</a> “Iran will implement the principle of reciprocity until the offensive U.S. limitations against Iranian nationals are lifted”. </p><p class="mag-quote-right">After his first ten days in office, it looks like his administration is poised to repeat some of the Bush administration’s most fatal errors.</p><p>These developments could be the first steps towards reigniting a dangerous and unnecessary conflict whose permanent resolution was closer than ever. </p><p>The United States and Iran have a shared interest in fighting ISIS. Led by the reformist cleric Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian government has been able to normalise relations with the West. Until now the reformists have enjoyed sufficient support for their course among the population and the country’s religious leadership. </p><p>But the progress that culminated in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal framework should not be taken for granted. In fact, the current situation reminds of the early 2000s. </p><p>At the time, US-Iranian relations were at their best. In 2000, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had <span><a href="http://fas.org/news/iran/2000/000317.htm">acknowledged US responsibility</a></span> for the 1953 coup against the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddegh for the first time. The United States was about to embark on a crusade against Iran’s main security threats: The Taliban in Afghanistan and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Meanwhile, the reformist Iranian government around Mohammad Khatami was interested in improving relations with the US, hoping the west would lift its crippling economic sanctions in return. </p><p>Rather than seizing the moment, Bush decided to include Iran in his “axis of evil”. His rhetoric against the Iranian regime became increasingly aggressive, while western sanctions continued to hurt the Iranian civilian population. As a consequence, both the religious establishment and the public lost confidence in the moderate camp around Khatami. The ultra-conservative hardliners won the upper hand again, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president and stayed in power for eight long years. </p><p>History might very well repeat itself. During the Republican primaries, Trump spent much of his campaign blasting Jeb and George W. Bush over the Iraq invasion, <span><a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/sep/07/donald-trump/trump-repeats-wrong-claim-he-opposed-iraq-war/">falsely claiming</a></span> that he had opposed the war. But after his first ten days in office, it looks like his administration is poised to repeat some of the Bush administration’s most fatal errors.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/amir-ahmadi-arian/leaving-stings-in-wounds-of-others-donald-trump-and-american-foreig">Leaving stings in the wounds of others: Donald Trump and American foreign policy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mishana-hosseinioun/original-sin-of-us-foreign-policy-in-middle-east">The original sin of US foreign policy in the Middle East</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/halim-shebaya/trump-and-islamophobia-discrimination-fuels-terror">Trump and Islamophobia: discrimination fuels terror</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia north america middle east Trump Muslim Ban Ragnar Weilandt Sat, 04 Feb 2017 08:00:04 +0000 Ragnar Weilandt 108579 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The original sin of US foreign policy in the Middle East https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/mishana-hosseinioun/original-sin-of-us-foreign-policy-in-middle-east <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Trump’s policy attempts to apply a tourniquet to the perceived 'Muslim problem' that has been manufactured and now exacerbated by the west's wayward dealings in the Middle East.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/32222086360_5c7651f526_o.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/32222086360_5c7651f526_o.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="268" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>No Ban, No Wall protests at PHL airport, January 29, 2017. Picture by Joe Piette/Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span>The controversial ‘Muslim ban’ that has led to the widespread panic and a second spike of outrage since the Woman’s March against Trump’s inauguration is a sobering reflection of the sordid state of affairs in the US. It reveals the failures of past administrations – not just the current – in managing the most insidious symptoms of the longstanding, myopic western policy toward the Middle East. While the new immigration-blocking measure is framed in the media and in global discussions as the derailing of American policy, it is not the unique by-product of Trump’s isolationist train of thought. Far from signaling a new American agenda, it signals a naked national security strategy that further entrenches the stance of the “west versus the rest.”&nbsp; </p><p>The executive order, which attempts to curb immigration of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, taken from Obama’s 2014 list of “failed states” in the region no less, is a move to mop up the run-off of the damaging western exploits in the region. Rather than maintain a ‘split-brain’ policy of violence toward Muslims abroad and a semblance of tolerance at home to mask overseas indiscretions, Trump's new policy is actually more in keeping with longstanding US priorities and geo-strategic goals than not; foremost among them being support for the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, the curbing of ‘terror’ which replaced the threat of communism, and quenching its addiction to oil. </p> <p class="mag-quote-right">Institutionalised forms of discrimination at home have also been a standard feature of American policy following 9-11</p><p>Trump’s policy attempts to apply a tourniquet to the perceived 'Muslim problem' that has been manufactured and now exacerbated by the west's wayward dealings in the Middle East. Institutionalised forms of discrimination at home have also been a standard feature of American policy following 9-11, and must be addressed as such. Racial profiling was etched into US law via the unconstitutional Patriot Act in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon leading to the ‘war on terror’ with no ‘sunset’ in sight. The prioritising of national security over civil liberties laid the foundation for this plaster-policy signed by the new American president and temporarily stayed by a federal court.</p> <p>If such policies are nothing new, then, why are people only just starting to take note and to agitate against it? For the first time, many feel personally affected as either they or someone they know has been directly hit by the travel ban. Shielded as they were until now from the ethical implications and misguided missions of the 9-11 wars, the collective psyche is unsettled by the reality of American double standards. It is also due to the way in which this edict was unflinchingly issued without a modicum of political correctness, whereas people had been used to the more subtle and diversionary tactics of a more left-leaning administration. Despite the wake-up call provided by the so-called ‘Muslim ban’ and the act of judicial activism, which provided a partial check on Trump’s executive power, there is still a general reluctance to see the bigger-picture problems.&nbsp;</p> <p>Why aren’t people similarly protesting the targeted killing of Muslims overseas by western forces or indeed the curtailing of civil liberties at home? This reflects a selective blindness induced by systemic obfuscation and hypocrisy. Bad-apple theories, which pin the blame on ‘rogue’ actors, such as Trump, absolve the system and its constituent parts, of their complicity in this fiasco. Foreign leaders from the British prime minister to European Union officials who have condemned Trump’s executive order are mainly grandstanding to wipe their own hands of guilt for similar discriminatory practices. The EU in particular is mired in a regional refugee crisis, for which it is increasingly evading responsibility, and Brexit is emblematic of this fleeing tendency. </p> <p class="mag-quote-left">Why aren’t people similarly protesting the targeted killing of Muslims overseas by western forces or indeed the curtailing of civil liberties at home?</p><p>Europe has also problematically collapsed its immigration policy under a common counter-terrorism agenda, which only serves to criminalise those seeking refuge from conflicts in which European actors also have a hand. The United States’ next-door neighbour, Canada, took full advantage of the occasion to disingenuously issue a benevolent invitation to all refugees denied entry to America, capitalising on the pre-electoral mantra among Democrats of making a mad-dash for Canada if Trump is elected. This seemingly generous gesture belies an inbuilt <span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/23/canada-syrian-refugee-resettlement-plan-no-single-men">national security loophole</a></span> that ensures<strong> </strong>that “single male" refugees would be excluded from such an invitation, thus rendering the offer hollow. </p> <p>Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker <span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/movies/trump-immigration-oscars-iranian-director-asghar-farhadi.html?_r=0">Asghar Farhadi</a></span>’s vow of solidarity to boycott this year’s Oscars even if his travel ban is lifted – however nobly-intentioned – still ensures that the status quo of east-west enmity remains intact. Picking up from the plight of those like Farhadi affected by the ban, the Academy of Motion Pictures has even publicly outed itself “as supporters of filmmakers—and the human rights of all people—around the globe.” Such acts of principled defiance may signal a budding transnational ethos of zero-tolerance for discriminatory practices, but for now they remain in the realm of platitudes.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/amir-ahmadi-arian/leaving-stings-in-wounds-of-others-donald-trump-and-american-foreig">Leaving stings in the wounds of others: Donald Trump and American foreign policy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/maged-mandour/trump-putin-and-new-middle-east">Trump, Putin, and the new Middle East</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/david-held/broken-politics-from-911-to-present"> Broken politics: from 9/11 to the present </a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia north america middle east Trump Muslim Ban Mishana Hosseinioun Fri, 03 Feb 2017 08:50:22 +0000 Mishana Hosseinioun 108543 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Leaving stings in the wounds of others: Donald Trump and American foreign policy https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/amir-ahmadi-arian/leaving-stings-in-wounds-of-others-donald-trump-and-american-foreig <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you are from the Middle East, Donald Trump is a sad reminder of virtually all the mainstream politicians you have lived under, often supported by the US government.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-1734182(1).jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/562712/PA-1734182(1).jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="300" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>An Iraqi boy runs through a field covered with ammunition in the city of Al Dejeel, about 70 km north of Baghdad, May 5, 2003. Picture by DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved. </span></span></span>The bizarre behavior of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign defined the strategy of the Clinton campaign: they abandoned in-depth discussions of the ‘issues’, and focused on Trump’s outlandish behavior. Democrats believed that if they highlighted the flaws of Trump, the voters would understand the threat he poses to the world, and eventually run away from him. </p><p class="mag-quote-left">Donald Trump would be a sad reminder of virtually all the mainstream politicians you have lived under</p><p>Now he is the president, and the rhetoric has not gone away. A deep sense of fear and frustration aroused by his words and action, coupled with typical western self-absorbedness that equates the potential end of the west as we know it with the end of the world, has spawned innumerable doom-and-gloom scenarios. &nbsp;</p> <p>You are less likely to buy into this scenario if you hail from other parts of the world, the Middle East in particular. For you, Donald Trump would be a sad reminder of virtually all the mainstream politicians you have lived under. People like him, often worse than him by any measure, have come and gone, and none of them has brought about the end of the world. You may also recall that many of those people were thoroughly supported by successive US governments, which may make you think, no wonder a man of their ilk ultimately made it into the White House.</p> <h3><strong>The disturbing familiarity of Donald Trump</strong></h3> <p>Let’s look at what makes him supposedly unique. Donald Trump has <span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/11/16/welcome-to-the-trump-kleptocracy/?utm_term=.856b9ca265ab">Kleptocratic proclivities</a></span>, especially of nepotistic nature. In the campaign, he was constantly flanked by his children, their mothers absent from the picture, as if Trump has given birth to his children by himself. That fits his self-image as a deity of sorts. The family makes no bones about its plans for the future: long before the dad was inaugurated, Ivanka Trump put the <span><a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/the-trumps-are-already-monetizing-the-presidency.html">bracelet</a></span> she wore at 60 minutes interview up for sale, the sons tried to make up to one million dollars out of a <span><a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/donald-trump-administration/2016/12/trump-family-fundraiser-inauguration-232829">fishing opportunity</a></span> with him. More importantly, his son-in-law is appointed as a <span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/us/jared-kushner-senior-adviser-white-house-trump.html?_r=0">senior advisor</a></span> to the president, and the family seems to continue to be involved with highly sensitive decisions. </p> <p>Brazen nepotism might be shocking to Americans, but it is run of the mill in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein’s younger son was appointed to the head of the entire Iraqi armed force, and the older one controlled TV, radio, newspapers, and had the last say in the result of sports games. Hosni Mubarak’s sons led the army and the main political party in Egypt. Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries are run by royal families, nepotism by definition. So was Iran under the Shah.</p> <p>There is an overwhelming fear on the part of the media that Trump will crackdown on freedom of press. During the campaign he frequently threatened to <span><a href="http://www.cjr.org/first_person/donald_trump_lawsuit_new_york_times.php">sue</a></span> journalists, open up <span><a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/02/donald-trump-libel-laws-219866">libel laws</a></span>, even suggested that freedom of press hampers the fight against <span><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-freedom-of-expression_us_57dfde58e4b04a1497b54f2f">terrorism</a></span>. In his first press conference as president-elect Trump essentially harassed the media, and after the inauguration Sean Spicer, the new press secretary, <span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/21/sean-spicer-held-a-press-conference-he-didnt-take-questions-or-tell-the-whole-truth/?utm_term=.40050793ef04">threatened</a></span> to retaliate if the media refused to toe the line. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="mag-quote-right">The governments that engaged in all those Trump-like activities were thoroughly and unequivocally supported by successive US administrations</p><p>It would be stating the obvious to list what the press has endured in the Middle East. A quick visit to Reporters Without Borders <span><a href="https://rsf.org/en/ranking">website</a></span> shows that, in recent history, all the major countries of the Middle East have been sticking to the bottom of the freedom of press rankings. Jailing, beating up, torturing, and murdering journalists for doing their jobs routinely happen in that corner of the world.</p> <p>One issue seems to have rankled democrats the most: Russian interference with the election. The US intelligence services have concluded that the Russians <span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/16/qa-russian-hackers-vladimir-putin-donald-trump-us-presidential-election">influenced</a></span> the US presidential election by engaging in cyber warfare to the benefit of Donald Trump. The US political establishment regard it as the flagrant meddling of a hostile foreign power in the most important political event in the country. </p> <p>For many others around the world, it is hardly unprecedented. The great Chilean author, Ariel Dorfman, <span><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/opinion/now-america-you-know-how-chileans-felt.html">wrote</a></span> eloquently about how this story reminds him of the 1973 coup that overthrew Salvador Allende. Many Guatemalans must be feeling the same. So do Iranians, who live, to this day, with the catastrophic consequences of the 1953 coup, which nipped their nascent democracy in the bud. </p> <p>The examples given are only a sample of the gamut. The same atrocities, sometimes in larger scale and brutality, have been carried out in Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen, to mention a few. The examples above are chosen deliberately: the governments that engaged in all those Trump-like activities were thoroughly and unequivocally supported by successive US administrations. As for foreign intervention in election results, the aforementioned coups were all staged by CIA, and it is a very small fraction of the American <span><a href="http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39159-noam-chomsky-on-the-long-history-of-us-meddling-in-foreign-elections">interference</a></span> with elections in other countries. </p> <h3><strong>The falsity of American exceptionalism</strong></h3><h3> </h3><p class="mag-quote-left">Donald Trump is the logical extension of the US foreign policy, the domestic incarnation of what American governments wanted for many other nations over time. </p><p>Over time, the term ‘American exceptionalism’, which initially meant to underline democracy and equality, has come to imply military power, or worse, a sort of muscle-flexing about how America is the only nation that can do whatever it wants around the world and get away with it. And it is not only the hawkish republicans that relish this military might. In a speech during the campaign, Hillary Clinton <span><a href="http://time.com/4474619/read-hillary-clinton-american-legion-speech/">talked</a></span> about America as an ‘exceptional nation’ with ‘great military power’, as if they were the same. Ironically, Trump seems to <span><a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-01-03/trump-and-american-exceptionalism">dislike</a></span> the term, probably because he wants to take credit for making it happen ‘again’.</p> <p>America, however, is no exception in terms of the consequences. What you do to others will happen to you, it is only a matter of time. Donald Trump is the logical extension of the US foreign policy, the domestic incarnation of what American governments wanted for many other nations over time. </p> <p>Comparisons with unpleasant political systems in the world abound in the US media after the election. Fareed Zakaria argues that the US has become a new <span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/america-is-becoming-a-land-of-less-liberty/2016/12/29/2a91744c-ce09-11e6-a747-d03044780a02_story.html?utm_term=.2d9651b48d89">illiberal democracy</a></span>, the term he coined in 2007 to explain the political map of the world at the time. Paul Krugman fears that America is turning into a <span><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/opinion/america-becomes-a-stan.html?_r=0">Trumpistan</a></span>, referring to the central Asian political systems based on cult of personality. Absent from those analyses is often the fact that successive American governments have aided and abetted the vast majority of those illiberal democracies and ‘stans’. When you do something for such a long time, it unavoidably seeps in, and becomes a part of who you are. &nbsp;</p><p class="mag-quote-right">There is no comprehensive account of the rise of Trump without discussing how the Iraq war,</p> <p>Without taking account of foreign policy, and regarding it as central to the rise of Trump, a large piece of the puzzle remains missing. The foreign/domestic dichotomy is false and misleading. When Thomas Friedman of the New York times <span><a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/11/12/thomas_friedman_trump_presidency_a_moral_911.html">says</a></span> that Trump presidency is ‘a moral 9/11, only 9/11 was done to us from the outside, and we did this to ourselves,’ he is missing the big picture. There is no comprehensive account of 9/11 without discussing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Gulf war, which made the Mujahedin shift their hatred from communists to the US, which was their initial foster father. There is no comprehensive account of the rise of Trump without discussing how the Iraq war, justified by the biggest lie in recent history of politics, shattered confidence in political institutions, and opened the door to cynics and con artists. None of those events could be understood in isolation from the US foreign policy. The line drawn between what ‘we’ did to ourselves, as opposed to something ‘they’ did to us, produces little more than gross simplification. </p> <p>In one of Aesop fables, a queen bee ascends to Olympus to ask Jupiter for ‘sting’. She wants a weapon to defend her hive against the invaders. Jupiter, a big fan of honey, agrees, under one condition: ‘If you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make, and then you will die from the loss of it.’ </p> <p>America’s military power is a set of stings bestowed upon it by the gods of twentieth century, whoever they might be. America has used them recklessly, inattentive to the consequences. She has left her stings in the wounds of Vietnam, central America, the Middle East, depleting itself out in the process, turning itself into a husk of what it was. That recklessness paved the way for Donald Trump: a hollow man who arrived at the right moment to take over a hollow body. </p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/julie-m-norman/trump-is-creating-real-threat-to-security-by-trumpeting-false-one">Trump is creating a real threat to security by trumpeting a false one</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/david-held/broken-politics-from-911-to-present"> Broken politics: from 9/11 to the present </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/maged-mandour/trump-putin-and-new-middle-east">Trump, Putin, and the new Middle East</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia north america middle east Trump Geopolitics Amir Ahmadi Arian Thu, 02 Feb 2017 15:24:39 +0000 Amir Ahmadi Arian 108541 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Donald Trump: the wrong man https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-wrong-man <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Uncertainty surrounds the US president-elect. Europe and Latin America must learn to defend the republican ideals of the French revolution, the associated liberties and cosmopolitanism in general, by themselves. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-el-hombre-equivocado">Español</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-o-homem-errado">Português</a></em></strong><strong></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29763023.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29763023.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>President-elect Donald Trump speaks during the presidential inaugural Chairman's Global Dinner, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci. All rights reserved. </span></span></span></p> <p>Donald Trump is the wrong man. Even though responsibility suggests that the best course of action is to stay calm, we cannot fail to recognize that the situation is a very serious one indeed. At the risk of sounding pompous, the liberal order established after the Second World War on the basis of the United Nations principles and American hegemony, is teetering. It has been the glue that has kept the liberal international order in operation, but it has lost its adherence and is now dissolving. Russia and China are no substitutes for it.</p> <p><strong>Uncertainty and weakening</strong></p> <p>As globalization reaches maturity and demands the urgent establishment of institutions capable of ensuring its governance, its top promoter and guarantor is proposing its immediate dismantling and the replacement of free trade agreements with a tariff regime. The world elite, those 3.000 men (and some women, but not many) who account for 0.4% of the 1% who accumulate more wealth than the remaining 99% -- 8 people have more wealth than the poorest 50% of humanity, according to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/es/sala-de-prensa/notas-de-prensa/2017-01-16/ocho-personas-poseen-la-misma-riqueza-que-la-mitad-mas">the latest Oxfam report</a> – are meeting this week in Davos under a single shared certainty: uncertainty.</p> <p>The factors for this great global uncertainty are manifold: climate change, feeble economic growth, precarious employment, inequality, the energy model, cyber-security, jihadist terrorism, the stigmatization of democracy, the blame on the elites, attacks on the establishment, anti-politics, populism. And, of course, the <em>en vogue</em> couple: Brexit and Trump. No one predicted that the fall of the Anglo-Saxon empire would be so chaotic, or that it would come as a result of internal self-inflicted implosion.</p> <p>Beyond the US, the two great spaces for prosperity and liberty-building in the West, Europe and Latin America, are currently weakening. The European project of peace and prosperity, built on the basis of 60 years of economic unification and the disappearance of internal borders as a prelude to political unification, has been betrayed by a blend of&nbsp;British nationalism,&nbsp;arrogance and feeling of superiority. Prime Minister Theresa May has just announced that Britons, instead of shooting themselves in the foot, will now directly blow their heads off. “Clean Brexit”, they call it. Philip Hammond, her Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been toying with the idea <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/15/philip-hammond-suggests-uk-outside-single-market-could-become-tax-haven">to turn the UK into a tax haven</a> if Brussels does not give them what they want. Surely, the gravity of Brexit has been underestimated.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">"Beyond the US, the two great spaces for prosperity and liberty-building in the West, Europe and Latin America, are currently weakening."</p> <p>The institutions of Latin American integration, for their part, are going through hard times. Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina, busy dealing with their internal crisis, are looking themselves in the mirror. And Mexico, which has been unable to consolidate the rule of law in its territory during the NAFTA bonanza years, is now directly threatened by an aggressive, hostile, anti-immigrant northern neighbour, precisely when Enrique Peña Nieto, its weak president, struggles between irresponsibility and irrelevance.</p> <p><strong>Casting error</strong></p> <p>The most widespread perception of Donald Trump as a candidate, which has unfortunately been confirmed during his turbulent period as president-elect, is that his profile simply does not match the minimum requirements for the post. Anyone who has had managerial responsibilities in any organization knows that a casting error in management can be lethal and that, if the stabilizers fail, can quickly lead an organization to ruin. The truth is that Trump would not have successfully gone through any professional selection procedure, since he practically meets none of the requirements for the post.</p> <p>Does he have government experience? No. Is he patient? No, he is instead impulsive and a naturally overwhelming character. Does he listen? No, he doesn’t listen when he doesn’t like what he’s hearing. Is he thoughtful and understanding? No, he has a tendency to dismiss any collaborator who dares to go against what he says: from the time of his successful role in the reality show <em>The Apprentice</em>, "you're fired" is one of his favorite expressions. Does he work for inclusion, does he respect diversity? No, he attacks Muslims, or Mexicans, whom he has called "bad <em>hombres</em>". Does he have due regard for the institutions of democratic control and the free press? Not at all, he usually disqualifies them. In his last - and only - press conference in the last 6 months, he refused to take a question from CNN, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004865825/trump-calls-cnn-fake-news.html">calling it "fake news</a>", and stigmatized BuzzFeed as a "pile of crap".</p> <p>What is disturbing about Trump is that he can confuse government with business, and tend to apply a&nbsp;zero-sum game logic and&nbsp;a practice of closing deals with a handshake without having read the contract. His problems with bankrupcies and dodgy businesses are numerous. The recent agreement to 25 million USD settlement for <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/source-trump-nearing-settlement-in-trump-university-fraud-cases/2016/11/18/8dc047c0-ada0-11e6-a31b-4b6397e625d0_story.html?utm_term=.bcb65c817c31">Trump University fraud cases</a> is the last example of lartge scale wrong doing. He despises professional politicians, whom he considers inclined to making ruinous business deals, a fact that has led the US to pay huge sums of money for things that are not worth it, from Obamacare to the Atlantic Alliance. He presents himself as someone who will know how to save resources, both domestically and internationally, and proclaims that he will be “the greatest jobs producer god ever created” (<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-i-will-be-the-greatest-jobs-creator-that-god-ever-created/2017/01/11/152b5bd6-d827-11e6-a0e6-d502d6751bc8_video.html">sic</a>).</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">"What is disturbing about Trump is that he can confuse government with business, and tend to apply&nbsp;a zero-sum game logic and&nbsp;a practice of closing deals with a handshake without having read the contract."</p> <p>Some say that he does not read the reports he is handed, that he shows some signs of attention deficit, that he becomes impatient very quickly, that he is only guided by intuition, and that he improvises constantly. How will he handle his first major crisis? How will his obvious conflict of interest affect his performance? How far can the <em>kompromat</em> in Russian hands go? Too many unknowns, too much uncertainty.</p> <p><strong>Time to govern</strong></p> <p>No one with such an unsuitable profile has ever come this far. Governing in a democracy requires almost the contrary to the personal traits Donald Trump has displayed: trusting the team, listening, reading the reports, contrasting opinions, yielding, reaching compromises, avoiding conflicts and without fail, bearing the general interest in mind, over and above any particular interests (or even family interests, in this case). But will Trump know how to govern? Will he avoid nepotism? How long will he last?</p> <p>The Trump administration promises to be the biggest stress-test American democracy has ever had to undergo. Many are confident that the institutions of democracy will endure the onslaught and that, once he gets to Washington, the establishment’s huge institutional power will end up having the upper hand and moderating the president's personal power, both in form and substance. Washington is not New York, and you certainly see things differently from the White House than from Trump Tower.</p> <p>Stabilizers will have to work. The Republican Party’s absolute majority in both Congress and Senate can be a governing factor, at least until the midterm elections two years from now. It is to be hoped that the steep political learning curve of the most neophyte president in history will have come to an end by then, and that we will have a temperate, governmental Donald Trump in the White House. Until he begins to govern, there is still a loophole for the benefit of the doubt. After all, what he is communicating so far in his compulsive Tweets are his personal opinions, not yet his policies. &nbsp;The sooner he realizes that he cannot govern through 140 character messages, the better. He might end up being a popular and respected president. And yet, as any&nbsp;head of human resources will tell you, <a href="http://www.selectinternational.com/blog/bid/196265/past-behavior-is-the-best-predictor-of-future-behavior">past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour</a>.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The Trump administration promises to be the biggest stress-test American democracy has ever had to undergo.</p> <p>Be this as it may, after the Inauguration pomp and circumstance – where we shall see Donald Trump at his most narcissistic, thrilled to be starring in the best reality show ever imagined - the time to govern will come.</p> <p><strong>European and Latin American responsibility</strong></p> <p>But the unbelievable election of Donald Trump raises so many serious questions and has filled so many chancelleries with so much uncertainty - starting with those of Latin America and Europe -, that anxiety is palpable. We should be prepared to experience great upheavals. Is it perhaps the occasion to strengthen ourselves internally? Is it time to strengthen the European Union, to give up nationalism, and take courageously our joint future into our own hands under no guardianship? Is it time for Latin America to seriously consolidate its democracies? In the face of American self-absorption, there is no excuse for not assuming our responsibility to be free.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">"Is it time to strengthen the European Union, to give up nationalism, and take courageously our joint future into our own hands under no guardianship?"</p> <p>Today we know that&nbsp;Fukuyama's end of history was a delusion. This is being confirmed by Donald Trump, the wrong man. Let us hope that he is nothing more than a historical accident. But the 1930s of the last century must not be repeated. In this historical moment, Europe and Latin America must find a way to seek allies within the United States and avoid abandoning liberal America to its fate. They must also learn to defend the republican ideals of the French revolution, open society, the associated individual liberties, and cosmopolitanism in general – by themselves. When they wake from their nightmare, our American friends will thank us.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/halim-shebaya/trump-cannot-simply-delete-dangerous-campaign">Trump can&#039;t simply delete a dangerous campaign</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/francis-fukuyama-natalia-koulinka/donald-trump-and-return-of-class-interview-with-francis-fukuyama">Donald Trump and the return of class: an interview with Francis Fukuyama</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-weeks/donald-trump-and-shape-of-things-to-come">Donald Trump and the shape of things to come</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nafeez-mosaddeq-ahmed/donald-trump-is-not-problem-he-s-symptom">Donald Trump is not the problem – he’s the symptom</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america latin america europe Understanding the rise of Trump Francesc Badia i Dalmases Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:25:42 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases 108187 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Donald Trump: o homem errado https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-o-homem-errado <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>O presidente eleito Trump traz com ele a incerteza. A Europa e a América Latina devem aprender a defender, por elas mesmas, os ideais republicanos da revolução francesa, as liberdades e o cosmopolitismo.<strong><em> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-wrong-man">English</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-el-hombre-equivocado">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29763023_1.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29763023_1.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>O presidente-eleito Donald Trump durante o Chairman's Global Dinner. 17 de Janeiro, 2017. Washington. Fotografia AP/Evan Vucci. Todos os direitos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p>Donald Trump é o homem errado. Por mais que a responsabilidade nos recomende calma, não podemos deixar de reconhecer que a situação é grave. Anda que pareça pomposo dizê-lo, a grande ordem liberal, estabelecida depois da Segunda Guerra Mundial sobre a base dos princípios das Nações Unidas e da hegemonia Americana, está na corda bamba. Ambos constituem os vínculos que mantiveram a ordem internacional liberal atual, que agora perdeu a sua capacidade de atração e se encontra em decomposição. Nem a Rússia nem a China são capazes de estabelecer outros vínculos. </p> <p><strong>Incerteza e debilitamento</strong></p> <p>No momento em que a globalização alcança a maturidade e reclama com urgência o estabelecimento de instituições capazes de garantir a sua governabilidade, o seu máximo promotor e garante prepara o seu desmantelamento imediato, assim como a substituição dos tratados de livre comercio por um regime de tarifas. A elite mundial, esses 3000 homens (e algumas mulheres) que representam o 0.4% do 1% que acumula mais riqueza que o 99% restante – 8 pessoas possuem mais riqueza que o 50% mais pobre da humanidade, de acordo com o <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/es/sala-de-prensa/notas-de-prensa/2017-01-16/ocho-personas-poseen-la-misma-riqueza-que-la-mitad-mas">ultimo relatório da Oxfam</a> – reúne-se esta semana em Davos, tendo como certa una única coisa: a incerteza. </p> <p>Os elementos desta grande incerteza mundial são múltiplos: mudança climática, crescimento económico fraco, emprego precário, desigualdade profunda, modelo energético, ciber-segurança, terrorismo jihadista, desprestigio da democracia, culpabilização das elites, ataques ao establishment, antipolítica, populismo, e, obviamente, o casal de moda: o Brexit e Trump. Ninguém previu que a queda da ordem anglo-saxónica fosse tao caótica, nem que fosse ativada por uma implosão autoinfligida. </p> <p>Mais além dos Estados Unidos, os dois grandes espaços de prosperidade e construção de liberdade no Ocidente, como foram a Europa e a América Latina, debilitam-se. O projeto europeu de paz e prosperidade, construído passo a passo durante 60 anos sobre a base da unificação económica e o desaparecimento das fronteiras internas, como passo prévio para a unificação política, foi traído pela arrogância e pelo sentimento de superioridade dos Britânicos. Theresa May, primeira-ministra do Reino Unido, acaba de anunciar que, em vez de continuar a disparar contra o pé, talvez seja melhor disparar diretamente contra a cabeça. Chamaram-lhe Brexit Limpo. O seu ministro das finanças, chegou mesmo a ameaçar com <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/15/philip-hammond-suggests-uk-outside-single-market-could-become-tax-haven">converter o Reino Unido num paraíso fiscal</a>, se Bruxelas não lhes der o que querem. Certamente, a gravidade do Brexit foi subestimada.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">"Ninguém previu que a queda da ordem anglo-saxónica fosse tao caótica, nem que fosse ativada por uma implosão autoinfligida."</p> <p>Por outra parte, as instituições de integração latino-americanas vivem horas baixas. A Colômbia, Venezuela, Brasil e a Argentina, que estão concentrados em manejar a suas respetivas crises internas, olham-se ao espelho. E o México, que não foi capaz de consolidar, durante os anos de prosperidade do NAFTA, o estado de direito no seu território, vê-se agora diretamente ameaçada por um vizinho do norte agressivo, hostil, anti-imigrante, precisamente no momento em que Peña Nieto, o seu presidente mais fraco, se debate entre a irresponsabilidade e a irrelevância. </p> <p><strong>Erro de casting</strong></p> <p>A perceção generalizada sobre o Donald Trump candidato, confirmada infelizmente durante o seu turbulento período como presidente-eleito, é que o seu perfil não cumpre com os requisitos mínimos para o cargo. Qualquer que tenha tido responsabilidade na gestão de organizações sabe que um erro de casting na direção pode ser fatal e levar, se falharem os estabilizadores, a organização à ruina. A realidade é que Trump não teria superado nenhum painel de seleção profissional, tendo em conta que não cumpre com praticamente nenhum dos requisitos necessários para o cargo. </p> <p>Tem experiencia de governo? Não, nenhuma. É paciente? Não, tem um carácter impulsivo e devastador. Sabe ouvir? Não, não ouve o que não quer ouvir. É reflexivo ou compreensivo? Não, tendendo a prescindir daqueles colaboradores que se lhe oponham: desde os tempos do seu papel no programa de televisão “O Aprendiz”, “estás despedido” é a sua frase favorita. Trabalha em defesa da inclusão, respeita a diversidade? Não. Ataca os muçulmanos, os mexicanos, aos que chama de “bad hombres”. Respeita as instituições de controlo da democracia e um jornalismo livre? Longe disso, tendendo a atacá-lo. Na sua última – e única conferencia de imprensa nos últimos 6 meses – negou a palavra à CNN, chamando-lhe “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004865825/trump-calls-cnn-fake-news.html">fake news</a>”, e apelidando o Buzzfeed de um “monte de porcaria”. </p> <p>Em Trump preocupa sobretudo que confunda a governação com os negócios, e que aplique a sua lógica executiva de um <em>jogo de soma zero</em>, e o seu hábito de fechar negócios com um apertão de mãos, sem antes ter lido o contrato. Despreza os políticos profissionais, quem considera gente proclive a fechar negócios ruinosos, que levaram os Estados Unidos a pagar sumas desmedidas por coisas que não valem a pena, como o ObamaCare ou a NATO. Apresenta-se como uma pessoa que saberá poupar, tanto a nível doméstico como internacional, e diz de si mesmo que será o “<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-i-will-be-the-greatest-jobs-creator-that-god-ever-created/2017/01/11/152b5bd6-d827-11e6-a0e6-d502d6751bc8_video.html">maior produtor de postos de trabalho que Deus alguma vez criou</a>”. </p> <p>Dele dizem que não lê os relatórios, que sofre de deficits de atenção, que se impacienta rapidamente, que só se deixa guiar pela intuição, e que recorre constantemente à improvisação. Como administrará a sua primeira grande crise? De que forma o afetará o seu evidente conflito e interesses? Até onde chega o <em>kompromat</em> em mãos russas? Demasiadas incógnitas, demasiada incerteza.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Nunca ninguém com um perfil tao inadequado chegou tão alto.</p> <p><strong>A hora de governar</strong></p> <p>Nunca ninguém com um perfil tao inadequado chegou tao alto. Governar numa democracia supõe o contrário: confiar na equipa, escutar, ler os relatórios, contrastar opiniões, ceder, chegar a entendimentos, evitar conflitos e ter sempre em mente o interesse geral, por cima dos interesses particulares (ou familiares neste caso). Mas saberá Trump governar? Evitará o nepotismo? Quanto tempo permanecerá no cargo?</p> <p>A administração Trump promete ser o maior <em>teste de stress</em> ao que alguma vez se submeteu a democracia americana. Muitos confiam que as instituições democráticas aguentem a investida. Que, uma vez em Washington, o imenso poder institucional do <em>establishment</em> acabará por se impor ao poder pessoal do presidente, moderando-o, tanto em relação as formas, como em relação ao conteúdo. Washington não é Nova Iorque, e as coisas interpretam-se de forma diferente em função de se se está na Casa Branca ou na Torre Trump. </p> <p>Os estabilizadores têm que funcionar. A maioria absoluta da que dispõe o Partido Republicano no Congresso e no Senado podem ser um fator de governabilidade, pelo menos até às eleições que terão lugar daqui a dois anos. Permaneçamos confiantes que, chegado esse momento, a curva de aprendizagem do presidente menos preparado da historia tenha chegado a bom porto, e que tenhamos um Donald Trump contido.&nbsp; Até que não comece a governar, resta-nos dar-lhe um ínfimo beneficio da duvida. Ao fim e ao cabo, o que expressa nos seus Tweets são as suas opiniões pessoais, e não as suas opiniões políticas. Quanto antes se dê conta que não pode governar com mensagens de 140 caracteres, melhor. Talvez Trump acabe por converter-se num presidente popular e respeitado? Alguns querem acreditar nisso, ainda que saibam que, como lhes dirá qualquer diretor de recursos humanos, o comportamento passado é aquele que melhor antecipa o comportamento futuro.