President Trump and Democracy in Latin America.

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In times of decision making and taking a stand, states act according to their ideals and national interests. What is desirable is that a balance exists between principles and values that integrate national ideals and interests.

In the tough presidential campaign of the United States, the candidates presented in very few occasions and partially some views on foreign policy with Latin America. Beyond discrepancies and confrontations between Republicans and Democrats, with the election of Donald Trump we are in a different political moment that imposes the need to remember that the new President of the United States awaits two Americas, democratic and a dictatorial socialism of the 21st century. While the smokescreen of what is said in the election campaign is what is now seen, the underlying theme is the future of freedom and democracy in the region.

In times of decision making and taking a stand, states act according to their ideals and national interests. What is desirable is that a balance exists between principles and values that integrate national ideals and interests. The history of the United States shows that this country has guided its foreign policy on the basis of a “pragmatic and realistic national interest” founded on “the promotion of freedom, the defense of democracy and republican institutions”, to which was added the promotion of human rights.

 The dictatorships of the 21st Century’s Socialism, which began as a Bolivarian movement and Alba project, after Hugo Chávez’s death, it is clearly led by the Cuban dictatorship and composed of the governments of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. It is a set of regimes characterized by premeditated and deliberately ignoring and pre-empting the preexisting constitutional order, to which they have supplanted; to destroy and render non-existent the rule of law, to eliminate the division and independence of the branches of public power, to violate the human rights of its citizens through the judicialization of repression, with prisoners and political exiles; to extinguish freedom of the press and of expression, to manipulate elections, and to abolish their free and transparent character, to make them an instrument of indefinite perpetuation in government, to impede free political organization and the possibility of opposition to power.

The dictatorships of the 21st century’s socialism are regimes that do not fulfill any of the essential elements of democracy, according to the Inter-American Democratic Charter, but nevertheless they are presented and tolerated as if they were governments equal to those of America with Democracy, with respect to those that are a threat of permanent destabilization. The power of the dilapidated Venezuelan oil has allowed them to control the OAS, form a bloc of pressure at the UN, paralyze regional integration and expand a network of corruption that begins to unravel from the scandals of the Lula and Dilma governments in Brazil (only the tip of the ball that entangles all non-democratic governments including Kirchner’s Argentina).

In the scenario marked Chávez and Castro, so far in the 21st century, the United States has its share of these self-declared anti-imperialist regimes. Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia have expelled the American Ambassadors who have been replaced in the first two countries. Ecuador has evicted the US military bases from Manta and has withdrawn US cooperation from its country. Coca leader Evo Morales has expelled Bolivia from the DEA to USAID and controls illegal coca cultivation increasing by more than 10 times the production of drugs. All dictators of socialism of the twenty-first century, without exception, have been extraordinarily explicit in accusations and insults to the president and government of the United States, to the point that at this year’s General Assembly of the United Nations, Evo Morales accused President Barack Obama of genocide, and called for him to be tried for crimes against humanity. All these governments have contributed to the growth of the drug trafficking activity to the United States. Venezuela and Bolivia are considered narco states. All have opened their territories to relations with Iran and have been openly proclaimed anti Israelis. All have been indebted with China allowing it to be an extraordinary presence in the region.

The threats against the United States – among others – are drug trafficking, terrorism, and uncontrolled migration. All of them have a point of origin or support in the dictatorships of 21st century’s socialism, which led by the Castro dictatorship have repeatedly pointed out the United States as their enemy. Enmity is obvious because of the evident contrast between the principles of liberty, human rights, democracy and institutionality on which the United States stands and promotes against oppression, the violation of human rights as a state policy, the destruction of democracy and republican institutions to perpetuate themselves in power exercised by the five dictatorships of Latin America.

This is the fundamental problem that threatens the interests and national security of the United States and has been barely mentioned in the election campaign. It’s not about an intervention of the United States in the problems of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia y Nicaragua; it’s a matter of defending universal values. The president-elect of the United States must know that among his challenges is that of democracy in Latin America, whose defense coincides with the ideals and fundamental interests of his nation.

Published in Spanish by Diario las Americas on Sunday November 13th, 2016

El presidente Trump y la democracia en América Latina