viernes, junio 05, 2009

El Diario Panorama de Maracaibo

Vamos a ver el Diario Panorama de la ciudad de Maracaibo, pues alli pueden ver de nuevo el video de la concursante de Escosia Susan Boyle.Esta concursante que podia haber quedado en el primer puesto no pudo lograrlo. Ella obtuvo el segundo lugar y al llegar a su casa le dio un depresion con ansiedad y tuvo que internarse en un hospital en inglaterra para que la viese un psicologo y un psiquiatra. Pero la noticia es que ya esta recuperada y que tiene muchos contratos millonarios.

El Discurso de OBAMA en Egipto

Thank you very much. Good afternoon. I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I’m grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. (Applause.)

We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world — tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.

So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. I know there’s been a lot of publicity about this speech, but no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.” (Applause.) That is what I will try to do today — to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.

Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities — (applause) — it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality. (Applause.)

I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President, John Adams, wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.” And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, they have served in our government, they have stood for civil rights, they have started businesses, they have taught at our universities, they’ve excelled in our sports arenas, they’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library. (Applause.)

So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. (Applause.)

But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. (Applause.) Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words — within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum — “Out of many, one.”

Now, much has been made of the fact that an African American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. (Applause.) But my personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores — and that includes nearly 7 million American Muslims in our country today who, by the way, enjoy incomes and educational levels that are higher than the American average. (Applause.)

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That’s why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it. (Applause.)

So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations — to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity.

Of course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.

For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. When innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. (Applause.) That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.

And this is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes — and, yes, religions — subjugating one another in pursuit of their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners to it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; our progress must be shared. (Applause.)

Now, that does not mean we should ignore sources of tension. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: We must face these tensions squarely. And so in that spirit, let me speak as clearly and as plainly as I can about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confront together.

The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.

In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. (Applause.) We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.

The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice; we went because of necessity. I’m aware that there’s still some who would question or even justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.

Now, make no mistake: We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We see no military — we seek no military bases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.

And that’s why we’re partnering with a coalition of 46 countries. And despite the costs involved, America’s commitment will not weaken. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of different faiths — but more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as — it is as if he has killed all mankind. (Applause.) And the Holy Koran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. (Applause.) The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.

Now, we also know that military power alone is not going to solve the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That’s why we plan to invest $1.5 billion each year over the next five years to partner with Pakistanis to build schools and hospitals, roads and businesses, and hundreds of millions to help those who’ve been displaced. That’s why we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy and deliver services that people depend on.

Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. (Applause.) Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Today, America has a dual responsibility: to help Iraq forge a better future — and to leave Iraq to Iraqis. And I have made it clear to the Iraqi people — (applause) — I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their territory or resources. Iraq’s sovereignty is its own. And that’s why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August. That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq’s democratically elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and to remove all of our troops from Iraq by 2012. (Applause.) We will help Iraq train its security forces and develop its economy. But we will support a secure and united Iraq as a partner, and never as a patron.

And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year. (Applause.)

So America will defend itself, respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.

The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed — more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction — or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews — is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they’ve endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own. (Applause.)

For decades then, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It’s easy to point fingers — for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security. (Applause.)

That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. And that is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience and dedication that the task requires. (Applause.) The obligations — the obligations that the parties have agreed to under the road map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them — and all of us — to live up to our responsibilities.

Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That’s not how moral authority is claimed; that’s how it is surrendered.

Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel’s right to exist.

At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Applause.)

And Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that Palestinians can live and work and develop their society. Just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.

And finally, the Arab states must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state, to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.

America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and we will say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs. (Applause.) We cannot impose peace. But privately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true.

Too many tears have been shed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra — (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)

The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.

This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is in fact a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I’ve made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question now is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.

I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It’s about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that’s why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. (Applause.) And any nation — including Iran — should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I’m hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

The fourth issue that I will address is democracy. (Applause.)

I know — I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other.

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere. (Applause.)

Now, there is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear: Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments — provided they govern with respect for all their people.

This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they’re out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. (Applause.) So no matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who would hold power: You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Barack Obama, we love you!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind and the heart and the soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it’s being challenged in many different ways.

Among some Muslims, there’s a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of somebody else’s faith. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld — whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. (Applause.) And if we are being honest, fault lines must be closed among Muslims, as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That’s why I’m committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.

Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit — for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We can’t disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.

In fact, faith should bring us together. And that’s why we’re forging service projects in America to bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. That’s why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah’s interfaith dialogue and Turkey’s leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations. Around the world, we can turn dialogue into interfaith service, so bridges between peoples lead to action — whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after a natural disaster.

The sixth issue — the sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights. (Applause.) I know –- I know — and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. (Applause.) And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

Now, let me be clear: Issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, we’ve seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.

I am convinced that our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons. (Applause.) Our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity — men and women — to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. And that is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams. (Applause.)

Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.

I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence into the home. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and change in communities. In all nations — including America — this change can bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we lose control over our economic choices, our politics, and most importantly our identities — those things we most cherish about our communities, our families, our traditions, and our faith.

But I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be contradictions between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew their economies enormously while maintaining distinct cultures. The same is true for the astonishing progress within Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.
And this is important because no development strategy can be based only upon what comes out of the ground, nor can it be sustained while young people are out of work. Many Gulf states have enjoyed great wealth as a consequence of oil, and some are beginning to focus it on broader development. But all of us must recognize that education and innovation will be the currency of the 21st century — (applause) — and in too many Muslim communities, there remains underinvestment in these areas. I’m emphasizing such investment within my own country. And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas when it comes to this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.

On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America. (Applause.) At the same time, we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in online learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.

On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.

On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create more jobs. We’ll open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new science envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, grow new crops. Today I’m announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.

All these things must be done in partnership. Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments; community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life.

The issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world that we seek — a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God’s children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.

I know there are many — Muslim and non-Muslim — who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort — that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There’s so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country — you, more than anyone, have the ability to reimagine the world, to remake this world.

All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort — a sustained effort — to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

It’s easier to start wars than to end them. It’s easier to blame others than to look inward. It’s easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There’s one rule that lies at the heart of every religion — that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. (Applause.) This truth transcends nations and peoples — a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white or brown; that isn’t Christian or Muslim or Jew. It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It’s a faith in other people, and it’s what brought me here today.

We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.

The Holy Koran tells us: “O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.”

The Talmud tells us: “The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.”

The Holy Bible tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Applause.)

The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth.

Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

Bancos Centrales Europeos y la crisis

Por Joellen Perry

FRANCFORT—Los bancos centrales europeos mantuvieron sus tasas de interés de referencia en sus mínimos históricos el jueves, en medio de un tibio optimismo de que lo peor de la recesión ha pasado, y se concentraron en programas para comprar bonos y, de este modo, ayudar a los mercados de crédito.

El Banco Central Europeo (BCE), que fija las tasas de interés para los 16 países que conforman la zona euro, dejó su tasa de interés en 1% y anunció que lanzará en julio un programa de 60.000 millones de euros (US$85.000 millones) para comprar bonos de bajo riesgo. El presidente de la entidad, Jean-Claude Trichet, en una conferencia de prensa después de la decisión del BCE, proyectó que el ritmo de la caída de la economía de la zona euro se moderará este año. "Después de una fase de estabilización, se prevén tasas de crecimiento trimestral positivas para mediados de 2010", señaló.

Trichet indicó que las autoridades no han descartado nuevos recortes de tasas o una expansión del programa de compra de activos. Insinuó, sin embargo, que probablemente aguardarán un tiempo para evaluar el impacto de las medidas que han tomado hasta la fecha. Trichet describió el nivel actual de 1% como "apropiado". La mayoría de los analistas prevén que la tasa siga en 1% hasta fin de año.

Los principales bancos centrales del mundo han reducido sus tasas de interés a casi cero y ahora se concentran en otras formas de apuntalar sus atribuladas economías. El Banco de Inglaterra también mantuvo su tasa de referencia en 0,5% el jueves, el nivel más bajo en sus 315 años de historia, en medio de continuos indicios de que la desaceleración económica del Reino Unido se está estabilizando. Las autoridades británicas tampoco modificaron el tamaño de su programa de compra de activos de 125.000 millones de libras esterlinas (US$202.000 millones). Los analistas, no obstante, prevén que el programa recibirá otra inyección en los próximos meses a medida que las presiones inflacionarias disminuyan.

El banco central de Canadá, por su parte, dejó su tasa de interés de referencia en su mínimo histórico de 0,25% y reiteró su compromiso de mantenerla en ese nivel hasta mediados del próximo año siempre y cuando la inflación esté bajo control.

Otros bancos centrales que aún cuentan con un amplio margen para reducir sus tasas de interés lo hicieron. El banco central de Rusia recortó su tasa de referencia por tercera vez en seis semanas, bajándola medio punto porcentual a 11,5%. Asimismo, el banco central de Islandia redujo su tasa en un punto porcentual, por cuarta vez en la misma cantidad de meses, a 12% pese a una reciente advertencia del Fondo Monetario Internacional de que tasas más bajas podrían debilitar su divisa y provocar inflación en el país, cuyo sistema bancario colapsó el año pasado.

Un día después de criticar a los bancos centrales, la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, llamó por teléfono a Trichet el miércoles, según una fuente al tanto de la conversación. Merkel "me confirmó que respetaba por completo la independencia del BCE y respaldaba todo lo que estábamos haciendo", afirmó Trichet el la conferencia de prensa. El martes, Merkel dirigió sus críticas más severas hacia la Reserva Federal de EE.UU. y el Banco de Inglaterra, que han tomado una postura agresiva en la reducción de las tasas de interés y la compra de activos, pero también reprobó la incursión del BCE en la compra de bonos, sugiriendo que la entidad "cedió de alguna manera ante la presión internacional".