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">"A administração Trump promete ser o maior&nbsp;teste de stress&nbsp;ao que alguma vez se submeteu a democracia americana."</p> <p>Seja como for, uma vez terminado o show em que se converterá a tomada de posse, incluindo a primeira dança, – veremos neste momento o Donald Trump mais narcisista, entusiasmado por protagoniza o melhor <em>reality show</em> alguma vez imaginado –&nbsp; chegará a hora de Trump governar.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">"Perante o ensimesmamento americano, já não há desculpas para não assumirmos a responsabilidade de ser livres."</p> <p><strong>Responsabilidade Europeia e Latino-americana</strong></p> <p>Mas a insólita eleição de Trump abre tantos interrogantes, e tao sérios, e encheu de tanta incerteza os governos, começando pelos europeus e latino-americanos, que a ansiedade no ar é percetível. Devemos preparar-nos para viver grandes sobressaltos. Será este o momento para nos fortalecermos internamente? Para reforçar a União Europeia, deixando de lado os nacionalismos e assumir como valentia um futuro comum? De que a América Latina dê um passo mais na consolidação das suas democracias e culmine as suas transições com êxito? Tarefa difícil, tendo em conta as divisões e rivalidades internas em ambos continentes. Mas, perante o ensimesmamento americano, já não há desculpas para não assumirmos a responsabilidade de ser livres. </p> <p>Hoje sabemos que o fim da história foi uma ilusão. Confirma-o Donald Trump, o homem errado. Oxalá não passe de um acidente da historia. Mas os anos 30 do século passado não se podem repetir. Nestes momentos históricos, a Europa e a América Latina devem saber procurar aliados dentro dos Estados Unidos – existe uma enorme oposição interna – e não abandonar a América liberal à sua sorte. Mas a Europa e a América Latina também devem aprender a defender, por si sós, os ideais republicanos da revolução francesa, as sociedades abertas, as liberdades, o cosmopolitismo. Quando acordar do seu pesadelo, o amigo americano agradecer-nos-á.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america mexico latin america europe Francesc Badia i Dalmases Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:31:53 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases 108190 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Donald Trump: el hombre equivocado https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-el-hombre-equivocado <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>El presidente electo Trump es todo incertidumbre. Europa y América Latina deben aprender a defender, por sí solas, los ideales republicanos de la revolución francesa, las libertades y el cosmopolitismo. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-o-homem-errado">Português</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/donald-trump-wrong-man">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29763023_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29763023_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>El presidente electo Donald Trump habla durante el Chairman's Global Dinner, el martes 17 de enero de 2017, en Washington.AP/Evan Vucci. Todos los derechos reservados.</span></span></span></p> <p>Donald Trump es el hombre equivocado. Por más que la responsabilidad nos llame a la calma, no podemos menos que reconocer que la situación es grave. Aunque suene grandilocuente decirlo, el orden liberal mundial, establecido tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial sobre la base de los principios de las Naciones Unidas y de la hegemonía americana, se tambalea. Ambos constituyen el pegamento que ha mantenido el orden internacional liberal en funcionamiento, y que ahora ha perdido su capacidad adherente y está en disolución. Ni Rusia ni China constituyen pegamento alguno sino más bien, por distintas razones, lo contrario.</p> <p><strong>Incertidumbre y debilitamiento</strong></p> <p>En el momento en que la globalización alcanza su madurez y reclama con urgencia el establecimiento o la&nbsp;consolidación&nbsp;de instituciones capaces de asegurar su gobernanza, su máximo promotor y garante plantea su desmantelamiento inmediato, y sustituir los tratados de libre comercio por un régimen de tarifas. La élite mundial, esos 3.000 hombres (y algunas mujeres, no muchas) que representan el 0,4% del 1% que acumula más riqueza que 99% restante –8 personas poseen más riqueza que el 50% más pobre de la humanidad, según <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/es/sala-de-prensa/notas-de-prensa/2017-01-16/ocho-personas-poseen-la-misma-riqueza-que-la-mitad-mas">el último informe de Oxfam</a>—, se reúne esta semana en Davos bajo una única certeza compartida: la incertidumbre. </p> <p>Los factores de esta intensa incertidumbre mundial son múltiples: cambio climático, crecimiento débil, empleo precario, desigualdad profunda, tecnología disruptiva, cyber-seguridad, terrorismo jihadista, desprestigio de la democracia, culpabilización de las élites, ataques al establishment, anti-política, populismo y, por supuesto, la pareja de moda: Brexit y Trump. Nadie predijo que la caída del orden anglosajón fuera a ser tan&nbsp;azarosa, ni que fuese a venir por implosión interna auto-infligida. </p> <p>Más allá de los Estados Unidos, los dos grandes espacios de prosperidad y construcción de libertades en Occidente, como han sido Europa y América Latina, se debilitan. El proyecto europeo de paz y prosperidad, construido paso a paso durante 60 años sobre la base de la unificación económica y la desaparición de las fronteras internas, como paso previo a la unificación política, ya debilitado por la crisis --constitucional primero, económica y del Euro después -,&nbsp;y por la resistencia de los estados a ir más allá de la nación, ha sido finalmente traicionado por&nbsp;una mezcla tóxica de&nbsp;arrogancia, nacionalismo,&nbsp;y sentimiento de superioridad británicos. Theresa May, primera ministra, acaba de anunciar que, en vez de seguir disparándose al pie, quizás van a dispararse directamente en la cabeza. Brexit limpio, lo han llamado. Su ministro de finanzas incluso ha llegado a amenazar con <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/15/philip-hammond-suggests-uk-outside-single-market-could-become-tax-haven">convertir al Reino Unido en un paraíso fiscal,</a> si Bruselas no les da lo que ellos quieren. Seguramente, la gravedad del Brexit se ha subestimado.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Nadie predijo que la caída del orden anglosajón fuera a ser tan caótica, ni que fuese a venir por implosión interna auto infligida.</p> <p>Por su parte, las instituciones de la integración latinoamericana viven horas bajas. Colombia, Venezuela, Brasil, Argentina, concentrados en manejar sus respectivas transiciones y crisis internas, se miran al espejo. Y México, que no ha sido capaz de consolidar, durante los años de bonanza del NAFTA, el estado de derecho en su territorio, se ve ahora directamente amenazado por un vecino del norte agresivo, hostil, antiinmigrante, precisamente en el momento en que Peña Nieto, su presidente más débil, se debate entre la irresponsabilidad, y la irrelevancia. </p> <p><strong>Error de casting</strong></p> <p>La percepción más extendida sobre el Donald Trump candidato, confirmada desafortunadamente durante su turbulento periodo como presidente electo, es que su perfil no encaja con los mínimos requeridos para el cargo. Cualquiera que haya tenido responsabilidades en la gestión de organizaciones sabe que un error de casting en la dirección puede ser fatal y&nbsp;llevar, si fallan los estabilizadores, a la organización rápidamente a la ruina. Lo cierto es que Trump no hubiese superado ningún panel de selección profesional, puesto que no cumple con prácticamente ninguno de los requisitos necesarios para el cargo.&nbsp; </p> <p>¿Tiene experiencia de gobierno? No, ninguna. ¿Es paciente? No, tiene un carácter impulsivo y arrollador. ¿Sabe escuchar? No, no escucha lo que no le gusta escuchar. ¿Es reflexivo, es comprensivo? No, sino que tiende a prescindir de los colaboradores que le lleven la contraria: desde los tiempos de su exitoso papel en el reality-show “The Apprentice”, “estás despedido” es su frase favorita. ¿Trabaja para la inclusión, respeta la diversidad?&nbsp; No, sino que&nbsp;es un misógino, y ataca a los musulmanes, o a los mexicanos, a los que tilda de “bad hombres”. ¿Respeta a las instituciones de control de la democracia y a la prensa libre, en primer lugar? No, en absoluto, sino que tiende a descalificarla. En su última –y única rueda de prensa en los últimos 6 meses— le negó la palabra a la CNN, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004865825/trump-calls-cnn-fake-news.html">llamándola “fake news</a>”, y tildó a Buzzfeed de “montón de porquería”. </p> <p>De Trump preocupa que confunda el gobierno con los negocios, y que aplique una lógica de juego de suma cero, o el hábito de cerrar tratos con un apretón de manos, sin&nbsp; apenas haberse leído el contrato. El número de causas judiciales por negocios dudosos que acumula no augura nada bueno (los 25 millones de dólares que ha pactado para saldar <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/source-trump-nearing-settlement-in-trump-university-fraud-cases/2016/11/18/8dc047c0-ada0-11e6-a31b-4b6397e625d0_story.html?utm_term=.bcb65c817c31">el fraude de la Trump University</a> demuestran hasta qué punto esto es así). Desprecia a los políticos profesionales, a los que considera gente proclive a negocios ruinosos, que ha llevado a los Estados Unidos a estar pagando sumas ingentes por cosas que no valen la pena, como Obamacare, o la Alianza Atlántica. Se presenta como alguien que sabrá ahorrar, tanto en el nivel doméstico, como en lo internacional, y dice de sí mismo que será “el mayor productor de puestos de trabajo que Dios haya creado” <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-i-will-be-the-greatest-jobs-creator-that-god-ever-created/2017/01/11/152b5bd6-d827-11e6-a0e6-d502d6751bc8_video.html">(sic.).</a> </p> <p>De él dicen que no se lee los informes, que presenta déficits de atención, que se impacienta muy rápidamente, que solo se guía por la intuición, y que improvisa constantemente. ¿Cómo gestionará su primera gran crisis? ¿Cómo afectará su evidente conflicto de intereses? ¿Hasta dónde llega el <em>kompromat</em> en manos rusas? Demasiadas incógnitas, demasiada incertidumbre.</p> <p><strong>La hora de gobernar</strong></p> <p>Nunca nadie con un perfil tan inadecuado ha llegado tan arriba. Gobernar en democracia significa casi todo lo contrario: confiar en el equipo, escuchar, leer informes, contrastar opiniones, ceder, alcanzar compromisos, evitar conflictos y tener siempre presente el interés general, por encima de los intereses particulares (o familiares, en su caso). Hacer lo contrario es autoritarismo. Pero Trump: ¿sabrá gobernar? ¿Evitará el nepotismo? ¿Cuánto durará en el cargo?</p> <p>La administración Trump promete ser el mayor <em>stress-test</em> al que se haya sometido nunca la democracia americana. Muchos confían en que las instituciones de la democracia aguanten la embestida y en que, una vez llegue a Washington, el inmenso poder institucional del establishment se acabará imponiendo al poder personal del presidente, y lo moderará, tanto en las formas, como en el fondo. Washington no es Nueva York, y las cosas se ven necesariamente distintas desde la Casa Blanca que desde la Torre Trump. &nbsp;</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">La administración Trump promete ser el mayor stress-test al que se haya sometido nunca la democracia americana.&nbsp;</p> <p>Los estabilizadores deberán funcionar. La mayoría absoluta que ahora ostenta el partido republicano en el congreso y en el senado puede ser un factor de gobernabilidad, por lo menos hasta las elecciones de mitad de mandato, dentro de dos años. Confiemos en que por entonces, la empinada curva de aprendizaje político del presidente más novato de la historia haya culminado, y tengamos a un Donald Trump templado, gubernamental. Hasta que no empiece a gobernar, le queda un resquicio al beneficio de la duda. Al fin y al cabo, lo que expresa hasta ahora en sus Tweets compulsivos son sus opiniones personales, pero no sus políticas. Cuanto antes se dé cuenta de que no puede gobernar con mensajes de 140 caracteres, mejor. ¿Quizás Trump acabe convertido en un presidente popular y bien valorado? ¿Cabalgará sobre una burbuja de crecimiento económico basada en la inversión&nbsp;en infraestructura&nbsp;y el proteccionismo comercial? Algunos quieren creerlo, aunque se teman que, como les dirá cualquier jefe de recursos humanos, el comportamiento pasado es lo que mejor anticipa el comportamiento futuro.&nbsp; </p> <p>Sea como sea, pasados los fastos y el show de la jura del cargo, incluido el “primer baile” –veremos ahí al Donald Trump más narcisista, pagado de sí mismo, entusiasmado por protagonizar el mejor reality-show jamás imaginado— habrá llegado la hora de gobernar. </p> <p><strong>Responsabilidad europea y latinoamericana</strong></p> <p>Pero la insólita elección de Trump abre tantos interrogantes, y tan serios, y ha llenado de tanta incertidumbre a tantas las cancillerías, empezando por las latinoamericanas y las europeas, que la ansiedad es manifiesta. Todo el mundo debe prepararse para vivir grandes sobresaltos. ¿Es quizás la ocasión para fortalecerse internamente? ¿Es el momento de reflotar la Unión Europea, dejarse de nacionalismos y asumir con valentía un futuro común y sin tutelas? ¿Es el momento de que Latinoamérica de un paso más en la consolidación de sus democracias y culmine sus transiciones con éxito? Tarea difícil, dadas las divisiones y rivalidades internas en ambos continentes. Pero, ante el ensimismamiento americano, ya no hay excusas para no asumir la responsabilidad de ser libres.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">¿Es el momento de que Latinoamérica de un paso más en la consolidación de sus democracias y culmine sus transiciones con éxito?</p> <p>Hoy sabemos que el fin de la historia augurado por Francis Fukuyama fue un espejismo. Lo confirma Donald Trump, el hombre equivocado. Ojalá no sea otra cosa que un accidente de la historia. Pero los años 30 del siglo pasado no se pueden repetir. En estos momentos históricos, Europa y América Latina deben saber buscar aliados dentro de los Estados Unidos –hay una enorme oposición interna— y no abandonar a la América liberal a su suerte. Pero también deben aprender a defender, por sí solos, sin descargar la responsabilidad en el Tío Sam, los ideales republicanos de la revolución francesa, las sociedades abiertas, las libertades, el cosmopolitismo. Esos valores hoy son percibidos por muchos como "blandos", de estar al servicio de la elite, del establishment que desprecia a las clases desfavorecidas por la globalización. Sólo si logramos defender un&nbsp;orden liberal y de aspiración democrática, aun con todas&nbsp;sus contradicciones, cuando despierte de su pesadilla, el amigo americano nos lo agradecerá.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/trump-clinton-americalatina-future">Trump vs Hillary: consecuencias de las elecciones presidenciales en América Latina</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/trump-gana-y-ahora-qu">Trump gana. ¿Y ahora qué?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america mexico latin america europe Francesc Badia i Dalmases Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:28:29 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases 108188 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Obama keeps on deporting Central American teens. What will Trump do? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-keeps-on-deporting-central-american-teens-what-will-trump-do <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>“I am glad the cards are now on the table and there is not a hidden agenda. Because then we can fight accordingly.” <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-sigue-deportando-j-venes-centroamericanos-qu-har-trump">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29165256_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29165256_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="327" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Protesters hold signs as they march in opposition to the election of President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson. All rights reserved. </span></span></span></p><p>The blueprint established under the Obama administration to deport Central American teenagers soon after they reach the age of majority continues to operate unabated. Despite the intercession of public officials and a pending appeal in Federal Immigration Court, North Carolina teenager Pedro Arturo Salmerón was deported from the United States to El Salvador on Saturday, November 12, just days after Donald Trump was elected president.</p> <p>The deportation marks the continuation of a policy begun last year under the Obama government to respond to an unprecedented number of minors and mothers with small children who arrived at the U.S./Mexican border from the northern Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras during the summer of 2014. In the wake of an escalation in violence that rendered those countries the most dangerous places on earth and set off the mass migration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/women-and-children-first-homeland-security-targets-family-units-for-">issued a directive</a> in December 2015 taking aim at the young and vulnerable asylum seekers as soon as they aged out of protected status. </p> <p>Though DHS and President Obama insisted that they were only targeting dangerous criminals for arrest and deportation, in reality the opposite seems to be true. It appears that innocent applicants for asylum and relief, who are easily identifiable and located as they faithfully offer all their personal information, are at the highest risk.</p> <p>Then 17, Pedro fled El Salvador to rejoin his family in Charlotte, NC in June 2014, following the brutal murder and decapitation of his cousin by gang members. The gang, his family says, was also threatening his life.</p> <p>But his time with mother Carmen and other family members was abruptly cut short. Pedro immediately applied for humanitarian asylum and the opportunity to live with his family in North Carolina upon arriving in the United States, and the family tirelessly pursued his case, spending thousands of dollars. The Vance High School student was arrested by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the police arm of the DHS) agents on his way to school on January 26, 2016.</p> <p>Able to play several instruments and with dreams of a career in music, Pedro also excelled in sciences and literature at Vance. After his arrest, he was mainly held for the last 10 months at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, 400 miles (640 km) from his family and supporters in North Carolina, in an atmosphere he described as one of “<a href="http://lilysblackboard.org/2016/05/welcome-students-stand/">disappointment and despair</a>.” </p> <p>The slight and soft-spoken youth, who wears his hair in long, glossy curls down his back, was first slated to be transported to Houston, Texas, on Saturday when the plane he was to take was deemed unable to fly. This was the third time that Pedro and his family had to endure a false start to removal proceedings. At 1 am on July 31, he was moved out of Stewart for imminent deportation, only to be returned to Georgia the next day. The same thing had happened twice earlier that week. Pedro’s lawyer said he believed that it was “<a href="///C:/Users/U117015/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/3RT5DITP/.%20https:/charlotte.quepasanoticias.com/noticias/ciudad/local/pararon-la-deportacion-del-salvadoreno-pedro-salmeron">in retaliation</a>” for having lodged a complaint about a previous move to a facility in Louisiana.</p> <p>Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, representing the 12th congressional district in North Carolina, has been <a href="https://adams.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congresswoman-adams-visits-pedro-salmeron-stewart-detention-center">speaking out</a> and supporting Pedro and the Salmeron family all year, including travelling to Stewart to see him. Pedro also was counting on the support of three other congresspersons, Representatives John Lewis (D-GA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), who with Adams wrote a letter to DHS director Jeh Johnson requesting a “<a href="http://www.scalawagmagazine.org/articles/the-suffering-of-yefri">humane solution</a>” for the youthful immigrants. </p> <p>But attitudes to these young immigrants do not fall strictly along party lines.</p> <p>Kay Hagen, Democratic Party senator who represented North Carolina in Washington DC from 2009-2015, was vehemently opposed to the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors ).&nbsp; “Dreamers” are undocumented students who were born in other countries but raised and educated in the United States, and the act allows them to continue their studies in the U.S. In 2010, Hagen was one of only five Democratic senators who opposed the act.</p> <p>Meanwhile, across the aisle, Lindsay Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, is currently working on legislation with Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) to extend President Obama’s 2012 initiative known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Under DACA, DHS is supposed to refrain from deporting undocumented persons who came to the United States as children, were educated here, and have no criminal histories. These undocumented immigrants are then granted temporary visas to live and work, which must be renewed every two years.</p> <p>The files of <a href="https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/who-and-where-dreamers-are-revised-estimates">750,000 DACA</a> applicants and a million DREAMers may prove too tempting for President-Elect Donald Trump, who vociferously declared his intention to deport millions of undocumented immigrants on many occasions during his campaign. After years of scapegoating immigrants and convincing his followers, if not a large part of the American public, that immigrants are “rapists and murderers,” it would be easy to demonize the entire immigrant population in order to justify refugee and student deportations and more easily achieve his promised numbers.</p> <p>Bring it on, <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article116711633.html">declares immigrant advocate Viridiana Martínez</a>, one of the founders of NC Dream Team and <a href="http://alertamigratorianc.org/">Alerta Migratoria NC</a>. “Obama told us the right things, but he did the wrong ones,” Martinez said. But under Trump, “I am glad the cards are now on the table and there is not a hidden agenda. Because then we can fight accordingly.”</p><div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> El Salvador </div> <div class="field-item even"> Honduras </div> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Honduras El Salvador Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america latin america Danica Jorden Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0000 Danica Jorden 107673 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Obama sigue deportando a jóvenes centroamericanos. ¿Qué hará Trump? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-sigue-deportando-j-venes-centroamericanos-qu-har-trump <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>"Me alegro de que las cartas estén sobre la mesa y de que no haya una agenda oculta. Ahora podremos luchar en consecuencia". <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-keeps-on-deporting-central-american-teens-what-will-trump-do">English</a></em></strong><strong></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29165256.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29165256.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="327" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Marcha en oposición a la elección de Donald Trump. Domingo, 13 de noviembre de 2016, en St. Louis. Foto AP / Jeff Roberson.</span></span></span></p><p>El plan diseñado por la administración Obama para deportar a adolescentes centroamericanos en cuanto alcanzan la mayoría de edad sigue operativo. A pesar de la intercesión de funcionarios públicos y de un recurso pendiente en la Corte Federal de Inmigración, el joven Pedro Arturo Salmerón, de Carolina del Norte, fue deportado a El Salvador el sábado 12 de noviembre, pocos días después de que Donald Trump saliera elegido presidente de los Estados Unidos.</p> <p>Esta deportación confirma la continuación de la política iniciada el año pasado, bajo el gobierno de Obama, como respuesta al número sin precedentes de menores y de madres con hijos pequeños que llegaron a la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos procedentes de El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras durante el verano de 2014. A consecuencia de la escalada de violencia que convirtió a estos países en los lugares más peligrosos de la tierra y desencadenó una migración masiva, el Departamento de Seguridad Interna de Estados Unidos (DHS) publicó una directiva, en diciembre de 2015, cuyo objetivo son los jóvenes y los solicitantes de asilo en situación de vulnerabilidad tan pronto como quedan sin protección por haber superado la mayoría de edad.</p> <p>Aunque tanto el DHS como el presidente Obama insistieron en que su objetivo era sólo detener y deportar a criminales peligrosos, la realidad parece indicar lo contrario. Los inocentes solicitantes de asilo y ayuda, fácilmente identificables y localizables porque facilitan toda su información personal, son los que están en mayor riesgo.</p> <p>En junio de 2014, cuando tenía 17 años, Pedro huyó de El Salvador para reunirse con su familia en Charlotte, Carolina del Norte, tras el brutal asesinato y decapitación de un primo suyo a manos de miembros de una pandilla criminal que, según afirma su familia, le amenazaba también a él.</p> <p>Pero la estancia con su madre, Carmen, y otros miembros de su familia acabó bruscamente. Al llegar a los Estados Unidos, Pedro solicitó inmediatamente asilo humanitario y permiso para vivir con sus familiares en Carolina del Norte, y toda la familia se empeñó en seguir su caso, invirtiendo en ello miles de dólares. Pero el 26 de enero de 2016, Pedro, estudiante de la Escuela Secundaria Vance, fue arrestado por agentes del ICE (el brazo policial del DHS) camino de la escuela.</p> <p>Pedro sabe tocar varios instrumentos y soñaba con emprender una carrera musical, pero en Vance sobresalía también en ciencias y literatura. Tras su detención, se le ha mantenido confinado durante 10 meses en el Centro de Detención Stewart en Lumpkin, Georgia, a 640 km de su familia y simpatizantes en Carolina del Norte, en una atmósfera que ha descrito como de "<a href="http://lilysblackboard.org/2016/05/welcome-students-stand/">decepción y desespero</a>".</p> <p>El espigado joven, de voz suave y pelo largo y brillante que le cae por la espalda, tenía en principio que ser trasladado a Houston, Texas, pero el avión en el que iba a viajar no obtuvo permiso de vuelo. Era la tercera vez que Pedro y su familia tenían que pasar por un comienzo en falso de los procedimientos de expulsión. A la 1 de la madrugada del 31 de julio le sacaron de Stewart para su deportación inminente, pero le trajeron de vuelta a Georgia al día siguiente. Lo mismo había ocurrido ya dos veces aquella misma semana. El abogado de Pedro cree que se trataba de una "<a href="///C:/Users/U117015/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/3RT5DITP/.%20https:/charlotte.quepasanoticias.com/noticias/ciudad/local/pararon-la-deportacion-del-salvadoreno-pedro-salmeron">represalia</a>” por haber presentado una queja por un anterior traslado a un centro de Louisiana.</p> <p>La congresista Alma S. Adams, representante del distrito 12 de Carolina del Norte, ha estado <a href="https://adams.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congresswoman-adams-visits-pedro-salmeron-stewart-detention-center">denunciando</a> el caso y apoyando a Pedro y a la familia Salmerón durante todo el año, incluso viajando a Stewart para verle. Pedro ha contado también con el apoyo de otros tres congresistas, John Lewis (Demócrata, Georgia), Hank Johnson (Demócrata, Georgia) y G.K. Butterfield (Demócrata, Carolina del Norte), que escribieron con Adams una carta dirigida a Jeh Johnson, director del DHS, solicitando una "<a href="http://www.scalawagmagazine.org/articles/the-suffering-of-yefri">solución humana</a>" para los jóvenes inmigrantes.</p> <p>La actitud hacia los jóvenes inmigrantes no sigue, sin embargo, líneas partidistas.</p> <p>Kay Hagen, senador del Partido Demócrata que representó a Carolina del Norte en Washington entre 2009 y 2015, se opuso vehementemente a la Ley DREAM (Desarrollo, Ayuda y Educación para Menores Extranjeros), que permite que los estudiantes indocumentados que han nacido en otros países pero han crecido y se han educado en Estados Unidos continúen sus estudios en este país. En 2010, Hagen fue uno de los únicos cinco senadores demócratas que se opusieron a la ley.</p> <p>En la bancada opuesta, Lindsay Graham, senador republicano de Carolina del Sur, trabaja actualmente con el senador Jeff Flake (Republicano, Arizona) para extender legislativamente la iniciativa del Presidente Obama de 2012 conocida como DACA (Acción Diferida para Llegadas Infantiles), cuya aplicación implica que el DHS debe abstenerse de deportar a las personas indocumentadas que llegaron a los Estados Unidos siendo niños, se han educado en el país y no tienen antecedentes criminales. A estos inmigrantes indocumentados se les conceden visados temporales, a renovar cada dos años, para vivir y trabajar en Estados Unidos.</p> <p>Las fichas de los <a href="https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/who-and-where-dreamers-are-revised-estimates">750.000 solicitantes de DACA</a> y del millón de personas acogidas a la Ley&nbsp; DREAM pueden resultar muy tentadoras para el presidente electo Donald Trump, que ha manifestado repetidamente y con vehemencia durante la campaña electoral su intención de deportar a millones de inmigrantes indocumentados. Tras años señalando a los inmigrantes como chivos expiatorios y convenciendo a sus seguidores, o quizás a una gran parte del público estadounidense, de que los inmigrantes son "violadores y asesinos", le sería fácil satanizar ahora a toda la población inmigrante para justificar las deportaciones de refugiados y estudiantes y cumplir así más fácilmente lo prometido en campaña.</p> <p>¡Pues adelante!, <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article116711633.html">exclama la defensora de los derechos de los inmigrantes Viridiana Martínez</a>dice Viridiana Martínez, una de las fundadoras de la organización Dream Team de Carolina del Norte y de Alerta Migratoria. "Obama nos dijo cosas buenas, pero las hizo mal", dice Martínez. Con Trump, "me alegro de que las cartas estén sobre la mesa y de que no haya una agenda oculta. Ahora podremos luchar en consecuencia".</p><div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mexico </div> <div class="field-item even"> El Salvador </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Honduras </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Equality </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Honduras El Salvador Mexico Civil society Democracy and government Equality Ideas International politics north america latin america Danica Jorden Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0000 Danica Jorden 107672 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Sioux protests and the protection of human rights in the United States https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/tor-hodenfeld/sioux-protests-and-protection-of-human-rights-in-united-states <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Tribal leaders’ protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have been showing how both environmental and human rights are so difficult to defend in the US. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/tor-hodenfeld/las-protestas-de-los-sioux-y-la-protecci-n-de-los-derechos-humanos-e">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/-Happi-_American_Horse_direct_action_against_DAPL,_August_2016.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/-Happi-_American_Horse_direct_action_against_DAPL,_August_2016.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Man locks himself to construction equipment to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Photo: Desiree Kane/Wikimedia Commons. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>Through the relentless stream of rush-hour pedestrian gridlock, it was difficult to distinguish between protestor, spectator, tourist and commuter on a recent Tuesday in Grand Central Train Station in New York City. However, within minutes, any ambiguity between demonstrator and observer quickly thawed with the clarion call of “Mic check!” by the apparent organiser of the demonstration. Hand-in-hand, the group of 30 responded with a resounding “Mic check!” and the 3rd consecutive day of the New York City solidarity protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota(DAPL) had begun.</p> <p>While the DAPL demonstrations in New York and across the United States have attracted the attention of other allied groups, national media, police and government officials, the locus of the movement, and the site of the polices’ most violent crackdown, is thousands of miles away on the rural plains of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation in North Dakota. The frequency and intensity of the protests, and attendant violent crackdown, are a stark reminder of the US Government’s fundamental failure to develop a nation-wide independent human rights body to provide impartial and timely support for communities subject to human rights violations. </p> <p>The diversity of civic resistance strategies used by the Sioux community as well as their longstanding commitment to the cause belies the recent surge in reporting of the protests. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have opposed construction of the pipeline, which would daily transfer hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to central Illinois, <a href="http://billmoyers.com/story/need-know-dakota-access-pipeline-protest/" target="_blank">since its inception in 2014</a>. The Sioux, a tribe of over 10,000 with land stretching across North and South Dakota, claim that the pipeline would have catastrophic environmental and cultural consequences for the community including polluting local water sources and razing sacred lands and burial grounds.</p> <p>In recent months, as construction of the pipeline advanced, leaders of the movement supplemented stalled litigation in federal courts with a range of non-violent protest strategies. Over 200 Native American tribes and thousands of non-native supporters have joined the protests on both a sustained and temporary basis at rallies and primary encampments. However, in an apparent attempt to suppress the movement’s growing momentum and discourage others from joining in solidarity, the authorities have assumed an increasingly hostile and coercive stance to the protests.</p> <p>Increasingly since September, security firms employed by Energy Access Partners, the private company developing the pipeline, and local and state police agencies have routinely utilized excessive force, arbitrary arrest and intimidation tactics to subvert the protesters constitutional and international rights to expression and peaceful assembly.&nbsp; Over the course of the last month more than 400 protesters have been arrested, many of whom have been subjected to highly-questionable charges including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/29/us/dakota-access-pipeline-protest.html" target="_blank">engaging in riots and conspiracy to endanger</a>&nbsp;by fire and explosion. On several occasions, police have resorted to wanton violence to disperse and silence the demonstrations. With worrying frequency, the police have targeted protestors using rubber bullets, pepper spray and attack dogs. </p> <p>Attempts by local officials to justify this unwarranted and excessive use of force as a legitimate response to a belligerent environment induced by the protestors is as misleading as it is inaccurate. The protestors have remained largely peaceful, engaging in non-violent forms of public dissent, including sit-ins, marches and occupations. Moreover, the authorities have taken systematic and wildly undemocratic measures to silence independent reporting on the protests. </p> <p>In mid-September, investigative journalists with “Democracy Now!,” a daily television news program, arrived in Standing Rock <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/15/north_dakota_vs_amy_goodman_journalism" target="_blank">to document the protests.</a> They captured footage of private security guards brutally attacking demonstrators which attracted over 13 million views on Facebook and was later syndicated on most major television news networks. Days later, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation issued an arrest warrant for Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, on&nbsp; charges of engaging in a riot. While the case was later thrown out by a North Dakota judge, the targeted persecution of independent journalists for reporting on police misconduct represents an alarming and calculated escalation of the authorities’ campaign to suppress the legitimate DAPL protest movement.</p> <p>In the current political climate where rural and suburban job growth has assumed rhetorical primacy, the prospect of a settlement which reflects the environmental, economic and cultural needs of the Sioux Standing Rock community, seems increasingly remote. Last week, despite <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/us/president-obama-says-engineers-considering-alternate-route-for-dakota-pipeline.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">previously signalling</a> that the Federal Government would consider an alternative route for the pipeline, President Obama indicated that construction would soon resume - though, later and probably reacting to the presence of hundreds of veterans at Standing Rock, the Army denied a key permit for the continuation of the construction of the pipeline. But President-elect Trump, who denies the existence of climate change and proposed expanding fossil fuel energy infrastructure projects <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/11/09/501451368/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-in-his-first-100-days" target="_blank">in first 100 days</a>, is unlikely to take a more accommodating approach than his predecessor. </p> <p>The lack of Executive leadership on this issue, coupled with the excessive discretion of local and private security forces to use indiscriminate force against peaceful protesters with impunity raises important questions about the US Government’s failure to develop an effective and national strategy to monitor and document human rights abuses by the State and private businesses. </p> <p>From North Dakota to Flint, Michigan, to Grand Central Terminal, individuals, families and communities adversely effected by economic and environmental inequality are being forced to take to the streets to have their voices heard. If the US is committed to addressing these grievances, it must develop a cohesive and inter-state policy to monitor and report on all forms of human rights violations. </p> <p>Specifically, the United States must get serious about matching its constitutional commitment to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by establishing a national institution that allows the realisation of rights without having to resort to costly and lengthy legal processes. An independent National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) with the mandate to swiftly receive and investigate human rights complaints would go a long way in addressing everyday complaints of government overreach. The US remains an extreme outlier among the <a href="http://nhri.ohchr.org/EN/Contact/NHRIs/Pages/Global.aspx" target="_blank">nearly 150 countries</a> across the world which have taken important steps to establish and support the development of NHRIs. The creation of an impartial national body human rights with local offices to track and respond to claims of human rights abuses would act a crucial bulwark against attempts to silence dissenting voices and facilitate prompt access to effective remedies.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/transformation/jenni-monet/sheriffs-refuse-to-send-troops-to-standing-rock-as-public-outrage-mounts">Sheriffs refuse to send troops to Standing Rock as public outrage mounts</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america mexico latin america Tor Hodenfield Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:00:00 +0000 Tor Hodenfield 107461 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Las protestas de los sioux y la protección de los derechos humanos en Estados Unidos https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/tor-hodenfeld/las-protestas-de-los-sioux-y-la-protecci-n-de-los-derechos-humanos-e <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Las protestas contra el oleoducto DAPL en Dakota del Norte han demostrado lo difíciles que son de defender los derechos humanos y el medio ambiente en Estados Unidos. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/tor-hodenfeld/sioux-protests-and-protection-of-human-rights-in-united-states">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/-Happi-_American_Horse_direct_action_against_DAPL,_August_2016_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/-Happi-_American_Horse_direct_action_against_DAPL,_August_2016_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Un hombre se ata a una retroexcavadora para impedir la construcción del oleoducto Dakota Access cerca de la reserva india de Standing Rock. Dakota del Norte. Fotografía: Desiree Kane/Wikimedia Commons. Algunos derechos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p>Era difícil distinguir, en el flujo incesante de peatones que se iban aglomerando, un martes reciente, en la estación Grand Central de Nueva York, entre manifestantes, espectadores, turistas y viajeros. Sin embargo, en cuestión de minutos, cualquier ambigüedad quedó disipada al grito de <em>Mic check!</em> por parte del que a todas luces era el organizador de la manifestación. Agarrados de la mano, un grupo de 30 personas le respondió con un sonoro "¡micrófono comprobado!”, dando así inicio al tercer día consecutivo de protesta en Nueva York en solidaridad con los que se oponen a la construcción del Dakota Access Pipeline en Dakota del Norte (DAPL).</p> <p>Mientras que las manifestaciones contra el DAPL en Nueva York y a lo ancho y largo de Estados Unidos han atraído la atención de grupos afines, los medios de comunicación nacionales, la policía y los funcionarios gubernamentales, el epicentro del movimiento y el lugar en el que se ha producido la represión más violenta por parte de las fuerzas de seguridad se halla a miles de kilómetros de distancia, en las llanuras de la reserva sioux de Standing Rock, en Dakota del Norte. La frecuencia e intensidad de las protestas y su represión violenta son un duro recordatorio del fracaso del gobierno de los Estados Unidos por no haber sido capaz de crear un organismo independiente que preste apoyo imparcial y oportuno a las comunidades que son objeto de violaciones de los derechos humanos.</p> <p>La diversidad de las estrategias de resistencia cívica utilizadas por la comunidad sioux, así como su largo compromiso con la causa, contrasta con las recientes informaciones sobre las protestas. Los miembros de la tribu sioux de Standing Rock llevan oponiéndose a la construcción del oleoducto, que debería trasladar diariamente cientos de miles de barriles de crudo desde Dakota del Norte hasta Illinois, <a href="http://billmoyers.com/story/need-know-dakota-access-pipeline-protest/" target="_blank">desde 2014</a>. Los sioux, una tribu de más de 10.000 miembros cuyas tierras se extienden por Dakota del Norte y Dakota del Sur, mantienen que el oleoducto tendría consecuencias ambientales y culturales catastróficas para su comunidad, contaminando las fuentes de agua potable y arrasando tierras sagradas y cementerios.</p> <p>En los últimos meses, a medida que ha ido avanzando la construcción del oleoducto, los líderes del movimiento han complementado las querellas presentadas, que permanecen estancadas en los tribunales federales, con una serie de estrategias de protesta no violenta. Más de 200 tribus nativas americanas y miles de simpatizantes no nativos se han unido a las protestas tanto de forma permanente como puntual, en concentraciones y campamentos. Sin embargo, en un aparente intento de impedir el impulso creciente del movimiento y desanimar a que otros se unieran a él en solidaridad, las autoridades han adoptado una postura cada vez más hostil y represiva hacia las protestas.</p> <p>De manera creciente desde septiembre, las empresas de seguridad empleadas por Energy Access Partners, la constructora del oleoducto, y las policiales locales y estatales han hecho un uso sistemático de fuerza excesiva y de tácticas de arresto arbitrario e intimidación para subvertir los derechos de expresión y de reunión pacífica – constitucional e internacionalmente reconocidos. Durante el último mes, más de 400 manifestantes han sido arrestados, muchos de ellos con cargos sumamente cuestionables, como <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/29/us/dakota-access-pipeline-protest.html" target="_blank">participar en revuelta y conspirar para poner en peligro</a> por fuego y explosión. En varias ocasiones, la policía ha recurrido sin motivo a la violencia para dispersar y silenciar las manifestaciones. Con frecuencia harto preocupante, ha atacado a los manifestantes usando balas de goma, <em>spays</em> de pimienta y perros de ataque.</p> <p>Los intentos de los funcionarios locales por justificar este uso gratuito y excesivo de la fuerza como respuesta legítima ante un entorno beligerante son tan engañosos como inexactos. Los manifestantes se han mantenido por lo general pacíficos, participando en formas no violentas de disidencia pública: sentadas, marchas y ocupaciones. Además, las autoridades han tomado medidas sistemáticas y absolutamente antidemocráticas para silenciar la información independiente sobre las protestas.</p> <p>A mediados de septiembre, periodistas de investigación de <em>Democracy Now!</em>, un programa diario de noticias de televisión, llegaron a Standing Rock <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/15/north_dakota_vs_amy_goodman_journalism" target="_blank">para cubrir las protestas.</a> Tomaron imágenes de guardias de seguridad privados atacando brutalmente a manifestantes y estas imágenes consiguieron más de 13 millones de vistas en Facebook y fueron luego emitidas por las principales cadenas de noticias de televisión. Días después, la Oficina de Investigación Criminal de Dakota del Norte emitía una orden de arresto contra Amy Goodman, presentadora del programa, acusada de participar en una revuelta. Aunque un juez de Dakota del Norte archivó el caso posteriormente, la persecución dirigida a periodistas independientes por informar sobre malas prácticas profesionales de los cuerpos de policía constituye una escalada alarmante y calculada de la campaña de las autoridades para reprimir el legítimo movimiento de protesta contra el DAPL.</p> <p>En el clima político actual, en el que el crecimiento del empleo en las zonas rurales y suburbanas ha asumido primacía retórica, parece cada vez más remota la perspectiva de un acuerdo que refleje las necesidades ambientales, económicas y culturales de la comunidad sioux de Standing Rock. La semana pasada, pese a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/us/president-obama-says-engineers-considering-alternate-route-for-dakota-pipeline.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">haber anunciado previamente</a> que el gobierno federal consideraría una ruta alternativa para el oleoducto, el presidente Obama indicó que la construcción se reanudaría pronto – aunque, posteriormente, y probablemente como reacción a la presencia de centenares de reservistas en Standing Rock, el ejército denegó su permiso para la continuación de la construcción del oleoducto. Pero el presidente electo Trump, que niega la existencia del cambio climático y ha propuesto ampliar los proyectos de infraestructura de energía de combustibles fósiles <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/11/09/501451368/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-in-his-first-100-days" target="_blank">en los primeros 100 días</a> de su mandato, es poco probable que adopte un enfoque más acomodaticio que el de su predecesor.</p> <p>La falta de liderazgo por parte del Ejecutivo en esta cuestión, unida al exceso de discrecionalidad de las fuerzas de seguridad locales y privadas en el uso impune de fuerza indiscriminada contra manifestantes pacíficos, plantea cuestiones importantes acerca del fracaso del gobierno de los Estados Unidos en desarrollar una estrategia nacional eficaz para controlar y documentar los abusos en materia de derechos humanos por parte del estado y las empresas privadas.</p> <p>Desde Dakota del Norte hasta Flint, Michigan, y la estación Grand Central, hay personas, familias y comunidades afectadas negativamente por la desigualdad económica y ambiental que se ven obligadas a salir a la calle para hacer oír su voz. Si Estados Unidos se compromete a atender estas quejas, debería desarrollar una política interestatal coherente para monitorear e informar sobre la violación de los derechos humanos en todas sus variedades.</p> <p>Concretamente, Estados Unidos debe proponerse seriamente establecer, en concordancia con su compromiso constitucional por la vida, la libertad y la búsqueda de la felicidad, una institución nacional que permita defender el ejercicio de los derechos sin tener que recurrir a largos y costosos procesos legales. Una Institución Nacional de Derechos Humanos (NHRI) independiente, con el mandato de recibir e investigar rápidamente las denuncias de derechos humanos, haría mucho por atender las quejas de exceso de funciones por parte el gobierno que se producen a diario. Estados Unidos sigue siendo un caso aparte entre los <a href="http://nhri.ohchr.org/EN/Contact/NHRIs/Pages/Global.aspx" target="_blank">casi 150 países</a> de todo el mundo que han tomado medidas para establecer y apoyar el desarrollo de NHRIs. La creación de un órgano nacional imparcial de derechos humanos con oficinas locales para rastrear y atender las denuncias de abusos contra los derechos humanos constituiría un baluarte esencial contra los intentos de silenciar las voces disidentes y facilitaría un acceso rápido a soluciones eficaces.</p><div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Conflict Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america latin america Tor Hodenfield Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0000 Tor Hodenfield 107464 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Da democracia à kakistocracia – ida e volta https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/da-democracia-kakistocracia-ida-e-volta <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kakistocracia (<a href="https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kakistocracy">grego</a>: κακιστοκρατία): diz-se de um estado ou país governado pelos piores, pelos menos qualificados e menos escrupulosos dos seus cidadãos. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/road-from-democracy-to-kakistocracy-and-back">English</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/de-la-democracia-la-kakistocracia-ida-y-vuelta">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Donald_Trump_(25832785252)_0_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Donald_Trump_(25832785252)_0_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Donald Trump durante um ato de campanha em Fountain Park, Fountain Hills, Arizona. Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons. Todos os direitos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p><em>“There is a crack in everything.</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp;That's how the light gets in.”</em></p> <p>― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968</p> <p>Ao amanhecer do dia 9 de novembro deste lado do Atlântico, Donald Trump dirigia-se aos seus apoiantes como o quadragésimo quinto presidente-eleito dos Estados Unidos. Um candidato racista, misógino e ignorante sentar-se-á na Sala Oval do número 1600 da Pennsylvania Avenue. E rodear-se-á de alguns dos mais notáveis paladinos do racismo e da divisão na América. Trump está empenhado em separar ainda mais os norte-americanos. Impedi-lo requer um exercício em humildade. Quando os valores das nossas democracias liberais deixam de ser evidentes para muitos, a nossa responsabilidade consiste em recordar aos votantes porque ditos valores são tao importantes. Temos que lembrar-nos que, tal como aconteceu várias vezes no passado, até os governos que aparentam ser todo-poderosos podem ser forçados a prestar contas. </p> <p><strong>Desnormalizando Trump</strong></p> <p>Supunha-se que o desfecho desta eleição seria a derrota de Trump às mãos de uma coligação dos “diversos” e a consolidação do legado de Obama. Aconteceu o contrário. O medo dos votantes brancos a perder o seu <em>status</em> acabou por ser mais poderoso que o temor das mulheres e das minorias perante a ameaça que supõe Trump. Não há como voltar à normalidade depois deste resultado. Terminadas as eleições, a classe política e a sociedade tendem a normalizar o que produziram as urnas e o sistema eleitoral. Mas a falta de respeito de Trump em relação à cultura política do país, a sua ignorância e a sua preferência por nomear supremacistas brancos e figuras da extrema direita para os lugares de maior responsabilidade dista muito de ser normal. Pelo contrário, indicia que os Estados Unidos vão ser governados por <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trumps-first-alarming-week-as-president-elect">cidadãos sem princípios nem qualificações</a> – convertendo-se assim numa <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kakistocracy">kakistocracia</a>. </p> <p>Trump é ao mesmo tempo uma <em>criação mediática</em> e uma <em>criatura mediática</em>. Os jornalistas trataram-no como uma celebridade desde o primeiro dia, oportunidade da que ele rapidamente se aproveitou através das redes sociais. Desde <em>tweets</em> incendiários a conferências de imprensa, tudo o que o candidato republicano fez ocupou as manchetes e as capas da maioria dos jornais. A sua narrativa sequestrou o debate político, substituindo-o por ataques pessoais e promessas impossíveis. Poucos pareceram dar-se conta que se passou do debate de <em>ideias </em>ao das <em>identidades</em>. O objetivo era confundir de tal forma as pessoas que as mesmas desistissem de debater. </p> <p>Observadores e comentaristas políticos asseguraram-nos que o candidato republicano não ganharia – que a candidatura de Trump era um <em>jogo de poder</em>, uma campanha de marketing para promover a sua marca. Que um candidato inexperiente pudesse ocupar um cargo tao significativo não podia ser mais que uma brincadeira. Mas ignoraram o quadro geral. Muitos americanos não confiavam em Trump. Mas também não confiavam em Hillary Clinton. A sua <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/why-clinton-lost-and-the-democrats-got-blindsided.html">campanha</a> não adotou uma narrativa clara, próxima aos sentimentos e interesses do votante médio, nem apresentou uma mensagem sedutora. Tanto os meios de comunicação como o <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/why-clinton-lost-and-the-democrats-got-blindsided.html">Partido Democrata</a> só se deram conta demasiado tarde que os destinatários da brincadeira eram <em>eles</em>. Quando se aperceberam, o dano já era irreversível. A <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21706525-politicians-have-always-lied-does-it-matter-if-they-leave-truth-behind-entirely-art">politica pós-verdade</a> tinha ganho.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Temos que lembrar-nos que, tal como aconteceu várias vezes no passado, até os governos que aparentam ser todo-poderosos podem ser forçados a prestar contas.</p> <p>Agora, vários políticos – entre eles Hillary Clinton e Barack Obama – argumentam que temos que dar uma oportunidade a Trump. Mas normalizar o Presidente Trump depois de ter assistido a como o candidato Trump acossou as minorias seria um grave erro. Não se pode medir os políticos pelos seus discursos de vitória. </p> <p>Estas não foram umas eleições normais. E não existem indícios de que Trump possa alguma vez chegar a ser um político normal. Nenhum dos seus discursos durante a campanha nos leva a esperar nada além do pior nos próximos meses. Normalizá-lo não passa duma ilusão. Trump ganhou através da manipulação das ansiedades da população. É difícil imaginar que vá governar o país de outra maneira. </p> <p><strong>Reinventar a narrativa</strong></p> <p>A campanha conservadora contra os meios de comunicação “liberais” não é nova – e é uma das razões pelas quais as organizações de extrema-direita como o <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-breitbart-donald-trump">Breitbart</a> se estabeleceram como uma <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-breitbart-donald-trump">alternativa crível</a> para muitos. O Partido Republicano já se queixa há muito tempo de um suposto sesgo mediático contra as opiniões conservadores e de direita. Mas Trump optou por uma abordagem diferente: enfraquecer a liberdade de imprensa ao vincular os meios de comunicação com o <em>Establishment</em>. As suas afirmações de que as eleições estavam manipuladas supuseram um ataque contra aqueles jornalistas que se atreveram a destapar quem o candidato republicano é na realidade. Por assinalar as suas muitas carências e a sua inadequação para o cargo. Por chegar à conclusão que ter Trump como Presidente seria uma tragédia para a democracia americana e um risco de segurança para o mundo. Trump atacou-os por exercerem a sua função: informar os cidadãos americanos sobre os perigos que se aproximam. </p> <p>Ao pôr em dúvida praticamente tudo, Trump situou a verdade e a mentira ao mesmo nível. Sem respeito algum pelas leis e pela cultura democrática, Trump fez tudo por <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/business/media/where-will-trump-stand-on-press-freedoms.html?_r=0">enfraquecer os meios de comunicação</a>, negando-se a condenar os ataques dos seus seguidores contra os mesmos, propondo impor limites à internet e à liberdade de imprensa, sugerindo flexibilizar os casos de difamação e negando credenciais de imprensa a vários jornais. Acusou os meios de comunicação de fazer campanha a favor de Clinton e de conspirar com ela para manipular as eleições. E, surpreendentemente, a sua mensagem foi um sucesso: <em>espoliou</em> votantes e legitimidade a Clinton e à imprensa. A <em>emoção</em> pôde com a <em>verdade</em>. </p> <p>Os jornalistas devem lidar com o <em>Presidente</em> Trump de forma diferente aquela com que lidaram com o <em>candidato</em> Trump. Em primeiro lugar, devem explicar aos cidadãos que não se trata de tomar partido, mas sim de ser conscientes do perigo que supõe dar tanto poder a alguém que não tem respeito algum pelos princípios democráticos. Em segundo lugar, devem obrigá-lo a prestar contas pela sua incompetência, pelos seus conflitos de interesse, pelo seu nepotismo, pelas suas nomeações. Ao formular as preguntas <em>corretas</em> e abordar os temas <em>adequados</em>, os meios de comunicação podem forçar Trump a arranjar espaço à prestação de contas na sua narrativa. Em terceiro lugar, devem desacreditar as suas afirmações com factos e dados – uma tarefa especialmente importante num contexto no qual as redes sociais desempenham um <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/technology/facebook-is-said-to-question-its-influence-in-election.html">papel significativo</a> no desenrolar de eleições e no que muitos cidadãos parecem ter dificuldades para distinguir entre a realidade e a ficção. Isto é algo que os meios de comunicação de extrema-direita entenderam perfeitamente. Hoje, os leitores interagem com as noticias de forma diferente a como o faziam há alguns anos: procuram histórias divertidas, linhas argumentais distintas, drama e, obviamente, heróis e vilões.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">A campanha conservadora contra os meios de comunicação “liberais” não é nova – e é uma das razões pelas quais as organizações de extrema-direita como o&nbsp;Breitbart&nbsp;se estabeleceram como uma&nbsp;alternativa crível&nbsp;para muitos.</p> <p>Para muitos, o respeito pelos factos não supõe um problema na era da <em>pós-verdade</em>. Aqui é onde os movimentos sociais disfarçados de meios de comunicação como o <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/steve-bannon-will-lead-trumps-white-house">Breitbart</a> entram em cena, e o motivo pelo qual é importante por termo à falta de legitimidade dos meios de comunicação entre os conservadores – explicar aos leitores que apesar de tudo o que lhes foi dito, Clinton e Trump n<em>ão são dois lados da mesma moeda</em>, que a democracia e a correção política não são palavras vazias, e que não há nada pior que um público mal-informado. Os jornalistas devem concentrar-se nos factos e permanecer vigilantes. Impedir que Trump destrua os valores que unem os norte-americanos somente será possível se conseguirmos convencer os cidadãos que a informação honesta, os princípios democráticos e os valores humanistas importam. </p> <p><strong>Resistir a Trump</strong></p> <p>O conceito de democracia é inseparável do conceito de liberdade, da separação de poderes, da liberdade de imprensa e dos direitos das minorias. Estes são os pilares dos nossos sistemas democráticos. A inesperada vitória de Trump não deve distrair-nos do facto que o presidente-eleito dos Estados Unidos é um individuo <a href="http://www.politico.eu/article/15-most-offensive-things-trump-campaign-feminism-migration-racism/">ignorante, narcisista e racista</a> que restringirá a democracia se dispuser de tal oportunidade. Contra isto, todos os cidadãos têm o direito a protestar. Os políticos que tentam convencer-nos que a resistência civil e os protestos pacíficos são inconstitucionais são aqueles que nunca respeitaram a democracia nem a Constituição dos Estados Unidos. </p> <p>Protestar contra a situação atual é um direito. E o exercício deste direito é essencial para proteger a democracia nos Estados Unidos. Os ataques de Trump contra os “latinos” e as mulheres – tanto de forma oficial como extraoficial – dão-nos pistas sobre qual é a sua agenda. E a nomeação de personagens como <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-cabinet-list-top-a7409881.html">Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn e Jeff Sessions</a> indicam claramente que métodos está disposto a usar para pô-la em prática. </p> <p>Uma América na qual o respeito pelos outros é posto de lado não é uma América na qual a maioria dos americanos estaria disposto a viver. Conceder a derrota de forma pacífica é uma obrigação, independentemente da nossa aversão ao resultado e as circunstancias nas quais o mesmo se produziu. Mas protestar contra a legislação racista que se avizinha não é somente um direito, mas também uma obrigação cívica.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Not_My_President,_Protesters_outside_Trump_Hotel_on_Pennsylvania_Ave,_DC_(30603012530)_0_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Not_My_President,_Protesters_outside_Trump_Hotel_on_Pennsylvania_Ave,_DC_(30603012530)_0_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Manifestantes à frente do Hotel Trump. Pennsylvania Ave, DC. Novembro 10, 2016. Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons. Todos os direitos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p><strong>A questão “latina”</strong></p> <p>Se alguma vez houve uma clara ocasião para que os “latinos” exercessem o seu direito a votar nos Estados Unidos, esta deu-se no passado dia 8 de novembro. De uma população de “<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/08/key-facts-about-how-the-u-s-hispanic-population-is-changing/">57 milhões de latinos</a>” que residem legalmente nos Estados Unidos, uns <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/hispaniclatino-vote/">27,3 milhões estavam registados</a> como eleitores nestas eleições – quer dizer, <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/14/key-facts-about-the-latino-vote-in-2016/">4 milhões mais</a> que 2012. </p> <p>Não se pode negar o entusiasmo dos “latinos” com a votação. Mas para muitos, a mensagem de Hillary Clinton não era suficientemente motivadora: a campanha da candidata democrata não conseguiu acordar o <em>gigante adormecido</em>. Somente <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">65% dos votantes “latinos” a apoiaram</a>, enquanto que, em 2012, um <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">71% apoiou Obama</a>. Tendo em conta o aumento dos votantes “latinos” com direito a voto e os ataques protagonizados por Trump, este não é com certeza o resultado que a campanha de Clinton esperava. O apoio a Trump entre os “latinos” <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">alcançou 29%</a> - Mitt Romney obteve 27% em 2012 -, algo que se pode entender se reconhecermos que a narrativa que os “latinos” <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/the-latino-vote-didnt-overwhelm-trump-because-were-not-all-the-same">votam como um bloco</a> é enganosa. Os “latinos” apoiaram Clinton muito por cima de Trump. Mas o candidato republicano foi capaz de obter convencer suficientes votantes brancos para compensar esta vantagem. Trump foi eleito não <em>por</em>, mas <em>apesar </em>do voto dos “latinos”. </p> <p>Durante a campanha, Trump posicionou-se como o defensor da identidade norte-americana. Mas sabe muito pouco sobre <em>pertença</em>. Milhões de latino-americanos vivem nos Estados Unidos. E partilham laços sociais e culturais. Questionar o lugar dos “latinos” nos Estados Unidos provocaria ondas de choque em todo o continente e teria um impacto imprevisível na região. E as tensões resultantes iriam muito mais alem dos acordos comerciais. Limitar estas tensões depende, por um lado, da vontade dos partidos norte-americanos – de ambos partidos – de proteger os seus cidadãos e, por outro lado, da capacidade da América Latina para se levantar uma vez mais contra o populismo, o autoritarismo e o racismo – esta vez, mais além das suas fronteiras.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Questionar o lugar dos “latinos” nos Estados Unidos provocaria ondas de choque em todo o continente e teria um impacto imprevisível na região.</p> <p><strong>A ignorância e o odio não se podem converter-se em algo bom</strong></p> <p>Milhões de norte-americanos decidiram votar num candidato que representa o ódio e a divisão. São livres de o fazer. Ao fim e ao cabo, os cidadãos são livres de eleger os seus lideres e ignorar a razão e a racionalidade. </p> <p>Contudo, tanto as instituições como a lei devem permanecer vigilantes – a ignorância e o ódio nunca produzem nada de bom. E devemos recordar que os autocratas surgem também nos sistemas democráticos. Por que não nos Estados Unidos? As instituições americanas são sólidas, e o império da lei está fortemente incrustado na cultura politica americana. Mas as instituições podem ser cooptadas: pensemos no caso da <a href="http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/37717-lawrence-davidson-discusses-turkey-russia-and-the-autocratic-age">Rússia ou da Turquia</a>. </p> <p>A maioria dos norte-americanos pensam que no seu país a tirania não é possível. Mas seria um erro pensar que a democracia é algo intrínseco ao ser humano. Não é. A democracia é um processo que requer tolerância e empatia. Os valores não se herdam, tem que ser ensinados e aprendidos.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Tanto as instituições como a lei devem permanecer vigilantes – a ignorância e o ódio nunca produzem nada de bom.&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump não tem nada para nos ensinar sobre a tolerância e a empatia. Denunciar a sua falta de respeito pelos princípios democráticos não é uma campanha a favor dos democratas, dos liberais ou do <em>Establishment</em>. É parte de uma campanha cívica para evitar que os princípios autocráticos se normalizem socialmente e evitar que pareçam tao <em>bons</em> como os democráticos. </p> <p>A democracia requer igualdade, respeito pelo estado de direito, pelos direitos humanos, pelas garantias processais, pela intimidade, pela liberdade de expressão. Requer uma imprensa livre. Não precisa de respostas <em>fáceis</em>. </p> <p>Nunca foi tao importante como agora parar para refletir, para ouvir os outros, para aprender do que está a acontecer e dar-lhe sentido. E para demonstrar que, numa democracia, até os governos que parecem ser todo-poderosos podem ser forçados a prestar contas aos seus cidadãos. Já o fizemos antes, temos que fazê-lo outra vez.&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Culture Democracy and government Ideas International politics europe latin america mexico north america Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:09:34 +0000 Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 107273 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The counter-revolution of the Right https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/pablo-stefanoni/counter-revolution-of-right <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With eyes set on Russia and fighting a cultural battle of its own, an anti-liberal and anti-cosmopolitan project is consolidating itself both in Europe and the United States. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/pablo-stefanoni/la-contrarrevoluci-n-de-la-derecha">Español</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Golden_Dawn_demonstration_1.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Golden_Dawn_demonstration_1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="420" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Far-right demonstration in 2012. Athens,Greece.Steve Jurvetson/Flickr. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>"Europe needs a cultural counter-revolution," Polish leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski declared in September at a summit in Krynica – home of the so-called Eastern Davos. "This sounds like music to me," replied Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with undisguised enthusiasm, and he added: "Brexit offers a great opportunity for this counter-revolution. We must assert that national and religious values are important and defend them... Immigrants could get to displace the inhabitants of Europe." This last sentence is a copy-and-paste of the <em>grand</em> <em>remplacement</em> (the great replacement of the French people by the immigrants) conspiracy theory by far-right French writer Renaud Camus, which has become a sort of "structure of feeling" of a new multi-faceted anti-cosmopolitan front which, according to journalist Marc Saint-Upéry, is marked by what he calls "civilizational paranoia".</p> <p>It is true that in the last decades, cosmopolitanism has been captured by the elites and the markets. The crisis of the Left has weakened the old internationalism to the point of its near disappearance - today it is only partially retained by the alter-globalization movements. And it is precisely the globalization of finance and its capitalist realism that has encouraged the emergence of a kind of anti-cosmopolitan International which plays in a nationalist, antidemocratic and often nativist key.</p> <p><strong>Viktor Orbán: “We must defend European religious and national values”</strong></p> <p>Orbán promotes an "illiberal or non-liberal democracy", with Putin’s Russia as a role model, even though to a large part of Eastern Europe Moscow is historically a troublesome neighbour. Putin admires Stalin as a Communist-nationalist and draws upon anti-Communist conservative and anti-democratic Ivan Ilyin, while he rejects cosmopolitan Lenin. Thus, the philosophical concept of the human being as a "citizen of the world", which is shared by liberals and socialists alike, of the citizen who does not identify himself only with his homeland and does not regard the rest of humans as "strangers" – a concept defended by Anglo-Ghanan author Kwame A. Appiah in <em>Cosmopolitanism. Ethics in a world of strangers</em> (Katz, 2007) - is under fire.</p> <p>"The Franco-German axis is in the doldrums; Spain (...) is absent; the Dutch, formerly so Europeanists, are retreating; Renzi is crying in the desert; Belgium ceased to exist long ago, and the United Kingdom has fallen into the hands of the barbarians who stayed behind Adrian’s wall" – this is from an ironic piece by José Ignacio Torreblanca in <em>El País</em>. Before this void, a new Warsaw-Budapest axis, with bifurcations in other Central and Eastern European countries - and some Western countries too - has taken up the issue of rejecting non-Christian refugees as a spearhead for a wider anti-liberal and anti-cosmopolitan project. </p> <p><strong>Breeding ground</strong></p> <p>These former Communist countries are actually a good breeding ground: the absence of a colonial past, the emergence of fascist nationalism in the 1930s and, then, almost half a century of isolation behind the "iron curtain" have generated a lack of interaction with "strangers" and a distrust of anything foreign, which produces a brew that is being exploited today by the nationalists. And this is happening at a time when &nbsp;their governments are embarking on an authoritarian and conservative drive directed at their own citizens.</p> <p>This drift has encountered some resistance - such as the mobilization of more than 200,000 Polish citizens who took to the streets in May in defense of democracy -, but not enough. "Hearing, day in and day out, at all times, the new patriotic and clerical discourse, gross lies, insults ... and seeing neo-Nazi shows of force in the churches are causing demoralization, not rebellion," wrote Polish policy expert Jean-Yves Potel in his <em>Mediapart</em> blog.</p> <p>Nevertheless, recent mass protests by Polish women have managed to stop a parliamentary initiative that sought to tighten further the already restrictive abortion law in Poland, and new mobilizations have been announced. Orbán, on the other hand, stumbled with the recent anti-immigration referendum, which had to be annulled because turnout did not reach 50%. Those who did vote (about 40%), however, were almost unanimous against immigration, and the Hungarian leader enjoys the support of the opposition far-right Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik).</p> <p><strong>Jaroslaw Kaczynski: “Europe needs a cultural counter-revolution”.</strong></p> <p>Slawomir Sierakowski makes, nonetheless, a distinction between the two leaders. In an article in <em>Project Sindicate</em>, he argues that "Orbán is a cynic" while "Kaczynski is a fanatic." The latter has joined the "illiberal International" by conviction, while the former does so only as a means of staying in power. "<em>Homo Kaczynskius</em> is a Polish creature obsessed with the fate of the country, showing his teeth to his critics and opponents, particularly if they are foreigners. Gays and lesbians cannot be real Poles. Every foreign element within Poland is a threat". But they feed each other back. And the growth of the European far right - like Marine Le Pen’s, who publicly distances herself from her fascist father in order to make her project look more respectable – strengthens the new anti-cosmopolitanism. "Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was recently aiming at a comeback in 2017, was already adopting part of the vocabulary and the positioning of the Orbán/Kaczynski axis. In the UK, Boris Johnson, for his part, has shown affinity with their methods. Will they be joined by others?” asks Sierakowski. Britain’s Theresa May, for one, is looking for a launch pad.</p> <p><strong>Against political correctness</strong></p> <p>For now, on the other side of the Atlantic, a heterogeneous right-wing anti-globalization movement has also become established. French journalist Laura Raim wrote in <em>Revue du Crieur</em> an in-depth analysis of the American right-wing, which largely supports Donald Trump and fights against the "tyranny of the politically correct." Several of its advocates group themselves in the so-called Alt-Right. Traditional conservatives are panicking: it is the first time that a great-party candidate acts as loudspeaker for these hitherto marginal sectors. Exotic Trump took the party by storm, thanks to the votes of the rank-and-file, and they are still discussing what to do.</p> <p>This heterogeneous far-right block includes dissenting neo-reactionaries who are disappointed by the traditional libertarian "anarcho-capitalism", and believers in a new oligarchic elitism which would restore the foundational civilizing objectives. But it includes also populist white nationalists who are less hostile to the state. "Americans must overcome their phobia of dictators," said in 2012 neo-reactionary thinker and programmer Curtis Yarvin, who curates <a href="http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com.ar/" target="_blank"><em>Unqualified Reservations</em></a>, a blog the subtitle of which is "Reactionary Enlightenment." As Raim points out, however, part of this core distrusts Trumpism, which they consider both statist and populist. "Alt-Right and Trumpism are too political, statist, nationalistic, democratic, populist and often critical of capitalism for us to identify with them," says neo-reactionary Nick Land.</p> <p>Their cousins, the white supremacists, do like Trump's message. This “tribe’s” goal is to restore the greatness of Western civilization, which today is trapped, according to them, in "egalitarian mediocrity", consumerism and egalitarianism. They reject the so-called "end of history", and the Make America Great Again slogan sounds like music to their supremacist, macho and "anti-politically correct" ears. To them, while blacks and Latinos can legitimately defend their race, when whites do the same, they are immediately criminalized as racist. In international relations, they oppose the Bush-era neo-conservatives’ "democratic and messianic imperialism" and their free trade treaties. For many of these heirs of "paleo-conservatism", the world is divided between globalizers and anti-globalizers.</p> <p><strong>Curtis Yarvin: “America must overcome its phobia of dictators”.</strong></p> <p>The enemies to fight, recalls Raim in her article, include the Ivy League elite universities, the <em>New York Times</em> and Hollywood, which they consider "responsible for the universal egalitarian consensus in public debate." The great paradox in all this is that while the global Left feels defeated by triumphant capitalism, for the Alt-Right, on the contrary, the Left is the great winner in the global ideological battle, and many of them long to have an Antonio Gramsci in their ranks to bolster their cultural battle. Of course, for these groups, almost everything that is not Alt-Right is Left and Socialism, and the world today is controlled by a leftist and goody-goody oligarchy.</p> <p>The reciprocal sympathy between Trump and Putin is not alien to these structures of meaning, in a world in which a new reactionary anti-cosmopolitism is reaping a harvest from globalization malaise, elite rejection and the reinforcement of a financial and corporate elite that has captured cosmopolitanism for its global business interests. A world in which the substitution of social class for identity which progressive politics has done leaves out masses of white (and unemployed) workers who cannot identify themselves with any "minority", but are poor anyway and can even qualify - as they do in the United States - as white trash.</p> <p>When Hillary Clinton said - though she later apologized publicly - that you could put half of Trump’s voters into what she called a "basket of deplorables", Trumpists hit back with a recreation of the Black Lives Matter motto against police violence: Deplorable Lives Matter.</p> <p><strong>This article was published previously by<a href="https://lalineadefuego.info/"><em> lalineadefuego.</em></a></strong></p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Culture Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america latin america europe Pablo Stefanoni Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:10:57 +0000 Pablo Stefanoni 107268 at https://www.opendemocracy.net De la democracia a la kakistocracia – ida y vuelta https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/de-la-democracia-la-kakistocracia-ida-y-vuelta <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kakistocracia (<a href="https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kakistocracy">griego</a>: κακιστοκρατία): dícese de un estado o país gobernado por los peores, los menos cualificados y menos escrupulosos de sus ciudadanos. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/da-democracia-kakistocracia-ida-e-volta">Português</a></em></strong><strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/road-from-democracy-to-kakistocracy-and-back"> English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Donald_Trump_(25832785252)_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Donald_Trump_(25832785252)_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Donald Trump durante un acto de campaña en Fountain Park, Fountain Hills, Arizona. Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons. Todos los derechos reservados</span></span></span></p><p><em>“There is a crack in everything.</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp;That's how the light gets in.”</em></p> <p>― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968</p> <p>Al amanecer el día 9 de noviembre en este lado del Atlántico, Donald Trump se dirigía a sus partidarios como el 45º presidente-electo de Estados Unidos. Un candidato racista, misógino y desacomplejadamente ignorante se sentará en el Despacho Oval del número 1600 de Pennsylvania Avenue. Y se rodeará de algunos de los más notables paladines del racismo y la división en América. Trump está empeñado en separar aún más a los americanos. Impedírselo requiere un ejercicio de humildad. Cuando los valores de nuestras democracias liberales dejan de ser evidentes para muchos, nuestra responsabilidad consiste en recordar a los votantes por qué dichos valores son tan importantes. Tenemos que recordar que, tal como ha sucedido ya varias veces en el pasado, incluso &nbsp;los gobiernos que aparentan ser todopoderosos se les puede obligar a rendir cuentas.</p> <p><strong>Desnormalizando a Trump</strong></p> <p>Se suponía que esta elección iba a terminar con la derrota del Trump a manos de una coalición de los “diversos” y la consolidación del legado de Obama. Ocurrió lo contrario. El miedo de los votantes blancos a perder su <em>estatus</em> resultó ser más poderoso que el temor de las mujeres y las minorías ante la amenaza que supone Trump. No hay vuelta a la normalidad tras este resultado. Terminadas las elecciones, la clase política y la sociedad suelen <em>normalizar</em> lo que han producido las urnas y el sistema electoral. Pero la falta de respeto de Trump hacia la cultura política del país, su ignorancia y su preferencia por nombrar supremacistas blancos y figuras de la extrema derecha para los cargos de mayor responsabilidad dista mucho de ser normal. Al contrario, apunta a que Estados Unidos va a ser gobernado por <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trumps-first-alarming-week-as-president-elect">ciudadanos sin principios ni cualificaciones</a> – convirtiéndose así en una <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kakistocracy">kakistocracia</a>. </p> <p>Trump a la vez una <em>creación mediática</em> y una <em>criatura mediática</em>. Los periodistas lo trataron como una celebridad desde el primer día, algo de lo que él rápidamente se aprovechó a través de las redes sociales. Desde Tweets incendiarios a ruedas de prensa, todo lo que hizo el candidato republicano ocupó titulares y portadas de la mayoría de los periódicos. Su narrativa secuestró el debate político, sustituyéndolo por ataques personales y promesas imposibles. Pocos parecieron darse cuenta de que se pasó del debate de las <em>ideas </em>al de<em> las identidades</em>. El objetivo era confundir de tal forma a la gente para que ésta desistiera de debatir.&nbsp;</p><p class="mag-quote-center">El miedo de los votantes blancos a perder su&nbsp;<em>estatus</em>&nbsp;resultó ser más poderoso que el temor de las mujeres y las minorías ante la amenaza que supone Trump.</p> <p>Observadores y comentaristas políticos aseguraron que el candidato republicano no ganaría – que la candidatura de Trump era un <em>juego de poder</em>, una campaña de marketing para promover su marca. Que un candidato tan inexperto pudiera ocupar un puesto tan significativo no podía tratarse más que de una broma. Pero les pasó por alto la visión de conjunto. Muchos estadounidenses no confiaban en Trump. Pero tampoco confiaban en Hillary Clinton. Su <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/why-clinton-lost-and-the-democrats-got-blindsided.html">campaña</a> no tuvo una narrativa clara, cercana a los sentimientos e intereses del votante medio, ni presentar un mensaje seductor. Tanto los medios como el <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/why-clinton-lost-and-the-democrats-got-blindsided.html">Partido Demócrata</a> se dieron cuenta demasiado tarde de que la broma iba para <em>ellos</em>. Cuando cayeron en ello, el daño era ya irreversible. Había ganado la <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21706525-politicians-have-always-lied-does-it-matter-if-they-leave-truth-behind-entirely-art">política de la post-verdad</a>.</p> <p>Ahora, varios políticos – entre ellos Hillary Clinton y Barack Obama - argumentan que hay que darle una oportunidad a Trump. Pero <em>normalizar</em> al Presidente Trump después de haber sido testigos de hasta qué punto el candidato Trump llegó a acosar a las minorías sería un grave error. No se puede medir a los políticos por sus discursos de victoria.</p> <p>Esta no fue una elección normal, y no existen indicios de que Trump pueda llegar a ser un político normal. Ningún discurso suyo durante la pasada campaña induce a esperar nada más que lo peor en los próximos meses. Tratar de normalizarle es tan solo una ilusión. Trump ganó jugando la baza de las ansiedades de la población. Es difícil imaginar que vaya a dirigir el país de otra manera.</p> <p><strong>Reinventar la narrativa</strong></p> <p>La campaña conservadora contra los medios "liberales" no es nueva – y es una de las razones por las que organizaciones de extrema derecha como <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-breitbart-donald-trump">Breitbart</a> se han establecido como <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-breitbart-donald-trump">alternativa creíble</a> para muchos. El Partido Republicano lleva ya mucho tiempo quejándose de un supuesto sesgo mediático en contra de las opiniones conservadoras y de derecha. Pero Trump eligió un enfoque diferente: socavar la libertad de prensa al vincular a los medios con el <em>Establishment</em>. Sus afirmaciones de que las elecciones estaban manipuladas supusieron un ataque contra aquellos periodistas que se atrevieron a destapar asuntos y airear cosas acerca de Trump. Por señalar sus muchas carencias e inadecuación para el cargo. Por llegar a la conclusión que tener a Trump como Presidente sería una tragedia para la democracia americana y un riesgo de seguridad para el mundo. Trump los atacó por ejercer su función de informar a los ciudadanos estadounidenses acerca de los peligros que se avecinan.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Trump eligió un enfoque diferente: socavar la libertad de prensa al vincular a los medios con el&nbsp;<em>Establishment</em>.</p> <p>Al cuestionar prácticamente todo, Trump situó verdad y mentira al mismo nivel. Sin respeto alguno por las disposiciones legales y la cultura democrática, Trump ha hecho todo lo posible por <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/business/media/where-will-trump-stand-on-press-freedoms.html?_r=0">socavar a la prensa</a> negándose a condenar los ataques de sus seguidores contra los medios de comunicación, proponiendo establecer límites para internet y la libertad de prensa, planteando flexibilizar los casos de difamación y negando credenciales de prensa a varios medios de comunicación. Acusó a los medios de hacer campaña a favor de Clinton y de conspirar con ella para manipular las elecciones. Y, sorprendentemente, su mensaje caló: restó votantes y legitimidad a Clinton y a la prensa. La <em>emoción</em> le pudo a la <em>verdad</em>.</p> <p>Los periodistas deben tratar el <em>Presidente</em> Trump con más tino del que han tenido con el <em>candidato</em> Trump. En primer lugar, deben explicar a los ciudadanos que no se trata de tomar partido, sino de ser conscientes del peligro de otorgar tanto poder a alguien que no tiene respeto alguno por los principios democráticos. En segundo lugar, deben obligarle a rendir cuentas de su incompetencia, sus conflictos de intereses, su nepotismo, sus nombramientos. Al formular las preguntas <em>correctas</em> y abordar los temas <em>adecuados</em>, los medios de comunicación pueden forzar a Trump a tener que hacerle un hueco a la rendición de cuentas en su narrativa. En tercer lugar, deben desacreditar sus afirmaciones con hechos y datos – una tarea especialmente importante en un contexto en el que las redes sociales en general y Facebook en particular han tenido un <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/technology/facebook-is-said-to-question-its-influence-in-election.html">papel significativo en el resultado de las elecciones</a>, y en el que muchos ciudadanos parecen tener dificultad para distinguir entre realidad y ficción. Esto es algo que los medios de comunicación de la extrema derecha han entendido perfectamente. Hoy los lectores interactúan con las noticias de forma distinta de cómo lo hacían hace tan solo unos años: buscan historias &nbsp;divertidas, líneas argumentales diferentes, melodrama y, por supuesto, héroes y villanos.