Adolfo Suárez, a person to imitate

Monday, March 31, 2014

I was honored to know him well. His imagination, his fearlessness, his deep knowledge of reality, his constant concern for the future, his incredible capacity for reconciliation and perseverance enabled him to carry out the hard and hindered- transition from a military dictatorship to a parliamentary democracy.

The first step was to obtain political pluralism through attentive listening to all  opinions, particularly including those who for many years had been silenced. Despite the coldness or clear rejection with which he was received in many cases, President Suárez led with great lucidity and farsightedness the very complex settlement of agreements and dissents, of generous resignations and undue demands to achieve the great goal of appropriate conditions for running elections fully free.

The Political Reform Act represents a fundamental turning point in the history of the Spanish nation. The Moncloa Covenants, the excellent skill with which he managed the return of President Taradellas ... appoints his unusual reputation as a statesman.

“We did it because we did not know it was impossible." When I worked with President Suarez I was convinced that he knew very well that “impossibles” could be turned in “possibles” if solutions were invented.

I myself experienced his persuasive speed when he proposed me to lead the list of UCD for Granada in the 1977 elections. I told him that I thought the person should be a Grenadian. "You did very well as Rector ...".  I replied that one thing is academic life and the other, politics. And I did not know the UCD program well nor most of the party members. He rapidly issued an order which exonerated me of any reliance on UCD and gave me complete autonomy to decide the composition of the electoral list and the program content.

The Constitution reflects his immense capacity of constructing a fully democratic State, taking fully into account its magnificent diversity.  He did his best to respect and protect it, but he was not allowed -it was a military harassment but not only military- to finish the characteristics of self-government that his vision of structuring the State required.  In his words, the chapter eight of the Constitution remained as an “unfinished symphony”.

Later on, when he had already been able to "ensure the supply of electricity while changing electrical networks" and began to become evident a progressive disaffection of many as well as difficulties in his new party CDS, President Suarez appeared in privacy, saddened and worried. Then I told him something that I repeated years after to President Gorbachev: "you cannot pretend to be in history and in power at the same time."

Suarez, a key figure to restore national dignity, is an unfading point of reference in the history of Spain. The best way to remember and pay tribute to him is to try to imitate him.

The only solution: to refound the United Nations capable to establish a new world order

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The chaos that caused greed and hegemonic ambitions of a few countries is evident as well as the total intergenerational irresponsibility with which they have tried to rule the world.

It is necessary and urgent to implement the Charter of the United Nations and the scheme of cooperation, solidarity, justice and freedom for the “equal dignity of all human beings”, so well enshrined in the “democratic principles” of the UNESCO’s Constitution.

The ethical, social, political, economic, environmental crises that we are going through are obvious and, as I have repeated many times, it requires multiple transitions:

·        The transition from an economy of speculation, productive delocalization and war to an economy of world sustainable and human development.
·        The transition from a culture of imposition, domain, violence and confrontation to a culture of gathering, conversation, conciliation, alliance and peace.
·        In conclusion, a transition from force to word.

The United Nations Charter begins with a paragraph that, I insist on, summarizes     the   reason  of   being”  of  the  United   Nations  in  1945 -and today- providing solutions that could enable mankind as a whole begin a "new era ": " We, the peoples ... have resolved to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war." Governments or States are not mentioned but the people, who must have in their hands the reins of their common destiny. And it does not apply, as has been done throughout history, the perverse proverb "if you want peace, prepare for war."  We should “avoid the horror of war", i.e. peace must be constructed. Peace in oneself, peace in getting along with others, in relation to our environment, peace at national, regional and world scales. The Charter, at the beginning, provides us another essential key for tomorrow: intergenerational responsibility, we must consider as supreme commitment, in the words of President Nelson Mandela, the generation that comes next to ours. We must take care of the habitability of Earth and we must also take care of our legacy from a conceptual point of view, so that all human beings, and not just a few, can live with dignity.

The globalizing neoliberalism replaced the United Nations by plutocratic groups and the ethical values by stock-markets. The result is obvious: crises of all kinds and of great depth, in which all criteria are worsened, indeed,  with unbearable inequalities -85 persons in accordance with OXFAM, accumulate wealth at the equivalent of half of humanity (!) , estimated in 3,300 million of human beings who survive (or die ) in extreme poverty; nuclear threat; supranational trafficking of drugs, people, weapons ... ; repeated failure in the responsibilities of democratic citizens  as many of those behave as tax dodgers instead of trying  to appropriately represent the popular will ... Many years ago, in the early eighties, I emphasized that the adoption of measures could not be delayed, especially in cases of potential irreversibility. And today,  particularly in everything that has to do with the social and natural processes, rather than assuming the situation with appropriate criteria and scientific rigor, we are guided solely by the short-term of cash benefits. The market controls all while the habitability of the planet is deteriorating.

Just the citizen’s power, just “We, the peoples…” can put an end to the regrettable world situation and clarify the current somber horizons.

