Historical Event: A black U.S. President pays tribute on behalf of the world to a black South African President

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What a great speech! My admiration for President Barack Obama is increasing. In Cairo, Newtown, at the beginning of his second term, on December 10 in Johannesburg ... President Obama has given real lessons of politics and humanism, starting the path to the radical changes that the effects of neoliberalism claim loudly throughout the world.

Instead of confrontation with Islam, an encounter instead of limitless greed with China, new threshold of relationships in "Pacific"; and medical care to the poorest Americans; and reduction of war and military investments; and incorporation of millions of immigrants who were not regularized; and, most of all, instead of arrogance, closeness...

Here there are some paragraphs of his inspiring speech in homage to Nelson Mandela:

“It is hard to eulogize any man, to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person, their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone's soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.

Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement, a movement that at its start held little prospect of success. Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice

Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would -like Abraham Lincoln- hold his country together when it threatened to break apart.

He was able to gain a prominent place in history through the struggle, perseverance and faith. He has shown us what can be achieved not only in the pages of the history books but in our own lives.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.

"I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination," he said at his 1964 trial. "I've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with,
but those who you don’t.

Finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa -- Ubuntu - that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is an oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.

It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.

But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask: how well have I applied his lessons in my own life? It is a question I ask myself as a man and as a President.

For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love… This is currently happening.

We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

The questions we face today -how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war- do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child born during the First World War. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. South Africa shows us that is true. South Africa shows us we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.

But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world, you can make his life's work your own”.

And President Obama ended his speech with a reference to one of the most famous phrases when Madiba was in prison: “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”.

Thank you Madiba, thank President Obama for lucidly enhancing the most relevant aspects of his legacy. On the occasion of this great speech, there have been totally irrelevant multiple comments, for example related  with selfies made by the cheerful and inappropriate Danish Prime Minister ... or the unbelievable performance of a “fake” interpreter for the deaf who had jumped the line skillfully discrediting security systems ... - and that there are still many, including the media who are supporters, those who prefer that their lessons go unnoticed.

Mandela was "captain of his soul." Let’s hope his example help us to be captains of our own soul.

Tokyo bares its teeth to China - Euro-disenchantment - Widespread corruption

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tokyo bares its teeth to China
 There is significant reinforcement of Japanese military power.  The Japanese abandon their pacifist activity (adopted by force after World War II) and reacts to the challenge of China and the threat of North Korea.   The purchasing of many aircrafts are expected, “drones”, tanks… and the creation of a brigade of “marines”.
Japan has shown in excess that they know how to go to war.  Memory... Now they return to the old habits.

It is urgent the re-founding of an efficient democratic multilateralism...
Instead of hastening reforms -starting with the rules for the election of Euro parliamentarians- the "Euro-disenchantment" leads to Brussels to soften them and stop them!  The opposite to be done ... once again.
Widespread corruption
On December 18, 2013, the 80% of the contents of the first 20 pages of the press (El País) is related to corruption here, there and everywhere ... It's clear the debacle of the "globalizing" system and that a radical change is necessary and urgent to avoid the catastrophes announced so long ago...

Before long, a genuine democracy. In short, "We, the peoples ...". Soon, from subjects to citizens

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The present system continues working as if there were a sectorial,  economic and financial crises... without taking into account that is, above all, ethical, social, democratic, political, environmental ... In three decades the emancipation -it was time!- of millions of human beings until then submitted, obedient, impassive and frightened spectators has taken place. Now, in exponential growth, they are becoming much more knowing, having world conscience, expressing, participating, complaining, proposing...

Many invisible, anonymous and silent persons have become visible. Identifiable with a loud and a firm voice!

A great historic turning point is approaching in the horizon. Before long, there will be a genuine democracy at a personal, local, regional, national and international scale. In a short time, the collective destiny will be in the reins of the people and never again of just a few. Soon, citizens and never vassals. Before long, an efficient multilateralism and never oligarchic groups. Before long, full exercise of human rights in a truly democratic context.

Before long, finally emancipated.

Soon, "free and responsible”.

