Passing the Torch to Caracas



Observations on China

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By Martin Varsavsky

Martin Varsavsky has visited China and several other Asian countries in the past few days and had the opportunity to take notes about his own personal ideas on the main political, economical and cultural issues regarding the Asian giant. Varsavsky analyzes here a couple of brief bullet points on Democracy and Taiwan, cars, pollution and public health, and analyzes piracy, the yen, soy sauce, Mao Tse Tung, economic growth and (if it’s possible) liberty of press.


Understanding Belarus


By Carlos Taibo (for Safe Democracy)

Carlos Taibo explains why Belarus has resisted the charms of orange revolutions that, in the last thirty months, have been imposed upon Georgia, Ukraine and Kirguizistan, and today accepts an authoritarian president like Lukashenko. Taibo believes that Belarussians have welcome that which is better to have the already known bad than the good to be known, and that the economic results, the support of Moscow to Minsk and the orange revolution deception in the region appear to be some of the reasons to come to a better understanding of Belarus.


Mexico and the waste of Democracy

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By Ariel Moutsatsos (for Safe Democracy)

Ariel Moutsatsos analyzes the Mexican political scenario previous to the presidential elections (of the upcoming month of July) and states that the country is divided in two: the “pro”AMLO —Andrés Manuel López Obrador initials, the Leftist candidate–and the “anti” AMLO. Moutsatsos believes that the discussion level in Mexico is lamentable and if it follows this route, the next President will be elected by chance and not by the debate of ideas and proposals among the parties in battle: PRI, PRD and PAN.


Signals of war in Iran


By George E. Irani (for Safe Democracy)

George E. Irani thinks that signals coming out of Washington lead observers to believe that George W. Bush is again putting on his hat as a necon ideologue ready to teach unruly Muslim Iranian heathens a lesson. But the American Administration ought to cool down their ideological heels and let European, Chinese and Russian pragmatisms prevail. Iran is today is a powerful country: the current regime has expanded and consolidated its regional and global alliances, and enjoys a large influence among the Shia community in Iraq, being present and influential in Lebanon and Syria and have signed very advantageous economic agreements with Russia, China and India.

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An Atlantic Rendezvous?

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By Pedro Germán Cavallero (for Safe Democracy)

Pedro Cavallero says that recent American funding cuts to Latin America and the increased sponsoring of Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia demonstrate the widening gap within the Americas. Cavallero notes that the strong opposition that has halted the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, and the EU enlargement process further weakens its ties. Although, he does point out the possibility of an Atlantic Triangle (USUELatin America), he concludes that such a triple partnership is highly unlikely due to a weakened inter-American axis: an Atlantic rendezvous can only take place upon the foundation of sustained and mature relations.


Democracy and Citizenship in Latin America


By Gustavo Gamallo (for Safe Democracy)

Gustavo Gamallo says that after a decade with an agenda dominated by issues related to economic reforms, Latin America is placing in the foreground the political activity again. However, according to Gamallo that is not enough: an active, conscious and responsible citizenship must be built, capable of plural participation in the political debate and of developing its potency in the public scenario.

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Italy, between the US and Europe

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By Piero Ignazi (for Safe Democracy)

Piero Ignazi analyzes Italy’s foreign policy and says that –since the end of Second World War- Italy has been anchored by two forces: loyalty to its NATO membership and to the United States on one side, and an active and willing participation in the process of European integration on the other side. Ignazi states that the Italian political elite followed such a double path without advocating any preference or primacy for one over the other. Nevertheless, the present centre-right government, led by Mr. Silvio Berlusconi (since 2001), has been under scrutiny for its supposedly new direction in foreign policy. What is going to happen now after elections?


Two models opposite terrorism

By Juan Gabriel Tokatlian (for Safe Democracy)

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian explain that two differentiated models exist today in the fight against terrorism: the American, which looks to deter it through force as well as making it impractible in American soil, and the European, whose aim is to overcome the asymmetry in force in a longer term, not inmediate, and not exclusively through punitive means (dissuasion, development and dialogue). Tokatlian believes that the community of democratic nations today confronts a crucial dilemma: adopt the American model or further develop the European model. The Occidental ideal –and perhaps its own destiny– is at stake in this crossroad.