Trichet, como se preveía, presentó detalles del plan de la entidad para comprar 60.000 millones en bonos garantizados. Estos valores con alta calificación permanecen en los balances de los emisores; si la entidad emisora colapsa, el tenedor del bono recibe los activos subyacentes. En las últimas semanas, las autoridades del BCE han debatido sobre el tamaño y el alcance del programa, pero el jueves acordaron comprar bonos respaldados por activos tanto del sector público como del privado, una medida que, según los analistas, podría aliviar las condiciones de financiamiento tanto para los gobiernos como para las empresas.

Marcus Walker, en Berlín.

Can Obama work his magic on Arabs ?

Can Obama Work His Magic on Arabs?

In fact, Arabs and Muslims are not so naïve as to be wooed by mere rhetoric.


Among many major misconceptions pertaining to Arabs and Muslims is the common belief that they are a weak-willed, irrelevant collective, easily influenced and effortlessly manipulated. This mistaken assumption underscores the very ailment that has afflicted US foreign policy in the Middle East for generations.

As media pundits and commentators began their drum-rolling in anticipation of US President Barack Obama’s speech in Egypt, on June 4, very few paid attention to the fact that Arabs and Muslims are not so naïve as to be wooed by mere rhetoric, but that they are significant players in their own affairs, capable of resistance and change.

To begin with, it’s underhanded and foolish to speak of one Arab and Muslim polity, as if geography, class, language and politics, among many other factors are irrelevant attributes, which can be easily overlooked.

Why is there an insistence on addressing Arabs and Muslims as one unified body that behaves according to specific rationale; predisposed to respond to the same stimuli? True, various groups within the Arab and Muslim collective share common history, language and religion, but even the same groups differ in historical interpretations, dialects and religious sects and frames of reference.

Then, why the reductionism? Is it true that a struggling North African immigrant in a French slum carries the same values, expectations and outlook on life as a wealthy Arab in his SUV in the Gulf? Does a poor Egyptian, grappling for recognition within a political body that has room for the chosen a few, relate to the world the same way as does a Malaysian Muslim with a wide range of opportunities, civic, economic and political? Even within the same country, amongst the same people, adhering to the same religion, does the world mean the same, and will Obama’s words in Egypt represent the unifying lexicon that will meet every Arab or a Muslim man or woman’s aspirations?

Can one lump together those who collaborated with those who resisted; those who exploited others and those who were exploited; those who had plenty and those who had none? Just as the countdown on Obama’s visit reached the highly anticipated day, pundits and polls came pouring in.

A recent poll conducted by Shilbey Telhami and Zogby International was carried out in six Arab countries, each representing unique collective experiences that cannot be compared. The poll declared that Obama is popular among Arabs. Yet Arabs are still sceptical of the US, Iraq matters the most, followed by the Arab Israeli conflict.

Of course, there is no denial that Arabs in various countries have major perceptions and expectations in common. But who is to say that there are not more commonalities between the poor of Egypt and Mexico, than the elites of Egypt and Pakistan? However, such assertion would be irrelevant for one main reason: Arabs and Muslims have been demonised collectively, targeted collectively and at times, victimised collectively.

In other words, it’s US foreign policy towards various Arab and Muslim collectives that largely explains the constant lumping of all Arabs and all Muslims into one single category. Arabs and Muslims seem only relevant as a collective whenever the US is interested in carrying out a rhetorical policy shift, a war, a self-serving ‘democracy’ campaign, and so forth. They are available as a collective to be duly demonised as “terrorist” or readily shunned for subscribing to the ‘wrong’ religion.

David Schenker, writing for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy website was honest enough in explaining the significance of Obama’s speech in Cairo. He pointed out that Iran is a major issue that Obama and moderate Arabs have in common. His explanation is straightforward: “Tehran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon and its provision of material and ideological support for moqawama, or resistance, across the region is of grave concern to Washington and its moderate Arab allies.”

According to the poll cited above, only a fraction of polled Arabs seem concerned by the Iranian nuclear programme. This leaves Iran posing one major “threat”, its support 
of resistance.

It’s ironic that resistance, which is a universal right for any oppressed individual or collective is being dealt with as a “grave concern”; this in part explains the lingering illusion that continues to mar US foreign policy, and also highlight the common strengthen that Arab and Muslim masses continue to wield, their ability to resist.