</p> <p>Para muchos, el respeto por los hechos no es ningún problema en la era de la <em>post-verdad</em>. Aquí es donde los movimientos sociales disfrazados de medios de comunicación como <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/steve-bannon-will-lead-trumps-white-house">Breitbart</a> entran en escena, y la razón por la que qué es tan importante cerrar la brecha de legitimidad de los medios entre los conservadores – explicar a los lectores que a pesar de todo lo que les han dicho, Clinton y Trump <em>no son dos lados de la misma moneda</em>, que la democracia y la corrección política no son palabras vacías, y que no hay nada peor que un público mal informado. Los periodistas deben centrarse en los hechos y permanecer vigilantes. Impedir que Trump destruya los valores que unen a los estadounidenses solo será posible si logran convencer a los ciudadanos de que la información honesta, los principios democráticos y los valores humanistas sí importan.</p> <p><strong>Resistir a Trump</strong></p> <p>El concepto de democracia es inseparable del concepto de libertad, de separación de poderes, de la libertad de prensa y de los derechos de las minorías. Estos son los pilares de nuestros sistemas democráticos. La inesperada victoria de Trump no debe distraernos del hecho que el presidente-electo de los Estados Unidos es un <a href="http://www.politico.eu/article/15-most-offensive-things-trump-campaign-feminism-migration-racism/">personaje ignorante, narcisista y racista</a> que restringirá<em> </em>la democracia si se le presenta la ocasión. Contra esto, los ciudadanos tienen todo el derecho a protestar. Los políticos que intentan hacer creer que la resistencia civil y las protestas pacíficas son inconstitucionales son aquellos que nunca han respetado la democracia ni la Constitución de los Estados Unidos.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">El concepto de democracia es inseparable del concepto de libertad, de separación de poderes, de la libertad de prensa y de los derechos de las minorías.</p> <p>Protestar contra la situación actual es un derecho. Y el ejercicio de este derecho es esencial para proteger a la democracia en Estados Unidos. Los ataques de Trump contra los “latinos” y las mujeres –tanto de forma oficial como extraoficial – nos dan pistas sobre cuál es su agenda. Y el nombramiento de personajes como <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-cabinet-list-top-a7409881.html">Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn y Jeff Sessions</a> indica claramente qué métodos está dispuesto a usar para ponerla en práctica. </p> <p>Una América en la que se deje de lado el respeto por los demás no es una América que la mayoría de los estadounidenses estén dispuestos a aceptar. Conceder pacíficamente la derrota es una obligación, independientemente de nuestra aversión hacia el resultado y las circunstancias en las que se ha producido. Pero protestar contra la legislación racista que se avecina no es sólo un derecho, sino una obligación cívica.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Not_My_President,_Protesters_outside_Trump_Hotel_on_Pennsylvania_Ave,_DC_(30603012530)_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Not_My_President,_Protesters_outside_Trump_Hotel_on_Pennsylvania_Ave,_DC_(30603012530)_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Manifestantes delante del Hotel Trump en Pennsylvania Ave, DC. November 10, 2016. Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons. Todos los derechos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p><strong>La cuestión “latina”</strong></p> <p>Si alguna vez hubo una clara ocasión para que los “latinos” ejercieran su derecho a votar en Estados Unidos, ésta fue el pasado 8 de noviembre. De una población de <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/08/key-facts-about-how-the-u-s-hispanic-population-is-changing/">57 millones de “latinos”</a> que residen legalmente allí, unos 27,3 millones estaban <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/hispaniclatino-vote/">registrados como electores en estas elecciones</a> - es decir, <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/14/key-facts-about-the-latino-vote-in-2016/">4 milliones más</a> que en 2012.</p> <p>No se puede negar del entusiasmo de los “latinos” con la votación. Pero a muchos no les motivaba suficientemente el mensaje de Hillary Clinton: su campaña no consiguió despertar al gigante dormido. Sólo el <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">65% de los votantes “latinos” le dieron su apoyo</a>, cuando, en 2012, un <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">71% apoyó a Obama</a>. Considerando el aumento de votantes “latinos” con derecho a voto y los ataques protagonizados por Trump, éste no es en absoluto el resultado que la campaña de Clinton esperaba. El apoyo de Trump entre los “latinos” <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">alcanzó el 29%</a> - Mitt Romney obtuvo el 27% en 2012 -, algo que se puede entender si reconocemos que la narrativa de que los “latinos” <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/the-latino-vote-didnt-overwhelm-trump-because-were-not-all-the-same">votan como un bloque</a> es harto engañosa. Los “latinos” apoyaron a Clinton muy por encima de Trump. Pero el candidato republicano fue capaz de hallar suficientes votantes blancos para contrarrestar esta ventaja. Trump salió elegido no <em>por</em>, sino <em>a pesar</em> del voto de los “latinos”.</p> <p>Durante la campaña, Trump se posicionó como el defensor de la identidad estadounidense. Pero sabe muy poco de pertenencia. Millones de latinoamericanos viven en Estados Unidos. Y comparten lazos sociales y culturales. Cuestionar el lugar de los “latinos” en Estados Unidos causaría ondas de choque en todo el continente. Tendría un impacto impredecible en la región. Y las tensiones resultantes irían mucho más allá de los acuerdos comerciales. Limitar estas tensiones depende, por una parte, de la voluntad de los partidos norteamericanos – de ambos partidos - de proteger a sus ciudadanos y, por otra parte, de la capacidad de América Latina para alzarse una vez más contra el populismo, el autoritarismo y el racismo – esta vez, más allá de sus fronteras.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Trump salió elegido no&nbsp;<em>por</em>, sino&nbsp;<em>a pesar</em>&nbsp;del voto de los “latinos”.</p> <p><strong>La ignorancia y el odio no pueden convertirse en algo bueno</strong></p> <p>Muchos estadounidenses decidieron votar a un candidato que representa odio y división. Son libres de hacerlo. Al fin y al cabo, los ciudadanos son libres de elegir a sus líderes e ignorar la razón y la racionalidad.</p> <p>Sin embargo, tanto las instituciones como la ley deben permanecer vigilantes – la ignorancia y el odio nunca producen nada bueno. Y debemos recordar que los autócratas surgen también en los sistemas democráticos. ¿Por qué no en Estados Unidos? Las instituciones americanas son sólidas, y el imperio de la ley está fuertemente anclado en la cultura política americana. Pero las instituciones pueden cooptarse: pensemos en <a href="http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/37717-lawrence-davidson-discusses-turkey-russia-and-the-autocratic-age">Rusia o en Turquía</a>.</p> <p>La mayoría de los estadounidenses creen que en su país no es posible la tiranía. Pero sería un error pensar que la democracia es algo intrínseco al ser humano. No lo es. La democracia es un proceso que requiere tolerancia y empatía. Los valores no se heredan, tienen que ser enseñados y aprendidos. </p> <p>Trump no puede enseñarnos nada sobre tolerancia y empatía. Denunciar su falta de respeto por los principios democráticos no es ninguna campaña a favor de los demócratas, de los liberales o del <em>Establishment</em>. Es parte de una campaña cívica para evitar que los principios autocráticos se normalicen en la sociedad y evitar que parezcan tan <em>buenos</em> como los democráticos.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">La democracia es un proceso que requiere tolerancia y empatía. Los valores no se heredan, tienen que ser enseñados y aprendidos.</p> <p>La democracia requiere igualdad, respeto por el estado de derecho, por los derechos humanos, por las garantías procesales, por la intimidad, por la libertad de expresión. Requiere una prensa libre. No necesita respuestas <em>fáciles</em>.</p> <p>Nunca había sido tan importante como ahora pararse para reflexionar, para escuchar a los demás, para aprender de lo que está pasando y darle sentido. Y para demostrar que, en una democracia, incluso a los gobiernos todopoderosos se les puede obligar a que rindan cuentas ante su pueblo. Ya lo hemos hecho con anterioridad, hay que hacerlo de nuevo.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/trump-gana-y-ahora-qu">Trump gana. ¿Y ahora qué?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Ideas International politics El momento populista north america mexico latin america europe Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:20:42 +0000 Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 107223 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The road from democracy to kakistocracy – and back https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/road-from-democracy-to-kakistocracy-and-back <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kakistocracy (<a href="https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kakistocracy">Greek</a>: κακιστοκρατία) is a term meaning a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, and most unscrupulous citizens. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/da-democracia-kakistocracia-ida-e-volta">Português</a></em></strong>&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/de-la-democracia-la-kakistocracia-ida-y-vuelta">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Donald_Trump_(25832785252).jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Donald_Trump_(25832785252).jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved. </span></span></span></p> <p><em>&nbsp;“There is a crack in everything.</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp;That's how the light gets in.”</em></p> <p>― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968</p><p>As morning unfolded on this side of the Atlantic on November 9, Donald Trump addressed his supporters as the 45th president-elect of the United States. A racist, misogynist and blatantly ignorant candidate will be seating in the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And he will bring along some of the most conspicuous American champions of racism and divisiveness. Mr. Trump is set to draw Americans further apart. Stopping him from doing so requires an exercise in humility. When the values of our liberal democracies cease to be obvious to many, it is our responsibility to remember voters why such values are so important in the first place. We have to remember that, as it has happened in the past, even seemingly all-powerful administrations can be held accountable.</p> <p><strong>Denormalizing Trump</strong></p> <p>This election was supposed to end with Mr. Trump being defeated by the coalition of the diverse and the cementing of Mr. Obama´s legacy. The opposite happened. The white voters’ fear of their status being in danger turned out to be stronger than the women and minorities’ fears of what Mr. Trump stands for. There is no return to normal after this result. Once the elections are over, the political class and society in general have a tendency to <em>normalize </em>what the polls and the electoral system have produced. But Mr. Trump’s lack of respect for the country’s political culture, his ignorance, and his willingness to appoint white supremacists and far-right characters to key posts in his administration is anything but normal. On the contrary, it warns us that America is likely to be governed by its <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trumps-first-alarming-week-as-president-elect">least qualified and more unprincipled citizen</a>s- and thus turn into a <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kakistocracy">Kakistocracy</a>. </p> <p>Mr. Trump is, at the same time, a <em>media creation </em>and a<em> media creature</em>. Journalists treated him as a celebrity from day one, and he capitalized on it through social media. From incendiary tweets to press conferences, everything the Republican candidate did made the headlines and front pages of most newspapers. Mr. Trump’s narrative successfully hijacked political debate, replacing political exchange with high-handed attacks and impossible promises. Few seemed to notice that the debate moved from <em>ideas to identities</em>. The point was to get people <em>so confused</em> that they would give up on the debate altogether.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Mr. Trump’s narrative successfully hijacked political debate, replacing political exchange with high-handed attacks and impossible promises.</p> <p>Observers and political commentators assured us that the Republican candidate would not win - that Mr. Trump´s candidacy was a <em>power play</em>, a marketing campaign to further his brand. The possibility of such an unexperienced candidate to land the most important job in the world certainly seemed like something of a joke. But they missed the big picture. Many Americans did not trust Mr. Trump, but they did not trust Hillary Clinton either. Her <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/why-clinton-lost-and-the-democrats-got-blindsided.html">campaign</a> failed to present a clear narrative, close to the average voter’s feelings and interests, and to put forward a captivating message. Both the media and the <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/why-clinton-lost-and-the-democrats-got-blindsided.html">Democratic Party</a> realized too late that the joke was on them. When they did, the damage had been done. <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21706525-politicians-have-always-lied-does-it-matter-if-they-leave-truth-behind-entirely-art">Post-truth politics</a> had won. </p> <p>Now, several politicians – including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – are arguing that we should give Mr. Trump <em>a chance</em>. But <em>normalizing</em> President<em> </em>Trump after bearing witness to how candidate Trump targeted and harassed minorities would be a huge mistake. Politicians cannot be measured by their victory speeches. </p> <p>This was a not a normal election, and there is no evidence that Mr. Trump could ever be a normal politician. Not a single speech of his during the past campaign can lead us to expect anything other than the worse in the forthcoming months. Trying to normalize him is nothing more than an exercise in wishful thinking. Mr. Trump won by tapping into America´s anxieties and underbelly drives. It would be hard to imagine him running the country in any other way. </p> <p><strong>Reinventing the narrative</strong></p> <p>The conservative campaign against mainstream “liberal” media is not new – and it is one of the reasons why alt-right organizations like <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-breitbart-donald-trump">Breitbart</a> have established themselves as a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-breitbart-donald-trump"><em>credible</em> alternative</a> for many. The Republican Party has been complaining for a long time about an existing media bias against conservative and rightwing views. But Mr. Trump adopted a different approach: he sought to undermine free press by linking it to the <em>establishment</em>. His claim that the election was <em>rigged</em> was in fact an attack on journalists for exposing Mr. Trump for what he really is, for objectively pointing out his many shortcomings and unsuitability for the post, and for reasoning that Mr. Trump as President would be a disgrace for American democracy and a major security risk for the world. Mr. Trump attacked them for exercising their responsibility to inform American citizens of the dangers ahead.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Mr. Trump adopted a different approach: he sought to undermine free press by linking it to the&nbsp;<em>establishment</em>.</p> <p>By raising doubts about most issues, Mr. Trump placed truth and lies on the same level. Irrespective for legal provisions and democratic culture, he has done all he could to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/business/media/where-will-trump-stand-on-press-freedoms.html?_r=0">undermine the press</a> by refusing to condemn his supporters’ attacks against media representatives, proposing to establish limits to the internet and press freedom, advocating the opening up of libel laws, and denying press credentials to several media outlets. He accused the media of campaigning for Clinton and colluding with her to rig the election. And his message was surprisingly successful: it drew voters and legitimacy further away from Clinton and the press. Emotion <em>trumped</em> the truth.</p> <p>Journalists should deal with <em>President</em> Trump better than they did with <em>candidate </em>Trump. First, explaining to citizens that this is not about taking sides, but about being aware of the dangers of entrusting so much power to someone who does not respect democratic principles. Second, holding him accountable for his incompetence, his conflicts of interest, his nepotism, his appointments. By asking the <em>right</em> questions and addressing the <em>right</em> issues the media can force Trump´s narrative to make room for accountability. Third, debunking his assertions with facts and data - an especially important task in a context where social media and, notably, Facebook had a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/technology/facebook-is-said-to-question-its-influence-in-election.html">significant role in deciding the outcome of the election</a>, and many citizens appear to have trouble distinguishing between reality and fiction. This is something alt-right media outlets have understood all too well: readers approach the news in a different way than in the past, they look for amusing narratives, distinct story lines, drama and, inevitably, heroes and villains.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Journalists should deal with&nbsp;<em>President</em>&nbsp;Trump better than they did with&nbsp;<em>candidate&nbsp;</em>Trump.</p> <p>Respect for facts is not an issue in post-truth times. This is where social movements disguised as media outlets like <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/steve-bannon-will-lead-trumps-white-house">Breitbart</a> come in, and why it is so crucially important to close the media´s legitimacy gap amongst conservatives - to explain to readers that despite all they have been told, Clinton and Trump are <em>not two sides of the same coin</em>, that democracy and political correctness are not empty words, and that there is nothing worse than a misinformed public. Journalists must focus on facts and remain vigilant. Stopping Mr. Trump from shattering the values that hold Americans together depends on convincing citizens that honest information, democratic principles and humanist values do matter. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Resisting Trump</strong></p> <p>The concept of democracy is inseparable from freedom, the separation of power, a free press and minority rights. These are the pillars of our democratic systems. Mr. Trump’s unexpected victory should not distract us from the fact that the President-elect of the United States is an <a href="http://www.politico.eu/article/15-most-offensive-things-trump-campaign-feminism-migration-racism/">ignorant, narcissistic, and racist</a> character who will crush democracy if he is given the chance. Against that, citizens have every right to protest. Those in the political ranks who try to portray civil resistance and peaceful protesting as unconstitutional are the ones who have never respected democracy and the US Constitution in the first place.</p> <p>Protesting the current situation is a right. And the exercise of this right is essential to protect democracy in the United States.&nbsp; Mr. Trump´s attacks on Latinos and women – both on and off camera – &nbsp;have told us enough about the agenda he intends to pursue. And his appointment of the likes of <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-cabinet-list-top-a7409881.html">Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn and Jeff</a> Sessions tells us enough about the methods he is willing to use. </p> <p>An America where the respect for <em>others</em> is brushed aside is not something most Americans would be willing to accept. Peacefully conceding defeat is an obligation, independently of <em>our</em> distaste for the result and the circumstances in which it has happened. But protesting the racist, prejudiced and hateful legislation that is likely to follow is not only a right, but a civic obligation.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Not_My_President,_Protesters_outside_Trump_Hotel_on_Pennsylvania_Ave,_DC_(30603012530).jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Not_My_President,_Protesters_outside_Trump_Hotel_on_Pennsylvania_Ave,_DC_(30603012530).jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Protesters outside Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Ave, DC. November 10, 2016. Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved. </span></span></span></p><p><strong>The Latino question</strong></p> <p>If there was ever a time for Latinos to exercise their right to vote, November, 8, was the one. Out of a population of <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/08/key-facts-about-how-the-u-s-hispanic-population-is-changing/">57 million Latinos</a> legally living in the US, a projected 27.3 million were <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/hispaniclatino-vote/">eligible to vote in this election</a> – that is, <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/14/key-facts-about-the-latino-vote-in-2016/">4 million more</a> than in 2012. </p> <p>There is no denying that Latinos were enthusiastic about voting. But many were not motivated enough by Hillary Clinton´s message: her campaign clearly failed to wake up the <em>sleeping giant</em>. Only <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">65% Latino voters supported her</a>, whereas <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">71% supported Obama in 2012</a>. If you consider the increase in eligible Latino voters and Mr. Trump´s targeted attacks, this is certainly not the outcome which her campaign expected. Mr. Trump’s support among Latinos <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-wins-latino-vote-but-falls-below-2012-support-for-obama/">reached 29%</a> - Mitt Romney got 27% in 2012 –, something that can be understood by recognizing that the narratives about <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/the-latino-vote-didnt-overwhelm-trump-because-were-not-all-the-same">Latinos voting as a bloc</a> are misleading. Latinos did support Clinton over Trump. But the Republican candidate was able to find enough white voters to counterbalance her advantage. Mr. Trump was elected not<em> because</em> of Latinos, but <em>despite </em>them. </p> <p>During the campaign, Mr. Trump positioned himself as the defender of <em>American</em> identity. But he knows little about belonging. Millions of Latin Americans have family living in the United States. And they share a social and cultural bound. Questioning the Latinos’ place in the US would send shockwaves throughout the continent. It would have an unpredictable impact on the region. And the resulting tensions would go far beyond trade deals. Where these tensions stop depends on the willingness of American parties – both of them – to protect their citizens, and on the ability of Latin America to stand up once more against populism, authoritarianism and racism – abroad, this time.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Mr. Trump was elected not<em>&nbsp;because</em>&nbsp;of Latinos, but&nbsp;<em>despite&nbsp;</em>them.</p> <p><strong>Ignorance and hatred cannot become a good thing</strong></p> <p>Many Americans decided to vote for a candidate who stands for hate and divisiveness. They are free to do it. In the end, citizens are free to choose their leaders and to ignore reason and rationality. </p> <p>However, both political institutions and the law must remain vigilant – ignorance and hatred never produce anything good. And we should remember that history proves that autocrats do emerge from democratic systems. Why not in America? American institutions are solid, and the rule of law is strongly installed in American political culture. But institutions can be co-opted: just look at <a href="http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/37717-lawrence-davidson-discusses-turkey-russia-and-the-autocratic-age">Russia or Turkey</a>. </p> <p>Most Americans believe that tyranny is not possible in their country. But it would be a mistake to think that democracy comes naturally to us. It doesn’t. Democracy is a process that requires tolerance and empathy. Values are not inherited, they have to be taught and nurtured. </p> <p>Mr. Trump can teach us nothing about tolerance and empathy. Denouncing him for his disrespect for democratic principles is not part of an institutional campaign in favor of Democrats, the Liberals or the Establishment.&nbsp; It is part of a social campaign to prevent autocratic principles from being normalized and thus becoming <em>as good</em> as democratic ones.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Democracy is a process that requires tolerance and empathy. Values are not inherited, they have to be taught and nurtured.</p> <p>Democracy requires equality, respect for the rule of law, for human rights, for due process and privacy, for freedom of expression. It requires a free press. It doesn’t need <em>easy</em> answers. </p> <p>It has never been so important to take time to reflect, to listen to each other, to learn and make sense of what is going on. And to show that, in a democracy, even all-powerful administrations can be held accountable by the people. We have done it before, we must do it again.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/sam-bahour/thank-you-mr-trump-unifier">Thank you Mr. Trump, the unifier</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-city"> <div class="field-label">City:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> New York City </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta New York City United States Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america latin america europe Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:04:48 +0000 Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 107221 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Ripping back the veil: an interview with Arun Kundnani https://www.opendemocracy.net/arun-kundnani-phoebe-braithwaite/ripping-back-veil-interview-with-arun-kundnani <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Trump promises politics in its naked form: the seizure of power for his clan, and be damned with all the rest. As the centre ground collapses, we must not cling to it.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/PA-29179096 (1).jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="Trump mask production line, Japan. Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/PA-29179096 (1).jpg" alt="Trump mask production line, Japan. Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved." title="Trump mask production line, Japan. Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved." width="460" height="302" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Trump mask production line, Japan. Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>What are the roots and ramifications of Donald Trump’s election? As we reel from this seismic event, Arun Kundnani, political commentator and author of <em>The Muslims Are Coming! </em>(Verso, 2014), assesses its domestic and global significance for the innumerable communities on the frontline, with Trump set to inherit the vastest machineries for war and surveillance ever created. We must not accept this as normal, he argues, and we should match in extremity the coming administration’s rhetoric – while campaigning from the margins, with a genuine programme for change.</p><p><strong><strong>Phoebe Braithwaite: What part has racism played in the Trump campaign’s success?</strong></strong></p><p>Arun Kundnani: There are two prevailing ways that people have been looking at the Trump victory. One is focused on class and the other is focused on race. A lot of people are saying this is the revolt of the ‘losers’ in globalisation, focused on the white working class. Actually I don’t think the data supports that, because the most striking thing about the numbers is that support for Trump is not associated with poverty. It is correlated with race. Across all ages, every income category, and across men and women, more whites voted for Trump than Clinton and more non-whites voted for Clinton than Trump.</p><p>But the discussion on this has been limited so far because when people say, ‘Trump won because of his racism’ other people reply, ‘you’re saying that all Trump supporters are racist, but they’re not’. That assumes that racism is about individual attitudes of hate and ignorance. But racism is a system and it’s sustained not by barroom bigots but by a million daily complicities. It’s an inherent part of US society, which claims to be based on liberal values, but necessarily involves violence, oppression and exploitation. That’s why it’s possible for Trump to win on the back of racism without needing to imagine that half the country is in the Klan.</p><p class="mag-quote-right">"A liberal curtain will be pulled back, and then we’ll be dealing with politics in its authentic form – them and us."</p><p>Trump first came to prominence defending racist housing policies in the 1970s and calling for the death penalty for African-American and Hispanic teenagers in the 1980s. Then, through the Birther movement, he is connected to a conspiratorial tradition on the American right, which goes back to the John Birch Society. But today, it’s very much tied up with Islamophobia. The Birther movement was not only about saying that Obama was not American but also that he was secretly Muslim. The real energy of Trump’s campaign initially came from making the arguments about banning Muslims. His critique of Obama was that he was deliberately trying to obscure the nature of the enemy, and we need to be more honest and direct in naming the enemy.</p><p>This connects with the idea of stripping away the pieties of the elite, that if you strip away all of this political correctness, you will reveal politics for the power grab it really is. And what he’s saying is, ‘I will grab power for my people, for my race, for my nation,’ and we don’t need to bother with the pretence of politically correct rules, and so forth. I think that’s a very emotional aspect of his appeal, tied up with that sense that a liberal curtain will be pulled back, and then we’ll be dealing with politics in its authentic form – them and us. And the ‘us’ for him would be, implicitly and often explicitly, white Americans.</p><p>I think we should take absolutely seriously the racism and Islamophobia of it and not just see it as a rhetorical device to get elected. There were two main components to his pitch: racism and anti-elitism. Of course his anti-elitism is a fiction, in the sense that he’s a part of the elite and he stands for the elite and he embodies the elite. In office, he will compromise on his anti-elitism and, to compensate for that, he will go overboard on his racism. So, for example, he’s already said he will be making registration of Muslims in the United States compulsory. I think those aspects will be the immediate priority for us to defend ourselves against.</p><p><strong>PB: Are there appropriate comparisons for this period in history? Can we make parallels?</strong></p><p>AK: The temptation is to say that this looks like a re-run of the election of Nixon or Reagan. And I don’t think it is. Trump’s politics are obviously different in relation to free trade. He’s committed to withdrawing from NAFTA. Compare that with George W. Bush, who was trying to expand NAFTA to South America. NAFTA was a way of locking Mexico into neoliberalism, so it’s striking that Trump seems willing to undo that.&nbsp;</p><p>It’s too early to say how this will play out but is seems like a new paradigm is emerging here. Aspects of the orthodoxy of the last forty years might be getting reworked in quite fundamental ways. Free trade is a sacred value of the establishment. When you look at the different components of Trump’s politics, the particular sections of society it’s appealing to, the fact that racism is central to it, the fact that he wants to dispense with all kinds of liberal values, the fact that he wants centralised state power, you can see the resemblance to fascist ideology. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to describe this as a new kind of fascism, but it’s a very different kind of fascism from the early twentieth century fascism.</p><p>For one thing, the Italian and German fascisms were responses to leftist working-class revolutionary movements. They were trying to appropriate some of the forms of those mass movements but redirect those energies for the preservation of the capitalist system. Well, there isn’t a threat to the system from a labour insurgency today. But I think there is a sense among the Anglo-American business class that the system has stalled and that maybe there’s a need for some radical rewiring. And I think Trump embodies that possibility.</p><p>It is too early to say what that might look like, but a lot of people in the Trump camp are skeptical of the US playing the role of firefighter and police force for a global free-market system that they think has enriched East Asia and destabilised the Middle East more than it has helped the west. This is not the end of neoliberalism but perhaps a new kind of neoliberalism, in which the aim would be to anchor the power of free markets more in a sense of western cultural identity.</p><p><strong>PB: What role did identity politics play in this election?</strong></p><p>AK: Clintonism – Hillary and Bill’s politics – was about corporate multiculturalism, corporate feminism, saying that people of colour and women can be included in the elites of the neoliberal project that Reagan had advanced before them. There was always a contradiction between the multicultural feel-good vibe of that politics and the realities for actual people of colour and actual women in America who were on the receiving end of the intensifying racism in the criminal justice system, or the cutbacks to welfare, and so forth, that Bill Clinton’s administration was involved in. Again it was the contradiction between the liberal image and the actual brutalities of the system – that’s what Trump was able to exploit. What Trump is saying, in effect, is, ‘Let’s do away with the pretence that this is an inclusive society. It’s a much more brutal society than that and it’s a society based on power, and who can grab power, and I can grab power for you (white people).’&nbsp;</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/PA-29130651.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="Hillary Clinton. Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/PA-29130651.jpg" alt="Hillary Clinton. Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved." title="Hillary Clinton. Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved." width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Hillary Clinton. Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p class="mag-quote-left">"Racism is a system and it’s sustained not by barroom bigots but by a million daily complicities." </p><p>In terms of how we think about identity politics, I think it’s a complete mistake to frame things in such a way that there is an opposition between feminism or anti-racism or LGBT rights, on the one hand, and class issues on the other hand, as if Clinton stands for gay rights and minorities and women and Trump stands for the white working class. I think that’s a complete misreading of the situation and a bad formulation that unfortunately has become very prominent. Our starting point should be that the US is a class society and a race society and a gender society, and all these social relations are intertwined with each other. So the kind of politics we need is one that can incorporate all these elements. Hillary Clinton’s defeat was, in part, to do with her reliance on the idea that women would vote only as women; in fact, they also voted for their race and their class.</p><p><strong>PB: What should the left be doing differently?</strong></p><p>AK: I think the first thing is to refuse the normalisation of Trump. All that stuff about healing the divides doesn’t grasp what’s happened. We should understand that this is, I think, a break with the last forty years of political and economic orthodoxy – radical not in the genuine sense but in the sense of change from above. The old centre ground of politics is eroding and we should not cling to it.&nbsp;</p><p>I think we should understand that something new is going to have to come in the place of the centre-left and the centre-right, and so far the right has been better at figuring out what that might look like. Trump represents that, Brexit represents that. I think in the first instance it’s going to be a matter of defending communities from attack. I think we need to be building our own walls of resistance to what is going to be heading towards us. There are a lot of people in the crosshairs of this. Clearly, the whole national security apparatus is going to be powered up to recharge the batteries of the war on terror.&nbsp;</p><p>But it’s also about the mob. I think there’s going to be a permanent mobilisation, a Trump movement, that is going to be responsible for racist violence, for all kinds of attacks on minorities. There’s a need to organise self-defence – this is where the lessons of anti-fascism in the twentieth century will have some resonance.</p><p><strong>PB: Is it possible to make foreign policy predictions at this stage?</strong></p><p>AK: It’s hard but there are some certainties. One is that the Trump administration will be fully aligned with the Israeli far-right, and that means moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, criminalising the BDS movement, going after pro-Palestinian groups within the US, all of which is very bad news for the Palestinians and their allies. It looks as if there will also be a rapprochement with Assad in Syria, which is bad news for the Syrian opposition who will be crushed between Russia and the United States.</p><p>More generally, I think what is on the cards is the US playing a different role in the international system. The old assumption that guided much of the last half century of US foreign policy was that the more that free trade was promoted, the more that American-style democracy was promoted, the better that would be for America. Neoliberal globalisation was supposed to be in America’s interests. That looked very convincing in 1994 when NAFTA was passed. But now globalisation does not look like Americanisation – it looks more like a de-centering of the west. What this means is hard to say but it certainly seems like a new era of US foreign policy will emerge that is quite different from the past. Leaders who have ideological similarities to Trump, such as Putin and Modi, can expect to benefit.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>PB: And the rise of the right in Europe?</strong></p><p>AK: The fact that Trump has appointed Stephen K. Bannon as his chief strategist tells you that Trump’s politics is <em>Breitbart</em> politics. What was the <em>Breitbart</em> front page in the days after the election? It was Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen. Those connections exist between the far-right in Europe and Trump.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/PA-29196996.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="Rutgers University students protest against Trump. Mel Evans/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549501/PA-29196996.jpg" alt="Rutgers University students protest against Trump. Mel Evans/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved." title="Rutgers University students protest against Trump. Mel Evans/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved." width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Rutgers University students protest against Trump. Mel Evans/AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p class="mag-quote-right">"We must match in radicalism Trump’s own rhetoric but ground it in a genuine programme for moving beyond the failures of neoliberalism."</p><p>This is a time of polarisation. There will be, let’s hope, a stronger left mobilisation in the United States than we’ve seen in recent decades. And we shouldn’t forget that millions of Americans voted for Bernie Sanders, someone who uses the label of “socialist”, and that would have been unimaginable relatively recently. That constituency now needs to – and I think will – take to the streets and fight for a genuine radical politics, not the fake anti-elitism of Trump.</p><p><strong>PB: Do you think Sanders could have beaten Trump?</strong></p><p>AK: It’s impossible to know. Certainly Sanders would have done better in the rustbelt states that were crucial to Trump’s victory. But once you swap Sanders for Clinton, then you don’t know what else is going to change. I think that, irrespective of whether he would have won, he was certainly the right candidate, because this is not a time for the status quo. This is a time when the status quo is collapsing, and the left needs to be campaigning from the margins rather than from the centre.</p><p><strong>PB: What is especially to be feared now?</strong></p><p>AK: Trump will inherit this vast armoury from the war on terror, the largest system of surveillance ever created, the capacity to carry out extra-judicial killings anywhere in the world on demand. There is the possibility that he will use those technologies to turn the border with Mexico into a warzone, while making it impossible for undocumented migrants to function within the US. He will have people around him who wish to strip away the civil rights of Muslims in the US and go to war with Iran. The Supreme Court will become more conservative. Corporations will be even less regulated. White supremacy will be regenerated. </p><p>But the real danger is normalisation.&nbsp;Our response cannot be aimed at restoring America to a discredited centrist status quo. We must match in radicalism Trump’s own rhetoric but ground it in a genuine programme for moving beyond the failures of neoliberalism.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arun-kundnani-opendemocracy/violence-comes-home-interview-with-arun-kundnani">Violence comes home: an interview with Arun Kundnani</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-rogers/trump-and-pentagon">Trump and the Pentagon</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/zoe-samudzi/donald-trump-is-not-uniquely-bigoted">Donald Trump is not uniquely bigoted. He&#039;s &#039;as American as apple pie&#039;</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> United States Democracy and government International politics Globalisation democracy & terror 9/11 : the 'war on terror' democracy & power north america Understanding the rise of Trump Phoebe Braithwaite Arun Kundnani Sat, 19 Nov 2016 09:45:56 +0000 Arun Kundnani and Phoebe Braithwaite 106915 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Trump gana. ¿Y ahora qué? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases/trump-gana-y-ahora-qu <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Lo que Trump tiene en mente para América Latina es una gran incógnita. La región (y el mundo) tendrá que navegar con cautela estas aguas inexploradas. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/michael-edwards-francesc-badia-i-dalmases-thomas-rowley-natalia-antonova/trump-wins">English</a></em></strong>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Citizen-Kane-Welles-Podium.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Citizen-Kane-Welles-Podium.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="336" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Citizen Kane en el Madison Square Garden. Public Domain. </span></span></span></p> <p>Los latinoamericanos esperaban que sus primos del norte&nbsp;eligieran al próximo presidente de los Estados Unidos.&nbsp;Sin embargo, han acabado eligiendo a un magnate de los&nbsp;negocios,&nbsp;algo así como&nbsp;el nuevo Director General de América Inc. &nbsp;</p> <p>Entre las muchas ansiedades que Donald Trump está generando esta mañana gris tras las elecciones,&nbsp;quizás la más inquietante sea su nula experiencia política.&nbsp;A su rechazo&nbsp;visceral al establishment político (y a la política como tal), Trump ha&nbsp;contrapuesto su experiencia como empresario. Parece que está pensando en&nbsp;gobernar el país más poderoso del mundo como si se tratara de una filial de&nbsp;la corporación <em>Trump Enterprises</em>. Sin embargo, uno de cada dos votantes ha confiado en su “buen hacer” empresarial, reafirmando una de las narrativas centrales al sueño americano: en la tierra de las oportunidades, si&nbsp;eres capaz de&nbsp;crear un negocio y convertirte en millonario, puedes dirigir el país y enriquecerlo. ¿Recuerdan la historia de <em>Ciudanado Kane</em>?