Off the cuff (IV)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Europe that the world needs desperately at this point in time is


  • Yes to the Europe of the people, of respect for all identities, of freedom, of peace. The Europe of tolerance and creativity. The Europe that dares to know and knows how to dare.

  • No to the Europe that scorned Albert Camus because “capable of so much, he dared so little”.

  • No to the timid, fearful Europe, with chronic wry neck, always looking towards the other side of the Atlantic. Allies, friends, yes. But not subjects.

  • No to the Europe that continues with the North Atlantic Treaty without its own autonomy in Defence. The Warsaw Pact no longer exists. But the South Atlantic and the Mediterranean and the Pacific, yes.

  • No to the Europe that invades Kosovo through NATO, without the consent of the Security Council.

  • No to the Europe that substitutes democratic values for market laws; that, due to short-term interests, forgets about social justice, about the constant urgency for sharing, for cooperating.

  • No to the Europe that weakens the United Nations instead of providing it with the human, financial and technical resources necessary for executing its mission.

  • No to the Europe that entrusts the governing of the world to plutocratic groups instead of backing multilateralism.

  • No to the Europe of whirlwind growth and of progress guided by the instant benefit that resorts to millions of migrants… whom it then tries to assimilate rather than integrate or, worse still, to continue the practice, so laudable in other areas, of “disposables”, abandoning them to their fate once they have served their purpose; or, above all, to the Europe that tries to mould the identity of immigrants by imposing conditions on their citizenship.

  • No to the Europe that looks the other way when its multinationals act improperly in Latin America and Africa, exploiting countries with a wealth of natural resources against global interests and affecting the environment. The mining of coltan (columbite-tantalite) in the Congo, in the Kivus region, must be reviewed immediately; the same applies to bauxite in Guinea Conakry; the gold mines in both Africa and Central America

  • No to the Europe that continues to allow itself to be the site of tax havens, in the knowledge that as long as the possibility of money laundering exists, it will not be feasible to take to court the mafias trafficking arms, drugs, money, patents and people, as should be done without further delay.

  • No to the Europe that denounces, as it must, the lack of democracy in Cuba for 13 million inhabitants, whilst forgetting, as it should not, about Guantánamo, Abu Dhabi, Bagram, about the “democracies” of the oligarchs who, particularly in Latin America, continue to allow 42% of children to be without access to schooling and hundreds of thousands of citizens to be forced to migrate to faraway countries in order to then send funds…; whilst it is sweet-talking and encouraging visits from heads of State to countries in which it has relocated production without taking into consideration their democratic or working conditions, especially in a country in the East in which 1.3 billion people live, one hundred times more than in the justly warned Republic of Cuba, without in these cases taking human rights or the practice of capital punishment into account,… or which forget that the policy followed by Colombia, with the establishment of North American bases, is leading to the remilitarisation of all countries in Latin America…

  • No, then, to the Europe that applies different evaluation standards, rather than bravely defending universal values everywhere. A categorical no to the Europe that is not a watchtower of democracy and of human rights worldwide, that does not condemn, when it should, as it should, the atrocities that have taken place in Gaza, the “selective assassinations”, the settlements and the walls built in contravention of the International Court of Justice, gradually postponing on behalf of Israel the recognition of the State of Palestine.

  • No to the Europe that does not, once and for all, hold its hand out to the African continent…; that does not put an end to the embarrassment of military expenditure in Afghanistan –over 85 billion dollars- when the amount allocated to development and to the replacement of poppy crops (92% of opium, most heroin comes from Afghanistan) does not even amount to 5 billion.

  • No to the Europe that tolerates a media power which discredits trust, justices and equity in the eyes of the people; no to the Europe of the silent, of the sleepy, of the distracted, of the impassive, fainthearted spectators and recipients.

  • No to the Europe that condemns the veil in some countries –not in others, which are among the best buyers or suppliers- and tolerates, always for economic reasons, the humiliation of women in adverts for prostitution in the pages of even the most conservative newspapers, in television programmes, in advertising where women are shown totally “un-veiled” purely as consumer items…

  • No to the Europe that continues without any clear commitment to renewable energy, to the production of food and water in the amounts required; to health, particularly in view of greater longevity; to electric transport; to safeguarding the quality of the water in the oceans, of the air and of the earth; and which once again allows the reins of the economy to be entrusted to the same institutions involved in speculation, in arms production, in “bubbles” whose invoices are always paid by the most dispossessed and needy.

  • Due to its fantastic pluralism, its democratic culture, its vision of world citizenship, Europe can no longer be a submissive and frightened place. The people of Europe must rebel in order to bring about the transition from a culture of imposition and violence to a culture of reconciliation, dialogue, alliance and peace, with the creators at the vanguard, with the intellectuals at the helm.

This will be the “new beginning”, so that, within a few years, it will truly be the watchtower Europe.