Viernes, 24 de agosto de 2012

The Nonaligned Movement’s much-heralded summit meeting next week in Tehran — featuring dozens of leaders from the developing world, including President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, as well as the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon — will elevate Iran as the movement’s new president for three years and enhance Tehran’s regional and international clout.

Tehran wants to seize this opportunity to neutralize Western-imposed isolation over its nuclear efforts and to defend its program, which has been consistently supported at past Nonaligned Movement summits as well as by Nonaligned countries in the International Atomic Energy Agency.…  Seguir leyendo »

Entre 1955 y 1960, en un turbio barrio de Buenos Aires, unos niños de no más de 12 años acostumbraban a esperar a otros que salían de un club deportivo y social llamado Macabi. Los que esperaban eran argentinos gentiles. Y los que salían del recinto, argentinos judíos. El ritual vespertino consistía en infligir, unos, sistemáticamente, la misma humillación a los otros. Escupitajos, zancadillas e insultos del tipo: moishes  de mierda.

Puedo relatar estos hechos porque fui testigo de ellos. Nunca supe qué me impidió participar en esta despreciable componenda con la sinrazón. Al acceder a la escuela secundaria, muy cerca del barrio del Once (donde la población de origen judío era en aquellos años mayoría) me vi rodeado de moishes.…  Seguir leyendo »

La enormidad de esta crisis obliga a reconocer que, pese a que Monnet dijera que “Europa se hace en las crisis”, no habíamos visto hasta ahora una crisis como esta. Cuatro años después de que la implosión en Estados Unidos de las hipotecas subprimecruzase el charco del Atlántico para ensañarse con la Unión Europea, una amplia opinión deplora la contumacia con que Europa persevera en la austeridad recesiva por más que no haya funcionado. Rayana en el suicidio, esta terapia ha empeorado la salud del paciente, y al excluir toda concesión contracíclica al crecimiento y al empleo, ha sumido a la UE en la peor depresión de toda su historia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Este fin de semana empiezan a enterrar a los mineros masacrados por la policía sudafricana en la mina de platino de Marikana. Habrá máxima tensión, pero no solo ante el temor de que el saldo de muertos supere la cifra de 44 ya alcanzada desde que las demandas de aumentos de sueldo de los mineros desembocaran hace 10 días en choques violentos. La tensión se extiende a toda Sudáfrica. Marikana no es un conflicto meramente local, no es una trágica aberración. Se ha abierto una caja de Pandora y lo que está en juego es nada menos que el gran e indiscutible logro desde que Nelson Mandela asumió la presidencia en 1994: la paz.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last week, anti-Japanese protests swept nearly a dozen Chinese cities. Angry demonstrators overturned Toyotas while Japanese restaurants and businesses were vandalized. In the central Chinese city of Chengdu, where thousands protested, some banners declared, “Even if China is covered with graves, we must kill all Japanese!”

The immediate cause for the demonstrations was a flare-up over a few disputed, uninhabited islands controlled by Japan. (China calls them the Diaoyus; Japan calls them the Senkakus). On Aug. 15, Chinese nationalists landed and planted flags on the islands before being deported. Japanese nationalists retaliated by swimming ashore from nearby boats, further inflaming Chinese passions.…  Seguir leyendo »

La noticia de este mes, en espera de cómo se comporte la prima de riesgo en septiembre y si se produce o no el rescate y en qué términos, es, sin duda, la renovación del famoso plan Prepara, que está dirigido a los parados de larga duración que agotan los dos años de prestación por desempleo.

Los socialistas han impulsado, sin ningún pudor, una campaña masiva en las redes sociales en apoyo de mantener el plan, al que se refieren, como el mantenimiento de los 400 euros, sin otra alternativa (¡qué diferente es estar en la oposición que en el Gobierno!);…  Seguir leyendo »

Montjüic es una montaña de 183 metros de altitud, situada frente al puerto de Barcelona y poblada desde la época ibérica. Corona la montaña un castillo militar –heredero de un faro medieval y una torre de vigilancia–, diseñado en 1751 por el ingeniero militar Juan Martín Cermeño que siguió el modelo del mariscal francés e ingeniero experto en fortificaciones Sébastien Le Pestre de Vauban. La pendiente de la montaña que mira al mar está ocupada por un cementerio que da nombre al lugar –Montjuïc: monte de los judíos– y la que mira a la ciudad se ajardinó con motivo de la Exposición Universal de 1929.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2010, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) sent out a clear message to the region. We said that it was time for equality, which meant full entitlement to rights for everyone.

