por Gerardo del Caz, 8 de abril de 2008

(Published in Expansión, on November 29, 2007)
Since it came to power, this Spanish government was dedicated to sow the seeds of anti-Americanism in Latin America. Its friends were Fidel Castro, Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez. Unfortunately, one must not place much trust in dictators, and anti-Americanism has turned into anti-Spanishness overnight.
We have seen it clearly in the embarrassing Chilean summit with our king’s famous “Why don’t you shut up?!” And even worse, we are going to witness more of it with renewed intensity from now on until the celebration of the bicentennial of Latin America’s independence from the Spanish Crown.
I do not know how the Rodríguez Zapatero administration is planning to organize such commemoration, if it is planning it within the next two years, but one surely knows what his South American friends would love: They want a Bolivarian festival where Indigenism is praised and an alleged Spanish plunder of the region’s wealth is criticized. And in accordance with what leaders like Morales or Correa express, it will not only be in a historical sense, but topical, against Spanish companies investing and working in those countries. It will be the revenge all Spaniards will pay for a mistaken policy taken by the Rodríguez Zapatero administration that will have to face another Historical Memory Law, but this time against the administration and it will not be able to stop it or it might not want to do it.
Latin America is at the crossroads; there are a few countries that have decisively chosen prosperity, free markets, the global economy and democratic values; and there are others that prefer what has been called “the 21st century’s Socialism,” in other words, legal uncertainty, state intervention, populism and the democratic system’s corruption. Among the former are Colombia, Chile Peru and Mexico; among the latter are the friends of the Spanish government, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba.
Someone should explain why a government formally democratic such as ours takes part for the undemocratic alliance in Latin America, because it really is something very difficult to understand.
In Latin America, Chávez’s petrodollars buy off whomever necessary, but this cannot be the explanation about the turnaround in Spanish policies regarding this area. The King did well when ordering Chávez to shut up. The government did not react well responding with its characteristic weakness once more. And the end result has been more insults and threats.
But this will be nothing if Rodríguez Zapatero does not try to stop it as soon as possible. As the Foreign Ministry wants, it is not necessary to isolate Uribe, the only one that has risen to the occasion Â- just like our king Â- opposing Chávez. It is Chávez who must be isolated. When he rigs once more the referendum’s results in order to perpetuate his power, the Spanish government will have another opportunity to make amends and denounce it. And if not, our companies would better prepare.
©2007 Translated by Miryam Lindberg