24 December 2016 ~ 9 Comentarios

The Second Cold War

by Carlos Alberto Montaner

Exactly one quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union disappeared. The hecatomb occurred on Dec. 25, 1991, the direct consequence of the prior (and failed) coup in August of that year. Vladimir Putin believes that it was the worst disaster that has happened to his country, but at the time most of the Russians perceived it as something convenient.

I remember it clearly. Around that time, I visited Moscow rather frequently to take part in academic acts leading to discuss the convenience of ending the costly subsidy to the bellicose Cuban satellite.

I remember being considerably intrigued after repeatedly hearing a nationalist slogan that ended up as a political reality: “We have to liberate Russia from the weight of the Soviet Union.”

The USSR had been born in 1922, stimulated by Lenin in the midst of a hopeful All-Russian Congress of Soviets. He added Marxist ideas to the imperialist spasm that, in a few centuries, had turned the small Principality of Moscow — then animated by the superstition of being the “Third Rome,” the heir of Bizantium’s Christianity — into the world’s largest nation, roughly speaking twice the size of the United States or today’s China.

To Lenin and his communists, the USSR did not intend to abandon the Russian imperial momentum, of which they were secretly proud, but to refocus it on a new ideological project of world conquest based on the harebrained ideology of Karl Marx, a German philosopher who lived much of his existence in London, a city where he died in 1883.

Naturally, the newly created structure — Russia plus Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Byelorussia and later Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tadjikistan — served for that purpose and for another one, of a defensive nature. The USSR would protect communist Russia’s conquests and would be another obstacle to impede a hostile reaction from nations that opposed the bloody revolutionary experiment that emerged in 1917.

To that end, Lenin and later Stalin (after Lenin’s death in 1924) helped to create a worldwide federation of communist parties whose primary objective was to protect Moscow, the motherland of communism, even if their national interests were in conflict with those of the distant Russia. Beyond staging a revolution carbon-copied from the Bolshevik upheaval, the grand task of the local communist parties was to serve the Russian Big Brother.

As things stood, the national communist parties, Moscow’s shields, took on the task of persecuting Trotskyites and exterminating those who disobeyed the directives from the Comintern, as people called the Third International, the structure also created and financed by the Russian communists for their own benefit, as they had done with the USSR.

This was seen very clearly in Spain during the Civil War (1936-1939) and even before, when the Cuban communist leader Julio Antonio Mella, a dissenter from the official line, was murdered on a Mexican street in 1929, a prelude to what would happen to Trotsky himself in 1940. Trotsky was assassinated by Ramón Mercader, a Spaniard in the service of Stalin, son of a fanatical Cuban communist woman.

A quarter of a century after the USSR disappeared, Vladimir Putin is threatening to rearm Russia’s nuclear arsenal to foil the shield of protective missiles with which the United States has endowed the West’s defenses and its own. His words were not only those of a nostalgic former communist but also those of a Russian convinced of his homeland’s hegemonic fate.

According to the former KGB agent, now his country’s political leader, the U.S. and the European Union cannot prevent the total destruction of their defensive barriers (and the E.U.’s) by an attack by the so-called triad: the effect of land-based nuclear missiles, the action of submarines carrying atomic bombs, and bombs dropped from planes.

Oddly, Putin’s bullying will have a positive strategic effect on the West. To begin with, Trump will realize that Vladimir Putin is not his friend, to the extent that Putin repeats Russia’s old imperial habits. Likewise, he will realize that NATO continues to be the best instrument to keep the planet from being incinerated by Moscow and will refrain from weakening or demolishing it.

Evidently, we’re at the start of the Second Cold War.

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9 Responses to “The Second Cold War”

  1. Alvaro Gordo.MD 24 December 2016 at 9:06 am Permalink

    Es evidente que Mr.Putin nunca ha desistido de sus ideas imperialistas de un comunista diisfrazado de un ligero barniz de democracia.Occidente ha mostrado una gran indiferencia, si bien Europa ha sido mantenida rehen debido a sus necesidades energeticas, la administracion Obama ha mostrado una total ignorancia geopolitica y ahora vamos a tener que lidiar con los resultados que son insoslayables y conduciran sin duda a un show de fuerzas, no aprendemos de la Historia, asi que volveremos a vivir mas de lo mismo.