Two years later, we are pleased to see how this message, based on persistent citizen demands for a better quality of life, has penetrated at the highest level of governments. Today, few people doubt that equality must be the guiding value of the development agenda of the region’s countries. Yet much remains to be done.

Despite recent progress in a group of countries, we remain the world’s most unequal region.…  Seguir leyendo »

Next week, Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, will visit China at the invitation of President Hu Jintao. He will seek investments there that will enable Egypt to «dispense of loans and aid,» according to Morsi’s party vice chairman. From China, Morsi will travel to Tehran to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit. Just two months after coming to power, Morsi is pursuing a rapprochement with Tehran and articulating a newfound ambition to jettison billions in U.S. foreign assistance dollars and financing from Western financial institutions. Taken together, these steps suggest that Morsi’s Egypt may be headed for a foreign policy shift rivaling the scope of President Anwar Sadat’s expulsion of the Soviets in 1972 and subsequent reorientation to the West.…  Seguir leyendo »

Honduras is under siege. Its judicial system is almost completely dysfunctional, and more than 10,000 complaints of human rights abuses by state security forces have been filed in the last three years, according to the Committee of Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras. At least 23 journalists have been killed since 2009. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have all raised grave concerns about the country’s dire situation.

But despite all of this overwhelming evidence, the U.S. State Department this month reported that the Honduran government is taking adequate measures to address congressional concerns about human rights.…  Seguir leyendo »

There are many reasons to welcome the verdict in the trial of Anders Behring Breivik: that he is sane and legally responsible for the murder of 77 people – mostly members of the Norwegian Labour party – on 22 July last year.

The guilty verdict recognises the monstrosity of Breivik’s acts, carried out in pursuit of his political beliefs. It also delivers the outcome wanted by the majority of Norwegians, in particular because it means he will spend no fewer than 21 years – and most likely life – in jail. Justice has been done to the fullest extent possible under Norwegian law.…  Seguir leyendo »

The sentencing this month of three members of the Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot to two years in prison for “hooliganism” showed once again how authoritarian leaders fear the power of art and thus unwittingly undermine their own power.

After all, who had heard of this confrontationally named group until Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparatchiks decided to make an example of them, to help quell a growing chorus of dissent? I had not, even though I am a punk activist and historian who was an early supporter of D.C.’s Riot Grrrl movement, a key inspiration for Pussy Riot.

Without overreaction by the Russian authorities, the band’s theatrical anti-Putin “punk prayer” at a Russian Orthodox cathedral would have touched almost no one beyond the handful present for the action.…  Seguir leyendo »

We can achieve what we set out to do in Afghanistan, defeating al-Qaeda and denying it a haven, but that depends on achieving an Afghanistan that can stand on its own.

I recently attended a celebration here to commemorate Afghanistan’s 93rd year of independence. I was struck by the hope and the strengthening of the Afghans’ national identity and their determination to grip their country’s future. Most Americans do not get to see Afghans’ commitment to their country or the improving security that has emerged from our fight together. But I do. And I am confident that, with the international community’s commitment, we can consolidate our gains and build a durable peace in a part of the world vital to U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Calls for a U.S. military intervention in Syria have dominated the conversation in conventional and social media. Two simple and effective arguments are being advanced. The first, and most compelling, is that the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe befalling the Syrian people mandates international action. The second is based on realpolitik: Supporting the just and winning cause of the Syrian rebels will put the United States in good standing with the regime that emerges from the conflict.

Both arguments are unfortunately wrong.

The humanitarian crisis in Syria is an undeniable reality. The murderous regime led by Bashar al-Assad has killed thousands of men, women and children.…  Seguir leyendo »