Raúl Castro le ha puesto condiciones a Barack Obama para reestablecer relaciones diplomáticas. Una de ellas es recibir una compensación por los daños producidos por el embargo comercial. ¿A cuánto asciende el perjuicio? Según los puntillosos economistas del Gobierno cubano, la cifra es exactamente 116.860 millones de dólares. No tengo la menor idea sobre cómo han llegado a esa suma monstruosa, pero démosla por buena a los efectos de esta columna.
Naturalmente, eso nos precipita a una pregunta inevitable: cuánto le ha costado la incompetencia y la injerencia de la revolución cubana al mundo. Hagamos unos apuntes contables.
Primero, claro, están los perjudicados cubanos.… Seguir leyendo »
In 1990, I asked Adolfo Suárez for help. At the time, I had made a political calculation that the former prime minister could be useful to Cuba’s democratization and was a generous person.
In Spain, his political flow had been exhausted but he had gained immense international prestige because he successfully engineered Spain’s peaceful transformation in barely four years.
Not long before, the Berlin Wall had been brought down and Europe’s communist dictatorships collapsed, while Marxism was relegated to the ridiculous category of a dusty theoretical absurdity.
On the other hand, Suárez headed the Liberal International, one of the world’s great ideological federations, an organization that brought together some 80 parties of that political family, including the Cuban Liberal Union that we had founded.… Seguir leyendo »
If tomorrow a cataclysm or a racist virus destroyed all the universities in Latin America and Spain, the world’s culture would barely feel an imperceptible sting in the fields of science and technology, though also in humanities and social studies.
The reason is very sad. Latin American and Ibero-American universities are not among the best 150 on the planet. Although they number in the hundreds or maybe thousands, very few of them figure among the 500 best in the world.
The less bad ones include some Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian, Argentine, Mexican and Spanish universities. Caribbean and Central American universities barely appear on the list, with the exception of the University of Costa Rica, which has one or two outstanding schools.… Seguir leyendo »
Two serious falsehoods about war, very hard to uproot, are embedded in the minds of people.
The first is about motivation. Why do the powerful go to war? The most frequent explanation is that they want to seize another country’s resources.
In reality, that’s almost never true. For it to be true, it would be necessary for those nations to be governed by elites or leaders intent on improving the collective quality of life by means of bloody and costly actions unleashed against other peoples.
That may have been true when humans lived in caves and hunted in small groups, but not when the species evolved, developed agriculture and created the bases of modern societies.… Seguir leyendo »
Casi todo el mundo se ha apresurado a saludar los presuntos acuerdos de La Habana entre el gobierno de Juan Manuel Santos, presidente de Colombia y las narcoguerrillas de las FARC. Desde Joe Biden, vicepresidente de Estados Unidos, hasta Nicolás Maduro, discutido gobernante de Venezuela, han reaccionado con entusiasmo ante lo que parece ser el primer pacto entre las partes.
Sin embargo es difícil ser optimistas, dado que los acuerdos a los que se lleguen tendrán luego que ser sancionados por los electores en referéndum y ser aprobados por la Corte Constitucional, de manera que no se quiebren las leyes del país.… Seguir leyendo »
It is very unlikely that the peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC narcoguerrillas will come to a good end. It is even possible that they’re not a good idea.
And the reason is simple: The Colombian government is not sitting at the negotiation table with a group of violent patriots who have resorted to crime and lawbreaking to achieve a political objective.
That was the case with the Irish IRA, the Basque ETA, even the Colombian M-19 and the Israeli Irgun, which included among its members Menachem Begin, who, in addition to being a notable prime minister of Israel, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.… Seguir leyendo »
That’s natural. After 47 years of horror, Colombians want an end to the conflict and trust Santos’ talent and remarkable astuteness to win the game. But they mistrust the intentions of the FARC chieftain known as Timoshenko. (Of course, when Andrés Pastrana started a similar process some years ago, the same thing happened: The president enjoyed five minutes of glory.)
Will this initiative fail, as happened during Pastrana’s administration? Maybe, but there are differences, as well as similarities. The greatest difference is that there won’t be a fire-free zone, and military operations will not be slowed down. While negotiating, the narcoguerrillas will continue to murder, kidnap and traffic in drugs, while the Armed Forces will not cease to combat their old enemy fire and sword.… Seguir leyendo »