  2. Ramiro Millan 24 December 2016 at 12:04 pm Permalink

    Me encuentro leyendo la columna del Sr Montaner con un aparatito móvil, a través del cual, presionando teclas virtuales puedo acceder a un interminable sistema de información casi increíble.
    Ante semejante maravilla tecnológica es difícil no considerar al hombre como un ser magistral, inteligentisimo, brillante.
    Sin embargo, a través de semejante creación tecnológica leo que un tal Putin, líder indiscutido de las naciones eslavas, no cesa en sus aspiraciones, absolutamente irracionales, imperialistas.
    Muy cerca, una China renacida y tan peligrosa como enorme, gobernada por un Klan que en nombre del comunismo, practica un capitalismo basado en la desigualdad (cuanto más desigual, mejor funciona).
    Y en el único sector de la humanidad que parece mostrar un poco de racionalidad en sus políticas (aunque sin capacidad de prescindir del capitalismo como sistema capaz de aportar un orden y producción económica suficiente para sobrevivir) se empecina en aumentar el poder bélico y defensivo, convencido de que la razón, a la hora de tomar decisiones relevantes para la humanidad, sencillamente no cuenta.
    Que nadie se confunda y “se las crea”.
    El ser humano es un homo sapiens tan animal como cualquier otro primate, dominado por sus instintos y pasiones.
    Apenas, en las naciones desarrolladas, hoy puede verse algún grado de intervención de la razon en su organización social.
    Que nadie ignore esta realidad si quiere comprender al hombre en sociedad.
    Difícilmente se eviten situaciones destructivas (la simple presencia de capacidad nuclear para destruir 100 veces el planeta obliga a plantear esta problemática) si se ignoran cuestiones tan básicas e importantes como éstas.
    razonvsinstinto.blogspot.com

  3. eusebio 25 December 2016 at 4:01 am Permalink

    Ramiro, maravilloso tu comentario. Recorde un libro en Frances que lei hace muchos años llamado L’heure de s’enivrer por Hubert Reeves. Se da en el hombre al mismo tiempo una necesidad incontrolable de vida y de muerte y no escapamos a nuestra naturaleza destructiva; Jose Marti dijo que tenia fe en la vida futura y en mejoramiento humano; Yo no, no me veo parte del proyecto futurista; El hombre en su afan innato ha llegado a ser el primer agente erosivo del planeta y no parara hasta joderlo completo.

    • Ramiro Millan 25 December 2016 at 12:35 pm Permalink

      Gracias Eusebio por el halago.
      Razón vs Instinto es justamente el título de mi blogs ( mi hobby favorito).
      Y uno de los motivos por lo que lo identifico de esa manera es por la cuestión ambiental, coincidiendo con sus palabras referidas a este crucial tema.
      El instinto exige competir sin importar las consecuencias.
      Esa competencia, obviamente exige costos energéticos y cuanto más barato, mayor competitividad.
      La razón, desde hace ya décadas viene advirtiendo que si no controlamos la contaminación, tarde o temprano nos quedaremos, no solamente sin posibilidad de competir en nada, sino también sin planeta.
      Cómo ud verá, los instintos vienen ganando por un amplísimo margen.
      Tanto es así, que hoy, creo las cartas están echadas.
      Ya solamente se trata de una carrera contra el tiempo para ver quién llega primero, la tecnología barata no contaminante o la destrucción del medio ambiente.
      ¿La razón? bien gracias….
      Evidentemente todos dan por hecho que la razón no tiene ninguna chance de imponerse.
      Por ejemplo, USA sabe que si utiliza para su economía tecnologías no contaminantes, pero mucho más cara, los demás continuarán bajo el control de sus instintos aprovechando la oportunidad de, increíblemente, destruir a su viejo y odiado rival y buscarán sacar ventajas de la postura racional de USA.
      Ante esta inevitable realidad, no queda otra que apostar a la carrera contra el tiempo.
      Esperemos llegue la tecnología antes que sea demasiado tarde.

  4. EZEQUIEL JETHMAL 25 December 2016 at 7:10 am Permalink

    Mi percepción es que Putin prepara el escenario para negociar y procurar un beneficio del gobierno de un aparentemente, impredecible y anodino Trump. Lejos de una “Segunda Guerra Fría” veo en el panorama a una Rusia con un PIB nada comparable siquiera al de un estado como California y con un músculo militar cuasi convencional fuerte, tratando de mejorar su economía y continuar su influencia extraterritorial después de su brutal triunfo en Crimea y Siria. La prolífica investigación norteamericana no podrá ser superada por Putin aunque los EU se vea forzada a montar misiles en satélites orbitales alrededor de la tierra. Dudo que eso ocurra.

