Jueves, 10 de marzo de 2022 (Continuación)

El presidente electo de Chile, Gabriel Boric, tras los resultados oficiales de la segunda vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales el 19 de diciembre de 2021. La toma de posesión será el 11 de marzo de 2022. (Javier Torres/AFP vía Getty Images)

Este viernes 11 de marzo, Gabriel Boric se convertirá en presidente de la República de Chile. Lo hará en medio de un ambiente hostil y con los vestigios de un gobierno anterior que no supo enfrentar a tiempo una crisis social y política, las consecuencias económicas provocadas por la pandemia y una sensación de inestabilidad que, siendo real o no, se pasea como un fantasma permanente.

Boric logró estar a la altura y dar vuelta el balotaje después de haber sacado el segundo lugar en las primarias. Contra todo pronóstico, logró casi un millón de votos de ventaja que lo impuso como ganador frente al derechista José Antonio Kast en la segunda vuelta hacia La Moneda.…  Seguir leyendo »

Venezuelan flags in Caracas, Venezuela, on Feb. 15. (Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg News)

If truth is the first casualty of war, irony might be the clear victor so far.

How else to appreciate the scene last weekend when a high-level delegation of U.S. officials landed in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to discuss oil supply? That’s the same Venezuela that just the other day Washington hard-liners had consigned to “the exclusive club of rogue nations” and pummeled with waves of bruising economic sanctions and criminal charges. And yet, with bombs falling on Ukraine and the flow of oil from Russia to the West in jeopardy, suddenly Caracas is back on Washington’s speed dial.

Sure, extraordinary times call for unusual measures and even noisome partners.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman walks outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by Russian shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

As Russia rains relentless fire on Ukrainian cities, the country’s leaders have been pleading for more Western help. But the United States is rightly wary of a proposal to send the Ukrainians MiG-29 fighter jets — a move that would bring small benefits on the battlefield and entail large risks of a wider war.

The dilemma of how to help Ukraine without triggering a global conflict will only get more painful as Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps doubling down on his losing bet in Ukraine. The latest warning of Putin’s recklessness came from a senior British official, who warned Post journalists on Wednesday that “we’ve got good reason to be concerned about possible use of nonconventional weapons” by Russia down the road.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child on a train that carried her from Iasi, Ukraine, to Bucharest, Romania, on March 9. (Robert Ghement/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Two weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that more than 2 million people have fled the conflict, most presumably into the European Union. As Western news outlets reported on a refugee crisis that’s the largest since World War II, many media figures’ comments revealed racially biased attitudes. A French reporter on BFN TV said, “We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing. … We’re talking about Europeans”. On CBS News, foreign correspondent Charlie D’Agata said, “This isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan. … This is a relatively civilized, relatively European city”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Consulate lodged a formal objection to a racial divide in how those fleeing Ukraine were treated in neighboring E.U.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Ukrainian military arrive to reinforce a forward position on the eastern front line near Kalynivka village in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 8. Christ McGrath/Getty Images

If you use Twitter, it’s likely you’ve recently made the acquaintance of a Ukrainian cat named Mikael, nicknamed the “Panther of Kharkiv”. A few days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, social media users enthusiastically began sharing the news that Mikael, working with Ukrainian soldiers, had detected four Russian snipers in the city.

The Panther of Kharkiv is, of course, bogus. But in this war, global internet users eagerly share news of such uplifting tales. Many people hope the global public can will Ukraine to victory by sharing news of dramatic feats, however fantastical. But Ukraine’s road to victory will be bloody and painful.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators protest in front of the European Parliament after a special plenary session on the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels on March 1. JONAS ROOSENS/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union was an answer to war, a promise that the Second World War would not be followed by a third. That’s what everyone will tell you, from schoolchildren to prime ministers. Yet the meaning of that last world war has not been finally decided. Was it the beginning of a long period of European peace? Or a precedent for further wars of aggression in Europe?

The situation today is disconcertingly similar to that at the outset of World War II. Russian President Vladimir Putin now speaks of Ukraine as an artificial state and nation. In 1938 and 1939, Adolf Hitler spoke in just the same way about Germany’s neighbors.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pedestrians cross a street in front of a billboard displaying the symbol “Z” in the colors of the ribbon of Saint George and a slogan reading, “We don’t give up on our people,” in St. Petersburg, Russia, on March 7. AFP via Getty Images

Just a week into the Russia-Ukraine war, Russia is underperforming both on the battlefield and in the propaganda sphere. Any hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin may have had of military and popular opposition melting away have evaporated. His Ukrainian opponents have proven adept at manipulating and spreading historical narratives via social media to strengthen unity at home and sow discontent among a Russian population split on the worthiness of war.

Ukraine’s propaganda efforts have focused on painting contrasts between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin. Zelensky has recorded a series of apparently ad hoc videos from besieged Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, depicting himself and his cabinet members on site even as Russian forces advance.…  Seguir leyendo »

The rising costs of China’s friendship with Russia

When the Russian invasion of Ukraine started two weeks ago, Jane Yan, a senior executive at a machine parts maker in eastern China, says she was not too worried about the impact. After all, buyers in Russia and Ukraine accounted for less than 5 per cent of the company’s overseas sales last year.

But as the full ferocity of the Russian onslaught started to become apparent, the outlook shifted dramatically. Important clients in countries such as Poland and Germany cancelled orders with the Zhejiang-based company.

“A Munich-based client said ‘it feels terribly wrong to send money to a country that is tolerating war in Ukraine — sorry’”, said Yan, who asked that her employer not be identified.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Qué significa ser ucraniana?

Hace unos años, después de dar una charla en una pequeña ciudad polaca, un hombre mayor se acercó a la mesa donde estaba sentada. “¿En qué idioma sueña?”, me preguntó. “En todas las lenguas que hablo”, respondí con sinceridad (soy básicamente trilingüe). “Usted es una persona sin identidad”, respondió con un ligero aire de condena.

Sonreí. Su comentario no era inusual: había escuchado distintas versiones de lo mismo muchas veces en los años que pasaron desde que me mudé a Polonia. Al parecer, solo había una forma adecuada de ser polaco y solo una forma de pronunciar las palabras polacas. Sin embargo, había algo que, como otros polacos criados con un estrecho sentido de la identidad nacional, no entendía.…  Seguir leyendo »