</p> <p>Casi todo el mundo es consciente de que las cosas no serán tan sencillas, y de que la política tiene que ver más con alcanzar compromisos razonables que con hacer negocios rentables. Sin embargo, en la era de la ansiedad y de la incertidumbre, un mensaje simplista y populista cala emocionalmente. Hemos visto lo que ocurrió hace poco en el Reino Unido, y más recientemente en Colombia;&nbsp;ahora estamos presenciando algo muy parecido en Estados Unidos.</p> <p>Muchos norteamericanos pensaban que el populismo era un fenómeno típico de los "países subdesarrollados del sur," como por ejemplo los de América Latina. Pero esto ya no es así. Después de escuchar las amenazas que profirió el ahora presidente electo hacia la comunidad hispana, muchos esperaban un aumento en el voto latino en su contra. Sin embargo, logró un 29% del voto latino; más o menos lo mismo que obtuvo Mitt Romney hace cuatro años. Se esperaba que una mayor participación de la comunidad hispana supusiera el factor diferencial entre los dos candidatos. Pero esto, al final, no fue lo que sucedió. Ni siquiera el plan de construir un muro de más de 3000 km de largo en la frontera con México – un muro que supuestamente pagará el gobierno mexicano, quién sabe cómo – no resultó ser suficientemente aterrador como para despertar a ese “gigante dormido”.</p> <p>En cualquier caso, el temblor que la tectónica de los inesperados resultados está provocando envía enormes ondas expansivas a todo el continente que queda al sur de Rio Grande. El peso mexicano se ha desplomado. El tratado TLCAN podría someterse a revisión y convertirse en un acuerdo aún más asimétrico. La mayor parte de las fábricas de todo el país ya han activado sus planes de contingencia, puesto que Estados Unidos es su principal cliente,&nbsp;cuando no su sola razón de ser. Muchas economías centroamericanas dependen de los ingresos de los migrantes, mientras que los temores que despierta una potencial deportación masiva son enormes. En Bogotá se teme que, si bien el Plan Colombia 2 – con sus 350 millones de dólares adicionales – puede todavía ser aprobado por el Congreso de los Estados Unidos, la implicación activa de la diplomacia estadounidense en las conversaciones de paz con las FARC podría ser revisada.<strong> </strong></p> <p>Algo parecido podría ocurrir en Venezuela, donde la diplomacia estadounidense ha venido apoyando las conversaciones en curso entre Nicolás Maduro y la oposición. La retórica <em>chavista,</em> que identifica una conspiración dirigida por Estados Unidos basada en una guerra económica contra Venezuela,con Trump en la Casa Blanca tendrá ahora mucho más sentido. El nuevo gobierno de Brasil esperaba normalizar rápidamente sus relaciones con Estados Unidos, después de la profunda desconfianza que causaron las revelaciones de Edward Snowden de que la NSA habría intervenido el teléfono de la presidenta Dilma Rousseff. La recuperación económica es hoy la máxima prioridad, pero la incertidumbre sobre qué tipo de relación querrá mantener el nuevo presidente norteamericano con Brasil, sin duda no ayudará a estabilizar la situación. En Perú, el nuevo presidente Pedro Pablo Kaczynski esperaba hacer buenos negocios con los demócratas en el poder, pero ahora tendrá que esperar y ver. En Argentina, el presidente Mauricio Macri, que tuvo una mala experiencia con Trump en los años 80, cuando compartió algunas operaciones inmobiliarias en Nueva York, se mostró encantado de recibir a los Obama en Bariloche, Patagonia, e incluso bailó un tango con ellos. Ahora, tendrá que&nbsp;renovar sus esfuerzos diplomáticos, pero esta vez con alguien en quien no confía.</p> <p>En cualquier caso, lo que Trump tiene en mente para América Latina – como por otra parte&nbsp;sucede con otras regiones del mundo – es una gran incógnita. América Latina tendrá que navegar con cautela estas aguas procelosas, en medio de un creciente sentimiento antiamericano. Y hay quienes están, desde la izquierda, celebrando como el peor escenario – la victoria de Donald Trump – se ha hecho realidad, ya que esto podría revivir las fuerzas antiimperialistas y otorgarles la oportunidad de recuperar el poder. En el Kremlin estarán sonriendo, y los locutores de <em>Russia Today</em> en castellano estaban hoy de muy &nbsp;buen humor. Como Trump sabe bien y de primera mano, al igual que Farage en Reino Unido o que Uribe en Colombia, tener alguien a quién atribuir la culpa de todas las ansiedades funciona increíblemente bien en las urnas.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/federico-finchesltein/trump-y-el-populismo-machista">Trump y el populismo machista</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Culture Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america latin america europe Francesc Badia i Dalmases Wed, 09 Nov 2016 17:02:55 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases 106640 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Trump vs Hillary: consecuencias de las elecciones presidenciales en América Latina https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/trump-clinton-americalatina-future <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <P>Cualquiera que sea el resultado, las elecciones presidenciales del 8 de noviembre tendrán un impacto determinante al sur del Río Grande. Recabamos la visión de&nbsp;algunos analistas desde la región.&nbsp;<A style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-STYLE: italic" href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases-gema-santamar-carlos-mesa-abel-gibert-alejandro-v-lez/tr">English</a><SPAN style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-STYLE: italic"> </span><STRONG><EM><A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/trump-clinton-latinamerica-elections-latinos">Português</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <P><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28744211.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28744211.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="289" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Dos hombres golpean una piñata de Donald Trump, durante una campaña para fomentar la participación de los ciudadanos americanos. Ciudad de México. 25 septiembre 2016. AP Photo/Marco Ugarte. Todos los derechos reservados. </span></span></span></p> <P>La historia contemporánea de las relaciones de América Latina con su poderoso vecino del norte ha sido turbulenta, y no ha alcanzado nunca a desarrollar el enorme potencial que contiene su destino común. </p> <P>Una larga historia de intervencionismo, una moral de doble rasero, y una actitud de superioridad y menosprecio han marcado las relaciones durante décadas. La enorme asimetría en peso económico y político, y la posición hegemónica del Estados Unidos sobre la región, han hecho que la defensa de sus intereses económicos y de seguridad haya pasado por encima de la de los valores compartidos de la libertad, la democracia y los derechos humanos. Esta actitud ha sido tradicionalmente fuente de importantes tensiones en el eje norte/sur.</p> <P class="mag-quote-center">Una larga historia de intervencionismo, una moral de doble rasero, y una actitud de superioridad y menosprecio han marcado las relaciones durante décadas.</p> <P>Aunque realizar un análisis del posible resultado de las elecciones el día anterior corre siempre el riesgo de quedar obsoleto el día después, hemos considerado relevante recabar la opinión de algunos colaboradores de DemocraciaAbierta puesto que, independientemente del resultado, las preocupaciones de fondo permanecerán. </p> <P>El ex presidente <STRONG>Carlos Mesa</strong>, desde Bolivia, comenta: </p> <P><EM>"E</em><EM>sta elecció, tiene una importancia especial para los latinoamericanos por la actitud del candidato Donald Trump con relación a la migración como aspecto específico y con relación a los latinoamericanos como aspecto general, pues Trump revive un estereotipo que&nbsp;vuelve a las visiones más conservadores de antes de la conquista de los derechos civiles. Esa mirada de superficie y cargada de prejuicios, puede ser muy nociva para una política global hacia América Latina.&nbsp;</em></p> <P><EM>Un elemento importante hoy es que la presencia de los mal llamados latinos en los EE.UU. -la primera minoría de esa nación- ha prolongado a América Latina en el corazón de su territorio, lo que obliga a sus gobernantes a modificar su percepción y su acción con relación a nosotros, o -posibilidad real- a profundizar la grieta entre ambos.&nbsp;</em></p> <P><EM>A primera vista, un triunfo de Trump hace difícil pensar en una evolución en la dirección marcada por el Presidente Obama en Cuba, y en otras cuestiones referidas a la necesidad de relaciones de integración económica menos asimétricas, la migración, la lucha contra las drogas, el tráfico de armas, el crimen organizado y el fortalecimiento de una vinculación respetuosa y de no injerencia en asuntos internos de nuestras naciones (en esta materia, la política exterior de Washington es distinta en América del Sur que en América Central y el Caribe).</em><EM>&nbsp;</em></p> <P><EM><STRONG><STRONG>Read More</strong>:&nbsp;<A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/federico-finchesltein/trump-y-el-populismo-machista">Trump y el populismo machista</a></strong></em></p> <P><EM>En caso de un triunfo de Hillary Clinton, es posible esperar una actitud más abierta, aunque el riesgo -salvo Cuba- es la continuidad de una relación estancada en una dominante indiferencia, que no contribuye a la composición de un clima de confianza y cooperación mutua entre la primera potencia del mundo y el hemisferio del que forma parte."</em></p> <P>Por su parte, el analista <STRONG>Abel Gibert</strong>, desde Buenos Aires, advierte:</p> <P><EM>"Podría decirse que Sudamérica está tan ocupada de sus urgencias que la vista se nubla al observar el horizonte. Vemos cómo Venezuela intenta evitar una guerra civil, <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/annette-idler/por-qu-colombia-ha-votado-no-y-qu-significa">Colombia sacar a flote el acuerdo de paz entre el Gobierno y las FARC</a>, y cómo <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juca-ferreira-francesc-badia-i-dalmases/la-democracia-brasile-ha-sido-atacada">Brasil está en el umbral de un nuevo experimento tatcheriano</a>, que provocará turbulencias sociales. En Argentina, <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/argentina-el-regreso-de-la-terapia-de-choque">la derecha busca refundar otra vez el país a su imagen y semejanza</a>.</em></p> <P><EM>Podría decirse que Sudamérica está tan ocupada de sus urgencias que la vista se nubla al observar el horizonte.</em></p> <P><EM><EM>Las elecciones en los Estados Unidos parecen, en ese contexto, un asunto lateral, como si lo que allí está en juego no tuviese efectos puntuales al sur del río Bravo. Quizá sea México el más preocupado por el posible triunfo de Donald Trump. Una inquietud de ese tenor podría extenderse a Cuba. Pero después del martes, muchos líderes políticos y de opinión podrán empezar a avizorar los peligros que se vienen. Si gana Hilary, quizás todo siga igual, lo que no es en sí mismo benéfico ni auspicioso. Pero las cosas pueden ser mucho peores."</em></em></p> <P>Es evidente que es en <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/gema-santamar/violencia-sin-justicia-en-m-xico-la-guerra-y-sus-consecuencias">México donde la elección se vive más intensamente</a>. En este sentido, el análisis de la profesora <STRONG>Gema Santamaría </strong>señala que:</p> <P><EM>"Independientemente de quién sea mañana el presidente de Estados Unidos, los sentimientos proteccionistas y anti-migrantes, potencializados durante este proceso electoral, permanecerán como telón de fondo del quehacer político estadounidense. En particular, los sentimientos anti-migrantes y la promesa de “retornar” a un Estados Unidos -por lo demás mítico- blanco, seguro, y homogéneo, tendrán sin duda <STRONG><A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/las-mujeres-y-los-ni-os-primero-la-seguridad-interior-norteamericana">consecuencias en México y el norte de Centroamérica</a>. </strong></em></p> <P><EM>Las políticas migratorias y de deportación, de por sí endurecidas, podrían tornarse aún más severas bajo un electorado que continuará demandado muros. Esta elección dejará un Estados Unidos dividido y lastimado, entre dos campos que se perciben irreconciliables. Un Estados Unidos lastimado es un Estados Unidos proclive a asumir decisiones unilaterales, proteccionistas, o invasivas, en aras de recuperar la unidad. Confiemos en que el país de los pesos y contrapesos permita que prevalezca la democracia y la apuesta por la pluralidad."</em></p> <P><EM>Las políticas migratorias y de deportación, de por sí endurecidas, podrían tornarse aún más severas bajo un electorado que continuará demandado muros.</em></p> <P>Por su parte, <STRONG>Alejandro Vélez</strong>, desde la capital mexicana, nos advierte de que:</p> <P><EM>"</em><EM>México está viviendo una década sangrienta. <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/alejandro-v-lez-salas/el-silencio-y-el-miedo-pedagog-de-la-represi-n-en-m-xico">La catástrofe mexicana se hizo visible en el último período de Bush y continuó indemne bajo la carismática presidencia de Obama</a>. La influencia de los Estados Unidos se ha dejado sentir con la Iniciativa Mérida, el fallido programa Rápido y Furioso, y la “securitización” de la frontera con Guatemala y Belice. El común denominador de estos programas es que están encuadrados en el paradigma de Homeland Security y en el del régimen global de prohibición de narcóticos. </em></p> <P>En este sentido, la pregunta más importante que deberíamos hacernos desde México es cómo cambiarían estos paradigmas si Trump o Clinton ganara la elección. Por un lado, considero que ambos son “drug warriors” y que el régimen de prohibición tendría otros 4 años más de vida y de consecuencias fatales para México y otros países. Finalmente, creo que uno de los peligros de que “The Donald” gane la presidencia está en que puede llevar el modelo de Homeland Security —vigilancia masiva, militarización de la seguridad interna y guerras preventivas— demasiado lejos, mientras que Hillary lo mantendría más o menos como está ahora.</p> <P><SPAN>La pregunta más importante que deberíamos hacernos desde México es cómo cambiarían estos paradigmas si Trump o Clinton ganara la elección."</span></p> <P>Finalmente, <STRONG>Breno Bringel</strong>, profesor e investigador del Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Políticos de la Universidad Estatal de Río de Janeiro, apunta lo siguiente:</p> <P>"<EM>Aunque haya habido una profunda reconfiguración geopolítica desde el cambio de siglo en el mundo, que ha&nbsp;afectado tanto Estados Unidos como América Latina como región, me parece importante subrayar dos elementos, leídos habitualmente como aparentes paradojas, que también demarcan ciertas permanencias sistémicas.</em></p> <P><EM>Por un lado, está el hecho de que aunque Estados Unidos haya inaugurado en el escenario post 11-S una nueva etapa bélica plasmada en la “guerra contra el terrorismo” y haya desatado una brutal crisis del sistema financiero que se expandió desde sus fronteras hacia el resto del mundo, ha acabado por salir fortalecido de la crisis, manteniendo su centralidad como potencia capitalista. Por otro, la reivindicación de la autonomía y del carácter proactivo y potencialmente alternativo de la proyección global de América Latina observado en los últimos años no sólo ha estado muy marcado por una alianza coyuntural de gobiernos progresistas que se ha ido deshaciendo, sino que también ha reforzado su posición dependiente en el sistema-mundo, asociada a la permanencia de su posición de proveedora de materias primas a la economía-mundo.</em></p> <P><EM>Dentro de este escenario, el futuro presidente de Estados Unidos se encontrará con un mapa regional bastante distinto al de hace unos años, marcado hoy – y tendencialmente en los próximos años – por una fuerte polarización social; retrocesos en los derechos sociales conquistados históricamente; desestabilización política; fragmentación interregional; y por varios gobiernos inclinados a una relación más supeditada y menos conflictiva con Estados Unidos. Esta situación podrá ser leída por Hillary o por Trump de maneras diversas, aunque, en todo caso, con representaciones geopolíticas que seguirán viendo seguramente América Latina por su potencialidad comercial y como importante polo de contención de lo social. Sea como fuere, no podemos pensar las relaciones de Estados Unidos con América Latina sólo a partir de la óptica de los Estados y, en este sentido, una posible victoria de Trump – aunque desastrosa en el plano interno para buena parte de la población norteamericana (incluso la población migrante latinoamericana) – podría, sin embargo, reactivar con mayor fuerza el sentimiento antiimperialista y la potencia de los movimientos sociales de la región que han construido desde la lucha contra el ALCA en la década de los 1990 una serie de redes, espacios de convergencia e iniciativas que permanecen presentes en el imaginario colectivo</em>." &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <P>Sea quien sea quien al final resulte electo presidente, es hora de que el vecino del norte cambie de actitud. Por múltiples razones (geográficas, económicas, demográficas, ideológicas) los Estados Unidos se juegan su futuro en América Latina. En cualquier caso, parece claro que la agresividad insultante de Donald Trump genera mucho más rechazo que la previsible dureza realista de Hillary Clinton.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">As eleições americanas e a América Latina: O diabo que já conhecemos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/federico-finchesltein/trump-y-el-populismo-machista">Trump y el populismo machista</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Conflict Culture Democracy and government Ideas International politics Español DemocraciaAbierta north america mexico latin america europe Breno Bringel Gema Santamaría Alejandro Vélez Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert Abel Gibert Francesc Badia i Dalmases Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:13:11 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases, Gema Santamaría, Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert, Abel Gibert, Alejandro Vélez and Breno Bringel 106566 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Trump vs Hillary: consequências das eleições presidenciais na América Latina https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/trump-clinton-latinamerica-elections-latinos <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Seja qual for o resultado, a eleição presidencial&nbsp;terá um impacto determinante ao Sul do Rio Grande. Recolhemos a visão de alguns analistas desde a região. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases-gema-santamar-carlos-mesa-aber-gibert-alejandro-v-lez/tr">Español</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases-gema-santamar-carlos-mesa-abel-gibert-alejandro-v-lez/tr">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28744211_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28744211_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="289" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Dois homens batem numa Pinhata de Donald Trump, durante uma campanha para encorajar a participação. Cidade do México. 25 setembro 2016. AP Photo/Marco Ugarte. Todos os direitos reservados. </span></span></span></p> <p>A historia contemporânea das relações da América Latina com o seu poderoso vizinho do Norte foi turbulenta, nunca se tendo chegado a desenvolver o enorme potencial que supõe o seu destino comum. </p> <p>Uma longa historia de intervencionismo, padrões morais relativistas e uma atitude de superioridade e desdém marcaram as relações durante décadas. A enorme assimetria em peso económico e político, e a posição hegemónica dos Estados Unidos na região, fizeram com que a defesa dos seus interesses económicos e da sua segurança passassem por cima dos valores partilhados: a liberdade, a democracia e os direitos humanos. <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">Esta atitude foi tradicionalmente fonte de importantes tensões no eixo norte/sul.</a></p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Uma longa historia de intervencionismo, padrões morais relativistas e uma atitude de superioridade e desdém marcaram as relações durante décadas.</p> <p>Ainda que realizar uma análise no dia anterior implica o risco de que a mesma fique obsoleta no dia seguinte às eleições, considerámos relevante recolher a opinião de alguns colaboradores da DemocraciaAberta já que, independentemente dos resultados, a preocupações de fundo permanecerão. </p> <p>O ex-presidente <strong>Carlos Mesa</strong>, desde a Bolívia, comenta:</p> <p>“Esta eleição tem uma importância especial para los latino-americanos devido à atitude do candidato republicano, Donald Trump, em relação à migração, em particular, e em relação aos latino-americanos, em geral. Trump ressuscita um estereotipo que retorna às visões mais conservadoras, anteriores à conquista dos direitos civis. Esse olhar superficial e carregado de preconceitos pode ser extremamente nocivo para a <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">política global norte-americana em relação à América Latina</a>. </p> <p>Um elemento importante hoje é a presença dos erroneamente denominados “latinos” nos Estados Unidos – a primeira minoria do país –o que obriga os seus governantes a modificar a sua perceção e ação em relação a nós, ou – possibilidade real – a aprofundar a divisão entre ambos. </p> <p>À primeira vista, um triunfo de Trump não potenciaria uma evolução na direção marcada pelo Presidente Obama em Cuba, nem noutras questões referidas à necessidade de relações de integração económica menos assimétricas, a migração, a luta contra as drogas, o tráfico de armas, o crime organizado e o fortalecimento do respeito e não-ingerência nos aspetos internos das nossas nações (nesta matéria, a política exterior de Washington não é a mesma para a América do Sul que para a América Central ou para as Caraíbas).</p> <p><strong>Read More: <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">as eleições americanas e a América Latina</a></strong></p> <p>Se Hillary Clinton ganhar, podemos esperar uma atitude mais aberta, ainda que o risco – excetuando o caso de Cuba – é a continuidade de uma relação de dominante indiferença, que não contribuiu para a composição de um clima de confiança e cooperação mutua entre a primeira potencia do mundo e o hemisfério ao que pertence.” </p> <p><strong>Abel Gilbert</strong>, desde Buenos Aires, avisa:</p> <p>“Poderia dizer-se que a América Latina está tao ocupada pelas sus urgências que a sua visão se torna turva ao observar o horizonte. Vemos como a Venezuela tenta <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/piers-purdy/venezuela-elija-su-propio-dictador">evitar uma guerra civil</a>, como a Colômbia <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/alejandro-matos/dez-elementos-chave-para-explicar-o-frenesim-colombiano">tenta salvar o acordo de paz</a> entre o Governo e as FARC, e como o <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases-juca-ferreira/entrevista-com-juca-ferreira">Brasil se encontra no limiar de um novo experimento <em>tatcheriano</em></a>, que provocará turbulência sociais. Na Argentina, a <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/samuele-mazzolini/argentina-o-regresso-da-terapia-de-choque">direita pretende refundar outra vez o país</a> à sua imagem e semelhança.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Poderia dizer-se que a América Latina está tao ocupada pelas sus urgências que a sua visão se torna turva ao observar o horizonte.</p> <p>As eleições nos Estados Unidos parecem, neste contexto., um assunto contingente, como se o que está em jogo no tivesse efeitos pontuais ao sul do Rio Bravo. Talvez seja o México <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/gema-santamar/violencia-sin-justicia-en-m-xico-la-guerra-y-sus-consecuencias">o país mais preocupado</a> por um possível triunfo de Donald Trump. Uma inquietude deste teor poderia estender-se a Cuba. Mas depois da terça feira, muitos lideres políticos e de opinião poderão começar a vislumbrar os perigos que se avizinham. Se ganha Hillary, talvez tudo continue como está, o que não é de todo beneficiosos nem auspicioso. Mas as coisas poderiam ser muito piores.” </p> <p>É evidente que é no México <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/gema-santamar/violencia-sin-justicia-en-m-xico-la-guerra-y-sus-consecuencias">onde a eleição se vive de forma mais intensa</a>. Neste sentido, a análise da professora <strong>Gema Santamaria</strong> sublinha que: </p> <p>“Independentemente de quem seja amanha o novo presidente dos Estados Unidos, os sentimentos protecionistas e anti-imigrantes, potencializados durante este processo eleitoral, permanecerão como telão de fundo da agenda política norte-americana. Em particular, o sentimentos anti-imigrantes e a promessa de recuperar uns Estados Unidos – mítico, por sinal – branco, seguro e homogéneo, terão sem duvida consequências no México e no norte da América Central.</p> <p>As políticas migratórias e de deportação, já endurecidas, poderiam tornar-se ainda mais severas sob um eleitorado que continuará a pedir a construção de muros. Esta eleição <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">deixará os Estados Unidos divididos e magoados</a>, entre dois campos que parecem ser irreconciliáveis. Uns Estados Unidos magoados é um país proclive a assumir decisões unilaterais, protecionistas, ou invasivas, pretendendo recuperar a unidade. Confiemos em que o país dos pesos e dos contrapesos permita que prevaleça a democracia e a pluralidade.” </p> <p>Por sua parte, <strong>Alejandro Vélez</strong>, desde a capital Mexicana, avisa-nos que: </p> <p>O México está a viver uma década sangrenta. A catástrofe mexicana tornou-se visível no ultimo período de Bush e continuou indemne sob a carismática presidência de Obama. A influência dos Estados Unidos fez-se sentir com a iniciativa Mérida, com o falhado programa <em>Rápido e Furioso</em>, e com a <em>securitização</em> da fronteira com o Guatemala e Belize. O denominador comum de estes programas foi o seu enquadramento no paradigma da <em>Homeland Security</em> e no regime global da proibição de narcóticos. </p> <p>Neste sentido, a pregunta mais importante que deveríamos fazer desde o México é como mudariam estes paradigmas em caso de ganhar um ou outro candidato. Por um lado, considero que ambos são <em>drug warriors</em>, e que o regime de proibição teria outros 4 anos de vida, com a subsequentes consequências para o México e outros países da região. Finalmente, acredito que um dos principais perigos da hipotética vitória de Donald Trump seria uma extrapolação do modelo da <em>Homeland Security</em> – vigilância massiva, militarização da segurança interna e guerras preventivas – levada demasiado longe, enquanto que Hillary o manteria mais ou menos como está agora.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">A pregunta mais importante que deveríamos fazer desde o México é como mudariam estes paradigmas em caso de ganhar um ou outro candidato.</p> <p>Finalmente, <strong>Breno Bringel</strong>, professor e investigador do Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos da Universidade Estatal do Rio de Janeiro, aponta o seguinte: </p> <p>“Ainda que tenha havido uma profunda reconfiguração geopolítica desde o virar do século, que afetou tanto os Estados Unidos como a América Latina como região, parece-me importante sublinhar dois elementos, interpretados habitualmente como aparentes paradoxos, que também delimitam determinadas permanências sistémicas. </p> <p>Por um lado, está o facto de que ainda que os Estados Unidos tenham inaugurado no cenário Pós 11 de setembro uma nova etapa bélica plasmada na “guerra contra o terrorismo” y tenha desatado uma brutal crise do sistema financeiro que se expandiu desde as suas fronteiras ao resto do mundo, acabou por sair fortalecido da crise, mantendo a sua centralidade como potencia capitalista. Por outro lado, a reivindicação da autonomia e do caráter proactivo e potencialmente alternativo da projeção global da América Latina observado nos últimos anos não só esteve muito marcado por uma aliança conjuntural de governos progressistas que se tem vindo a desfazer, mas também reforçou a sua posição dependente no sistema-mundo, associada à permanência da sua posição provedora de matérias primas à economia-mundo. </p> <p>Neste cenário, o futuro presidente dos Estados Unidos encontrar-se-á com um mapa regional bastante diferente ao de alguns anos atrás, marcado hoje – e tendencialmente nos próximos anos – por uma forte polarização social; retrocessos nos direitos sociais conquistados historicamente; desestabilização política; fragmentação inter-regional; e por vários governos inclinados a uma relação mais supeditada e menos conflituosa com os Estados Unidos. Esta situação poderá ser lida por Hillary ou por Trump de diversas formas, ainda que, em qualquer caso, com representações geopolíticas que continuarão a ver a América Latina pelo seu potencial comercial e como um importante polo de contenção do social. </p> <p>Seja como for, não podemos pensar as relações dos Estados Unidos com a América Latina unicamente a partir da ótica dos Estados e, nesse sentido, uma possível vitória de Trump – ainda que desastrosa no plano interno para grande parte da população norte-americana (inclusive a população migrante latino-americana) – poderia, contudo, reativar com maior força o sentimento anti-imperialista e a potencia dos movimentos sociais da região que construíram, desde a luta contra o ALCA na década dos 90, uma serie de redes, espaços de convergência e iniciativa que permanecem presentes no imaginário coletivo."</p> <p>Seja qual for o resultado das eleições, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">é hora de que o vizinho do Norte mude de atitude</a>. Por múltiplas razões (geográficas, económicas, demográficas, ideológicas) os Estados Unidos jogam o seu futuro na América Latina. Em qualquer caso, parece claro que a agressividade de Donald Trump gera mais anticorpos que a previsível dureza realista de Hillary Clinton.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">As eleições americanas e a América Latina: O diabo que já conhecemos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/federico-finchesltein/trump-y-el-populismo-machista">Trump y el populismo machista</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/rebecca-abecassis/jornalismo-em-tempos-de-crise">Jornalismo em tempos de crise</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Conflict Culture Democracy and government Ideas International politics Português DemocraciaAbierta El momento populista north america mexico latin america Breno Bringel Gema Santamaría Alejandro Vélez Carlos Mesa Abel Gibert Francesc Badia i Dalmases Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:10:48 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases, Gema Santamaría, Carlos Mesa, Abel Gibert, Alejandro Vélez and Breno Bringel 106568 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Trump vs Hillary: Consequences of US presidential elections for Latin America https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/francesc-badia-i-dalmases-gema-santamar-carlos-mesa-abel-gibert-alejandro-v-lez/tr <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <P>As US voters turn out to decide between Trump and Hilary on election day, 5 analysts from the region&nbsp;share their thoughts on the potential impact of the results on Latin America.&nbsp;<A style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-STYLE: italic" href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/trump-clinton-americalatina-future">Español</a><SPAN style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-STYLE: italic"> </span><A style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-STYLE: italic" href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/trump-clinton-latinamerica-elections-latinos">Português</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <P><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28744211_1.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28744211_1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="289" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>US presidential candidate Donald Trump, as a piñata, ahead of election day. Mexico City, Sept. 25, 2016. AP Photo/Marco Ugarte. </span></span></span></p> <P>The contemporary history of the relations between Latin America and its powerful neighbour to the North has not only been a turbulent one, but one that has never developed the full potential of their common destiny.</p> <P>The relationship has been marked for decades by a long record of interventionism, double-standards, and an attitude of superiority and contempt. The huge asymmetry in terms of economic and political weight and the hegemonic position of the United States over the region have meant that the US economic and security interests have systematically overrun the defense of the shared values of freedom, democracy and human rights. This attitude on the part of the US has traditionally been the source of significant tensions along the North/South axis.</p> <P class="mag-quote-center">The relationship has been marked for decades by a long record of interventionism, double-standards, and an attitude of superiority and contempt.</p> <P>Even though an analysis of the possible outcome of the elections on polling day always runs the risk of being obsolete the day after, we nevertheless consider it relevant to glean the opinion of some of our contributors at DemocraciaAbierta because, whatever the outcome, the underlying concerns will surely remain.</p> <P>Former President <STRONG>Carlos Mesa</strong>, from Bolivia, comments: </p> <P>"This election has a special significance for Latin Americans due to candidate Donald Trump’s attitude as regards migration in particular and Latin Americans in general. Trump has revived a stereotype that take us back to the times of the most conservative visions before the conquest of civil rights. This superficial and prejudiced outlook can be very harmful to a global policy towards Latin America.</p> <P>Today, an important element is that the presence of the so-called Latinos in the United States - the first minority in the country - has in fact extended Latin America to the heart of its territory, forcing its political leaders to change their perception and their actions in relation to us, or – and this is a real possibility - to deepen the rift between us.</p> <P>At first glance, Trump's triumph would make it difficult to think of an evolution following the <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/antoni-kapcia/end-of-cuban-revolution">course set by President Obama in Cuba</a>, on issues relating to the need for less asymmetric relations regarding economic integration, migration, the fight against drug and arms trafficking and organized crime, and the strengthening of a relationship founded on respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of our countries (in this matter, Washington's foreign policy is different in South America from that in Central America and the Caribbean.)</p> <P>If Hillary Clinton wins, a more open attitude can be expected, although the risk here - except in the case of Cuba – would be the continuity of a relationship stuck in dominant indifference, which certainly does not contribute to the establishment of a climate of trust and mutual cooperation between the world's first power and the hemisphere to which it belongs”.</p> <P class="mag-quote-center">If Hillary Clinton wins, a more open attitude can be expected, although the risk here - except in the case of Cuba – would be the continuity of a relationship stuck in dominant indifference.</p> <P>Meanwhile, the analyst <STRONG>Abel Gilbert</strong> from Buenos Aires, warns:</p> <P>“Arguably, South America has been so busy with its own crises that it hasn’t seen what’s on the horizon. Here, we are witnessing <A>Venezuela </a>try to avoid civil war, <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/annette-idler/colombia-just-voted-no-on-its-plebiscite-for-peace-here-s-why-and-wh">Colombia </a>attempt to keep the prospect of peace between the Government and the FARC afloat, and <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juca-ferreira-francesc-badia-i-dalmases/brazilian-democracy-has-been-attacked">Brasil </a>on the verge of a new Thatcherite experiment – one which will surely result in social unrest. And in <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/samuele-mazzolini/return-of-shock-therapy-in-argentina-and-legacy-of-leftist-past">Argentina</a>, the Right is seeking to return the country to a previous time, its own image and likeness. </p> <P>Elections in the United States, in this context, present themselves as a side issue – as if what is at stake does not have a direct impact south of the Rio Grande. Mexico is perhaps the most concerned about the possibility of a Trump victory. This concern could also be extended to Cuba. But after Tuesday, many politicians and influential leaders will start to foresee the approaching danger. If Hilary wins, perhaps everything will stay the same – which in itself is not auspicious. But things could turn out to be much worse”.</p> <P>Clearly, it is in Mexico where the election is being watched with greater concern. In this regard, Professor <STRONG>Gema Santamaría</strong> comments:</p> <P>“Regardless of who is the president of the United States, protectionism and anti-immigration sentiments - stirred up during this election process - remain part of the American political landscape. In particular, the anti-immigrant feeling and promises of the United States’ <EM>mythical</em> ‘return’ to a white, safe and homogenous America will undoubtedly have consequences for Mexico and Northern Central America.</p> <P>Migration and deportation policy, already intensified, could become even more severe under an electorate that continue to demand for the building of walls on the border. This election will leave the United States divided and damaged, with two irreconcilable sides facing off against one another. A damaged United States is a United States that will be prone to making unilateral, protectionist or invasive decisions in its attempts to regain unity. Let us hope that the country of checks and balances allows democracy to prevail and remains committed to plurality.”</p> <P class="mag-quote-center">Migration and deportation policy, already intensified, could become even more severe under an electorate that continue to demand for the building of walls on the border.</p> <P><STRONG>Alejandro Vélez</strong>, from Mexico City, further tells us that:</p> <P>“Mexico is experiencing a bloody decade. The Mexican catastrophe became apparent towards the end of the George W. Bush administration, and has continued behind the charisma of the Obama presidency. The influence of the US has been felt through Plan Mexico (<EM>la Iniciativa Mérida</em>), the failure of the Fast and Furious programme, and the ‘securitisation’ of Mexico’s southern borders with Guatemala and Belize. The common denominator across these programmes is that they are all framed within the paradigm of US Homeland Security and the global regime’s prohibition of narcotics.</p> <P>In this sense, the most important question we should be asking in Mexico is how to change this paradigm, if either Trump <EM>or </em>Clinton wins the election. One the one hand, I think that both are ‘drug warriors’ and that the prohibition regime will go on for at least another four years, having fatal consequences for Mexico and other countries in the region. But also, I think one of the dangers posed if ‘The Donald’ wins is that he can carry this <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/camila-ruiz-segovia/instead-of-denying-crimes-against-humanity-mexico-should-commi">narrative of ‘Homeland Security’</a> forward even further – with intrusive surveillance, the militarisation of internal security and preventative wars – whereas I think Hilary would keep it more or less as it is now”.</p> <P class="mag-quote-center">The most important question we should be asking in Mexico is how to change this paradigm, if either Trump&nbsp;orClinton wins the election.</p> <P><STRONG>Breno Bringel,</strong> professor and researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Studies of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, points out the following:<BR /><BR />"Even though a profound, global geopolitical reconfiguration since the turn of the century has affected both the United States and Latin America as a region, I think it is important to highlight two elements, which are commonly viewed as apparent paradoxes, but which indicate some systemic constants.<BR /><BR />On the one hand, there is the fact that while the United States, in the post-9/11 scenario, opened a new war phase through the "war on terrorism" and unleashed a brutal financial crisis that has metastasized to the rest of the world, it has actually come out from it strengthened, and has maintained its central role as a capitalist power. On the other hand, the assertion of the autonomy of Latin America and the proactive and potentially alternative character of its global projection in recent years has not only been marked by the circumstantial, gradually dissolved alliance of progressive governments, but by the reinforcement of the position of the region as a world-system dependant, a position directly related to its continuing function as supplier of commodities to the world-economy.<BR /><BR />In this scenario, the future president of the United States will find itself with a regional map which is quite different from that of a few years ago. Today - and in the coming years – it is characterized by strong social polarization; regression as regards historically conquered social rights; political destabilization; interregional fragmentation; and several governments being inclined to more contingent and less conflictive relations with the United States. This situation can be read differently by Hillary and Trump but, in both cases, from a geopolitical perspective that will surely keep on viewing Latin America in terms of its trade potential and as an important pole for social containment. Be that as it may, we cannot think about US-Latin American relations only from the viewpoint of the states. In this sense, a possible Trump victory at the polls - though disastrous internally for a majority of the American population (including the Latin American migrant population) - could, however, reactivate with renewed strength the anti-imperialist feeling and empower of the social movements in the region that have been building, ever since the struggle against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in the 1990s, a series of networks, spaces of convergence and initiatives which are alive and well in the collective imaginary".</p> <P>Whoever it is that wins the election, it is time for the Northern neighbour to change its attitude. For many reasons – geographical, economic, demographic and ideological – the future of the United States has a stake in Latin America. And in any case, it is clear that the offensive aggressiveness of Donald Trump generates more repudiation than the hawkishness we expect from Hilary Clinton.</p> <P><STRONG>What consequences do you think the US presidential election results could have on Latin America? Let us know in the comments sections below.</strong></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/us-elections-and-latin-america-devil-we-know"> The US Elections and Latin America: the devil we know</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/halim-shebaya/trump-and-islamophobia-discrimination-fuels-terror">Trump and Islamophobia: discrimination fuels terror</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/anthony-barnett/trump-or-clinton-choice-between-two-forms-of-violence">Trump or Clinton: a choice between two forms of violence</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/julian-sayarer/real-need-to-figure-out-what-is-going-on">Trump &amp; the real need to “figure out what is going on”</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Culture Democracy and government Ideas International politics English DemocraciaAbierta us & the world north america mexico latin america Breno Bringel Gema Santamaría Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert Abel Gibert Alejandro Vélez Francesc Badia i Dalmases Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:03:59 +0000 Francesc Badia i Dalmases, Gema Santamaría, Abel Gibert, Alejandro Vélez, Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert and Breno Bringel 106571 at https://www.opendemocracy.net As eleições americanas e a América Latina: O diabo que já conhecemos https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sem o voto latino, é improvável que Donald Trump ganhe a presidência. As suas políticas sobre a América Latina são em grande parte inexistentes, enquanto que a abordagem de Hillary Clinton é conhecida por todos. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/us-elections-and-latin-america-devil-we-know">English&nbsp;</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29103576.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29103576.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="312" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Hillary Clinton. 