ETA and the second phase of the peace process

By Sagrario Morán (for Safe Democracy)

Sagrario Morán discusses the three phases that must be passed through in order for the terrorist organization ETA to come to an end. The first phase, which has already almost reached its completion, is the establishment of a permanent cease-fire. The second phase is the opening of a dialogue between the Spanish government and ETA. And once all violence has ended, the moment will have arrived in order to begin the third phase of the peace process: the formation of a mediation board between the political parties.

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Why is the “Beijing Consensus” moving forward

By Mario Esteban (for Safe Democracy)

Mario Esteban writes that since the failure of the Washington Consensus –which the United States began to export actively to a number of emerging countries during the 1990′s– the world has witnessed the rise of China, and with it, the birth of the Beijing Consensus. This new model for development is based on an authoritarian government with strongly interventionist policies in regards to its economy. Esteban conjectures that the example of China is attractive not only to authoritarian leaders around the world but also to democratic regimes like Brazil, India, and South Africa who welcome the growing strength of China, and the creation of a multilateral world order.

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García ‘s in the government, but is Humala in power?

By Maximiliano Borches (for Safe Democracy)

Maximiliano Borches suggests that the electoral victory of Peruvian President Alan García (social democrat) cannot be perceived as a political victory, considering the massive successes of the Union Party of Peru (Partido Unión por el Perú, UPP) and its leader, Ollanta Humala, who won the first round of elections. Analyzing the situation from this point of view, Borches attributes García’s victory to public fear that his opponent might win, and estimates that he will not be faced with an easy presidency. García has come to power in a political situation of extreme fragility, and must face the popular scrutiny and mistrust that many members of his new government are receiving. In order for García to be able to broaden democracy in Peru, he must reach a consensus within his country.

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Hamas triumphed, but Israel won

By Ricardo Israel Zipper (for Safe Democracy)

Ricardo Israel Z. explains how, paradoxically, Israel will be the one to benefit from Hamas’ victory of the Palestinian elections, and that among those who will suffer most from an ever-imminent Palestinian civil war will be Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian cause itself. Ricardo Israel Z. believes that the new international scenario created by Hamas’ extremism will permit Israel to make decisions that before were unviable: such as carrying forward a unilateral withdrawal from a good part of the West Bank, and establishing the borders of a Palestinian nation.


The European Union’s Standstill

By Fernando Delage (for Safe Democracy)

Fernando Delage analyses the state of the European Union’s impasse and explains how the organization is hindered from moving forward not from a crisis of values, but rather from a failing of leadership and disorientation in the face of societies disillusioned with their leaders and fearful for their futures. The impact of globalization and the loss of Europe‘s international influence are both factors, which have contributed to the decline of popular support for the Union; a support, Delage affirms, that is essential in order to secure the strong Union that democracy needs in Europe.

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After the Revolution

By Pedro G. Cavallero (for Safe Democracy)

Pedro G. Cavallero remarks that even if it has been known for years that Raul Castro (Fidel’s younger brother) is the regime’s number-two figure, or even the island’s de facto regent, it is less clear what the brother-to-brother succession would mean for the regime’s continuity. Cavallero comments on the two possible after Fidel scenarios, both dominated by the Cuban military: either a succeeding praetorian regime resulting from Raul assuming leadership, as repressive as the current one, or a second even more worrisome scenario that would occur if Raul were to die before his brother.

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Brazil and the rethoric of fear

By Mauro Victoria Soares (for Safe Democracy)

Mauro Victoria Soares analyses the wave of attacks that occurred in São Paulo and says that the motivation of the strikes was apparently to press the governors to concede benefits for jailed leaders of the organization that are not allowed for prisoners under the regime, but the action overall was a demonstration of force and efficacy. To make things worse, the immediate response of the police, conversely, prompted a jump in the number of suspects murdered. Since the problem of organized crime has structural causes, comprising a multitude of factors, Victoria Soares remarks that if the actions of the crime organizations constitute a menace to the Democratic Rule of Law, the problem will definately not be solved through a break of this same Rule of Law, he concludes.


Analyzing the Italian general elections

By Piero Ignazi (for Safe Democracy)

Piero Ignazi analyzes the recent Italian general elections, explaining the probable reasons of such controversial results. Thanks to the new electoral law, paradoxically passed by the former centre-right government, the winning coalition (in this occasion the centre-left) could avail of a very large majority of seats in the Chamber, he states. Furthermore, Ignazi highlights the fact that for the first time, thanks to a recent bill firmly promoted by the centre-right, Italians living abroad had the right to vote for electing deputies and senators, but their votes were not the expected. A U-turn of the centre-left regarding some fiscal matters finished it off. The end of the story is a very large majority of the centre-left in the Chamber and a tight one in the Senate. But, as he points out, this result was universally unpredicted.


Evo Morales’ bet

By Ricardo Israel Zipper (for Safe Democracy)

Ricardo Israel Z. analyzes the reasons why Evo Morales decided to nationalize the hydrocarbon, and says that there exist serious doubts over the fact that the initiative may enrich Bolivia. Nevertheless, Israel Z. believes that the measure was not a surprise, and that it will be the political and economic success of Morales in the short-term. The most probable fact is that the multinational companies decide that it is no worth betting for the failure of the initiative, but they will decide that the most important thing is to be present wherever the gas and the petroleum are.