Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

20 YEARS AFTER, FROM THE USSR TO PRESENT-DAY RUSSIA

August 18, 2011
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Spanish version :-    http://wp.me/pRlnf-4m

 

After a failed coup, USSR Premier Mijail Gorvachov handed over the power of the disintegrating empire to Boris Yeltsin. In no time, the USSR was no more.

Even today, we must ask ourselves what would have been of this world if the process would have remained in the hands of Gorvachov instead of Yeltsin.

In spite of the supposed end of the Cold War, at that stage, the Russia Yeltsin is supposed to have constructed is no different from the USSR that Gorvachov tried to change with his Perestroika. A convinced Leninist, this world leader was less understood at home than abroad. Nevertheless, the Western World failed to give him the support he needed. Yeltsin took over but really no change occurred than a change of name and the celebration of apparently tutored democratic elections.

Today, 20 years after, Russia has not advanced sufficiently towards democracy nor has eradicated the corrupt ways of the defunct USSR. Power is still concentrated in the hands of a few with a strongman at the helm of its destiny. As one of the emerging states that form the so-called BRIC bloc, Russia is expected to propel world economy. How is that to take place when its leaders remain adamant to democratic change in the course of its economic advances?

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra

Barcelona, Spain

 

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KOREA IN THE LIMELIGHT: THE NEVER-ENDING STORY OF THE 38th PARALLEL

November 23, 2010
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“Has President Obama’s brief stay in Lisbon been intended towards a Western-front pact with Russia included to curtail other world powers from the temptation of going beyond their economic ambitions?”

https://fernandofusterfabra.wordpress.com/ November 21, 2010

Less than 72 hours after the historic NATO Summit in Lisbon that put an official end to the Cold War, the world stands abashed to a new North Korean provocation of its neighbour at the same time life-long adversary.

One of the principles that both North & South Korea have resorted to is precisely that of ‘just war’ although not in the manner President Obama employed to justify US presence in Iraq & Afghanistan. Korea, in fact was one nation up till the victorious Allied troops (USA & USSR as main actors) decided to end Japan’s 35-year colonial permanence by jointly occupying Korea as trustees, with the 38th Parallel as the demarcated control zone. However, the reference to said demarcation line dates back to an 1896 dispute between Russia and Japan over Japan’s British-recognised rights over the Korean peninsula.

The latest tense developments between the two Koreas with the North bombing of a South Korean island in the Yellow Sea has brought to front-page new risks of war in the Asian scenario. Not to be taken lightly due to North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, the affair has gone beyond a mere skirmish in the frequent incidents provoked mainly by the last Stalin-cut Communist regime in the world. Although North Korea may be applying once more its calculated-risk provocation strategy to improve its position in forthcoming meetings to negotiate its nuclear development, the near end of Kim Jong Il’s regime with the succession entrusted to his youngest son may provoke a will of confrontation beyond usual limits.

What was in the NATO-Russia agreement that may have to do with this international incident?

Would an expanded NATO alliance have to intervene in case of an open conflict between the two Koreas?

The UN Security Council has been convoked to an emergency meeting. In said council seats China with its veto power. If Russia has now ended the Cold War and is an ally of the NATO allies, only China can block any resolution to condemn North Korea’s supposed attacked against its southern neighbour.

What is in store for us in the next few hours in the ever increasing risk of international nuclear conflict at the 38th Parallel?

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

Observer of Human Behaviour


OBAMA’S RETURN TO EUROPE: WHAT IS IN STORE AFTER THE G-20 FLOP?

November 19, 2010
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Sad to say but true, President Obama is not only a questioned leader in the USA but also as a world leader before the eyes of some of his staunch allies, particularly in Europe.

This weekend’s NATO Summit in Lisbon will be the first encounter after the disheartening G-20 performance by the cast of developed & developing nations’ leaders meeting in Seoul. Said summit will be followed by yet another bilateral one between the USA & the EU which may not count with Obama’s presence.

The disheartening results of an ineffective meet such as the one held in Seoul, whereby developed democracies on both sides of the Atlantic succumbed to a subtle Chinese strategy of political abstraction, cannot but have cooled even further already estranged EU-US postures in the economic field. China had its ways at the Seoul summit and as of today has further aggravated economic tensions with the latest communiqué from its central bank by raising its reserve ratio 50 basis points. Furthermore, the Communist Asian superpower has set its protectionist mechanism to curtail foreign investment in Chinese real estate and enterprise as a precautionary measure to avoid speculation.

True to say, the EU’s stance at the G-20 meet wasn’t all that unanimous, with Germany applying pressure on the USA in a similar manner as China but with different tactics. I keep asking myself why both superpowers – the USA on one side and the EU as a whole bloc of 27 state & 500 M population on the opposite side – haven’t yet decided to sit down to draw out a single strategic route for the economic crisis resolution.

The opportunity was missed when the EU-US bilateral summit scheduled in Spain in May was cancelled due to Obama’s overloaded agenda on the home front. Since then, six months have elapsed and the crisis has not only grown in intensity but rather new doubts have been raised as to the best common ground solutions no one seems to venture into.

The NATO encounter will have Afghanistan at the top of the priority list. The US seems more worried about ensuring military backing from the EU partners than solving other issues on hand. Indeed, probably the new common adversary encased in Al Qaeda’s terrorism requires a collective effort in lieu of a defunct ‘cold war’ with the extinct USSR now converted into an ally represented by Russia. Nevertheless, even in this new ‘war against terrorism’, I see a lack of realism in the world leaders’ analysis.

¿Can we forget that China, the emerging superpower with UN veto rights, not only is not a full-pledged democracy but likewise is a traditional sly manipulator of world political tensions in such vital issues as Iran & Korea?