6 de Novembro, 2016. Steven Senne AP/Press Association Images. Todos os direitos reservados.</span></span></span></p><p>Você provavelmente já viu essa foto: Donald Trump inclinado sobre a mesa de seu escritório de Manhattan, preparando-se para traçar um "taco bowl”, pousado sobre uma pilha de jornais ainda não lidos e de uma revista aberta numa página em que sua ex-mulher Marla Maples aparece de biquíni; ele exibe uma gravata listrada de vermelho e branco de sua marca, Donald Trump Signature Collection, os fios de seu inigualável topete armado sobre a testa, sua expressão congelada está entre um sorriso e uma careta de dor; e um pesado troféu de golfe reluz no parapeito da janela atrás dele.</p> <p>Nada nesta cena comunica alguma afinidade autêntica com os latinos. Mas foi a foto que ele tuitou pouco depois de se tornar o candidato republicano presumido, para tentar alcançar o mesmo eleitorado que ele havia feito tudo para irritar durante as primárias. 'Eu amo os hispânicos ", escreveu ele na legenda.</p> <p>É claro que Trump não ama os ‘hispânicos’ (uma nomenclatura imprecisa, que homogeneíza as identidades latino americanas, as sujeitando a um passado colonial). E a maioria dos latinos nos EUA – e, provavelmente, um grande número fora do país – também não ama Trump. Ele nunca lhes deu muitos motivos para amá-lo, com suas diatribes demagógicas sobre proibi-los de viver ao norte da fronteira (“Vamos construir um muro!"), e seus empreendimentos comerciais ao sul da fronteira que deixaram o conhecido rastro de famílias desalojadas, trabalhadores explorados e impostos sonegados.</p> <p>Mesmo quando o egocentrismo e a bufonaria de Trump permitiram a apresentação de alguma política substantiva durante a campanha, a América Latina quase não foi mencionada. Conhecemos seus planos para a Segurança Nacional e uma "nova e especial força-tarefa de deportação" para reprimir a imigração, inclusive dos mexicanos: o reforço dos controles de entrada, a detenção e deportação de imigrantes ilegais, e, claro, a construção de um "muro físico impenetrável” na fronteira sul dos EUA, pelo qual, ele garante, o México irá pagar, mesmo que "ainda não saiba". Mas, com exceção de sua promessa de se retirar da Parceria Trans-Pacífico (TPP, um acordo ainda a ser ratificado entre doze países do Pacífico, incluindo Chile, México e Peru) e de renegociar ou se retirar também do Tratado Norte-Americano de Livre Comércio (NAFTA, acordo trilateral entre Canadá, México e EUA), pouco sabemos sobre que forma teria a política externa de Trump para a América Latina – se seu governo de fato produzir qualquer coisa coerente o suficiente para ser chamada de uma política externa.</p> <p>De sua parte, Hillary Clinton também não disse quase nada sobre a América Latina durante a campanha, apesar de sua experiência à frente da política para a região quando secretária de Estado, entre 2009 e início de 2013. Em 2015, durante um discurso no Atlantic Council, ela bajulou um grupo de latino-americanos e latino-americanistas ao afirmar que nenhuma região é "mais importante para a nossa prosperidade e segurança de longo prazo", mas, a verdade é que a América Latina simplesmente não consta entre as prioridades estratégicas dos EUA, e isso há uma geração; mas isso não é geralmente um motivo de tristeza para os latino-americanos que viveram a Operação Condor ou a Guerra às Drogas.</p> <p>Ao longo da primeira década do novo milênio, partidos de centro-esquerda foram eleitos para governar grande parte dos países da América Latina, em uma espécie de “maré cor-de-rosa” (Pink Tide). Amparados em economias em constante crescimento e no aumento do consumo interno, esses governos tornaram-se menos dependentes de seus antigos parceiros comerciais e, no caso do governo brasileiro, mais assertivo nas instituições multilaterais. Enquanto os EUA estavam focados na Guerra Global contra o Terror, eles procuraram fortalecer a integração regional e formar novas alianças no exterior, especialmente com outros países em desenvolvimento. Uma China revigorada tornou-se o segundo maior parceiro comercial da América Latina (e o maior mercado de exportação do Brasil, Chile e Peru), aproximando-se, embora ainda um pouco atrás, dos EUA.</p> <p>Os governos americanos do pós-milênio, no entanto, permanecem atentos ao seu 'quintal', mantendo um envolvimento esporádico, se ideologicamente coerente, nas questões da América Latina. Buscando condições favoráveis para as exportações e os investimentos dos EUA, Washington continuou a pressionar por liberalização comercial e financeira na América Latina, embora com menos sucesso do que na década de 1990 – existem hoje mais acordos de livre comércio bilaterais entre os EUA e os países latino-americanos, mas as negociações para estabelecer uma Área de livre Comércio das Américas foram abandonadas em 2005. A ajuda militar dos EUA para países da América Latina, principalmente a Colômbia, aumentou na primeira década do novo milênio e, embora o número de bases militares americanas na América Latina tenha diminuído (algumas bases foram fechadas, e houve tentativas fracassadas de estabelecer ou reabrir bases na Colômbia, no Equador, no Peru e no Panamá), o Comando Sul dos EUA abriu pequenas instalações militares – “quase-bases" – na maior parte dos países ao longo da costa do Pacífico, reforçou sua presença na base de Soto Cano, em Honduras, realizou atividades de vigilância com drones no México, e, em 2008, reativou a Quarta Frota da Marinha no Caribe e nas águas das Américas Central e do Sul, 58 anos após ter sido desativada.</p> <p>Em 2002, em um retrocesso sinistro aos tempos da Guerra Fria, Otto Reich, secretário de Estado adjunto para Assuntos do Hemisfério Ocidental, Elliott Abrams, diretor sênior no Conselho de Segurança Nacional (NSC), e a CIA foram implicados em uma tentativa de golpe na Venezuela. O presidente George W. Bush foi criticado por deixar a política para a América Latina nas mãos de Reich, um fervoroso anti-comunista, conhecido principalmente por seu papel no escândalo Irã-contras, cujos esforços para conter a “Maré rosa” foram muitas vezes obscuros, quando não desleais.</p> <p>Em seu discurso na Cúpula das Américas, em abril de 2009, Barack Obama prometeu um "novo capítulo" nas relações interamericanas. Reconhecendo a história e buscando superá-la, Obama mudou o tom do engajamento dos EUA com a América Latina. Especialmente, deu passos significativos no sentido da normalização das relações com Cuba; isto já teve um efeito cascata, criando condições para os EUA e Cuba facilitarem as negociações para o acordo de paz entre o governo colombiano e as FARC que, embora rejeitado por colombianos no referendo de 2 de outubro, ainda representa um progresso em direção ao fim do mais longo conflito interno no mundo.</p> <p>Apesar da importância simbólica e material dos movimentos de Obama em direção à América Latina, seu governo também é responsável por manobras de desestabilização na região. Em 2008, pouco antes da eleição de Obama, o presidente brasileiro Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sugeriu que a reativação da Quarta Frota indicava a cobiça do governo dos EUA sobre as reservas do pré-sal do Brasil. Sua suspeita teria se aprofundado quando, em 2013, Edward Snowden vazou documentos da Agência de Segurança Nacional (NSA) mostrando a Petrobras, empresa estatal de petróleo do Brasil, havia sido espionada. Documentos divulgados por Snowden posteriormente revelaram que a NSA vinha monitorando a correspondência eletrônica da sucessora de Lula, Dilma Rousseff, e de seus assessores, bem como a do presidente do México Enrique Peña Nieto.</p> <p>A Casa Branca com Obama tem ditado os rumos da política externa mais do que ocorria sob seus antecessores pós-Guerra Fria. Durante seu período como secretária de Estado, Hillary Clinton divergiu do presidente em muitas questões estratégicas de política externa, tendo sido um dos poucos membros do gabinete a desafiá-lo durante as reuniões do Conselho Nacional de Segurança. Ao contrário de Obama, Hillary foi a favor de armar os rebeldes sírios, se opôs ao anúncio do prazo de 18 meses para a retirada as tropas do Afeganistão, após a tensão de 2009, opôs-se ao apelo pelo congelamento dos assentamentos israelenses, e apoiou uma transição democrática lenta no Egito que mantivesse Hosni Mubarak no poder. Em todas as decisões, a vontade de Obama prevaleceu. Na América Latina, no entanto, Hillary Clinton teve bastante autonomia. (A abertura das relações com Cuba – um dos carros-chefes de Obama – foi orquestrada, sobretudo, por canais diplomáticos não-oficiais, mas foi durante o segundo mandato de Obama, depois de Clinton deixar o cargo, que as negociações se intensificaram).</p> <p>Em junho de 2009, Clinton enfrentou seu primeiro grande teste na América Latina, quando o presidente hondurenho Manuel Zelaya foi deposto do cargo, após ser arrancado de sua residência, no meio da noite, ainda de pijama, por soldados cumprindo ordens da Suprema Corte de Honduras. As Nações Unidas e a Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA) pediram a volta imediata de Zelaya como presidente. Obama declarou que "o golpe não foi legal" e, em um telegrama diplomático, divulgado mais tarde pelo WikiLeaks, o embaixador dos EUA em Honduras Hugo Llorens também se referiu a um "golpe de Estado ilegal e inconstitucional". Mas a posição de Obama foi abalada quando sua tentativa de nomear um novo representante sênior para as Américas foi bloqueada por senadores republicanos que apoiaram o governo interino de Honduras de Roberto Micheletti. Ignorando a declaração anterior de Obama, Clinton afirmou em seguida que o governo dos EUA se abstinha de chamar a deposição de Zelaya de golpe, e deu início a uma tentativa de, escanteando a OEA, trabalhar ao lado do presidente da Costa Rica Óscar Arias para evitar o retorno de Zelaya, através de novas eleições. Na primeira edição de sua autobiografia, Hard Choices, Clinton escreve: "Nós pensamos num plano estratégico para restaurar a ordem em Honduras e garantir que eleições livres e justas pudessem ser realizadas de forma rápida e legítima, o que tornaria a questão Zelaya irrelevante”. Esta passagem foi removida a partir na segunda edição. O governo dos EUA continuou a fornecer ajuda militar e para o desenvolvimento de Honduras, incluindo 28 milhões de dólares através do programa&nbsp;<em>Honduras Convive</em>, lançado pelo Departamento de Iniciativas de Transição para sufocar qualquer reação de hondurenhos que se recusassem a aceitar a nova realidade política. A violência política aumentou a partir de junho de 2009: em Janeiro de 2010, 34 membros da oposição (ao governo interino e, em seguida, ao governo de Porfirio Lobo, que foi eleito e reconhecido por Obama em novembro de 2009) haviam desaparecido ou sido assassinados, e mais de 300 pessoas haviam sido mortas pelas forças de segurança hondurenhas.</p> <p>Nos últimos anos, as taxas de homicídio nos países do Triângulo do Norte da América Central (Honduras, El Salvador e Guatemala) estão entre as mais altas do mundo. Gangues territoriais, envolvidas em extorsão e tráfico de drogas, são muitas vezes responsáveis por assassinatos, estupros e torturas que levaram à emigração em massa, mas esses países têm longas, ainda que distintas, histórias de violência: a repressão estatal, apoiada e somada a intervenções estrangeiras, antecedidas por séculos de domínio colonial, com seu legado de patriarcado e discriminação racial. Durante sua campanha, Hillary Clinton disse que o Plano Colômbia – a iniciativa militar e diplomática lançada por seu marido para combater narcotraficantes e guerrilheiros colombianos – representa um modelo apropriado para as atividades dos EUA na América Central. Unidades militares colombianas, treinadas e financiadas por meio do Plano Colômbia, recompensam financeiramente os soldados por cada guerrilheiro que matam, e sabe-se que agiram em conluio com grupos paramilitares. Um relatório das organizações Fellowship on Reconciliation (FOR) com o US Office on Colombia (USOC) apresenta uma correlação entre o aumento em ajuda dos EUA para unidades militares através do Plano Colômbia, e o aumento no número de execuções extrajudiciais cometidas. A Anistia Internacional, por sua vez, descreveu o Plano Colômbia como "um fracasso em todos os aspectos". A proposta de Clinton para a adoção de uma estratégia similar para a América Central evidencia a perspectiva de uma militarização acelerada da segurança pública em sociedades já marcadas por extrema violência – e por genocídio, no caso da Guatemala – infligida pelas forças militares, sem necessariamente tratar as causas mais profundas da intranquilidade social e da criminalidade.</p> <p>Através de sua supervisão e expansão da Iniciativa Mérida – um acordo de cooperação de segurança entre o México e os EUA, ostensivamente destinado a combater o crime organizado e o tráfico de drogas – Hillary já havia demonstrado sua predileção por abordagens militaristas na aplicação da lei na América Latina. Ao lado de um apoio modesto destinado à reforma judicial e à prevenção ao uso de drogas, a iniciativa concentra-se principalmente em prover recursos e treinamento para fortalecer a interdição militar ao narcotráfico mexicano. O programa tem sido amplamente criticado por não restringir o tráfico nem o consumo de drogas, por se integrar à corrupção do Estado mexicano e à repressão do governo contra a dissidência, e por militarizar a segurança do cidadão, apesar das evidências de aumento no abuso de direitos humanos.</p> <p>A segurança ao sul da fronteira é especialmente importante para os EUA desde 1994, quando o NAFTA entrou em vigor e o México se tornou uma parte inseparável da economia norte-americana. Através da Iniciativa Mérida, os governos norte-americanos têm procurado securizar e proteger as rotas de comércio do México para os EUA. Mas, ironicamente, o NAFTA tem contribuído, de forma não negligenciável, para a expansão do comércio de drogas violento no México: o aumento do tráfego na fronteira EUA-México criou mais oportunidades para o contrabando de mercadorias ilícitas e o escoamento de produtos agrícolas subsidiados dos Estados Unidos (principalmente milho) para o México vem destruindo modos de vida rurais, empurrando pequenos agricultores para a produção de drogas. Fiel ao legado de seu marido, para quem a assinatura do NAFTA representou um feito glorioso, Hillary Clinton inicialmente apoiou o acordo de comércio. Mas declarou-se crítica a ele durante a sua candidatura às primárias presidenciais em 2008. Ela também mudou posição sobre outros acordos comerciais. Tendo se referido ao TPP como "o modelo dos acordos comerciais", em 2012, passou a criticá-lo durante as primárias contra Bernie Sanders, buscando o apoio da esquerda do Partido Democrata. E mudou de posição ainda sobre o acordo bilateral de comércio entre EUA e Colômbia, opondo-se a ele durante sua campanha de 2008 para, em seguida, pressionar o Congresso a apoiá-lo em 2011. Neste caso, Clinton pode ter sido influenciado por interesses privados. Bill Clinton tinha recebido 800 mil dólares da colombiana Gold Services, em 2005, por quatro conferências durante as quais ele declarou apoio ao acordo comercial. Pacific Rubiales, uma empresa petrolífera do magnata Canadense, Frank Giustra, com operações na Colômbia, ia beneficiar do acordo; Giustra tinha sido, por vários anos, um dos maiores doadores à Fundação Clinton quando Hillary Clinton fez lobby no Congress. (Pacific Rubiales tinha expandido as operações na Colômbia, em 2007, depois de um negocio de 300 milhões de dólares com a empresa petrolífera colombiana, Ecopetrol, que estava sendo privatizada por Álvaro Uribe, presidente colombiano na época. Uribe, que virou aliado importante de Giustra, foi apresentado à ele por Bill Clinton. Em 2010, apesar dos conselhos recebidos da embaixada estadunidense na Colômbia, Hillary Clinton elogiou Uribe – um conhecido defensor de violência paramilitar – por seu ‘compromisso com a construção de fortes instituições democráticas’. Em 2013, Giustra virou membro do conselho da Fundação Clinton). Desde a entrada em vigor, o acordo bilateral entre EUA e Colômbia – que exigiu mais concessões de parte da Colômbia do que dos EUA em termos do valor comercial sujeito a eliminação imediata de tarifas – trouxe uma redução na renda e na área cultivada pelos pequenos agricultores colombianos, incapazes de competir com as importações agrícolas americanas.</p> <p>Se pragmática, ou até cínica, Hillary Clinton é também uma firme defensora da globalização neoliberal, e em geral apoia acordos de livre comércio nas Américas. Ela também tem feito pressão pela privatização de serviços públicos na América Latina, criando oportunidades de investimento para as empresas americanas. Documentos divulgados pelo Wikileaks mostraram que, enquanto Clinton era secretária de Estado, sua equipe procurou, a portas fechadas, dar ajuda às reformas de energia no México, que incluíam a privatização parcial da PEMEX, a companhia nacional de petróleo que, sob a propriedade estatal desde 1938, é a principal fonte de receita para as despesas sociais no México. E, em 2012, agindo em nome do Departamento de Estado, a embaixadora dos EUA em El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, ameaçou suspender a ajuda ao desenvolvimento dada ao governo de El Salvador, se este não aprovasse uma lei de parcerias público-privadas. (A venda de bens do Estado salvadorenho a empresas privadas, desde o início da década de 1990, fez disparar o custo de vida para as pessoas com menores salários: a privatização do setor elétrico de El Salvador, em 1996, levou a um aumento de 47,2% na tarifa para pequenos consumidores).</p> <p>Nos últimos anos, as coisas mudaram na América Latina. A maioria das economias latino-americanas está vacilante, expondo uma dependência excessiva das exportações de matérias-primas e, em particular, do crescimento e consumo da China. A direita ganha força e chega ao poder em vários países (o caso mais recente, no Brasil, após o controverso impeachment da presidenta Dilma Rousseff), com a intenção declarada de reaquecer as relações comerciais com antigos aliados, principalmente com os EUA.</p><p> Seria improvável que um eventual governo Trump, guiado pelo credo “Americanismo, não globalismo", tirasse proveito dessas mudanças e ampliasse a abertura para a América Latina. Com Clinton, nós mais do que sabemos o que esperar. Ela é uma internacionalista liberal e uma intervencionista durona, aconselhada por Henry Kissinger, um homem responsável por apoiar esquadrões da morte e golpes militares na América Latina, a quem ela chama de ‘amigo’. Ela acredita firmemente que os EUA devem desempenhar um papel abrangente de influência sobre os temas internacionais. Certamente vai tentar capitalizar a virada conservadora da América Latina voltando sua atenção para a região, ainda que continue lá embaixo em sua lista de prioridades estratégicas. Ao contrário de Trump, Hillary tem um histórico na América Latina. Essa é a preocupação.</p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics Português DemocraciaAbierta north america latin america europe Juliano Fiori Sun, 06 Nov 2016 07:29:29 +0000 Juliano Fiori 106511 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The US Elections and Latin America: the devil we know https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/us-elections-and-latin-america-devil-we-know <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Without the Latino vote, it is unlikely that Donald Trump will win the presidency. His policies about Latin America are largely nonexistent, whereas Hillary Clinton’s hawkish approach is all too well known.&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/juliano-fiori/as-elei-es-americanas-e-america-latina-o-diabo-que-j-conhecemos">Português</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29103576_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29103576_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="312" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Hillary Clinton. November, 6, 2016. Steven Senne AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>You probably know the photo: Donald Trump leans over the desk of his Manhattan office, forking a 'taco bowl', which sits on a pile of unread newspapers and a magazine, open on a page displaying his bikini-clad former wife, Marla Maples; he is modelling a red-and-white striped tie from his Donald Trump Signature Collection, the filaments of his peerless quiff sweep across his forehead, and his face is frozen between grin and grimace; a hefty golf trophy glistens on the window sill behind him.</p> <p>Nothing about the scene authentically communicates an affinity for Latinos. But it is this photo that he tweeted, shortly after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, to reach out to a constituency of voters that he had worked pretty hard to demonise during the primaries. 'I love Hispanics', he wrote in accompaniment.</p> <p>Of course, Trump doesn't really love ‘Hispanics’ (an imprecise nomenclature, which homogenises Latin American identities and subjects them to a colonial past). And most Latinos in the US, and presumably a great many outside the country, don't love Trump. He hasn't given them much reason to, with his demagogic rants about preventing them from living north of the border ('Oh, we're building the wall!'), and his business ventures south of it, which have left the usual trail of evicted families, ripped-off workers, and unpaid taxes.</p> <p>To the extent that Trump's solipsism and buffoonery have allowed for the presentation of substantive policy during his campaign, it has barely related to Latin America. We know about his plans for Homeland Security and a ‘new special deportation task force’ to clamp down on immigration, not least that of Mexicans: the tightening of entry controls, the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants, and, of course, the construction of an 'impenetrable physical wall' on the southern border of the US, for which, he assures us, Mexico will pay, even if ‘they don’t know it yet’. But, except for his promise to withdraw from the yet-to-be-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP – an agreement between twelve Pacific Rim countries, including Chile, Mexico, and Peru) and renegotiate, if not withdraw from, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA – a trilateral agreement involving Canada, Mexico, and the US), we know little about the shape Trump's foreign policy towards Latin America would take, if, indeed, his administration were to work up anything coherent enough to call a foreign policy.</p> <p>For her part, Hillary Clinton has also said almost nothing about Latin America during her campaign, despite her experience in overseeing policy towards the region as secretary of state between 2009 and early 2013. In 2015, during a speech at The Atlantic Council, she flattered an assembly of Latin Americans and Latin Americanists, asserting that no region is ‘more important to our long-term prosperity and security', but, the truth is, Latin America simply does not register among the strategic priorities of the US, and it has not done so for a generation; this is not usually a cause for lament among those Latin Americans who have lived through Operation Condor or the War on Drugs.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">The truth is, Latin America simply does not register among the strategic priorities of the US.</p> <p>Over the first decade of the new millennium, left-of-centre parties were elected to governments across much of Latin America in a so-called 'Pink Tide'. Bolstered by steadily growing economies and increased internal consumption, these governments became less dependent on their old trade partners and, particularly in the case of the Brazilian government, more assertive in multilateral institutions. With the US focussed on its Global War on Terror, they sought to strengthen regional integration and form new alliances overseas, especially with other developing countries. An emboldened China became Latin America's second largest trade partner (and the largest export market for Brazil, Chile, and Peru), creeping up on, though still some way behind, the US.</p> <p>Nonetheless, post-millennial US administrations have kept a watchful eye on their 'backyard', maintaining a fitful, if ideologically coherent, involvement in Latin American affairs. Seeking favourable conditions for US exports and investment, Washington has continued to push for trade and financial liberalisation in Latin America, albeit with less success than in the 1990s – there are now more bilateral free trade agreements between the US and Latin American countries, but negotiations to establish a Free Trade Area of the Americas were abandoned in 2005. US military aid to Latin American countries, primarily Colombia, increased in the first decade of the new millennium, and, although the number of US military bases in Latin America has decreased (some bases have been closed, and there have been failed attempts to establish or reopen bases in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama), US Southern Command has opened small military facilities – ‘quasi-bases’ – in most countries along the Pacific coast, it has beefed up its presence at the Soto Cano base in Honduras, it has carried out drone surveillance in Mexico, and, in 2008, it reactivated the Navy’s Fourth Fleet in the Caribbean and the waters around Central and South America, 58 years after being decommissioned.</p> <p>In 2002, in a sinister throwback to the Cold War, Otto Reich, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Elliott Abrams, Senior Director on the National Security Council (NSC), and the CIA were implicated in an attempted coup in Venezuela. President George W. Bush was criticised for leaving Latin America policy in the hands of the combative Reich, a zealous anti-communist, known primarily for his role in the Iran-contras affair, whose efforts to stem the Pink Tide were often opaque, if not underhand.</p> <p>In his address to the Summit of the Americas, in April 2009, Barack Obama promised a ‘new chapter’ in inter-American relations. Recognising history and seeking to move beyond it, he has changed the tone of US engagement with Latin America. Most notably, he has taken significant steps towards normalising relations with Cuba; this has already had a trickle-down effect, creating conditions for the US and Cuba to facilitate negotiations for the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC, which, though rejected by Colombians in a referendum on 2 October, nonetheless represents progress towards ending the world’s longest-running internal conflict.</p> <p>But despite the symbolic and material importance of Obama’s overtures to Latin America, his administration has also been guilty of destabilising machinations in the region. In 2008, shortly before Obama’s election, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva suggested that the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet was an indication that the US government coveted Brazil’s subsalt reserves. His suspicion would have deepened when, in 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents of the National Security Agency (NSA) showing that it had spied on Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company. Other documents released by Snowden then revealed that the NSA had been monitoring the email correspondence of Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, and her advisers, as well as that of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Despite the symbolic and material importance of Obama’s overtures to Latin America, his administration has also been guilty of destabilising machinations in the region</p> <p>The White House has dictated foreign policy more under Obama than it did under his post-Cold War predecessors. During her time as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton took a different stance to the president on many strategic foreign policy matters, and she is known to have been one of the few cabinet members to challenge him during meetings of the NSC. In contrast to Obama, Clinton favoured arming Syrian rebels, opposed the announcement of an 18-month deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan following the surge in 2009, opposed calling for a freeze on Israeli settlements, and favoured supporting a slow democratic transition in Egypt that would maintain Hosni Mubarak in power. On all of these decisions, Obama’s will prevailed. But, on Latin America, Clinton was afforded a pretty free hand. (The opening with Cuba – one of Obama’s showpieces – was mostly orchestrated through back channels, but it was during Obama’s second term, once Clinton had left office, that negotiations intensified).</p> <p>In June 2009, Clinton faced her first major test in Latin America, when Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted from office, after being seized from his residence, in the middle of the night, still in his pyjamas, by soldiers acting under the orders of the Honduran Supreme Court. The United Nations and the Organisation of American States (OAS) called for Zelaya’s immediate restoration as president. Obama declared that ‘the coup was not legal’ and, in a diplomatic cable, since released by WikiLeaks, US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens also referred to an ‘illegal and unconstitutional coup’. But Obama’s position was undermined when his attempt to appoint a new senior representative for the Americas was blocked by Republican senators who supported the interim Honduran government of Roberto Micheletti. As if ignoring Obama’s previous statement, Clinton then said that the US government was holding off from calling Zelaya’s removal a coup, and she set about trying to side-line the OAS, working with Costa Rican President Óscar Arias to prevent Zelaya’s return by holding new elections. In the first edition of her autobiography, <em>Hard Choices</em>, Clinton writes: ‘We strategised on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot’. This passage was removed from the second edition. The US government continued to provide military and development aid to Honduras, including $28m through the <em>Honduras Convive </em>(‘Honduras Coexists’) programme, launched by the Office of Transition Initiatives to quell any backlash from those Hondurans refusing to accept the new political reality. Political violence rose after June 2009: by January 2010, 34 members of the opposition (to the interim government and then to the government of Porfirio Lobo, who was elected and recognised by Obama in November 2009) had disappeared or had been murdered, and more than 300 people had been killed by Honduran security forces.</p> <p>In recent years, homicide rates in the countries of the Central American Northern Triangle (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) have been among the highest in the world. Territorial gangs, involved in extortion and the traffic of drugs, are often responsible for the murder, rape, and torture that have provoked mass emigration, but these countries have long, if distinct, histories of violence: state repression, supported and supplemented by foreign interventions, predated by centuries of colonial rule, with its legacies of patriarchy and racial discrimination. During her presidential campaign, Clinton has said that Plan Colombia – the military and diplomatic initiative to combat Colombian drug traffickers and guerrillas, launched by her husband – offers an appropriate model for US activities in Central America. Colombian military units trained and funded through Plan Colombia have provided financial reward to soldiers for each guerrilla they kill, and are known to have colluded with paramilitary groups. A report by the Fellowship on Reconciliation and the US Office on Colombia, entitled <em>Military Assistance and Human Rights: Colombia, US Accountability, and Global Implications</em>, provides evidence of a correlation between increases in US assistance to military units through Plan Colombia and increases in the number of extrajudicial killings they commit. Amnesty International, meanwhile, has described Plan Colombia as ‘a failure in every respect’. Clinton’s proposal for the adoption of a similar strategy for Central America raises the prospect of an accelerated militarisation of public security in societies that bear scars of extreme violence – in the case of Guatemala, genocidal violence – inflicted by military forces, without necessarily attending to deep-rooted causes of social unrest and criminality.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">In recent years, homicide rates in the countries of the Central American Northern Triangle (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) have been among the highest in the world.</p> <p>Through her oversight and expansion of the Mérida Initiative – a security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the US, ostensibly aimed at fighting organised crime and drug trafficking – Clinton had already demonstrated her predilection for militaristic approaches to law enforcement in Latin America. Alongside modest support for judicial reform and drug prevention, this initiative has focussed principally on the provision of assets and training to strengthen the military interdiction of the Mexican drug trade. It has been widely criticised for failing to curtail drug trafficking and consumption, accommodating to the corruption of the Mexican state and to government suppression of dissent, and entrusting citizen security to military personnel, despite evidence that this has resulted in an increase in human rights abuse.</p> <p>Security south of the border has been especially important to the US since 1994, when NAFTA came into force and Mexico became an inseparable part of the North American economy. Through the Mérida Initiative, US administrations have sought to securitise and protect trade routes from Mexico into the US. But, rather ironically, NAFTA has contributed, in no small way, to the expansion of the violent drug trade in Mexico: increased traffic across the US-Mexico border has created more opportunities for the smuggling of illicit goods, and the dumping of subsidised US agricultural produce (particularly maize) in Mexico has destroyed rural livelihoods, pushing small farmers to drug production. Faithful to the legacy of her husband, for whom signing NAFTA represented a crowning accomplishment, Clinton initially supported the trade agreement. She then became publicly critical of it during her bid for the presidency in 2008. She has changed position on other trade agreements too. Having referred to the TPP as ‘the gold standard in trade agreements’, in 2012, she then spoke out against it during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders, seeking to appeal to the left of the Democratic Party. And she changed her position on the bilateral US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, opposing it during her 2008 presidential campaign, before then lobbying Congress to support it in 2011. In this case, Clinton might have been influenced by private interests. Bill Clinton had received $800,000 from Colombia-based Gold Service International, in 2005, to give four speeches during which he showed support for the trade deal. Pacific Rubiales, an oil company with operations in Colombia, owned by Canadian energy tycoon, Frank Giustra, also stood to gain from the deal; Giustra had been a major donor to the Clinton Foundation for a number of years by the time Hillary Clinton lobbied Congress. (Pacific Rubiales had expanded its operations in Colombia, in 2007, following a $300m deal with Colombia’s national oil company, Ecopetrol, which was being privatised by then Colombian president, Álvaro Uribe. Uribe, who became a crucial ally to Giustra, had been introduced to him by Bill Clinton. In 2010, despite warnings relayed to Hillary Clinton by the US Embassy in Colombia, she praised Uribe, a known supporter of paramilitary violence, for his ‘commitment to building strong democratic institutions’. In 2013, Giustra became a member of the board of the Clinton Foundation). Since coming into force, the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which required Colombia to make more concessions than the US in terms of the value of trade subject to immediate tariff elimination, has brought about a reduction in the income and cultivated land of small Colombian farmers, unable to compete with agricultural imports from the US.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Through the Mérida Initiative, US administrations have sought to securitise and protect trade routes from Mexico into the US.</p> <p>If Clinton is pragmatic, or even cynical, she is also a staunch advocate for neoliberal globalisation, and she has generally ended up supporting free trade agreements in the Americas. She has also pushed for the privatisation of public utilities in Latin America, creating investment opportunities for US companies. Documents released by WikiLeaks have shown that, while Clinton was secretary of state, her staff sought, behind closed doors, to assist energy reforms in Mexico that included the part privatisation of PEMEX, the national oil company, which, under state ownership since 1938, is the primary source of revenue for Mexican social expenditure. And, in 2012, acting on behalf of the State Department, US Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, threatened to withhold development aid from the Salvadoran government, if it did not push through a law on public-private partnerships. (The sale of Salvadoran state assets to private companies since the early 1990s has pushed up the cost of living for those on low incomes: the 1996 privatisation of El Salvador’s electrical industry led to a 47.2 per cent price increase for lowest-level consumers).</p> <p>In the last few years, things have changed in Latin America. Most Latin American economies are faltering, exposing an over-dependence on commodity exports and, in particular, on growth and consumption in China. The Right has gained strength and come to power in a number of countries (most recently, in Brazil, following the controversial impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff), with the stated intention of rekindling commercial relations with old allies, not least the US.</p> <p>A Trump administration, guided by a credo of ‘Americanism, not globalism’, would perhaps be unlikely to take advantage of these changes by further opening up to Latin America. In the case of Clinton, we broadly know what to expect. She is a liberal internationalist and a tough-minded interventionist, who receives counsel from Henry Kissinger, a man responsible for supporting death squads and coups in Latin America, to whom she refers as ‘a friend’. She firmly believes that the US should play an expansive role in influencing international affairs. She will surely seek to capitalise on Latin America’s conservative turn by tilting towards the region, even if it remains low on her list of strategic priorities. Unlike Trump, Clinton has a record on Latin America. This is the worry.</p><div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Democracy and government Ideas International politics English DemocraciaAbierta north america latin america Juliano Fiori Sun, 06 Nov 2016 07:23:22 +0000 Juliano Fiori 106510 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Democracia 2.0: decidir antes de votar https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano-h-l-ne-landemore/democracia-20 <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A democracia representativa não é suficientemente democrática. Hoje, os cidadãos devem poder participar nos processos políticos desde o inicio, e não só no final com o seu voto. <strong><em>Entrevista</em></strong>. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/h-l-ne-landemore-manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/upstreaming-citizen-participation">English</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/h-l-ne-landemore-manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/democracia-20-la-participaci-n-ciuda">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/IMG_1806.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/IMG_1806.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Hélène Landemore e Yannis Papadopoulos durante a conferência "Que Democracia?" no Teatro São Luiz, Lisboa, 7 de Outubro 2016. Walter Branco. Todos os direitos reservados.</span></span></span></p><p><strong>Manuel Serrano</strong>: em relação ao seu debate durante a conferência em Lisboa com Yannis Papadopoulos sobre a representação política: é democrática a democracia representativa? Existe um plano B?</p> <p><strong>Hélène Landemore</strong>: cheguei à conclusão que não – que não é suficientemente democrática. Pelo que respondendo à sua pergunta, efetivamente, precisamos de um plano B. Mas o plano B não deveria ser, creio, um retorno à democracia de assembleia, ou à democracia direta ou de massas que imaginamos que existia na Antiga Grécia. Não me parece que seja algo viável. O plano B deveria contemplar uma espécie diferente de democracia representativa, à que eu chamo “pós-representativa”, porque quero que fique claro que se trata de algo diferente. </p> <p>Não se concentraria tantos nas eleições e em delegar o poder em políticos profissionais. Tratasse de uma forma de representação que encarregaria aos cidadãos a administração da <em>coisa pública</em>, sendo pessoas como nós chamadas a tomar as decisões. Não todos nós: isto não seria possível, seria utópico. Inclusive com as tecnologias atuais não me parece que tenha sentido. As pessoas têm coisas que fazer, não estão interessadas em tomar decisões todos os dias sobre todos os aspetos da vida política. Mas os que tomariam as decisões seriam mais como nós e menos como os políticos profissionais. </p> <p>Outro elemento que queria sublinhar, além do papel dos cidadãos comuns, é que o poder deveria consistir não só em ter a última palavra – em tomar a decisão final, - mas também em participar no processo prévio ao estabelecimento da agenda política. Isto é algo que, hoje em dia, foi totalmente delegado em burocratas, especialistas, juízes e políticos profissionais. E é aí onde reside em grande parte o poder. </p> <p><strong>MS</strong>: como funcionaria isto na prática? Pode dar-nos algum exemplo?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: tomemos o caso da Islândia. Entre 2010 e 2012 tentaram rescrever a sua Constituição. E a forma que escolheram para o fazer foi através de mecanismos democráticos muito inovadores, como um fórum nacional ao inicio do processo, através do qual 950 cidadãos selecionados de forma aleatória se encarregaram de estabelecer a agenda e as bases do debate, e de dar desta maneira forma ao diálogo. </p> <p>O que fizeram foi incorporar a participação cidadã desde o inicio do processo. Perguntavam: “que quer que seja incluído na sua Constituição?” “Que valores quer ver incluídos no nosso contrato social?” Este é um tipo de diálogo que normalmente não temos. Tende a ser substituído por decisões tomadas no <em>quarto dos fundos</em>, depois das quais os políticos nos dizem sobre o que devemos votar. E seguidamente apresentam-nos duas opções – Europa sim ou Europa não, por exemplo. E o processo acaba por levar a <em>catástrofes</em> como o Brexit.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Não queremos esta dicotomia: não se trata de Europa sim ou Europa não, mas sim de&nbsp;que tipo&nbsp;de Europa estamos a falar.</p> <p>A pergunta correta não é essa, mas sim, que tipo de Europa queremos. Esta pergunta propiciaria um tipo de diálogo que os cidadãos comuns jamais tiveram oportunidade de estabelecer. Hoje, os cidadãos não têm voz chegada a hora de decidir a agenda. São-lhes apresentados factos consumados, como por exemplo uma nova construção neoliberal, com um mercado comum que deixa de lado a integração política – e então, chega-se à conclusão de que as pessoas estão fartas. </p> <p>Não queremos esta dicotomia: não se trata de Europa sim ou Europa não, mas sim de <em>que tipo</em> de Europa estamos a falar. Não sei se algum vez vamos poder estabelecer este diálogo, porque neste momento a confiança está em pedaços, mas acredito que se o que queremos é construir uma democracia que funcione, devemos começar a situar os cidadãos comuns no lugar em que podem exercer o poder correto – que é, basicamente, o poder para estabelecer a agenda.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29006406.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-29006406.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Michael Gove e Boris Johnson. Stefan Rousseau PA Wire/PA Images. Todos os direitos reservados.</span></span></span></p><p><strong>MS</strong>: pode a participação substituir a representação? Quais são os as vantagens e as desvantagens da democracia participativa?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: acho que esta é uma dicotomia errada. A participação não é o oposto da representação. São complementarias. Para mim, a participação dos cidadãos comuns obtém-se com uma assembleia selecionada aleatoriamente. Não se trata de democracia direta, porque não estarão, ou poderão, estar presentes todos. As pessoas que formam a assembleia são eleitas através dum sistema de lotaria. </p> <p>Dito isto, também estou aberta a formas mais diretas de participação, nas que simplesmente se abre a porta e se deixa entrar todos aqueles que queiram participar – como no <em>crowdsourcing</em>. Voltamos à Islândia. Lá tinham um grupo de 25 redatores constitucionais que o que fizeram foi colocar as propostas em linha, em diferentes etapas, para que todos as pudessem ver. Apresentaram, no total, 11 ou 12 esboços. As pessoas podiam deixar os seus comentários e sugestões, fazer propostas, sugerir emendas ou restruturar secções.