17 April 2012 ~ 1 Comentario

Latin America: kingdom of political amorality

by Carlos Alberto Montaner

Santos Chavez

(FIRMAS PRESS) Today, amorality is a Latin American trait. Those who in the past justly criticized the United States for embracing dictators during the Cold War and denying abroad the principles and values it upheld inside its borders are doing just that.

This is what we see in leaders like Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Evo Morales of Bolivia when they support the criminal Syrian satrapy of Bashar el-Assad, condemned by the U.N. and ignored by Dilma Rousseff’s Brazil, same as they earlier stood fast in defense of Gadhafi.

This attitude, or a variant thereof, shockingly prevails in the proposals of Colombian Juan Manuel Santos, more concerned about restoring the good relations between the Castros’ dictatorship and the United States than in condemning the excesses of that tyranny and helping its victims.

That is the spirit running through CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, created recently not only to exclude Canada and the United States but also to sidestep the rigors of a democratic commitment that would mandate its members to defend freedom and condemn the violations of human rights.

That is the oppressive air that breathed in Cartagena this past weekend of the Sixth Summit of the Americas, despite the fact that the 2001 Quebec summit created a moral and political framework that took into account the democratic values that today are lamentably ignored by many Latin American rulers.

For more than 40 years, U.S. politicians chose national security over any moral consideration. It was the Cold War logic. Almost anything was better than a communist victory or some leader who opened the door to communism.

The saber wielders, if they behaved like genuine anticommunists, were backed by Washington even if they systematically violated their compatriots’ human and civil rights.

“My foe’s foe is my friend, even if he is a lout,” is a nasty proverb found in all languages. The left and many consequent democrats howled against that American dissonance.

The world’s oldest and most prosperous democracy, the paladin of freedom, should be consistent with its ideals. It was an act of cynicism to defend those values in the United States and embrace heartless dictators elsewhere in the world.

American politicians knew that and excused themselves, saying that ambivalence was a lesser evil. They weren’t even facing a new dilemma: during World War II they had allied themselves with Stalin to fight Hitler. But the Cold War ended in 1991. The United States could choose its friends scrupulously. Moral rigor had ceased to be dangerous.

Meanwhile, Latin America experienced a phenomenon parallel to the dissolution of the communist bloc. Between 1983, when Argentina’s military dictatorship ended, and 1990, when the Chilean dictatorship folded, all Latin American governments, with the exception of Cuba, emerged from the ballot box.

From that point on, the associations that were formed incorporated a democratic clause: membership belonged only to those pluralistic democracies that respected their people’s human and civil rights. That’s what we read in the founding documents of the Group of Rio and Mercosur.

Finally, on Sept. 11, 2001, while the Twin Towers burned in New York City, all the members of the Organization of American States signed in Lima the Democratic Charter. It was the apotheosis of ethical consistency. Never again would any nation resort to the cynical double standard of defending democracy at home and embracing dictatorships abroad.

What a lie. Today, shamelessly, almost all Latin American countries have ceased to defend freedom and the attributes of liberal democracy.

Chavism behaves irrationally in Venezuela and nobody cares. Correa or Morales tramples on basic human rights in Ecuador and Bolivia and no other Latin American ruler censures them. The Cuban military dynasty represses with ferocity and the “brother” countries look away. Ortega steals the mid-term elections in Nicaragua and not a single voice condemns him.

Latin America today is the kingdom of political amorality. Anything goes.

One Response to “Latin America: kingdom of political amorality”

  1. Cesar 17 April 2012 at 5:02 pm Permalink

    when President Santos win the presidential campaign asked God for wisdom; I heard that from him in Maria Elvira Life. When a president make a clear statement about his faith, all thing need to be judge with caution. Almost all presidents in our continent are associated with Cuba regimen. He is dancing with the wolf. I better prefer pray for him, so God continue give wisdom.

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