Lessons from Latin America

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Europe, which has benefited so much and takes many advantages today  from Latin America, still continues not recognizing, clinging to the decline of a system that has replaced democratic principles by the market  laws and democratic multilateralism by oligarchic groups, the lessons  that in many aspects the countries of South America, finally emancipated,  are giving today.

Surprisingly, the editorial opinion of “El País" of February 2 has entitled his analysis of the Summit of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) just held in Havana: "Simulation in Havana”. It says among other improprieties: "The conclusions have been a catalog of good intentions -strengthening the exchange, declaring the region as a" zone of peace or fight poverty which imitates the rhetoric of other forums.

Here are some of the resolutions adopted at the Second Summit on 28 and 29 January 2014:

Continue working on plans, policies and national programs in order to progressively reduce income inequalities that are at the very core of hunger, poverty and social exclusion by, among others, progressive fiscal policies, creation of permanent formal employment protection, assistance and social security, minimum wage setting and its progressive elevation...

·        Grant the highest priority to strengthen food security and nutrition, literacy and post-literacy programs, free general public education, technical, professional and  higher education of quality and social benefit, land tenure, agriculture development ... and the universal public health, the right to adequate housing for all ...

·        Carry out the "preparation of a Strategic Regional Agenda on comprehensive disaster risk management" ...

·        Continuing to deepening strong regional principles for recognition of the rights of migrants and to strengthen coordination of regional migration policies and common positions in global negotiations ...

·        Convinced that climate change is one of the biggest problems of our time ... "will adopt the necessary measures in accordance with the regulations and principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the decisions taken at the Conferences of the Parties.”

·        Welcome the recent signing of the new Convention of Minamata  on mercury, as the first binding instrument negotiated under United Nations framework in the last twelve years ...

·        Reaffirm the importance of developing tools to strengthen the international financial system, which should provide a more strict and effective regulation of financial institutions ...
·        Declare the right of our nation to maximize  natural resources, in a sustainable way, ...

·        Committed to continue working to strengthen Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, in which the differences between nations are resolved through dialogue and negotiation ...

·        Emphasize the importance of culture in Latin America and the Caribbean as the basis of the identity of each country and as a catalyst in the process of regional integration. Likewise emphasize the importance of culture and cultural industries to regional economies and be committed to promoting cultural undertaking ...

·        Reiterate our positions around an integral reform of the UN System, most notably in regard to democratization of international decision-making requests, in particular the Security Council ...

·        Emphasize the celebration for the first time at the United Nations, of a High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, on September 26, 2013, in which the CELAC reaffirmed the urgent need to move forward to nuclear disarmament and to achieve the total and general elimination of nuclear weapons in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner ...

Now I'd like to see similar resolutions in other international forums and particularly in Europe today!

As a whole, Latin America is reducing social inequalities, while in Europe are expanding.

In Europe we severely judge the behavior of some political leaders in Latin America.

In contrast, Latin America is able to continue having good relations in spite of being humiliated with the " Condor Plan " with thousands of killed and tortured; and with the "structural adjustment" that enriched borrowers and impoverished lenders; and with intolerable mining techniques, and essential services embargoes for decades; and despite having in mind the invasion of Iraq, that has resulted in tens of thousands of dead and maimed, millions displaced....   And of how Europe got rid of Arab leaders brought out by the people in the famous " Spring", who  a few months ago were entertained lavishly , and sold arms with generosity , and have so far accepted all kinds of excuses for some of their big " investors " , although they were not exactly good examples of " democracy" ...

Despite having suffered many outrages by the loathing of the Republican Party to the United Nations and to institutions of integration and discussion at a continental scale, the countries of Latin America have, in general, an attitude of rapprochement and peaceful coexistence.

A great historic turning point lies in the horizon: take note of CELAC and the conclusions of its Second Summit. It would not be bad now for the West to learn new political designs and to put into practice the outstanding resolutions adopted in Havana. Europe, suffering the collapse of a system based exclusively on markets, gives the impression that does not want or cannot see the reality in a different way.

No, it would not be bad that at meetings of the European Commission, or in Davos, or the OECD… similar resolutions were adopted with the intention of putting them into practice.