&nbsp; </p> <p>Esta é outra forma de participação. Mas temos que entender que as pessoas não estão dispostas a participar em massa, nem sempre, num processo como este. A participação neste tipo de experiências situa-se numa faixa de alguns pontos percentuais – ou seja, relativamente poucas pessoas. É muito importante abrir esta porta e mantê-la aberta, mas não devemos contar com uma participação massiva – o que é normal: não se deve esperar, nem obrigar, as pessoas a estar continuamente preocupadas com o bem comum político – têm vidas que viver.</p><p><strong>MS</strong>: à luz dos recentes referendos e plebiscitos, no Reino Unido e na Colômbia, acredita que os mesmos são usados para manipular, em vez de servir como mecanismos para que os cidadãos expressem a sua opinião?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: não creio que se possa pedir aos cidadãos que digam sim ou não, à ultima hora, sobre questões em cuja formulação não tiveram oportunidade de incidir. Nas perguntas que se formulam nos referendos concentram-se muitas dimensões. E é possível que as pessoas rejeitem uma dessas dimensões tão drasticamente que estejam dispostos a <em>deitar fora o bebé com a água do banho</em>. Isto é o que acontece nos referendos que se usam como mecanismos plebiscitários sem ter dado oportunidade alguma a que as pessoas contribuam para o processo desde o início.</p> <p>Os políticos utilizam os referendos como mecanismos plebiscitários, mas o povo converte-os em mecanismos de protesto. Produz-se desta forma uma situação de bloqueio entre as elites, que tratam de obter o selo de aprovação do público – para poder dizer que “é democrático”, - e as pessoas que pensam que as coisas não funcionam – e que o melhor é "fazer saltar tudo pelos ares”. </p> <p>E perdem ambas partes. Por exemplo no caso do Brexit: acha que as pessoas que votaram a favor estão realmente satisfeitas com o resultado? Quero dizer, tiveram a oportunidade de exercer o seu voto de protesto, mas e agora? Acho que temos que voltar a analisar o tema da confiança e do apoderamento, e reconfigurar o que significa o poder. A deliberação pública deve produzir-se no mesmo lugar em que se estabelece a agenda. As pessoas devem fazer ouvir a sua voz neste momento, e não só no final do processo, quando a pergunta já foi moldada – sendo possivelmente a errada. </p> <p><strong>MS</strong>: como explica o auge do populismo na Europa e nos Estados Unidos? É este um sintoma de que os cidadãos estão fartos da política?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: acho que sim. Poderíamos dizer que se deve à globalização e às forças económicas que, basicamente, despossuíram os Estados da sua soberania económica, da sua soberania em áreas nas que deveriam poder responder positivamente aos desejos de prosperidade dos seus cidadãos. O populismo poderia explicar-se em parte por isto. E a solução seria então de tipo económico, e provavelmente poderíamos encontrá-la ao forjar mais alianças, mais acordos internacionais e mais cooperação. </p> <p>Mas acho que a questão é mais complexa. E que a solução passa por compreender que a democracia não é suficientemente democrática. Se adotamos uma visão a longo prazo, se nos afastamos da situação atual e nos situamos numa perspetiva histórica, veremos que começámos a experimentar com a democracia moderna há não muito tempo – concretamente, desde o século XVIII. E que a sua primeira versão não era realmente democrática: unicamente tinham direito a votar os proprietários, e somente os homens. Era uma democracia muito limitada. Depois foi melhorando progressivamente, e tornou-se mais democrática com a ampliação do sufrágio.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">A solução passa por compreender que a democracia não é suficientemente democrática.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mas a realidade é que o governo representativo foi criado no século XVIII para conseguir que as massas <em>consentissem</em> o poder, e não para lhes dar <em>poder real</em>, o que é muito diferente. A democracia na antiga Atenas implicava o poder dos cidadãos comuns, – quer dizer, dos que eram considerados cidadãos – que tinham o poder e o exerciam. Eram escolhidos de forma aleatória e tinham como responsabilidade estabelecer a agenda do Concelho dos 500. Ou simplesmente apresentavam-se nas assembleias para votar e falar. Tinham poder, de forma imediata. </p> <p>O que aconteceu no século XVIII foi que as elites se deram conta dos perigos que supunha isto e mudaram o discurso de “vamos dar-lhes poder” a “vamos dar-lhes a oportunidade de consentir o poder”. Hoje, creio que nos damos conta que não basta só com consentir. O que queremos é ser capazes de moldar o diálogo e de ter voz naquilo que há para discutir. Isto significa que o voto não é suficiente.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28733321.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-28733321.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Donald Trump. Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images. Todos os direitos reservados.</span></span></span></p><p><strong>MS</strong>: como descreveria a situação atual da União Europeia? Tratasse de uma doença terminal ou existe esperança de que o <em>paciente</em> melhore?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: acho que a União Europeia se construiu sobre os pilares errados. Tratasse de um projeto que foi impulsado pelas elites, quase sem consultar os cidadãos, e ao que, sem debate algum, se dotou de uma agenda neoliberal. E sendo isto assim, francamente, não tenho a certeza de que seja fácil reconstruir o projeto. Para tal deveríamos organizar uma consulta à escala europeia, e/ou canalizar uma profunda participação dos cidadãos comuns, através de assembleias formadas por membros escolhidos de forma aleatória – através dum sistema de lotaria. Creio que deveria existir, por exemplo, uma assembleia cidadã de 1000 membros, procedentes de todos os recônditos da Europa, ponderada em função do tamanho do país. Estos membros deveriam ser remunerados de forma generosa e dispor de um ano para desenhar um plano de ação para a Europa – ao final, não são eles que vão ter que viver com as consequências? Prefiro que sejam estas pessoas, uma <em>amostra</em> dos cidadãos europeus, que façam recomendações por mim, e não alguns “especialistas em Bruxelas”.</p> <p><strong>MS</strong>: voltando ao exemplo anterior: que deveríamos aprender do mesmo? Seria possível aplicar na Europa o que se fez na Islândia?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: não quero parecer demasiado utópica, mas nada do que vimos na Islândia me parece inviável. Tudo o que fizeram é perfeitamente escalável. As pessoas dizem-me sempre: “Oh, a Islândia! Tem 320.000 habitantes, como uma pequena cidade nos Estados Unidos: como pode ser um exemplo para o resto do mundo?” Mas uma assembleia selecionada aleatoriamente é perfeitamente escalável. Uma assembleia constitucional de cidadãos comuns, não profissionais, é perfeitamente factível. O <em>crowdfunding</em> é perfeitamente realizável. Nalguns países, seriam precisas mais formalidades e o envolvimento de muitos mais especialistas para processar toda a informação e sintetizá-la adequadamente. Seria preciso investir. E seria preciso um novo tipo de infraestruturas políticas e, obviamente, um novo estado de espirito. Ou seja, acho que são precisas pessoas mais jovens ou, pelo menos, pessoas com uma abordagem mais aberta.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Não quero parecer demasiado utópica, mas nada do que vimos na Islândia me parece inviável. Tudo o que fizeram é perfeitamente escalável.</p> <p><strong>MS</strong>: e por que não o fazemos?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: porque existe uma falta de vontade política ou, melhor dito, uma falta de imaginação. Creio que existe a sensação de que ao selecionar aleatoriamente os cidadãos o que conseguiríamos seria um grupo de pessoas <em>potencialmente perigosas</em>. Mas não: o que temos que fazer é explicar que o que conseguiríamos seria uma <em>amostra</em> representativa da população. Para começar, 50% seriam mulheres – o que já supõe um grande avanço – e incluiria pessoas que normalmente não têm acesso à política. Como pode isto ser pior do que o que temos agora?</p> <p>Acho que a vantagem de ter tocado no fundo é que, de alguma forma, neste momento só existe um caminho para a recuperação. E talvez tenha chegado a hora de que os nossos lideres experimentem algo novo. Uma assembleia eleita de forma aleatória poderia ser, em principio, um órgão consultivo. Mas os meios de comunicação deveriam cobrir as suas deliberações, deveriam promover-se debates nos estados, e iniciar um movimento inovador, porque a política à que estamos habituados desmotiva as pessoas. Pensar que a única maneira de recuperar um certo controlo é libertando-nos de todos esses entes internacionais e voltar aos nossos pequenos Estados-Nação, onde só há gente como nós, é algo compreensível. Mas absolutamente errado.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">Pensar que a única maneira de recuperar um certo controlo é libertando-nos de todos esses entes internacionais e voltar aos nossos pequenos Estados-Nação, onde só há gente como nós, é algo compreensível. Mas absolutamente errado.</p> <p><strong>MS</strong>: cruzemos o Atlântico: &nbsp;qual é a sua impressão do clima político nos Estados Unidos? Pode Hillary Clinton ou Donald Trump representar realmente o povo americano?</p> <p><strong>HL</strong>: o clima político nos Estados Unidos é terrível. Somente 9% da população aprova qualquer dos dois candidatos. O sistema não está a promover nenhuma opção que represente o que querem as pessoas. As pessoas <em>apontam</em> a importância dada ao dinheiro no processo eleitoral, assim como o sistema de primárias, - que tende a selecionar personagens polarizados - como os principais responsáveis. Mas acho que o problema está no que falámos antes: a rejeição da globalização, a perda de soberania económica – ainda que os Estados Unidos, ocupem, ainda, uma posição dominante –, o aumento da desigualdade, a perda de postos de trabalho, a sensação de desorientação. E a clara impressão de que as elites políticas não têm nada a oferecer. Não me parece que ninguém esteja satisfeito com os candidatos. Seja qual for o resultado, existirá sem dúvida uma grande frustração.&nbsp;</p><p><strong><em>Esta entrevista foi realizada no dia 7 de outubro, em Lisboa, durante o evento “</em><a href="https://www.ffms.pt/conferencias/detalhe/1621/que-democracia"><em>Que Democracia</em></a><em>?” organizado pela&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.ffms.pt/"><em>Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos</em></a><em>.&nbsp;</em></strong></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/daniel-innerarity-manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/democracia-est-morrer-de-xito">A democracia está a morrer de êxito</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/rebecca-abecassis/jornalismo-em-tempos-de-crise">Jornalismo em tempos de crise</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/pia-mancini-manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/uma-democracia-para-era-da-internet">Uma democracia para a era da internet</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Portugal </div> <div class="field-item even"> Spain </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> <div class="field-item even"> Internet </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Spain Portugal Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Ideas International politics Internet Português DemocraciaAbierta north america latin america france europe Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Hélène Landemore Fri, 04 Nov 2016 14:55:26 +0000 Hélène Landemore and Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 106472 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Volver a tejer la trama del afecto https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/gioel-gioacchino/volver-tejer-la-trama-del-afecto <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <P>Un proyecto de reinserción de jóvenes en Medellín enseña el Buen Vivir como manera de re-engancharse a la vida y descubrirse a sí mismos en su&nbsp;conexión con los demás. <STRONG><EM><A href="https://opendemocracy.net/transformation/gioel-gioacchino/recomposing-fabric-of-affection">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <P><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Gioel3.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Gioel3.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="345" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Activistas en la Corporación Casa Mía en Medellín, Colombia. Corporación Casa Mia. Todos los derechos reservados. </span></span></span></p> <P>Son las 11,30 de la noche y estoy sentada en el suelo del departamento do Dorian y Ximena Quintero en la ciudad colombiana de Medellín. Ambos coordinan un grupo de base de la sociedad civil llamado&nbsp;<A href="https://www.facebook.com/Corp.CasaMia/?fref=ts" target="_blank">Corporación Casa Mía</a>. La gata Sofía se despereza mientras aprendo lecciones de la vida de David, que es otro miembro del grupo (no uso su apellido para protegerlo).&nbsp;</p> <P>En estos momentos, en Colombia, todo el mundo habla&nbsp;<A href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/annette-idler/colombia-just-voted-no-on-its-plebiscite-for-peace-here-s-why-and-wh">del rechazo, después de 52 años de guerra civil, al acuerdo con las guerrillas de las FARC</a>&nbsp;por parte de una pequeña mayoría de los que fueron a votar en el plebiscito. Pero, de alguna manera, hay razones para&nbsp; un poco más de optimismo cuando quien defiende la paz es un joven de 24 años que pasó casi toda su adolescencia trabajando como sicario.&nbsp; Tras participar en el programa de rehabilitación <EM>Casa Mía</em>, David se dedicó al sector de las soluciones de energía solar. “El trabajo más duro es el de encontrar la paz interior” —me dice— “me dedico a eso cada día”.</p> <P>Durante muchos años, Medellín fue uno de los puntos focales de la guerra que mató a 260.000 personas y desplazó internamente a millones. Ante la ausencia de cualquier gobierno efectivo —junto a la contribución activa del gobierno a la violencia—, muchos residentes se movilizaron a través de sus propias asociaciones de base de sociedad civil como&nbsp;<EM>Casa Mía</em>, establecida en 1993. En palabras de Dorian, no había una gran visión de conjunto detrás del grupo, sino únicamente “el ritual de los abrazos, el afecto, el lenguaje alternativo, un código de honor, y un compromiso con la vida”.&nbsp;</p> <P>Dorian tenía 14 años cuando se desplazó, por su cuenta, a Medellín. Su barrio era una zona de guerra donde se vio a sí mismo “recogiendo mis amigos en la calle”. Pero los miembros de&nbsp;<EM>Casa Mía</em>&nbsp;lo protegieron, de la misma manera en que él protegió a los que vinieron después como David, que se unió al grupo hace cuatro años. Dorian prosiguió su relato:&nbsp;</p> <P>“Cuando los jóvenes entran en un conflicto se sienten raros, separados y profundamente solos. Necesitan abrazos, necesitan que alguien les apoye y confíe en ellos. La crisis de nuestra sociedad no está solo basada en la desigualdad, la pobreza y la violencia, sino más bien en una crisis de valores, en una pérdida del sentido de comunidad, en la desaparición de nuestra capacidad de confiar el uno en el otro. Nuestra sociedad está herida en cuerpo y alma. Necesitamos urgentemente recomponer la trama del afecto, llenarnos de amistad, trabajo compartido y felicidad”.</p> <P>En el contexto de la violencia en Colombia, el reto más complicado al que se enfrenta la gente es al reto del perdón. “Los paramilitares mataron a mi hermano”. No se puede enseñar a perdonar.&nbsp; En cambio,&nbsp;<EM>Casa Mía</em>&nbsp;intenta crear espacios seguros donde el perdón, y en particular en auto-perdón, sea posible, y utilizar eso como fundamento para una vida diferente.</p> <P>Para guiarlos, han adoptado como guía la expresión Quechua&nbsp;<A href="https://www.pachamama.org/sumak-kawsay" target="_blank">Sumak Kawsay</a>, que traducido al español quiere decir&nbsp;<A href="https://solutions.thischangeseverything.org/module/buen-vivir" target="_blank"><EM>Buen Vivir</em></a>. Es un concepto que apareció en las cosmovisiones de los indígenas de América Latina, y que entiende la experiencia humana como algo totalmente integrado con la naturaleza y con el resto de la comunidad. Para los miembros de&nbsp;<EM>Casa Mía</em>, el&nbsp;<EM>Buen Vivir en común</em>&nbsp;se ha convertido en una práctica constante, tanto como objetivo de su actividad como en los medios que utilizan para alcanzarlo.</p> <P>Para promover esta visión, el grupo se apoya fuertemente en el simbolismo y en la educacion experiencial. Desde fuera, la oficina se parece a cualquier otra casa del vecindario, pero la puerta está permanentemente abierta. De pie, frente a la puerta, uno puede ver a niños y jóvenes de distintas edades entrando y saliendo, como si pasaran por casa de un amigo.&nbsp; En la segunda planta hay una “sala del pensar” engalanada con sacos de frijoles, una alfombra confortable y un espejo psicodélico instalado en el techo. Es un recordatorio de que todos debemos mirar el mundo desde ángulos poco probables. La “sala del pensar” tiene juguetes, una fuente eléctrica, un proyector y una pequeña estantería con libros.</p> <P>Uno de los volúmenes parece un libro de cuentos para niños, pero tiene un agujero justo en el medio y un pequeño espejo pegado en la contraportada. Con qué propósito, me preguntaba? Obtuve mi respuesta en un taller, donde se le pedía a los joven agarrar el libro y hablar sobre cualquiera de los personajes que encontrasen en sus páginas. Pero en el libro no había personajes, sino únicamente un agujero para mirar a través, con un espejo al fondo. De manera que se veían a sí mismos en el espejo y, en consecuencia, lo que hacían era explicar sus propias historias al grupo. Esto es lo que dijo David:</p> <P>“Me acuerdo de que, durante el juego que hicimos en el campo, algo muy profundo de mí mismo empezó a cambiar. Para ganar el juego, todo lo que tenía que hacer era alcanzar la mesa en mitad de un campo, ponerme de pie en ella y declarar: “¡Soy el dueño de mi propia vida!. Todo el mundo lo hizo, y yo era el último en jugar. ¡Pero no pude hacerlo!</p> <P>Todo el mundo andaba poniendo obstáculos para que yo llegara a allí. Continúe levantando y siendo derribado por otros en el juego. Todavía me acuerdo de Dorian gritándome: ¿Te vas a rendir? ¿Vas a acabar de soñar de una vez? No vas a poder continuar. En un momento dado lo perdí. Me enfadé. Estaba en el suelo.</p> <P>Todo parecía una pesadilla, pero ese juego era una metáfora de mi vida entera:</p> <P>¿Y luego qué? — pregunté.</p> <P>“No estoy seguro de cómo pasó, pero pasó. Estaba tan agitado —todos debían estar pensando que el juego ya había terminado. Así que se distrajeron. Y entonces corrí y corrí. Salté sobre la mesa y grité:&nbsp; ¡Soy el dueño de mi propia vida! Ese fue un momento tan importante para mí…”.</p> <P>Cerca de la “habitación de pensar” hay un pequeño estudio de grabación, donde&nbsp;<EM>Casa Mía</em>&nbsp;captura el talento de los jóvenes del vecindario. El último piso de la casa es una habitación-taller abierta: acoge teatro, danza, circo, y cualquier otra arte creativa que se pueda imaginar. Paseándome por estas habitaciones donde se les enseña a los jóvenes la auto-exploración, el perdón, y la vida comunitaria, siento una innegable sensación de ligereza, energía y vitalidad.</p> <P>El grupo cree que lo importante es cómo la gente joven interactúa consigo misma y con los demás. El objetivo es que todo el mundo se sienta protegido, escuchado, validado y cuidado. Así que recuerdan a la gente que, para vivir en harmonía con su entorno, hace falta que sean capaces de habitar sus cuerpos, que es el primer entorno que poseen. Esto crea un sentimiento de colectividad mucho más fuerte que cualquier otro tipo de activismo o de trabajo comunitario que decidan emprender. “Sabemos que incluso si una sola persona vive una transformación personal profunda, ya habremos cambiado algo importante”, resume Ximena.</p> <P>Tienen una relación similar con sus procesos de planeamiento.&nbsp;<EM>Casa Mía</em>&nbsp;tiene un plan estratégico expuesto en la pared de la oficina —un gran collage hecho de post-its de colores. Esto permite al personal y a los voluntarios comprender la organización, y hace que el trabajo sea fácilmente accesible.&nbsp; Pero esto es flexible. “Haremos lo que sea necesario para apoyar el cambio positivo en la comunidad” —dice Ximena— “lo que necesitamos puede ser distinto en cada momento histórico”. &nbsp;</p> <P>Para vivir bien, la gente joven necesita reconocerse a sí misma y darle un nuevo sentido a su vida. Mientras tanto, el grupo pone énfasis en que la felicidad no se encuentra únicamente en el mundo exterior, o en algún futuro imaginado. Por contra, practican la vida comunitaria en el aquí y ahora, a través de fiestas de disfraces, bailes, teatro y acción colectiva como parte de un compromiso vital con&nbsp;<A href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/liam-barringtonbush/structuring-our-beloved-communities">la política “pre-figurativa</a>”. El&nbsp;<EM>Buen Vivir</em>&nbsp;les ayuda a construir una cultura organizacional que apoya la exploración de lo que&nbsp;<EM>vivir bien juntos</em>&nbsp;significa en términos concretos. Para ellos, la idea es tan brillante como íntima. Vivir en harmonía puede ayudar a cualquiera a estar conectado, y es esta conexión&nbsp; la que nos hace prosperar como seres humanos.</p> <P><EM>Casa Mía</em>&nbsp;habla sobre su proyecto cono si fuese “un sueño en construcción” pero, si ello es así, se trata de un sueño muy lúcido. Ellos creen que no es necesario definirnos a nosotros mismos, ni definir ideas como el&nbsp;<EM>Buen Vivir</em>, demasiado estrechamente: “Si lo hacemos, nos quedamos atrapados en una versión más pequeña de nosotros mismos. Por contra, animan a su comunidad a apartarse de la ilusión de ser incapaces y a encontrar la paz. No hace falta poner excusas para no&nbsp;<EM>vivir bien</em>&nbsp;todos juntos.</p> <P>En definitiva:&nbsp;<EM>Vivir bien juntos</em>&nbsp;ayuda a todo el mundo a estar conectado, y es esta conexión la que nos hace progresar como seres humanos.</p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Culture Democracy and government Ideas north america latin america europe Gioel Gioacchino Thu, 13 Oct 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Gioel Gioacchino 105936 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Troca de favores nas Nações Unidas https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/troca-de-favores-nas-na-es-unidas <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>O candidato favorito para suceder a Ban Ki-Moon como Secretário Geral da ONU é o Ex primeiro-ministro português António Guterres. Mas o procedimento de eleição continua a ser pouco democrático. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/straw-polling-in-un">English</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/intercambiando-favores-en-las-naciones-unidas" target="_self">Español&nbsp;</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Guterres_0_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Guterres_0_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>O candidato a Secretário Geral da ONU, António Guterres, durante o discurso perante o United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber. 12 de abril, 2016. AP/Foto/Richard Drew. Todos os direitos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p>As Nações Unidas cumprem 70 anos, mas a posição de Secretário Geral não se tornou mais fácil com o passar do tempo. O <em>porta-voz</em> dos interesses dos povos do mundo tem múltiplos incêndios para apagar. Como fazer frente a uma crise humanitária sem precedentes no Mediterrâneo e a metástase da insegurança na Síria, como lidar com o aquecimento global, como enfrentar-se ao populismo e ao terrorismo em todo o mundo – a lista é longa. Fortalecer a posição de Secretário Geral é uma questão especialmente urgente neste momento, tendo em conta que os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento do Milénio (ODM), que terminam este ano, serão sucedidos pelos <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300">Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável</a>, inaugurando assim uma etapa crucial para o futuro da organização. Esta transição poderia supor uma oportunidade para que a ONU reflexionasse, entre outras questões, sobre o funcionamento do procedimento de eleição do Secretário Geral. A eleição do candidato adequado para dirigir a instituição não deveria ser tratada como mais uma instancia de troca de favores, mas sim como uma oportunidade para fortalecer a autoridade moral e a influência da pessoa que, hoje em dia, mais se aproxima de ser o nosso <em>líder</em> comum. </p> <p><strong>Um diplomata e um funcionário público</strong></p> <p>O Secretário Geral é o chefe simbólico das Nações Unidas. Como estipula o <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html">capítulo XV</a> da Carta das Nações Unidas, é o “funcionário de mais alto nível da organização”. Deve informar a Assembleia Geral cada ano – um mecanismo particularmente útil para influenciar a agenda mundial – e dispõe de uma certa liberdade para chamar a atenção do Conselho de Segurança para qualquer ameaça contra a paz e a segurança internacional. </p> <p>A Carta, contudo, não enumera explicitamente as suas funções. Obviamente, esta é uma posição constantemente influenciada pelo contexto político. Dependendo das circunstâncias, o Secretário Geral deve esforçar-se por encontrar o termo médio entre ir mais além do seu role ou limitar-se a seguir de forma estrita a <em>letra</em> da Carta. </p> <p>A sua considerável influência deve obedecer aos princípios de independência, imparcialidade e integridade. O Secretario Geral não pode mostrar parcialidade alguma em relação a nenhum estado em particular. A sua lealdade reside unicamente nas Nações Unidas e deve tomar decisões com absoluta independência do seu estado de origem. Mas, ao depender do apoio dos estados membros, deve encontrar um equilíbrio entre os interesses de ditos estados e os da ONU. Judiciosamente, o papel de Secretário Geral da ONU foi descrito como o de “<a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html">um diplomata, um advogado e um funcionário</a>” – em partes iguais. </p> <p>Foram oito as pessoas que exerceram o cargo de Secretário Geral da ONU no passado. O atual incumbente, o <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/biography.shtml">Sr. Ban Ki-Moon</a>, foi o primeiro cidadão da Asia Oriental em exercer dito cargo. Foi eleito por primeira vez no dia 21 de junho de 2011 e reeleito para um segundo mandato no dia 1 de janeiro de 2012. Muitos qualificam a sua performance como dececionante. Na realidade, o Sr. Ban Ki-Moon fez exatamente o que aqueles que o elegeram sabiam que ia fazer.</p> <p><strong>Mudar as regras?</strong></p> <p>O <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xv/index.html">artigo 97</a> da Carta das Nações Unidas estabelece que o Secretário Geral “será eleito pela Assembleia Geral por recomendação do Conselho de Segurança”.</p> <p>Tradicionalmente, o Conselho de Segurança recomenda um só candidato. Compete ao mesmo escolher um candidato da forma que considere adequada, e, seguidamente, <a href="http://www.un.org/ar/sc/pdf/rules.pdf">adotar uma resolução</a> recomendando a sua eleição à Assembleia Geral. Não há nada na Carta que impeça o Conselho de Segurança de recomendar vários candidatos, mas a <a href="https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/032/62/IMG/NR003262.pdf?OpenElement">Resolução 11(I) da Assembleia Geral</a> estipula que é “desejável que o Conselho de Segurança recomende um só candidato”. </p> <p>Tendo em conta que o Sr. Ban Ki-Moon abandonará o cargo no dia 31 de dezembro de 2016, o procedimento para eleger o novo Secretário Geral já começou. O procedimento continua a ser tão antidemocrático como sempre, mas, pela primeira vez, parece ter sido adicionada ao mesmo alguma transparência. </p> <p>A ONU pediu aos candidatos que formalizassem as suas candidaturas e que expusessem a sua visão para a ONU, e para o mundo, numa <a href="http://www.dw.com/en/united-nations-begins-first-ever-public-hearing-to-choose-secretary-general/a-19182550">audiência pública</a>. Tratam-se de medidas sem precedentes que não limitam o poder do Conselho de Segurança, que decidirá em ultima instância que candidato recomendar, mas assinalam não obstante uma abertura que, como afirma o Presidente <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54912#.V9pr7vmLTIU">cessante</a> da Assembleia Geral, Mogens Lykketoft, poderia chegar a supor uma “<a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53662#.V9E3OfmLTIU">mudança das regras do jogo</a>”. </p> <p><strong>Chegou o momento de que uma mulher ocupe o cargo?</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.unhcr.org/antonio-guterres-portugal-2005-2015.html">António Guterres</a>, Ex primeiro-ministro português que serviu como Alto Comissário da Nações Unidas para os Refugiados, é o candidato melhor colocado para ocupar o cargo, de acordo com as votações informais realizadas até à data no Conselho de Segurança. </p> <p>Os 15 membros do Conselho de Segurança, através de votações informais, optam por “encorajar”, “desencorajar” ou não formular uma opinião sobre os candidatos. Para converter-se no próximo Secretário Geral, <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-v/index.html">um candidato precisa do voto afirmativo de nove membros do Conselho</a> e não poder ser vetado por nenhum dos cinco membros permanentes (China, Rússia, França, Reino Unido e os Estados Unidos), conhecidos como os “Cincos Grandes” ou “P-5”. </p> <p>Depois da celebração da quarta de ditas votações no dia 9 de setembro, António Guterres consolidou a sua vantagem sobre os restantes candidatos (que são nove, depois da renuncia no dia 12 de setembro de Christiana Figueres, da Costa Rica). Guterres recebeu doze votos de “encorajamento”, dois votos de “desencorajamento” e um voto “sem opinião”. Miroslav Lajcak, Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros da Eslováquia, ficou em segundo lugar, com dez votos de “encorajamento”, quatro votos de “desencorajamento”, e um “sem opinião”, seguido por Vuk Jeremic, Ex Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros da Sérvia, e Srgjan Kerim, Ex presidente macedónio da Assembleia Geral da ONU. <a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general/biography/">Irina Bokova</a>, diretora geral da UNESCO, e pelo que parece a única mulher ainda com possibilidades de ser eleita, ficou em quinto lugar, depois de ter alcançado a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/29/antonio-guterres-united-nations-secretary-general">terceira posição na votação anterior</a>. </p> <p>É importante ter em conta que todas as votações informais que se realizaram até agora foram indiferenciadas. Esperam-se resultados mais claros a princípios de outubro, quando, numa votação com códigos de cores, saberemos se os votos de “desencorajamento” foram emitidos pelos membros <em>eleitos</em> ou pelos membros <em>permanente</em>s do Conselho de Segurança. </p> <p>Historicamente, o Secretário Geral foi selecionado em função dum <a href="http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/51/ares51-241.htm">sistema informal de rotação regional</a>. Durante este ano, existiram também pressões para <a href="http://www.womansg.org/">eleger uma mulher</a>, assim com uma campanha significante para nomear um candidato da Europa de Leste. Nunca uma mulher ou um cidadão da Europa de Leste foram eleitos para o cargo. </p> <p>Infelizmente, <a href="http://www.passblue.com/2016/09/09/guterres-leads-latest-poll-for-un-secretary-general-again-but-it-may-not-matter/">como refletem os últimos resultados</a> das votações informais, as candidatas ficaram muito atrás dos favoritos. A Secretária Geral da ONU Mulheres, a Sra. Mlambo-Ngcuka, expressou a sua “deceção e surpresa” por estes resultados. Irina Bokova, a melhor colocada para competir com Guterres, ficou num dececionante quinto lugar, enquanto que o resto das candidatas (Susana Malcorra, Helen Clark, Christiana Figueres y Natalia Gherman) ocuparam a parte inferior da lista. A esperança de nomear uma mulher parece desvanecer-se. Ainda assim, fazer frente à disparidade de género na ONU continuará sem dúvida a ser uma prioridade, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/redressing-uns-gender-gap-how-do-sg-contenders-compare">independentemente de quem seja nomeado para o cargo</a>. </p> <p><strong>Exigir reformas</strong></p> <p>Mais além das legitimas pressões para que uma mulher e/ou um cidadão da Europa de Leste assumam o cargo de Secretário Geral, a <em>natureza não democrática</em> do procedimento de eleição continua a ser um tema chave. </p> <p>Exigir a sua reforma não é algo novo. Em 2014, a <a href="http://www.wfm-igp.org/">WFM-IGP</a> e várias ONGs escreveram uma carta aberta à Assembleia Geral e aos lideres dos governos dos estados membros sugerindo várias propostas para pôr fim ao procedimento de seleção atual. </p> <p>A campanha <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">1 por 7 bilhões</a> – com o apoio de mais de 750 organizações de todo o mundo – exigiu um procedimento mais transparente, a celebração de audiências públicas, e que o Conselho de Segurança recomende pelo menos dois candidatos, em vez de um. </p> <p>Algumas destas exigências obtiveram respostas positivas. Pela primeira vez, celebraram-se audiências públicas com os candidatos; <a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/15-Dec-2015_Appointment-of-Secretary-General-15-December-2015.pdf">os estados membros foram convidados a propor candidatos</a>; e os candidatos não foram escolhidos à porta fechada. Contudo, o procedimento continua muito longe de ser democrático: cabe a cinco países <em>fazer uma recomendação</em> que nos compete a todos. </p> <p><strong>Perspetivas de futuro</strong></p> <p>É preciso alterar este procedimento se a ONU quiser evitar os mesmos erros que cometeu até agora. Deve ser o mérito a guiar o procedimento de eleição, uma vez que a ONU precisa do melhor candidato possível para o cargo – alguém capaz de transcender o role de mero intermediário e que esteja disposto, se necessário, a ir mais além da letra da Carta. O género e o equilíbrio geográfico deveriam ser também, obviamente, requisitos do novo procedimento. </p> <p>As propostas da campanha <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">1 por 7 bilhões</a> referentes à duração do mandato e ao número de candidatos recomendados também deveriam ser implementadas. A independência ver-se-ia reforçada através da limitação do cargo a um mandato único de 7 anos, o que evitaria que o candidato se entretivesse a pensar na sua reeleição. A democracia também seria beneficiada se o Conselho de Segurança recomendasse <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">dois ou mais candidatos</a> à Assembleia Geral, o que encorajaria o debate dentro da instituição. </p> <p>A transparência, num momento em que a confiança nas instituições alcança novos mínimos no mundo, deve ser uma prioridade. Na <em>prática</em>, os membros permanentes do Conselho de Segurança são quem elegem o que mais perto está de ser o nosso <em>líder mundial</em>. Por tanto, seria lógico que os cidadãos e os países entendêssemos como o fazem. O Conselho de Segurança deve proporcionar a informação sobre os resultados das votações formais e informais, diferenciando claramente os votos dos membros permanentes dos do resto. </p> <p>No quadro atual, e independentemente do candidato recomendado, só nos resta esperar que não seja eleito um candidato que <em>não seja demasiado objetável</em>, como aconteceu em 2006. Incapazes como somos, por agora, de limitar o poder do Conselho de Segurança de tomar decisões em nosso nome, deveríamos optar por obriga-lo a prestar contas. É possível que os “Cinco Grandes” não estejam de acordo com a ideia de que precisamos de uma Secretário Geral forte, dinâmico e idealista. Mas o mundo, obviamente, sim que o está. </p> <p>Entretanto, o <a href="http://sicnoticias.sapo.pt/mundo/2016-09-14-Governo-portugues-confiante-que-meritos-de-Guterres-irao-leva-lo-a-ONU?utm_source=twitterfeed&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sicnoticias-mundo+%28Sic+Not%C3%ADcias+-+mundo%29">governo português acredita</a> que os méritos de António Guterres o levarão a ocupar o cargo de Secretário Geral das Nações Unidas.&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Equality </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Conflict Culture Democracy and government Equality Ideas International politics africa asia & pacific china europe india/pakistan latin america middle east north america russia & eurasia Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Fri, 16 Sep 2016 17:02:02 +0000 Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 105412 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Horse trading in the UN https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/straw-polling-in-un <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The leading candidate to succeed Mr. Ban Ki-Moon as new Secretary General of the UN is former Portuguese PM Antonio Guterres. The election procedure, however, is as undemocratic as ever. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/troca-de-favores-nas-na-es-unidas">Português</a></em></strong>&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/intercambiando-favores-en-las-naciones-unidas" target="_self">Español &nbsp;</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Guterres.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Guterres.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>U.N. Secretary General candidate Antonio Guterres delivers his remarks in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Drew.</span></span></span></p><p><span>As the United Nations celebrates its 70</span>th<span> birthday this year, the position of Secretary General has not become any easier. The spokesman for the interests of the peoples of the world has multiple fires to put off. How to deal with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean and the insecurity metastasis in Syria, how to address climate change, how to tackle rising populism and terrorism worldwide - the list goes on. Empowering the next Secretary General is a particularly pressing issue at this point in time, as the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are coming to an end this year, to the </span><a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300">Sustainable Development Goals</a><span>, which will replace them, opens up a new, crucial phase for the organization. This could provide an opportunity for the UN to reflect, among other issues, on how its Secretary General is appointed. The election of the right person to lead the institution should not be seen as yet another instance of </span><em>horse trading</em><span>, but rather as an opportunity to strengthen the moral authority and influence of the person who nowadays comes closer to being our shared </span><em>leader.</em></p> <p><strong>A diplomat and a civil servant</strong></p> <p>The Secretary General is the symbolic head of the United Nations. As <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html">chapter XV</a> of the United Nations Charter stipulates, he is the “chief administrative officer of the organization”. He must report to the General Assembly annually – a particularly useful mechanism to influence the world agenda – and he enjoys discretionary power to bring to the attention of the Security Council any threat arising against international peace and security.</p> <p>The Charter, however, does not include an explicit job description. Obviously, this is a job that is influenced by the political context at all times. Depending on each circumstance, the Secretary General must strive to find the middle ground between pumping up his role or limiting it to the letter of the Charter. </p> <p>Its considerable leverage must be true to the principles of independence, impartiality and integrity. The Secretary General cannot exhibit allegiance to any particular state. His loyalty lies with the United Nations and he must make his decisions regardless of his state of origin. Depending, as he does, on the support of the member states, he or she must find a balance between their interests and those of the UN. For good reason the role of Secretary General has been described as being that of “<a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html">a diplomat, an advocate and a civil servant</a>” – in equal parts. </p> <p>Eight individuals have served as Secretary General of the UN in the past. The current incumbent, <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/biography.shtml">Mr. Ban Ki-Moon</a>, was the first East Asian to hold office. He was first elected on June, 21st, 2011, and his second term began on January, 1st, 2012. Many consider that his performance has been disappointing. In fact, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon has done exactly what those who elected him knew he would do.</p> <p><strong>A game-changing exercise?</strong></p> <p>Article 97 of the <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xv/index.html">United Nations Charter</a> establishes that the Secretary General “shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council”. </p> <p>Traditionally, the Security Council recommends only one candidate. It is its prerogative to privately pick a candidate, and then <a href="http://www.un.org/ar/sc/pdf/rules.pdf">adopt a resolution setting out</a> its recommendation. Nothing in the Charter prevents the Security Council from recommending several candidates, but <a href="https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/032/62/IMG/NR003262.pdf?OpenElement">GA Resolution 11 (I)</a> states that it is “desirable for the Security Council to proffer only one candidate”. </p> <p>Since Mr. Ban Ki-Moon is to step down on December, 31st, 2016, the process to elect a new Secretary General is currently under way. The process is as undemocratic as ever, but, for the first time, some transparency has been added to it. </p> <p>The UN asked candidates to send formal application letters, and to make a presentation of their vision of the UN <a href="http://www.dw.com/en/united-nations-begins-first-ever-public-hearing-to-choose-secretary-general/a-19182550">at a public hearing</a>. This unprecedented move takes no power away from the Security Council, which will ultimately decide on the candidate it wants to recommend, but it nonetheless signals a new openness which, as Mogens Lykketoft, the <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54912#.V9pr7vmLTIU" target="_blank">outgoing</a> President of the General Assembly says, may be “<a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53662#.V9E3OfmLTIU">potentially a game-changing exercise</a>”. </p> <p><strong>Is it time for a woman to get the job?</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.unhcr.org/antonio-guterres-portugal-2005-2015.html">Antonio Guterres</a>, the former Portuguese prime-minister who served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, is the front runner, according to the UN Security Council´s straw polls held to date. </p> <p>The 15 members of the Security Council, though informal ballots, choose to “encourage”, “discourage” or issue no opinion on any given candidate. In order to become the next Secretary General, a candidate <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-v/index.html">requires the affirmative vote of nine of its members</a>, and must not be vetoed by any of the five permanent members of the Council (China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States), known as the “Big Five” or “P-5”. </p> <p>After holding the <a href="http://www.passblue.com/2016/09/09/guterres-leads-latest-poll-for-un-secretary-general-again-but-it-may-not-matter/">fourth straw poll on September, 9</a>, Antonio Guterres has consolidated his lead over the ten remaining candidates (<em>now nine, as</em> <em>Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres withdrew from the race on September, 12</em>) to replace Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. Mr. Guterres received twelve “encourage” votes, two “discourage” votes, and one “no opinion” vote. Miroslav Lajčák, Slovakia´s foreign minister, came second, with ten “encourage votes”, four “discourage” votes, and one “no opinion", followed by Vuk Jeremić, Serbia´s former foreign minister, and Srgjan Kerim, the Macedonian former president of the General Assembly. <a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general/biography/">Irina Bokova</a>, UNESCO´s director general, and apparently the only woman still in the race, came fifth, after having ranked third <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/29/antonio-guterres-united-nations-secretary-general">in the previous straw poll</a>. </p> <p>It should be noted that all the ballots that have taken place so far have been undifferentiated straw polls. A clearer picture is expected to surface in early October when, through a colour-coded straw poll, we will know if the “discourage” votes have been cast by <em>elected</em> or <em>permanent</em> members of the Security Council.