  5. Enrique Alvarez 25 December 2016 at 8:30 am Permalink

    Debemos preguntarnos en estos momentos que toma posesion un nuevo presidente en EEUU.. cual realmente son los lazos del consorcio Trump con Rusia y Putin, ya en el 2008 su hijo anunciaba los ingresos tan grandes que recibian por las inversiones alla…hasta que punto la inteligencia rusa esta infiltrada en los departamentos claves de USA y si realmente hubo una conexion con el hackeo ruso en las elecciones presidenciales…tomara pasos agresivos contra el gobierno de Cuba Trump sabiendo que Castro es amigo de Putin?y una pregunta a la que no encuentro respuesta..el objetivo de Trump para ser presidente…un hombre que lo tiene todo riqueza libertad de movimientos que ahora sera muy restringida…por patriotismo? no lo creo .. por otra parte la Europa decadente con pocos soldados sobre las armas sera un detente para las ambiciones rusas.. cuando dependen del petroleo y gas ruso? La retorica armamentista sobre armas nucleares.. espero que no pase mas alla de lo que es simple retorica… excepto Korea del Norte.

  6. Manuel 26 December 2016 at 9:01 pm Permalink

    En 2017 seguiremos avanzando sobre todas las dictaduras. Ellas le temen al libre flujo de la información por un buen motivo. Y ese flujo creciente se puede enlentecer pero seguirá creciendo y con ello las ideas de libertad-desarrollo-democracia. Todas las dictaduras tienen sus días contados en esta era. Lo saben.

  7. Manuel 27 December 2016 at 8:41 am Permalink

    So what can we do?

    We counter dogmatism, extremism and violence with knowledge, common sense, innovation and free speech.
    … A world with opportunities to develop through education and meaningful creative work.

    Knowledge is the key to development for the better. That knowledge must grow and develop. Critical examination, and if necessary re-examination, is an indispensable part of the essence of science. Without innovation, no development. A line of Nobel Laureates have led the way on this. Alfred Nobel understood the power of setting an example. Good role models show in word and deed that it is possible to understand the world and improve it. They confirm that it is possible to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. This requires creative and courageous people who are willing to go there, who will find solutions and who will broaden our knowledge. These are the kind of people to whom we award the Nobel Prize.

    The fate of our world is not pre-determined. People around the world address the great challenges humanity is facing. It’s in our hands to influence how our time will one day be described. As Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai said in a speech to the United Nations: “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

    Those institutions Alfred Nobel tasked with handing out the Nobel Prizes have an important heritage to manage. The Nobel Foundation also wants to in other ways – through exhibitions, digital channels, educational activities, and inspiring meetings – spread the message that Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Laureates stand for: Humans can make our world a better place.

    by Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, chairman of the Nobel Foundation, and was first published in Swedish by Dagens Nyheter.

  8. MANUEL 2 January 2017 at 9:23 am Permalink

    In cubaNeither American ATM cards nor American credit cards are usable anywhere in Cuba, effectively meaning that you must travel to the island with the amount of cash you expect to use. Changing money requires waiting in a line. Taxicabs are disproportionally expensive. A 10 minute cab ride will be the same cost as dinner — around $10 to $15 — and is the only available method of transportation.
    The tourism infrastructure is not well developed. Apart from a few blocks in the Old City of Havana and the large tourist hotels, there is little for the average tourist. More adventurous, off-the-beaten-track visitors may find pockets of interest, but, by and large, it is closed off. The few times we ventured into bars and restaurants that operated on “national money” as opposed to “tourist pesos,” I encountered difficult conditions, skittish people at best, and certainly no English.
    The Cuban soul remains, though. In hushed conversations with people, they quietly expressed their displeasure at the government, and saw the direct American flights as the first step in a long process to improve relations and, hopefully, the economy of the country. When people found out that I was American, their reaction was universally positive, inquisitive and friendly.
    Because of the way the Internet is regulated in Cuba, it was impossible for me to communicate with the rest of the world at all. That meant no texts, no calls, and no Instagram for four days. In that way, my experiences there were completely insulated from everything in the United States. In some ways, it felt like a four-day dream. None of what happened in Cuba blended into my life in the United States.
    That final feeling of stepping off the plane in Atlanta, and being barraged with texts, e-mails, and social media must have been in some ways like the experience of exiles leaving the island. My grandfather left a repressive government and worked at Machlett Laboratories in Stamford for 35 years. My uncle left and became a Stamford police officer. With the changes brought this year, hopefully more Americans will travel to the island, improving contact and perhaps one day giving Cubans the economic and political freedom that they deserve.
    Stamford resident Daniel Dauplaise is a staff attorney for the International Institute of Connecticut in Bridgeport, where he specializes in asylum and human rights law. daniel.dauplaise@gmail.com


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