The following issues published in the last few days in “El País” newspaper can encourage our reaction and express our total rejection in a popular outcry, conscience objection and civic disobedience to those who, try challenges and threats that humanity suffers to increase the power of just a few while most of the people see how their material, intellectual and cultural needs decrease every day, despite the:

·        Syria’s secular rebellion breaks
·        Ukraine is sinking into violence” and “The repression triggered a massacre”
·        The excesses of Europe's largest copper mine open-pit” (the multinational companies of copper keep causing environmental disasters... overfilling their pockets and stretching tax havens).
·        The business of climate change.  Enterprises and funds betting on industries that will benefit from rising temperatures. For investors, the key will be in the water ...”.
·         Three years after the Arab spring”... (and eleven years after the invasion of Iraq... in the midst of utter confusion, but yes, the oil fields are already in the hands of the “great energy power” although Sadam Hussein and Gadafi have disappeared).
·         Lights are seen, but there is no improvement in the Middle East": it is  urgent to end with the shame of the" eternal "Israeli-Palestinian conflict ... Only with the authority of a United Nations provided with the world support and human, financial and technical resources, could be redirected appropriately without further delay, the future of Syria, Egypt...
·        Flammable"(the news from Ukraine, Thailand or Venezuela makes ​​clear that history is a constant struggle...).
"59 years of jail for seven accused of inducing a minor into prostitution ..." (trafficking and drug use, immensely lethal, will not be solved the appropriate regulatory actions are adopted, considering them as health issues and not security ones, and stop promoting very high prices, that results in immense dividends.  Because of the existence of tax havens, trafficking will never disappear because they are feed by the richest countries on Earth, whose compass is unhinged by ambition).
·        “Small cold war: the counterattack from Brussels to Switzerland tries
to hold back the populist rise in Europe "...
"Yes to Universal Justice, if it does not affect the friend ... The political and diplomatic pressure prevails on the rights if the criminals are partners. Geo-economics is rewarded”...

The G-20 promises a plan to accelerate growth by 2% in five years, and "the pressures arise due to the fragility of the emerging countries”.

You see: if “One example will suffice to prove it", there are too many. This devastating scene requires, with great urgency, an effective United Nations System for all mankind, without exception. The Republican Party of the United States will forever oppose –as it did in 1919 with the League of Nations- to justice, security and peace being guaranteed by the union of all countries, able to react quickly and decisively when a country turns to violence, infringing the principles of democratic coexistence.

Democracy at a world scale is the solution.

For the first time in history, we can build democracy and incorporate it into our everyday behavior. The time of the citizen obedience and submission is over. We can express ourselves freely and we have to make possible the great historical turning from oligarchy to democracy, from welfare of just a few to general welfare, where every single human being can fully develop the faculties that distinguish him.

"We, the peoples ..." have the word. Just a few have the strength. Let us not be distracted or frightened: the big moment has arrived, after many centuries of shame and submission, in which the word prevails over force.

They have been foolish

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

They were very foolish. When all cried out for peace -disintegration of the Soviet Union without a single drop of blood, racial apartheid termination in South Africa, ending of the fratricidal conflicts in Mozambique and El Salvador, restart of the peace process in Guatemala ... -President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher raised, by hegemonic ambitions, the "globalized" neoliberalism, and changed the "democratic principles", so well enshrined in the Constitution of UNESCO, by the laws of the market, and the multilateralism of United Nations by oligarchic groups. In conclusion, they changed democracy by plutocracy and ethical values ​​by stock-markets.

They and those who followed them were foolish. "It is foolish to confuse value and price," had warned Antonio Machado, and I never tire of repeating. Sometimes a verse better summarizes a detailed analysis of what has happened and how the situation in question could be solved.

The result has been an economy of speculation, productive delocalization and war and an increase in social inequalities and social upheavals. And has caused the abandonment of much of humanity living (surviving) under all sort of precariousness.

They were foolish.  And their legacy cannot continue infringing the existence of so many people, whose voice should rise, peacefully but firmly throughout the world.  The time of the great turning approaches: let’s re-found a plural and effective United Nations, provided with the necessary human, financial and technical resources.  And let’s replace the democratic values in the core of our every day behaviour.

Nuclear Disarmament Now!

Monday, March 3, 2014

We cannot live nor even another day with the "sword of Damocles" of a nuclear explosion. So far the "peoples" have been silent, silenced, frightened, obedient and submissive. Now, suddenly, they can express themselves freely, they may disagree, they can comment without restrictions. There is much urgency to tackle: hunger, social inequalities, environmental degradation ... But one transcends, one is more urgent than others: disarmament, beginning with nuclear.

A humanity that realizes that only 20% of its members live in the "prosperous neighborhood" of the global village, while 4 out of 5 people on Earth live or survive in progressive gradients of poverty, living terrified because around 4,000 million dollars were invested in daily military expenditure and weapons while about 50,000 people die every day starving and helpless, more of them children from one to five years of age, and sees with great concern how the habitability of the planet, the common house deteriorates and cannot, should not, continue tolerating another day the atomic threat.

Today, without delay, let’s type our rejection on our computers and mobile phones. Let’s get a global outcry against nuclear weapons and all unnecessary weapons and guns. We plead for the refoundation of an effective United Nations so that, at last, peace prevails on security, and the word finally prevails over force.

(To Jean Jacques Lafaye, for his tenacity
and courage in the fight against nuclear danger)