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Shadow diplomacy

Olavo de Carvalho
Diário do Comércio, December 22, 2008

 

“Monroe must be rolling in his grave,” remarked Julia Sweig, director of the Latin-American program of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), upon learning that the USA was locked out of the Latin America State leaders’ summit in Costa do Sauípe, Bahia, Brazil. The famous 1823 doctrine, which placed the continent out of the range of European powers and made it a sphere of influence of the USA, is dead and buried.

This is the inevitable result of President George W. Bush’s policy of trying to seduce the Latin American “moderate left” and make it a containment wall against the avalanche of revolutionary leftism. There was virtually no one in high Washington DC circles, American big media and the CFR itself who would not consider this policy the pinnacle of universal diplomatic wisdom. The Democrats only complained – a bit – that it was not leftist enough. Republicans reacted with contempt and impatience at any attempt to point out its fundamental flaw.

Since I arrived to the USA in May 2005, I have made speeches in several conservative institutions and handed out dozens of articles to politicians and opinion makers, telling them that ignoring the deep unity of the Latin American left, betting on the possibility of pitting one country against the other by means of trading advantages, was an enormous act of stupidity, if not of deliberate treason that the leftists in the Department of State were nourishing and that the right-wing lackeys refused to see.

Celebrated by the left as a display of “independence,” the distancing of the continent from the USA is far from that: it is wholesale and overt submission to the expansionist strategy of the Russians, Chinese and Iranians. In recent years, the Chinese President Hu Jintao spent more time in Latin America than George W. Bush, increasing trading and diplomatic relations with several countries on the continent. Mahmud Ahmadinejad already has an invitation to visit Brazil and Russian warships are sailing merrily about in joint maneuvers with Venezuelan warships in an area where such would have been unthinkable some years ago. It is impossible to gauge Russian and Chinese encroachment in Brazilian business through an infinity of frontmen, but, as a rule of thumb, where you read “Spain” construe that as “Russia.” The reintegration of Cuba in the Latin-American community, with no concessions whatsoever in the human rights area in exchange, was celebrated by President Lula as a chief motivation for the summit, even if nothing else would be settled there.

Lula, of whom George W. Bush had high expectations as an essential instrument of American diplomacy to stop the advance of continental communism, is himself, just as much today as since the foundation of the São Paulo Forum in 1990, the great mastermind of Latin-American subversion, something that this summit made clearer than ever.

If, at the same time, he nourishes market economy and international free trade, he follows in this the same guidelines of the Russians, the Chinese and of all the international communist movement: to postpone sine die the socialization of the production means and use capitalist growth itself as a means to build global leftist political power. What Lenin did in Russia is now being applied on a worldwide scale: seduction of capitalists with smooth talk while the political power of the communist movement is increased to the utmost limits.

Accustomed to making the most accurate analyses and predictions and see them received with scornful grins and affectations of Olympic superiority – a classic emblem of ignorant unpreparedness – I recall that as early as 2005, fifteen years after the founding of the São Paulo Forum, by then the almost absolute lord of continental policy, the most enlightened council of the CFR would refuse to believe in the very existence of this organization. One day, some thirty or forty years from now, we shall know whether this display of blindness was the fruit of genuine stupidity or the clever action of enlightened intellectuals. Politics, of course, is a game of disguises. But one cannot handle disguises if one does not keep away from them, firmly anchored in reality. At the end of the day, those who get accustomed to living from disguises end up contaminating themselves with an abhorrent terror of reality: their vain boasting of realism, maturity and pragmatic wisdom is a grotesque pantomime that conceals its own total incapability of effective action. While granting them the illusory power of manipulating shadows within shadows, it changes them into shadows themselves.