Amidst the fraudulent democracy programs that have appeared and disappeared in recent years – Bush’s Middle East democracy project being one – none were an outcome of genuine and collective movements in Arab and Muslim nations. Such genuine movements, although in existence, are unpopular in Washington, for they seem inconsistent with US interests. This leaves one last aspect of collective self-expression, again, resistance, in all of its manifestations. It’s the root causes of Arab and Muslim resistance that are most deserving of analysis and understanding, as opposed to mere dismissal on the grounds that it’s a “grave concern”.

If Obama continues to approach Arabs and Muslims as one single collective, ready to be manipulated and wooed with bogus promises, fancy rhetoric and impressive body language, then he will surely be disappointed.

Highly politicised, sceptical and, frankly, frustrated societies refuse to be reduced to a mere percentage in some opinion poll that can be swayed this way or that, whenever the US administration determines the time and place. It’s that incessant lack of depth that has caused the US so much in the Middle East, and will cost it even more if such imprudence persists.

Ramzy Baroud (
  • ) is an eminent Arab American author and editor of His forthcoming book is “My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story.”

    jueves, junio 04, 2009

    OIL PRICES=US$ 70 a barrel

    NEW YORK – Oil prices on Thursday set a new high for the year, buoyed by a weaker dollar and the first drop in unemployment since January.

    Benchmark crude for July delivery was up $2.69 to settle at $68.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil climbed as high as $69.60 earlier in the day.

    In London, Brent prices rose $2.83 to settle at $68.71 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

    Oil prices have rallied for three months, and they soared this week to their highest levels since November. Crude now fetches nearly twice its February price, mostly on the expectation that the dismal U.S. economy could be stabilizing.

    A government report provided some evidence of that Thursday, saying the nation's unemployment rolls fell for the first time in 20 weeks. The Labor Department said the number of people filing for jobless benefits dropped by 15,000 to 6.7 million.

    The dollar also fell against the euro and the yen, a move that tends to push oil prices higher since the benchmark contract is traded in U.S. currency. And tanker tracker Oil Movements reported a slight drop in OPEC exports as the cartel tries to match a slump in global demand.

    Goldman Sachs boosted its forecast for benchmark crude based on expectations that the economy will stabilize and OPEC production cuts will shrink global supplies. It now expects oil to cost $85 a barrel by the end of the year, up from its previous estimate of $65 a barrel.

    Nevertheless, experts say the market is filled with more enthusiasm than is warranted by the huge surplus of petroleum in the U.S.

    On Thursday, the Energy Information Administration said the country's supply of natural gas rose more than expected last week to 2.34 trillion cubic feet. Natural gas is a major energy source for power plants, and the bloated inventory is a sign of how much manufacturers and other industries have slowed down.

    "It's certainly hard to see anything in the fundamental numbers to support" higher crude prices, said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. "The psychology has shifted, and people seize on the bullish news and ignore the bearish news."

    On Wednesday a Commerce Department report showed a smaller-than-expected rise in factory orders. And the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said the services sector shrank in May below economists' estimates at the slowest pace since October.

    Retail gas prices continued to climb Thursday, adding 2.4 cents a gallon overnight to a new national average of $2.572 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Pump prices are 49.3 cents a gallon more expensive than last month, but they're $1.411 a gallon cheaper than the same period last year.

    In other Nymex trading, gasoline for July delivery rose 6.05 cents to settle at $1.9621 a gallon and heating oil gained 4.56 cents to settle at $1.784 a gallon. Natural gas for July delivery added 4.4 cents to settle at $3.81 per 1,000 cubic feet.


    Associated Press writers Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Hungary and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.

    miércoles, junio 03, 2009

    CUBA vuelve a la OEA sin condiciones

    SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (AP) - Los cancilleres americanos dejaron el miércoles sin efecto la resolución de hace 47 años que suspendió a Cuba de la OEA, aunque el retorno de la isla no será automático a una organización detestada por el gobierno de La Habana.

    La resolución fue aprobada "por aclamación" de los representantes de 34 gobiernos de la Organización de los Estados Americanos. Los asistentes se pusieron de pie y aplaudieron.

    Cuando se aprobó la suspensión el 31 de enero de 1962, la OEA tenía solamente 21 miembros: 14 votaron a favor y seis se abstuvieron. Cuba se opuso.

    La resolución de San Pedro Sula tiene solamente dos artículos, a diferencia de la de 1962 que contaba con cuatro. Mediante el primer artículo "queda sin efecto" en el seno del organismo la resolución de 1962, y en el segundo establece que "la participación de Cuba en la OEA será el resultado de un proceso de diálogo iniciado a solicitud del gobierno de La Habana y de conformidad con las prácticas, los propósitos y principios de la OEA".

    "Cuba puede volver a la OEA en el futuro", dijo la secretaria de Estado norteamericana Hillary Clinton, participante en las negociaciones finales en San Pedro Sula. "Si llegase ese día, Estados Unidos continuará defendiendo los principios de la Carta Democrática Interamericana y otros documentos fundamentales de la organización".