Resolving favourably the Afghanistan issue is yet light years away, if ever a satisfactory solution is feasible on medium term. Yet, NATO members are attending the issue as ‘top priority’ with the presence of a no less insignificant and worthless Karzai. Instead, these nations should be discussing not only a common defence with Russia against ‘international terrorism’ (not only Al Qaeda), which goes from fanatic movements bent on destabilising democracies but also implies ‘economic terrorists’ who are capable of sinking the world into further long-term crises whilst bolstering their unscrupulous enrichment schemes.

While the powerful in economy and the military meet in Lisbon, the Nobel Peace Awards Committee has cancelled this year’s ceremony because China has not allowed the 2010 awardee, Liu Xiaobo, nor any family member, to travel to Oslo; Haiti is plagued by cholera and the population has uprisen in revolt against the UN Blue Helmets; Indonesia suffers from volcano eruptions with death toll rising; the Sahara territory under Moroccan dominion is isolated from the world whilst possible abuses are being committed; More than 30,000 children die each day due to hunger, and malnutrition shortens the life expectations of many thousand more; There are over a billion hungry people in the world today according to FAO’s malnutrition report, with almost 2/3 in Asia (where China & India have the largest populations) and 1/3 in Africa & Latin America.

I could go on to cite numerous such situations, not to mention that poverty has increased even in developed countries (15 M in 2009) the world over.

I wonder how our leaders can meet time and again to discuss economic & military issues and get nothing resolved to the world’s citizenry’s satisfaction in what really counts.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra Fdz.

Observer of Human Behaviour


THE BERLIN WALL 20 YEARS AFTER

November 6, 2009
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Berlin Wall

These past days have been marked with celebrations on the 20th. anniversary of the Berlin Wall downfall. What seemed to indicate the changing tide in the East-West confrontation was in truth the first step towards the breaking-up of the now extinct USSR.

 

Slowly, the defunct East German regime was introduced to the flourishing West German economy. Change seemed to be in the way towards one single Germany.

 

Today, 20 years after, in spite of Angela Merkel’s assurance that the Berlin Wall is History and that German unity is a reality, the facts show that 8 M Eastern Germans have yet a way to go before they feel fully integrated into the single Germany headed by a Prime minister that grew up in the east.

 

Reunification is much more than an economic-political assumption of laws, norms & regulations dictated by the Bundestag now seated in a single City of Berlin. The social issues require far more than two decades and may well take another generation before former Eastern Germans start to feel themselves as one with the wessis. Unemployment in former East Germany doubles that of the western sector and at least 1 M German citizens from the former pro-soviet bloc are difficult to fit into jobs designed for western profiles. Besides, in a similar manner that Merkel felt strongly attached to their old homeland for family reasons, most citizens in the eastern side do not wish to transfer to other parts of the reunited Germany to start out new lives.

 

Germany has cost the European Union some economic effort in lieu of reunification, all in the hope that the reunited Germany would be the engine of the Union´s economy. After the crisis started, doubts are in all minds whether the impact of an added 16 M population to the EU was the right step towards a political dream that is costing everyone more efforts while producing fewer results than expected.

 

 

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madríd


WHEN WILL EUROPE’S DEBT FOR D-DAY BE FULLY PAID?

June 6, 2009
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Normandy-Colleville

It is today 65 years since that historical event of the Normandy invasion by Allied combined strategic forces in a first direct action to defeat the Nazi army deployed all over the European mainland.

In numerous occasions, other U.S. Presidents have crossed the Atlantic to commemorate such significant anniversary and honour their dead, American soldiers who lost their lives in a war waged against Hitler’s anti-Jewish oppression and lust to rule the destiny of Europe. Time and time again, European leaders have played host to ceremonies at French cemeteries when thousands of soldiers – Americans, Canadians and Europeans – share humble graves with a simple marker, either a cross or a Star of David surrounded by grass and poppies. Although a historic moment, war went on for over a full year and thousands of civilians has to lose their lives in bombings and raids all over Nazi-occupied Europe and in the bastions in Hitler’s demoralized Deutschland.  

I was born scarcely a year later yet in another warfront thousands of miles away, when likewise more thousands of soldiers lost their lives in the retaking of a former American protectorate, The Philippines, invaded by Japan, an Axis ally of Hitler’s Germany. And when still unaware of what went on about me, the mighty United States of America dropped on the defeated Japanese Empire to psychologically destroy an already humiliated nation.

As a European, I have often asked myself how far much gratitude be demonstrated to the acclaimed liberators of Europe and the rest of the world. Not denying the values of those young Allied soldiers that gave their lives in the name of freedom, one cannot deny that having defeated the evils of Nazism, the United States and Great Britain had to accept an ally which was just as dangerous – Josef Stalin. In fact, Churchill always mistrusted the alliance with the Soviet leader, who had in 1939 has likewise signed an alliance with Hitler.

D-Day 2009

When President Obama was delivering his speech at Caen, I remembered that from the smouldering wreck of II World War rose new hopes for a better world; but also began the making up of an economic confrontation between a modified capitalism in the wake of Roosevelt’s New Deal and a Soviet counter-model to the image of a socialist-communist interventionist state.

Today, the U.S. Administration has again had to turn about the laxly regulated liberal capitalist model of the ‘80s to apply state intervention, in a clear sign of capitalism’s new excesses. Hopefully, no world war will be necessary to straighten out socio-economic politics in a globalised planet. Europe has paid a high price for Hitler’s ambitions and must pay no more. All commemorations must rest on the respect for our dead but we should stop it from being an annual revival of a debt I feel has been fully paid up.

 

Madrid, June 6, 2009


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