Plenty more good news this Friday. First, all the members of the MERCOSUR trading alliance have decided to recall their ambassadors from the European countries involved in the grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane.
I am particularly happy to see that Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff supported the decision and did not cave in to Anglo pressures.
Of course, a similar decision by UNASUR would have been even better, but with US puppet-regimes like the one in Colombia this was not possible.
I would be curious to find out what Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba will do, if anything. I would hope that they would also follow the example of MERCOSUR, especially since this is a totally symbolic measure which, on a “diplomatic scale of irritation” is maybe a modest 5 (out of 10), meaning “we are angry, but we will let our anger fizzle out pretty soon”. This is somewhere between “summoning an ambassador” (3/10) and expelling an ambassador (8/10). Topping such a scale is “closing down an embassy” (9/10) or, even better, “closing down the US embassy” (10/10). Still, recalling ambassadors as a block is a good show of solidarity and probably the most Rouseff would have agreed to.
|Mitterrand and Macros|
The real price to pay for countries like France will be far more subtle and far more painful. For a country which under de Gaulle was clearly an independent world power France has slouched down to a level of colonial subservience to the USA which it will probably never recover from. Long gone are the days when Danielle Mitterrand (wife of President Francois Mitterrand) flew to Mexico to meet with Subcommander Marcos or when Regis Debray joined the Che in the jungles.
I can personally attest to the fact that in the 1970s and 1980s France really enjoyed not only the image of a popular country with many cultural ties to Latin American, but even a certain authority, as a country which had a tradition of caring for human rights.
|Debray with the Che|
This is all over now. If Dubya had found his “poodle” in Blair, then Obama most definitely has found his “bitch” in Hollande, arguably the worst French leader in the entire history of this ancient country. The fact that France blindly obeyed the absolutely idiotic and humiliating US order to deny its airspace to a Latin American head of state, Hollande has turned the French moral authority in Latin America into road kill. And do not judge the severity of what happened by the reaction of the Latin American leaders, they have very little options and they are in a tough struggle already. But for the people of Latin America who have loathed the Yankee oppression of the entire continent and the systematic support for the worst kind of dictatorships, the attitude of the French is nothing short of revolting, disgusting and fundamentally dishonorable.
|Hollande and Obama|
The only good thing coming from all that is a new sense of clarity, a realization that even France has totally surrendered to the Anglo Empire and that Latin America needs to look elsewhere for allies or friends.
More importantly, this incident also shows that there is no such thing as a “US ally”. One is either a US puppet or an enemy of the United States. Washington simply cannot accept that a so-called “ally” would not immediately execute any order given from the White House. Finally, this will only further convince the people of Latin America that the Anglo Empire is racist and that, silly as this may sound to a normal person, a soft-spoken and gentle Indian head of state like Morales simply gets no respect at all from the big and mighty Anglos. All this is, of course, very good news as it further polarizes the political choices for Latin America while making the very notion of being a “US ally” look nauseating.
|Snowden in Sheremetevo|
The other good news today is that Snowden finally decided to ask for political asylum in Russia. Better late than never, I suppose. That should at least take care of his immediate security problem and allow him to ask, if not for political asylum proper (it is unclear to me that it is possible to ask for asylum in one country when you already have it in another), at least for immigration papers to other Latin American countries, which seems to be his preference even though this is definitely a dangerous choice for a long-term residence. With the exception of Cuba, I would personally consider every single Latin American country as potentially “within reach” of US kidnap or murder teams. Whatever may be the case, he will soon be able to leave the airport and legally travel to the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian or even Cuban embassies or consulates in Moscow.
Still, in terms of life and career, Snowden would be far better off in Russia, where he would be safe from CIA goons, where he could probably easily find a good job in the IT industry, and where he could enjoy all the advantages of living in a huge but safe country. Ain’t much of an IT industry in Cuba or Ecuador, and all the countries which offered asylum Snowden are pretty small, at least if compared to the USA. Anyway, that is his choice to make now, but at least he can make it calmly and safely. I wish him well.