    En la sesión plenaria de la Asamblea General estuvieron presentes los presidentes Manuel Zelaya, de Honduras, y Daniel Ortega, de Nicaragua.

    "La guerra fría ha terminado este día", dijo Zelaya. "Empezamos una nueva era de confraternidad y tolerancia".

    "Esta es una noticia de esperanza", afirmó a su vez Ortega. "Cuba ha librado una batalla heroica durante 50 años".

    La forma en que se ha logrado el segundo artículo eliminó las resistencias de varios países que no deseaban condicionar el retorno de Cuba a la organización. Estados Unidos fue el principal promotor de esas restricciones. Un bloque encabezado por Venezuela, Nicaragua y Bolivia y otros miembros del ALBA, el movimiento del presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez, se destacó en el otro lado de la polémica.

    La canciller hondureña Patricia Rodas atribuyó el logro del texto único al grupo de trabajo de 10 países que fue nombrado el martes a pedido de Brasil, país que lo integró con Estados Unidos, Canadá, Argentina, Venezuela, Belice, Jamaica, Nicaragua, México y Honduras.

    "Recogimos toda la pasión que nuestros pueblos llevaban en el alma", dijo.

    Ese texto había sido logrado anoche, pero los países del ALBA, encabezados por Venezuela y Nicaragua, se opusieron debido a que hacía referencia a la Carta de la OEA y "demás instrumentos relacionados" sobre democracia y derechos humanos.

    "Parece que los países del ALBA durmieron bien anoche y hoy estuvieron de acuerdo", dijo a reporteros Dan Restrepo, asesor del presidente estadounidense Barack Obama en asuntos de seguridad nacional para América Latina.

    El canciller argentino Jorge Taiana dijo que la resolución es resultado del espíritu de no intervención y respeto a la democracia que se vio en la Cumbre de las Américas de abril en Trinidad y Tobago, y que Obama tenía una gran influencia en esa nueva realidad.

    "Esta resolución debe entenderse como un renovado espíritu de diálogo", afirmó Taiana.

    Líderes de origen cubano en el Congreso en Washington amenazaron con bloquear la ayuda financiera de hasta un 60% del presupuesto de la organización que le otorga Estados Unidos. La amenaza fue ya mencionada por el senador Robert Menéndez y ahora ha unido a esa corriente la congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, de la Florida.

    "La decisión de la OEA es una afrenta para el pueblo cubano y para todos quienes luchan por la libertad, democracia y los derechos humanos fundamentales", dijo Ros-Lehtinen en una declaración.

    Thomas A. Shannon, subsecretario de Estado norteamericano para las Américas y miembro clave del equipo negociador, dijo que "el arte de gobernar requiere de visión, madurez y persistencia. La resolución de hoy fue un acto de ese arte".

    Shannon, designado por Obama como su nuevo embajador en Brasil, recibió aplausos al término de su intervención.

    El debate sobre Cuba había virtualmente abarcado toda la atención de la 39na Asamblea General de cancilleres, un acontecimiento anual de la OEA y que terminaba más tarde el miércoles.

    Al momento de difundirse la versión de un acuerdo, la Asamblea General estaba en receso, periodo que fue acortado para celebrar la sesión de urgencia sobre los procedimientos con Cuba. Y la sesión se prolongó cuatro horas en medio de discursos.

    Con la decisión ministerial, Cuba estaría técnicamente en condiciones de retornar a la OEA este fin de semana. No podría, sin embargo, hacerlo sin activar el artículo 2 de la resolución para que, sólo en esas circunstancias, cumpla las nuevas regulaciones de membresía consolidadas en casi cinco décadas desde su separación.

    "Con esta resolución se está saldando cuentas con la historia", dijo el canciller ecuatoriano Fander Falconí, cuyo gobierno es miembro observador del ALBA. "América Latina tiene ahora la necesidad de unirse, fortalecer y pensar mucho más constructivamente".

    El canciller chileno, Mariano Fernández, cuyo país se abstuvo en la votación de 1962, dijo que "hay que valorar la decisión de Estados Unidos para acompañarnos en esta resolución".

    USA: Reducir el deficit fiscal

    Bernanke pide al Congreso de EE.UU. que reduzca el déficit
    Por Brian Blackstone

    WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--El presidente de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos, Ben Bernanke, hizo el miércoles un llamado a los legisladores para que se comprometan a reducir el déficit fiscal de cerca de US$2 billones, tras advertir que el Gobierno no puede endeudarse "indefinidamente" para cumplir con las demandas crecientes sobre sus recursos.

    Bernanke reiteró además que el ritmo de contracción económica parece estar disminuyendo, lo que prepararía las condiciones para una reanudación del crecimiento posteriormente en el año.

    "A menos que demostremos un fuerte compromiso con la sostenibilidad fiscal en un mayor plazo, no tendremos estabilidad financiera ni un crecimiento económico saludable", dijo Bernanke en comentarios preparados de antemano para ser presentados al Comité de Presupuesto de la Cámara baja.

