Obama has moved the stage and proposed to leave behind the old ideologies and what they produced. He wants to empty out the historical polarization and seek "pragmatic and responsible" solutions, because it now makes no sense to exhaust yourself in knowing if the right and the paramilitary groups are responsible or the insurgents on the left; nor does it make sense for Obama to push a capitalism without brakes or central planning of the economy. Deflating the ideology means leaving behind old wounds and allowing for the propulsion of prosperity and security on the continent. In both the link with Mexico plays an important role.Repeating an observation from a couple of days ago, he makes only the scarcest allusion to Calderón's proposed energy market, which, truth be told, is more attention than most have granted it.
One important part of the thermometer of this new context is what could happen with Cuba. Raúl Castro's government knows that there is a good opportunity to become part of a new era, but at the same time it will have to understand that the Cuban transition belongs to a new generation. The offer of dialogue has been proposed and now the ball is in the island's court. Obama dismantled that which Antonio Caño called the alibi of anti-Americanism: "The peoples of the region, with good reason, fear everything. But, at least, something very important surges immediately from Puerto España: the leaders of this continent are incorrectly going to be able to take shelter now in the alibi of anti-Americanism" (El País, 4/19/09). Despite the speeches about unity and the augurs of good times, there are observers who noted two blocs that predominate in Latin America in regard to the role of the United States. The axis isn't between right and left, but rather between public policies of regulation of the market and respect for democracy.
According to Moisés Naím, on one side are Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Costa Rica, and on the other, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Honduras (El País, 4/19/09). This division manifested itself in the final document of the Summit: consensus was achieved, but not unanimity. Which means that the countries of the Bolivarian Alternative didn't subscribe to the text because there wasn't a condemnation against the Cuban embargo. Nevertheless, there were commitments in security, the environment, energy, and the fight against poverty. Obama sparked the reconciliation, we'll see what the response is to the new context...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Aziz Nassif on the Summit
Here's his take on Obama's shuffling the plates in the Americas: