Viernes, 8 de diciembre de 2017 (Continuación)

For those who knew him, it is hard to believe that Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s longtime ruler and one of the most cunning autocrats of our time, is finally gone.

Time and time again, Mr. Saleh seemed to outmaneuver death. He dodged a blizzard of bullets over the years, along with a bombing that left his skin mottled, his right hand stiffened like a claw. He’d held power for so long — even after his nominal ouster from the presidency in 2011, he remained a dominant force in Yemen — that he seemed almost welded to the landscape.

Mr. Saleh was in many ways the quintessential Arab dictator.…  Seguir leyendo »

Almost 40 years ago Spain embraced democracy after a long dictatorship. Since then we have become an open country with a decentralised government in which autonomous communities enjoy the greatest degree of self-government in Europe. But all that is now at risk because of the irresponsibility of Carles Puigdemont and his separatist government in Catalonia.

By riding roughshod over those, like me, who reject his separatist agenda, Mr Puigdemont betrays true democracy. His brand of nationalism and populism is based on contempt for anyone who disagrees and the false idea that there are simple, magical solutions to complex national problems.

This ideology, which has caused so much damage elsewhere in Europe, has also made Catalonia — one of the most important economic regions in Spain — lose countless opportunities.…  Seguir leyendo »

En 1855, la poeta Emily Dickinson, famosa por llevar una vida solitaria, envió un poema a su cuñada:

Está la soledad de los espacios
la soledad del mar,
la de la muerte, pero todas
parecen multitud si se comparan
con ese emplazamiento más profundo,
la intimidad polar
del alma como huésped de sí misma —
finita infinitud.

Un siglo y medio después, vivimos en un mundo en el que los dos primeros tipos de soledad —la de los espacios y la del mar— casi han desaparecido. Incluso si viajamos a lo más recóndito del desierto o a un punto lejano en las aguas del océano, debemos resignarnos a la idea de que quizá alguien nos observe, ya sea a través de un satélite o con un dron.…  Seguir leyendo »

Son muertes, tantas, tan distintas muertes… y en la Argentina no hay factor político más decisivo que la muerte.

Muertes siempre han marcado el recorrido. La incompetencia municipal en el incendio de la discoteca Cromañón —194 muertos— en Buenos Aires en 2004 abrió el camino a un nuevo intendente que se llamaba Mauricio Macri; la simpatía por la muerte de su marido en 2010 le garantizó a Cristina Fernández la reelección presidencial en 2011; las 51 personas que mató un tren obsoleto en la estación de Once hicieron que millones se preguntaran por el Estado y sus corruptelas y condenaran a ese gobierno.…  Seguir leyendo »

The fall of Robert Mugabe has dominated global coverage of Africa over the past few weeks. In Western coverage of the first week after the coup in Zimbabwe there was speculation about what China knew beforehand and whether Beijing played an active role in pushing for it.

China’s mention drowned out other notable external stakeholders such as the UK, the US, South Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU). And it almost threatened to overshadow the domestic dynamics that led to the changeover.

There are reasons to draw a direct parallel between China and the recent events in Zimbabwe.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and start preparations for the US to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city, has the potential to further inflame tensions across the Middle East.

Although this is not an unexpected move – Trump expressed his intention to do so during his electoral campaign – the decision breaks with years of precedent.

Trump’s decision to move the embassy means he will not follow his predecessors by renewing a waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which required the embassy to eventually be moved from Tel Aviv.…  Seguir leyendo »