    La Casa Blanca estima que el déficit presupuestario ascenderá este año a cerca de US$1,8 billones y descenderá a alrededor de US$900.000 millones para el 2011. Eso, afirmó Bernanke, llevará la relación deuda a producto interno bruto desde el 40% observado antes del inicio de la crisis financiera al 70% para el 2011, lo que marcaría el nivel más alto desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

    "Ciertamente, nuestra economía y los mercados financieros enfrentan desafíos extraordinarios en el corto plazo, y unas medidas fuertes y oportunas para responder a esos desafíos son necesarias y apropiadas", dijo Bernanke al comité.

    Sin embargo, la jubilación de la generación de los Baby Boomer -personas nacidas entre 1946 y 1964- ejercerá una presión aún mayor sobre los programas de beneficios sociales como los de Seguridad Social y Medicare, y "no podremos continuar endeudándonos indefinidamente para cumplir esas demandas", señaló.

    Bernanke sugirió que las preocupaciones sobre el área fiscal podrían estar afectando ya a los mercados. Destacó que los rendimientos de los valores del Tesoro de mayor plazo y las tasas de interés hipotecarias fijas han aumentado.

    "Estos incrementos parecen reflejar preocupaciones sobre grandes déficit federales, pero también otras causas, incluyendo el mayor optimismo hacia el panorama económico, una reversión de los flujos hacia la calidad, y factores técnicos vinculados con la cobertura de posiciones hipotecarias", dijo.

    Bernanke reiteró el panorama cautelosamente optimista del banco central sobre la economía. Los gastos del consumidor, afirmó, no han registrado cambios desde el inicio del año y la percepción ha mejorado. El sector de la vivienda, dijo "también ha mostrado algunas señales de haber tocado fondo", y los inventarios reducidos deberían fomentar en algún momento la producción.

    Sin embargo, advirtió que, incluso cuando se inicie una recuperación, el crecimiento permanecerá por debajo de su potencial de largo plazo "por algún tiempo".

    Las pérdidas de empleos "considerables", señaló, deberían continuar "durante los próximos meses", haciendo que aumente la tasa de desempleo. El Gobierno publicará el viernes el informe sobre las nóminas de empleos no agrícolas. Los economistas esperan un nuevo descenso de más de 500.000, que llevaría la tasa de desempleo por encima del 9%.

    Frente a ese telón de fondo de un aumento en los recursos desocupados, la inflación debería disminuir durante el próximo año frente al 2008, dijo Bernanke, aunque una mejora en la economía y las expectativas de una inflación estable "deberían limitar los descensos adicionales en la inflación".

    Por otra parte, Bernanke indicó que la capacidad de los bancos para recaudar capital nuevo "sugiere que los inversionistas están ganando confianza en el sistema bancario".

    Pero aunque las condiciones financieras han mejorado desde el inicio del año, estas permanecen bajo estrés y continúan actuando como un freno para la economía, agregó el funcionario.

    Um lulista em El Salvador

    Um lulista em El Salvador

    Nem o venezuelano Hugo Chávez, nem o boliviano Evo Morales e nem o nicaraguense Daniel Ortega foram à posse do primeiro presidente de esquerda de El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, na segunda-feira. Seria o caso de dizer que a ausência do trio bolivariano preencheu uma lacuna.

    Porque se há uma coisa de que o menor país da América Latina precisa desesperadamente é moderação política, para assegurar a cicatrização das marcas de uma guerra civil de 12 anos entre regimes repressivos e a guerrilha marxista da Frente Farabundo Martí de Libertação Nacional (FMLN) que deixou 75 mil mortos, a que se seguiram duas décadas de governos oligárquicos da Aliança Republicana Nacionalista (Arena).

    Mas a ausência de Chávez e de seus apadrinhados numa solenidade a que compareceram numerosos dirigentes regionais (e, pelos Estados Unidos, a secretária de Estado Hillary Clinton) foi sobretudo sintomática. Traduziu o inconfundível desconforto do chavismo diante da ascensão de um líder esquerdista que prega a "sensatez" em um país que, pelo retrospecto de violência política, a desigualdade social e a pobreza extrema em que vivem 40% dos seus 6,9 milhões de habitantes, deveria ser campo fértil para a implantação do "socialismo do século 21".

    Esse é o mote que serve de pretexto para o coronel venezuelano impor a sua autocracia e reunir seguidores entre os incautos que confundem o futuro com o velho caudilhismo latino-americano.

    O fato de a maioria absoluta dos salvadorenhos ter sufragado um candidato como Funes - o ex-jornalista que se filiou à FMLN quando o movimento já havia deposto as armas e se convertido em partido político - não apenas evidencia um grau de maturidade surpreendente para um país com o histórico de arcaísmo típico das estereotipadas repúblicas bananeiras.