</p> <p>Historically, the Secretary General has been selected according to an <a href="http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/51/ares51-241.htm">informal system of regional rotation</a>. During this last year, there has been mounting pressure for having a <a href="http://www.womansg.org/">woman</a> as next UN Secretary General, as well as a widespread campaign to appoint a candidate from Eastern Europe. Neither a woman nor an Eastern European has ever been appointed.</p> <p>Unfortunately, <a href="http://www.passblue.com/2016/09/09/guterres-leads-latest-poll-for-un-secretary-general-again-but-it-may-not-matter/">as the latest straw-poll results reflect</a>, women candidates trail behind the favourites. The UN Women Secretary General, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, expressed her “disappointment and surprise” at the outcome of the polls. Irina Bokova, the best-placed to challenge Mr. Guterres, came only fifth, while the remaining female candidates (Susana Malcorra, Helen Clark, Christiana Figueres and Natalia Gherman) stood at the bottom of the list. Hopes for a woman to be appointed thus seem to be fading. Still, addressing the gender gap at the UN will surely remain a priority, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/redressing-uns-gender-gap-how-do-sg-contenders-compare">independently of who gets the job</a>. </p> <p><strong>Calls for reform</strong></p> <p>Beyond the valid claims for a woman and/or an Eastern European to assume the role of Secretary General, the <em>undemocratic nature</em> of the election procedure remains a key issue to address. </p> <p>Calls for reform are not new. Back in 2014, <a href="http://www.wfm-igp.org/">WFM-IGP</a> and several NGO partners sent an open letter to both the General Assembly and the heads of government of the member states, suggesting several proposals to put an end to the current election procedure. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">1 for 7 billion campaign</a> -- supported by more than 750 organizations around the world – &nbsp;has called for a more transparent procedure, for public hearings to take place, and for the Security Council to recommend at least two candidates. </p> <p>Some of these demands have been met. For the first time, public hearings have taken place; <a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/15-Dec-2015_Appointment-of-Secretary-General-15-December-2015.pdf">member states have been asked to nominate candidates</a>; and candidates have not been chosen behind closed doors. Yet, the final election procedure remains far from being democratic, secretive and outdated: it leaves it up to five countries to <em>make a recommendation</em> that concerns us all. </p> <p><strong>Looking ahead</strong></p> <p>This procedure needs to be changed if the UN is to avoid making the same mistakes all over again. Merit alone should guide the election procedure, for the UN needs the best candidate for the post, an individual who is capable of transcending the role of mere intermediary, and who is willing, if need be, to go beyond the letter of the Charter. Gender and geographical balance should also be requirements of the new procedure. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">1 for 7 billion campaign</a> recommendations on the term of office and the number of candidates should also be implemented. Independence would be reinforced by limiting the mandate to a 7-year single term, as the candidate would not have to think about getting himself re-elected for a second term. Democracy would also benefit if <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">two or more candidates were recommended</a> by the Security Council for the General Assembly to choose from, enhancing debate within the institution. </p> <p>Transparency, at a time when confidence in institutions has globally reached a new low, should be a must. In <em>practice</em>, the permanent members of the Security Council are the ones who choose the nearest thing we have <em>to a global leader</em>. Therefore, it is only logical that citizens and member countries should understand how they do it. The Security Council should provide information about the results of the straw polls and formal voting, clearly differentiating the votes of the permanent members from the rest. </p> <p>Under the current framework, and independently of the candidate recommended, we can only hope for a candidate that is not <em>too objectionable</em>, as happened in 2006. Incapable as we are, for the time being, to limit the power of the Security Council to make decisions in our name, we should do the next best thing: hold it accountable. The “Big Five” may not agree on the need for a strong, dynamic and idealistic Secretary General. But the world surely does.&nbsp;</p><p><span>Meanwhile, the Portuguese government is </span><a href="http://sicnoticias.sapo.pt/mundo/2016-09-14-Governo-portugues-confiante-que-meritos-de-Guterres-irao-leva-lo-a-ONU?utm_source=twitterfeed&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sicnoticias-mundo+%28Sic+Not%C3%ADcias+-+mundo%29">confident</a><span> that Mr. Guterres´s merits will lead him to take over as UN Secretary General.</span></p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Equality </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Equality Ideas International politics democracy & power russia & eurasia north america middle east latin america europe asia & pacific africa Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:13:36 +0000 Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 105350 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Intercambiando favores en las Naciones Unidas https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/intercambiando-favores-en-las-naciones-unidas <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>El favorito para suceder a Ban Ki-Moon como Secretario General de la ONU es el ex primer ministro portugués, Antonio Guterres. Pero el proceso de elección sigue siendo poco democrático. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/troca-de-favores-nas-na-es-unidas">Português</a></strong></em>&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/straw-polling-in-un" target="_self">English&nbsp;</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Guterres_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Guterres_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>El candidato a Secretario General de la ONU, Antonio Guterres, durante su discurso ante el United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber. 12 de abril, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Drew. Todos los derechos reservados. </span></span></span></p><p>Las Naciones Unidas cumplen 70 años, pero el cargo de Secretario General no se ha vuelto más fácil con el paso del tiempo. El <em>portavoz</em> de los intereses de los pueblos del mundo tiene múltiples incendios que apagar. Cómo hacer frente a una crisis humanitaria sin precedentes en el Mediterráneo y a la metástasis de la inseguridad en Siria, cómo lidiar con el cambio climático, cómo enfrentarse al populismo y al terrorismo en todo el mundo – la lista es larga. Fortalecer la posición del Secretario General es una cuestión especialmente urgente en este momento, ya que los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM), que terminan este año, darán paso a los <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300">Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible</a>, inaugurando una fase crucial para el futuro de la organización. Esta transición podría suponer una oportunidad para que la ONU reflexionase, entre otras cuestiones, sobre cómo se lleva a cabo el proceso de nombramiento del Secretario General.&nbsp; La elección del candidato adecuado para dirigir la institución no debería ser vista como otra instancia de intercambio de favores, sino como una oportunidad para fortalecer la autoridad moral y la influencia de la persona que, hoy por hoy, se aproxima más a ser nuestro <em>líder </em>común. </p> <p><strong>Un diplomático y un funcionario público</strong></p> <p>El Secretario General es el jefe simbólico de las Naciones Unidas. Como estipula el <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html">capítulo XV</a> de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, es el "funcionario de mayor rango de la organización". Debe informar a la Asamblea General cada año - un mecanismo particularmente útil para influir en la agenda mundial - y goza de discrecionalidad para llamar la atención del Consejo de Seguridad ante cualquier amenaza contra la paz y la seguridad internacional. </p> <p>La Carta, sin embargo, no describe explícitamente sus funciones. Obviamente, este es un cargo que en todo momento se ve influenciado por el contexto político. Dependiendo de las circunstancias, el Secretario General debe esforzarse por encontrar el término medio entre crecerse en su papel o limitarse a seguir estrictamente la letra de la Carta. </p> <p>Su considerable influencia debe obedecer a los principios de independencia, imparcialidad e integridad. El Secretario General no puede mostrar parcialidad hacia ningún estado en particular. Se debe únicamente a las Naciones Unidas y tiene que tomar sus decisiones con absoluta independencia de cuál sea su estado de origen. Pero al depender del apoyo de los estados miembros, debe encontrar un equilibrio entre los intereses de estos estados y los de la ONU. Con buen criterio, el papel de Secretario General ha sido descrito como el de "<a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/un-charter-full-text/index.html">un diplomático, un abogado y un funcionario</a>" - a partes iguales.</p> <p>Ocho son las personas que han ocupado el puesto de Secretario General de la ONU en el pasado. El actual titular, el Sr. <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/en/biography.shtml">Ban Ki-Moon</a>, fue el primero que procedía de Asia Oriental. Fue elegido por primera vez el 21 de junio de 2011 y comenzó su segundo mandato el 1 de enero de 2012. Muchos califican su actuación de decepcionante. En realidad, el Sr. Ban Ki-Moon ha hecho exactamente lo que aquellos que lo eligieron sabían que iba a hacer.</p> <p><strong>¿Cambiar las reglas?</strong></p> <p>El artículo 97 de la <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xv/index.html">Carta de las Naciones Unidas</a> establece que el Secretario General "será nombrado por la Asamblea General a recomendación del Consejo de Seguridad".</p> <p>Tradicionalmente, el Consejo de Seguridad recomienda un solo candidato. Es su prerrogativa escoger un candidato de la forma que considere oportuna, y luego <a href="http://www.un.org/ar/sc/pdf/rules.pdf">adoptar una resolución</a> recomendando su elección a la Asamblea General. No hay nada en la Carta que impida que el Consejo de Seguridad recomiende varios candidatos, pero la <a href="https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/032/62/IMG/NR003262.pdf?OpenElement">Resolución 11(I) de la Asamblea General</a> estipula que es "deseable que el Consejo de Seguridad recomiende un solo candidato".</p> <p>Teniendo en cuenta que el Sr. Ban Ki-Moon dejará el cargo el 31 de diciembre de 2016, el proceso para elegir nuevo secretario general está en marcha. El proceso sigue siendo tan antidemocrático como siempre, pero, por primera vez, se le ha añadido algo de transparencia. </p> <p>La ONU pidió cartas de solicitud formales a los candidatos y que presentaran su visión de la organización en una <a href="http://www.dw.com/en/united-nations-begins-first-ever-public-hearing-to-choose-secretary-general/a-19182550">vista pública</a>. Se trata de medidas sin precedentes que no limitan el poder del Consejo de Seguridad, que decidirá en última instancia qué candidato recomienda, pero indican no obstante una apertura que, como afirma el Presidente <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54912#.V9pr7vmLTIU">saliente</a> de la Asamblea General, Mogens Lykketoft, podría llegar a suponer "<a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53662#.V9E3OfmLTIU">un cambio de las reglas del juego</a>".</p> <p><strong>¿Llegó el momento de que una mujer ocupe el cargo? </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.unhcr.org/antonio-guterres-portugal-2005-2015.html">Antonio Guterres</a>, el ex primer ministro portugués que sirvió como Alto Comisionado de la ONU para los Refugiados, es el candidato mejor situado para ocupar el cargo, según llas votaciones informales realizadas en el Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas hasta la fecha.</p> <p>Los 15 miembros del Consejo de Seguridad, a través de votaciones informales, optan por "alentar", "desalentar" o no emitir opinión sobre los candidatos. Para llegar a convertirse en el próximo Secretario General, <a href="http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-v/index.html">un candidato necesita el voto afirmativo de nueve miembros del Consejo</a> y no puede ser vetado por ninguno de los cinco miembros permanentes (China, Rusia, Francia, el Reino Unido y los Estados Unidos), conocidos como los "Cinco Grandes" o "P-5".</p> <p>Tras la celebración de <a href="http://www.passblue.com/2016/09/09/guterres-leads-latest-poll-for-un-secretary-general-again-but-it-may-not-matter/">la cuarta de dichas votaciones</a> el día 9 de septiembre, Antonio Guterres ha consolidado su ventaja sobre los demás candidatos restantes (que son nueve, tras la renuncia el 12 de septiembre de Christiana Figueres, de Costa Rica). Guterres recibió doce votos de "aliento”, dos votos de “desaliento" y un voto "sin opinión". Miroslav Lajcak, ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Eslovaquia, quedó en segundo lugar, con diez votos de "aliento", cuatro votos de "desaliento", y uno "sin opinión", seguido por Vuk Jeremic, ex Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Serbia, y Srgjan Kerim, el ex presidente macedonio de la Asamblea General. <a href="http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general/biography/">Irina Bokova</a>, directora general de la UNESCO, y al parecer la única mujer aún con posibilidades de competir por el puesto, quedó en quinto lugar, tras haber quedado <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/29/antonio-guterres-united-nations-secretary-general">tercera en la anterior votación</a>. </p> <p>Cabe señalar que todas votaciones informales que han tenido lugar hasta el momento han sido indiferenciadas. Se esperan resultados más claros para principios de octubre, cuando, en una votación con códigos de colores, sabremos si los votos de "desaliento" han sido emitidos por los miembros <em>elegidos</em> o por miembros <em>permanentes</em> del Consejo de Seguridad.</p> <p>Históricamente, se ha seleccionado el Secretario General sobre la base de un <a href="http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/51/ares51-241.htm">sistema informal de rotación regional</a>. Durante este último año, ha habido además presiones crecientes para <a href="http://www.womansg.org/">elegir a una mujer</a>, así como una amplia campaña para nombrar a un candidato de Europa del Este. Nunca ninguna mujer ni ningún ciudadano de Europa del Este han sido elegidos para el cargo. </p> <p>Por desgracia, <a href="http://www.passblue.com/2016/09/09/guterres-leads-latest-poll-for-un-secretary-general-again-but-it-may-not-matter/">como reflejan los últimos resultados</a> de las votaciones informales, las candidatas van quedando muy por detrás de los favoritos. La Secretaria General de ONU Mujeres, la Sra. Mlambo-Ngcuka, expresó su "decepción y sorpresa" por estos resultados. Irina Bokova, la mejor situada para competir con Guterres, sólo logró llegar en quinto lugar, mientras el resto de las candidatas (Susana Malcorra, Helen Clark, Christiana Figueres y Natalia Gherman) ocupaban la parte inferior de la lista. La esperanza de que se nombre a una mujer parece esfumarse. Aun así, hacer frente a la brecha de género en la ONU continuará sin duda siendo una prioridad, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/redressing-uns-gender-gap-how-do-sg-contenders-compare">independientemente de quien se haga con el cargo</a>. </p> <p><strong>Exigir reformas</strong></p> <p>Más allá de la legítima demanda de que una mujer y/o un ciudadano de Europa de Este asuman el cargo de Secretario General, la <em>naturaleza no democrática</em> del procedimiento de elección sigue siendo un tema clave. </p> <p>Pedir su reforma no es algo nuevo en la organización. En 2014, la <a href="http://www.wfm-igp.org/">WFM-IGP</a> y varias ONGs enviaron una carta abierta a la Asamblea General y a los jefes de gobierno de los estados miembros &nbsp;sugiriendo varias propuestas para poner fin al procedimiento de elección actual.</p> <p>La campaña <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">1 por 7 mil millones</a> - con el apoyo de más de 750 organizaciones de todo el mundo – ha exigido un procedimiento más transparente, la celebración de vistas públicas, y que el Consejo de Seguridad recomiende al menos dos candidatos y no sólo uno. </p> <p>Algunas de estas exigencias han obtenido respuestas positivas. Por primera vez, se han celebrado vistas públicas con los candidatos; <a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/15-Dec-2015_Appointment-of-Secretary-General-15-December-2015.pdf">los estados miembros han sido invitados a presentar candidatos</a>; y los candidatos no han sido elegidos a puerta cerrada. Sin embargo, el procedimiento de elección final sigue distando de ser democrático: se deja en manos de cinco países h<em>acer una recomendación</em> que nos concierne a todos.</p> <p><strong>Mirar hacia adelante</strong></p> <p>Es preciso cambiar este procedimiento si la ONU quiere evitar caer en los mismos errores que hasta ahora. El criterio que debería guiar el procedimiento de elección debería ser el mérito, ya que la ONU necesita el mejor candidato posible para el puesto - alguien capaz de trascender el papel de mero intermediario y que esté dispuesto, si es necesario, a ir más allá de la letra de la Carta. El género y el equilibrio geográfico deberían ser también, por supuesto, requisitos del nuevo procedimiento.</p> <p>Las propuestas de la campaña <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">1 por 7 mil millones</a> en cuanto a la duración del mandato y el número de los candidatos recomendados también deberían implementarse. La independencia se vería reforzada mediante la limitación del cargo a un mandato único de 7 años, con lo que el candidato no tendría que ocuparse de pensar en su reelección. La democracia también se beneficiaría si el Consejo de Seguridad recomendase <a href="http://www.1for7billion.org/">dos o más candidatos</a> a la Asamblea General, lo que alentaría el debate dentro de la institución.</p> <p>La transparencia, en un momento en que la confianza en las instituciones alcanza nuevos mínimos en el mundo, debe ser una prioridad muy clara. En la <em>práctica,</em> los miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad son los que eligen lo que más se parece a un <em>líder mundial</em>. Por lo tanto, sería lógico que los ciudadanos y los países entendiéramos como lo hacen. El Consejo de Seguridad debe proporcionar información sobre los resultados de las votaciones formales e informales, diferenciando claramente los votos de los miembros permanentes de los del resto.</p> <p>En el marco actual, e independientemente del candidato recomendado, sólo nos queda esperar que salga elegido un candidato que <em>no sea demasiado objetable</em>, como ocurrió en 2006. Incapaces como somos, por ahora, de limitar el poder del Consejo de Seguridad de tomar decisiones en nuestro nombre, deberíamos optar por obligarlo a rendir cuentas. Puede que los “Cinco Grandes” no estén de acuerdo con la idea que necesitamos un Secretario General fuerte, dinámico e idealista. Pero el mundo, por supuesto, sí&nbsp; lo está.</p> <p>Mientras tanto, el <a href="http://sicnoticias.sapo.pt/mundo/2016-09-14-Governo-portugues-confiante-que-meritos-de-Guterres-irao-leva-lo-a-ONU?utm_source=twitterfeed&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sicnoticias-mundo+%28Sic+Not%C3%ADcias+-+mundo%29">gobierno portugués confía</a> en que los méritos de Antonio Guterres le llevarán a ocupar el cargo.&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Equality </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Culture Democracy and government Equality Ideas International politics russia & eurasia north america middle east latin america india/pakistan europe asia & pacific africa Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano Thu, 15 Sep 2016 12:32:59 +0000 Manuel Nunes Ramires Serrano 105373 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Hillary is running a Remain campaign. She needs to change track – or she’ll lose. https://www.opendemocracy.net/simon-radford/hillary-is-running-remain-campaign-she-needs-to-change-track-or-she-ll-lose <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 13.3333px; line-height: 20px;">American voters, like many who opted for Leave in the UK's EU referendum, are angry and want change. The Democrats will lose if they offer a message of continuity.</span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/560741/PA-28175331_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="Delegates supporting Hillary Clinton at the DNC in Philadelphia, July 2016. Credit: Carolyn Kaster; AP/PA. All rights reserved."><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/560741/PA-28175331_0.jpg" alt="Delegates hold up a face-mask of Hillary Clinton at the DNC in Phildelphia in July, 2016" title="Delegates supporting Hillary Clinton at the DNC in Philadelphia, July 2016. Credit: Carolyn Kaster; AP/PA. All rights reserved." width="460" height="324" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Delegates supporting Hillary Clinton at the DNC in Philadelphia, July 2016. Credit: Carolyn Kaster; AP/PA. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><blockquote><p>“For things to stay the same, things need to change” - The Leopard&nbsp;<br /><br />“The job of the conservative is to stand athwart history and yell ‘stop!’” - William Buckley</p></blockquote><p>It is one of the ironies of American politics that the conservatives in the Republican Party often come across as radical insurgents, while self-styled progressives in the Democratic Party tend to sound pretty conservative. The Jacobins in the Republican Party want to make the country great again by changing almost everything about it, while the Democrats warn of recklessness and vandalism. But ‘more of the same’ could prove to be a fatal message for Hillary Clinton if she wants to defeat Donald Trump.</p><p>Republicans talk a big game. They threaten to&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Grover_Norquist">drown government in the bathtub</a>, prove their masculinity with&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6vMnJwzqHw">outrageously trite soundbites about bombing enemies</a>&nbsp;they barely understand, and try to confront&nbsp;<a href="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/the-laffer-swerve/">the logic of basic addition</a>&nbsp;by proposing smaller deficits while giving revenue away through&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/02/donald-trump-revealed-he-wants-to-give-hedge-fund-guys-a-huge-tax-cut/">huge tax breaks to those who need them least</a>. Whether it comes to intervening militarily in foreign countries, continuing a culture war that has long been lost, or allowing corporate America to regulate Washington (rather than vice versa), the Republicans are not interested in conserving.</p><p>The Democrats, on the other hand, are dead set on defending achievements won long ago. Republicans try to dismantle Medicare through private provision (while insisting that payments for clinically less-than-useful interventions&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/medicare-costs-too-much-a_b_1363673.html">continue be funded by the taxpayer</a>), as they tried to privatize Social Security under President George W. Bush, and keep threatening to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/20/food-stamp-cuts_n_6911678.html">further erode welfare</a>. Democrats promise to defend the legacies of FDR and LBJ. They cry in unison: “Don’t let the Republicans<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGnE83A1Z4U">&nbsp;throw grandma off the cliff</a>!”</p><p>But is that enough? Is pointing out the absurdity of ‘President Trump’ all that is required?</p><p>It makes sense for Democrats to claim some credit for real achievements over the past last eight years. Despite a cash injection too small to generate ‘terminal velocity’, the Obama stimulus is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobooth.edu/capideas/blog/2014/august/economists-still-think-obama-stimulus-was-a-good-idea">widely regarded</a>&nbsp;by economists as having saved an economy that was on the brink of collapse. Obama’s mantra of “<a href="http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/04/obamas-dont-do-stupid-shit-foreign-policy/">don’t do stupid shit</a>” was a welcome change from Bush’s buccaneering neocons who sought to bring democracy but brought chaos. And while Obamacare was diluted by a lack of a public option, and by a Supreme Court decision to allow states to leave millions of the very poor uncovered, it was a hard-fought and welcome incremental advance towards universal healthcare. The American public seems to agree, if the President’s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html">approval ratings</a>&nbsp;reflect how the public sees his legacy. Yet, the same pollsters who chart President Obama’s popularity also warn of a public mood that is eager for more change. The difference between those who think America is on the right track and those who think it’s heading in the wrong direction is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html">stark and unambiguous</a>.&nbsp;<span class="print-no mag-quote-center">Every time she could zig towards change, she zags towards more of the same.</span></p><p>When Bill Clinton ran against George H.W. Bush, the latter admitted that he did not possess "the vision thing". The first President Bush was a consummate insider: a faithful servant to a popular predecessor, he was forged in high-level government jobs such as head of the CIA, and possessed extensive foreign policy experience. Bill Clinton warned that people were hurting. That he understood the poor, white working class. And he wasn’t shy about&nbsp;<a href="https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/04/bill-clinton-has-always-been-this-person">using racial distrust</a>&nbsp;to show he understood grievances around crime and public disorder. While George H.W. Bush was reassuringly boring in his personal life, Bill Clinton was known for his unconventional private shenanigans. But Bill Clinton felt your economic pain and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2008/01/fool_me_thrice.html">talked tough</a>. Globalization, fast-paced economic change, and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAHM9rXjdUo">trade deals</a>&nbsp;made a public fearful and insecure. People respected Bush, but they voted Clinton.</p><p>Hillary Clinton was a close political advisor to her husband, but she runs the risk of falling prey to the same vulnerabilities that her husband used to defeat President Bush. Hillary Clinton desperately needs to locate her “vision thing”.</p><p>Two years ago, few would have predicted that Britain would leave the European Union, or that a septuagenarian Vermont socialist would come close to beating the Clinton machine, or that a buffoonish orange demagogue with hair as gold and chintzy as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz7_JP7ROvA">the escalators in his luxury towers</a>&nbsp;would win the Republican nomination. But we live in extraordinary times. For all of this, Hillary Clinton seems to be running a campaign that reflects her shortcomings as a candidate: effective and ruthless but tin-eared and conventional. Any of these political shocks could serve as a canary in the coalmine but the proximity and consistency of these political long-shots leaves no doubt to the public mood. Each debate saw 'common sense' and 'realism' lose out to 'taking our country back' and promises to address earnestly-held grievances. Hillary is hoping that doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result is no longer&nbsp;<a href="http://ideapharma.com/announcements/the-definition-of-insanity-is-doing-the-same-thing-over-and-over-again-but-expecting-different-resul">the definition of insanity</a>.</p><p>When I ask insiders about Hillary’s message of change, I get blank stares. Sanders campaigned on regulating Wall Street, making college affordable, and ending super PACs. Whatever the merits of his policies, his message was clear. Hillary spent most of the primaries pouring cold water on Sanders’ plans, but Bernie was a whisker from winning Iowa as well as New Hampshire and changing the course of a nomination curated for Clinton’s benefit by party bigwigs. Hillary’s backers seem to have seen this as a victory rather than narrowly avoiding defeat.&nbsp;<span class="print-no mag-quote-center">A Hillary campaign that only turns out her supporters at low tide could still be beaten by a Trump campaign that guarantees a rising tide of anger and frustration.</span></p><p>There have been chances to adopt a different message: Hillary could have launched her election campaign by moving away from #ImWithHer to focusing on economic justice. She could have found a topic of her own to champion: from a national investment bank to helping grow small business. But the biggest hinge point was the selection of her running mate: she could have chosen a historic two-woman ticket with Elizabeth Warren, known for being tough on banks and predatory lenders, and with a personal experience of poverty (as a single mom, she lived in her own car with her child). She could have said “Thank you, President Obama, but now we are going to forge a new path”. Instead she picked a likable but boring white man from a swing state. Boring, yet calculating. Every time she could zig towards change, she zags towards more of the same.</p><p>The hardest lesson for political pundits to learn is that people don’t care nearly as much about politics as we do. Far from obsessing over every news cycle, gaffe, or policy paper, most people are busy with their daily lives. For many, the presidential election does not begin until after Labour Day. Hillary’s convention speech is a chance to grab five minutes with swing voters and tell them that she understands how scared they are. How anxious most are. And how she has a plan to change things radically for the better. She can show she understands them and has a vision for what a healthier, safer, more prosperous American would look like. What she can’t afford to do is to simply talk about herself and argue that they’ve never had it so good. The message has not worked in this kind of febrile political climate since Marie Antoinette.</p><p>No think piece in recent times could end without mentioning ‘elites’. So much of the reaction to Hillary can be explained by&nbsp;<a href="http://coreyrobin.com/2016/02/04/90-of-what-goes-on-at-the-new-yorker-can-be-explained-by-vulgar-marxism/">vulgar Marxism</a>: if you live in a city, are comfortable with change and multiculturalism, and are better off, Hillary Clinton can seem like an ideal candidate. She’s battle-tested, smart, and has considerable experience. To them, opposition to Hillary seems somehow juvenile at best or sexist at worst. However, the accusations of&nbsp;sexism and utopianism against<span>&nbsp;'Bernie Bros' seemed to many both&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/10/clinton-sanders-democratic-presidential-primary-caucuses/">ill-founded</a><span>&nbsp;and a way to&nbsp;</span><a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/01/31/the-bernie-bros-narrative-a-cheap-false-campaign-tactic-masquerading-as-journalism-and-social-activism/">shut down debate</a><span>. It provoked some Bernie supporters to harden their positions rather than soften them (even if most are rallying behind Hillary, albeit&nbsp;</span><a href="https://medium.com/@Fritz_Pielstick/just-fucking-vote-for-clinton-an-open-letter-to-my-fellow-dejected-berniebros-89c7e444a6d4#.go9y4ufp1">reluctantly</a><span>). It smacked of the condescension of the Remain campaign in the UK's referendum on membership of the European Union, which tried to convince Leave voters to switch their vote by accusing them of racism and innumeracy. Reaching out to people tempted to chance ‘Trump Change’ will work better than telling them to ‘grow up’ or levelling dark insinuations about their personal failings.</span></p><p>But Trump’s ability to repel voters might match Hillary’s and more. Hillary’s biggest asset is her opponent. Her second biggest asset is demographic change that allows a coalition to be built that&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/simon-radford/trumpism-can-t-last-forever-right">can outnumber</a>&nbsp;those left behind by rapid cultural and economic change. But a Hillary campaign that only turns out her supporters in low numbers could still be beaten by a Trump campaign, which guarantees a rising tide of anger and frustration. Trump can’t win without record numbers of angry white men. Hillary has a chance on Thursday night to show that she understands their pain like her husband does and has an economic plan to give them dignity and peace of mind. Hillary, it’s time to zig this time. More of the same won’t cut it.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/adam-barnett/dnc-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-thomas-frank">How the Democrats left the door wide open for Donald Trump</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/simon-radford/trumpism-can-t-last-forever-right">Trumpism can’t last forever, right?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/marion-bowman/distance-travelled-beijing-hillary-and-women%27s-rights">The distance travelled: Beijing, Hillary, and women&#039;s rights</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Democracy and government north america Simon Radford Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:38:03 +0000 Simon Radford 104369 at https://www.opendemocracy.net How the Democrats left the door wide open for Donald Trump https://www.opendemocracy.net/adam-barnett/dnc-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-thomas-frank <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Democrats ditched the working class in favour of a professional elite leaving Trump&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">–</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;a master of 'resentment politics'&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">–</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;to hoover up their votes. An interview with&nbsp;</span><em>Listen Liberal! </em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">author Thomas Frank.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/560649/PA-28161956.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/560649/PA-28161956.jpg" alt=" Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in July 2016. Credit: Evan Vucci / AP/Press Asso" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'> Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in July 2016. Credit: Evan Vucci / AP/Press Association Images. All rights reserved. </span></span></span>Now that the Republican Party has chosen a </span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/l-k-sharma/trump-diminishes-democracy">coiffured gargoyle</a><span> as its nominee for president, the panicked eyes of the world turn to the Democrats, who have just selected&nbsp;Hillary Clinton at their national convention in Philadelphia.&nbsp;Author and historian </span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/author/thomas-frank">Thomas Frank</a><span> has seen his fair share of party conventions, having covered US politics for over 25 years. I spoke to him recently about his new book&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Listen-Liberal-Happened-Party-People/dp/1627795391?ie=UTF8&amp;*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0"><em>Listen, Liberal</em></a><span> and the state of the union ahead of November’s election.</span></p> <p>“The Democrats are not a Left party,” he tells me. “In fact there really isn’t one in the US.” Frank’s book is no broadside against liberals by a weary defector, but a Left critique of the Democratic Party. He charts its mutation over recent decades from being a workers party into the party of the 'professional class' – the experts, bankers, academics and tech-masters, who imagine themselves the natural winners of the great American lottery. </p> <p>Frank names Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as typical specimens – and since we spoke, the president has expressed an interest in working with <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-obama-anti-business-president/">“Silicon Valley and venture capital”</a> after leaving office…</p> <p>How is this reflected in the country’s two-party system? “They represent two different hierarchies of power,” Frank explains. “One, the Republicans, who represent business and the hierarchy of money – the Koch brothers and the 1% – and the Democrats, who represent the hierarchy of status, the professional class. One is the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, the other is the <em>New York Times</em>.”</p> <p>Does this mean there’s little to choose between the two parties? “They tend to have similar views on economic matters, but they come from different places. And they’re very different on the cultural issues&nbsp;<span>–</span><span>&nbsp;the abortion issue for example, the guns, for god’s sake. Some of these things are enormously important.”</span></p> <p>He adds: “I would also say the Democrats are of course marginally better on things like the welfare state. But then again, as soon as I say that, as soon as those words passed my lips, Bill Clinton and welfare reform – a Republican could probably have never got that done, because the Democrats would have fought him to the death to stop something like that. But with Clinton doing it, it suddenly becomes okay.”</p> <p>Frank’s book demolishes Bill Clinton’s presidency, the legacy of which is key to understanding the anger of this year’s campaign, from Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter, to Bernie Sanders supporters booing at the Democrats convention. Clinton’s dismantling of welfare, draconian criminal justice laws, job-exporting trade deals, and deregulation of Wall Street, have resurfaced as major issues in this year’s campaign – and not just because his wife is running for president.</p> <p>“People look back on those years with such fondness now,” Frank says. "The things that he actually got done were awful things. I thought it was really important to go back and correct the record.” </p> <p>Is Frank apprehensive about the prospect of Bill Clinton being back in the White House? “Well, unlike nearly everybody I know, I think I like Hillary more than I like Bill. I think she’ll be better than he was. But yes, of course I’m apprehensive about it.</p><p class="mag-quote-right">People like me are going to be voting for Hillary because Donald Trump is so frightening</p> <p>“This is the sort of quintessentially American situation that we’re in here, where it’s a two party system, and given that, you have to constantly choose someone who’s not optimal for the situation, in order to avoid something that’s really dreadful. People like me are going to be voting for Hillary because Donald Trump is so frightening.”</p> <p>Trump seems to have walked out of the pages of Frank’s earlier books, <em>Pity the Billionaire</em> and <em>What’s the Matter with Kansas? </em>– a silver-spoon demagogue railing against the 'rigged system' he has profited from and the 'elite' of which he is a member. His ability to hoover up votes from the Democrats' natural constituency is partly explained in those books – Trump has mastered the resentment politics of the 'culture wars' – but as <em>Listen, Liberal </em>makes clear, the door was left open to him by the Democrats themselves. </p> <p>This is even reflected in the way liberals have responded to the book. “There’s deep suspicion of working class people among the kind of liberals I’m describing,” he says. “They don’t like working class people. They just don’t like them.” Surely that’s a bit harsh? “That’s the sense that I get from these people. That’s not the kind of party they want to be in.”</p> <p>“Trump has brought everything to a head,” he adds, “the fact that he’s got these working-class supporters. There’s a lot of contempt for these people. The Trump supporters are generally thought to be figures of idiocy.”</p> <p>Given this, I asked Frank about the subject of those earlier books, the conservative ‘backlash’ critique of liberalism, which portrayed liberals as snobbish, well-educated, rich, and uncaring about working-class people. Was there more truth in that critique than he might have previously allowed? </p> <p>“Conservatives have been saying this about Democrats for years,” he said, “but it’s never rigorous, they don’t really follow through, they don’t do their research. And their intention is always to show that liberals are in fact socialists, and that’s just completely wrong. </p> <p>“So yes, there’s some validity to the conservative critique, but it’s so scattershot and wild, and it really misses the sociological reality of who these people are.”</p> <p class="mag-quote-left">Things are getting worse and worse for working people, and have been for quite a while in this country</p><p>One thing conservatives paper over – or did pre-Tea Party-and-successor-Donald Trump – is how economic forces, rather than a ‘liberal elite’, are kicking people in the rump every day.</p><p> “Things are getting worse and worse for working people, and have been for quite a while in this country,” says Frank. “We call it inequality, but it’s a much bigger problem than that implies. It’s the middle class coming apart, it’s working class people being unable to afford a middle class standard of living any longer.”</p> <p>“A big part of the American population is in a state of decline,” he adds. “And they know it.</p> <p>“People know that the standard of living they had in 2007 is never coming back, and they are upset about it – they’re very angry. But the impulse among liberals is to deny it. To say, look, everything is fine, the sky is blue, it’s a wonderful world out there. On paper, America is doing great. So turn that frown upside down.”</p> <p>Frank is merciless about the 'Let them eat cake' brigade, and takes a scalpel to the self-serving idea of America as a meritocracy. “What you discover when you write about the professional class is that it is profoundly unaware of itself as a class,” he says. "They act like a class, and they do all these things that social classes do, but they don’t think of themselves as a class. They think of themselves as ‘the best’. We are who we are because we’re the smartest.”</p> <p>A punk rocker at heart, (he wrote this book listening to Joy Division and Iggy Pop), Frank delights in blasting those living high on the hog – an instinct that gives him, as a Kansan who went on to get a History PhD at the University of Chicago, an edge over his liberal fraternity. <em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>“I feel much more at home mocking professional class liberals than writing about people in Kansas,” he says. “I’m describing highly educated and prosperous people, people with every advantage, and people who are very familiar with ideas, and who nevertheless go through this pantomime with themselves. I had no trouble switching on the inner HL Mencken when I went to Martha’s Vineyard. I was completely at home mocking those people.”</p> <p>As the gala of self-congratulation among Democrats continues, and will likely continue up to November and beyond, it’s worth recalling that their conceit – they who, having ditched working people, now use the threat of a President Trump to discipline those same people into voting ‘correctly’– is not just about place and position, but about moral superiority too. </p> <p>“One of the rewards of being a liberal is you think you’re very virtuous,” Frank says. “Once you start digging though, this is a movement that is profoundly self-interested. They love to look in that mirror and think about how fine and noble they are. My objective is to put a crack in that mirror.”</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/uk/adam-lent/centrists-must-embrace-anti-elitism-or-face-extinction">Centrists must embrace anti-elitism or face extinction.</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/mariano-aguirre/why-donald-trump-could-be-president">Why Donald Trump could be president</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jim-sleeper/not-hitler-or-augustus-but-hybrid-that-shows-what-american-polity-is-becoming">Not Hitler or Augustus, but a hybrid that shows what the American polity is becoming</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Democracy and government International politics us & the world north america democracy & power american power & the world Adam Barnett Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:37:00 +0000 Adam Barnett 104340 at https://www.opendemocracy.net