    Representa um vivo desmentido às teorias simplistas segundo as quais, na América Latina, quanto mais uma sociedade arcar com o fardo de um passado do gênero tanto mais a polarização política extrema estará inscrita na ordem natural das suas coisas. E não se pode alegar que Funes iludiu os seus concidadãos.

    Em momento algum de sua campanha (e tampouco depois de sua vitória) se conduziu como um radical, embora proclamasse em alto e bom som os seus compromissos com a promoção da justiça social em seu país. Coerentemente com isso, não hesitou em dizer, no discurso de posse, que "vivemos um tempo de crise de ideologias e falência de modelos". Reiterou os apelos de campanha à união nacional, falando em "seguirmos juntos em uma nova estrada na democracia".

    Mas o progressismo pragmático de Funes tem, sim, um modelo: o presidente brasileiro Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Talvez uma circunstância fortuita - o fato de ser casado com uma petista de carteirinha desde os anos 1980, Vanda Pignato, ligada à Secretaria de Relações Internacionais do partido - tenha "feito a cabeça" do salvadorenho.

    Seja como for, os vínculos de Funes com o lulismo se consolidaram no curso da campanha eleitoral, conduzida pelo marqueteiro do Planalto, João Santana. Depois, Lula enviou a San Salvador o seu chefe de gabinete, Gilberto Carvalho, para auxiliar o vitorioso na transição de governo. E ele se prepara para lançar uma versão local do Bolsa-Família brasileiro.

    Era de esperar que, ao assumir, elogiasse o mentor. Mas, arguto, o associou a Barack Obama como exemplos de dirigentes que devem ser seguidos por encarnar "um caminho novo e seguro". (Como havia prometido, logo ao assumir anunciou o restabelecimento das relações com Cuba. El Salvador era o único país do Continente, além dos Estados Unidos, que ainda não reatara com Havana.)

    Repetindo o que o seu mentor havia dito quando assumiu, o primeiro presidente lulista da América Latina afirmou que não tem "o direito de errar". Mas acertar exigirá muito mais dele. À parte as enormes diferenças entre os países, Lula teve a seu favor um ciclo sem precedentes de crescimento econômico global.

    Funes tem contra si a retração que já afeta duramente as remessas dos seus 3 milhões de compatriotas expatriados, vitais para a economia nacional, e que interrompeu um processo de diversificação das exportações salvadorenhas. Resta esperar que a sensatez com que pretende orientar o seu governo amenize o baque.

    A Argentina, Chávez e o Mercosul

    O Mercosul não deve aceitar o coronel Hugo Chávez em sua mesa de decisões. Essa é a nova bandeira dos líderes empresariais argentinos. Desde a semana passada eles pressionam o Congresso e a presidente Cristina Kirchner para retirar o apoio oficial ao ingresso da Venezuela no bloco.

    A campanha foi desencadeada pela estatização de três indústrias do grupo Techint, anunciada poucos dias depois de uma visita do presidente venezuelano à Argentina. O desaforo foi agravado quando Chávez garantiu ao presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, num encontro em Salvador, na Bahia, não ter a intenção de expropriar empresas brasileiras.

    A presidente Cristina Kirchner aceitou facilmente a explicação do colega venezuelano sobre a declaração no Brasil - "foi uma brincadeira" -, mas o empresariado não ficou satisfeito. Afinal, a decisão de estatizar as três companhias foi mantida.

    Os líderes do setor privado argentino tentam mobilizar os colegas brasileiros, paraguaios e uruguaios para impedir a sujeição do Mercosul aos objetivos da política bolivariana.

    Se os empresários brasileiros entrarem no movimento e decidirem agir com determinação, talvez ainda possam impedir uma votação pró-Chávez no Senado. Na Câmara dos Deputados, a pretensão chavista de influir nas deliberações do bloco já foi aprovada.

    A decisão do presidente Hugo Chávez de implantar na Venezuela o modelo socialista é soberana, "mas é contrária ao modelo de integração do Mercosul", disse o secretário da União Industrial Argentina, José Ignacio de Mendiguren.

    Ele se referia não apenas ao compromisso democrático do bloco regional, mas também ao regime de investimentos nos países do bloco. Desapropriações como aquelas decididas na Venezuela são incompatíveis com a segurança jurídica indispensável à integração.

    Em documento entregue a deputados da oposição, líderes empresariais condenaram a atitude complacente de autoridades argentinas: quando se ferem os interesses nacionais, "não se trata de uma decisão interna e soberana de outro Estado, como deploravelmente dizem membros do governo argentino, mas de medidas que afetam a relação entre países".

    Essa mesma lição poderia ter sido ministrada ao governo brasileiro, quando baixou a cabeça e ainda tentou justificar as agressões à Petrobrás praticadas pelo discípulo boliviano de Hugo Chávez, o presidente Evo Morales.

    A complacência da presidente Cristina Kirchner é explicável por sua dependência financeira do Tesouro venezuelano, principal financiador da dívida pública argentina. Sem acesso ao mercado internacional e sem disposição para buscar uma composição com o Fundo Monetário, as autoridades argentinas acabaram aceitando o auxílio de Chávez, empenhado em usar os petrodólares de seu país para ganhar influência política na América Latina.

    As autoridades brasileiras não têm essa desculpa: alimentaram as ambições do caudilho venezuelano e de seus discípulos por mera incompetência na definição de seus objetivos estratégicos. Foi mais um dos muitos erros causados pela fantasia do presidente Lula de exercer uma liderança terceiro-mundista.

    As preocupações do empresariado argentino são legítimas e plenamente justificadas pelos fatos. Mas há outros motivos para se rejeitar a presença de Chávez na mesa de decisões do Mercosul. Como o bloco é uma união aduaneira, nenhum de seus membros pode celebrar acordos de livre comércio isoladamente. Acordos desse tipo dependem da adesão de todos os sócios.

    Será uma enorme irresponsabilidade sujeitar as negociações do bloco - e, portanto, sua integração no sistema global - aos interesses políticos do líder da Alba, a grotesca Alternativa Bolivariana para a América Latina. Se houvesse dúvidas quanto à vocação autoritária do presidente venezuelano, sobraria ainda essa questão fundamental: por que sujeitar os interesses externos do Mercosul aos caprichos de um homem como Chávez, que já declarou que quer ingressar no bloco para transformá-lo em instrumento de seu projeto bolivariano?

    Em Brasília, os senadores governistas, obedientes ao presidente Lula, provavelmente votarão a favor do caudilho venezuelano. Caberá aos oposicionistas impedir o desastre.

    The Oil and the Recession

    America: Ten business cycles fluctuations and the oil.

    What is a recession? A popular definition of a recession is at least two quarters of declining Gross Domestic Product (GDP),but another definition is: "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months"

    The longet expansion in U.S history ocurred in the 1990s and lasted exactly ten years;the second longest was in the 1960 and lasted almost nine years,said Robert J. Samuelson Newsweek and Washington Post columnist.

    Each duration of the then recession was of 10,4 months with average of decrease in real GDP of -1,8 and average unemployment rate of 7,6 percent.

    July 1981 trough nov.1982 the duration of the recession was 16 months with decline in industrial oroduction del -14,8 percent and unemployment rate 9,0 percent and inflation rate of 4,9 percent,said National Bureau of Economic Research.

    Stable prices provide a sense of segurity and social and political orden.Their importance is noticed only when they go missing.

    People watching a large price of the oil.Remember the US$ 145-a-barrel oil that ocurred in 2008. Energy is a pivotal commodity. If it's scarce, other activities will suffer.

    Today week to week,pleople watching one day 2,10 galon but another day de price is 2,40 galon (14 percent up). High inflation's oil stunted the increase of living standars through lower productivity growth and high inflation's oil caussed the stock market to stagnate. People began to believe that prices of home could one rise, leading to "bubbles" that burst in 2007 for homes.

    Home loans were extended to buyers with weak credit and with little or no requirement for down payment. The presumption that homes would always be worth move tomorrow than today provide a false sense of segurity to the lenders and rationalized credit standards that,with hindsight,seemed self-evidently doomed.When these "subprime" mortgages began to default in large numbers, the homebuilding boom ended,housing price fell,financial institutions suffered large losses on securities backed by mortgages, and the economy tipped into another recession.

    The connections to oil inflation are there,but we simply refuse to seen them.

    Oil inflation is an examnple of how economic affects almost everything else. But some academic said that the oil were not the source of inflation and other problems,because the energy wasn't a major part of highen inflation.

    The full impact of the first "oil shock" the overall CPI rose 8,7 percent,up from 3,3percent in 1971. It's also true that oil aggravated inflation, but the real reason for oil's outsized role in the inflation story is that is scarred to American psyche.

    The midst of the Yom Kippur War of october 1973,arab oil suppliers embargoed oil shipments to United States; putting suppliers in a position of raise prices.

    The official price of Saudi Arabian oil went from US$ 2,59 to US$ 11,65 barrel, this was 40 percent increase.In 1978-before the leap in oil prices-percent,almost the CPI increased a double the 4,9 percent gain of 1976, and then "disturbances in the oil market...matter much less than has commonly been thought", said economists Robert Barsky of the University of Michigan.

    lunes, junio 01, 2009


    En el enlace de arriba aparece una Hoja WEb dedicada al analisis del tema SOCIALISMO, y la pregunta que alli aparece es:

    What sort of political changes are possible when workers are a minority of the population? Neil Davidson looks at a question which has absorbed Marxists for over 100 years.