Archive for 29 marzo 2010

Guerra de trincheras

29 marzo, 2010

Ningunear a la Unión Europea nunca fue tan fácil ni salió tan barato. Primero fue Rusia, que en agosto de 2008 pasó por encima de todos los acuerdos de seguridad europeos invadiendo Georgia como represalia al insensato asalto de los georgianos sobre la capital de Osetia del Sur. Luego fue China, que en noviembre del mismo año se permitió el lujo de suspender su cumbre con la UE para protestar por la reunión de Sarkozy con el Dalai Lama. (more…)

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Alemania desatada

22 marzo, 2010

Ulises se ató al mástil de su nave para no sucumbir al canto de las sirenas. Según la analogía popularizada por mi colega del European Council on Foreign Relations en Berlín, Ulrike Guérot, lo mismo puede decirse de Alemania, que durante los 40 años transcurridos entre la fundación de la República Federal, en 1949, y la caída del muro de Berlín, en 1989, se ató al mástil europeo para no sucumbir a los cantos del nacionalismo alemán. (more…)

Tomates y política exterior

15 marzo, 2010

Leo los comentarios y análisis sobre la reciente cumbre entre Marruecos y la Unión Europea y me vienen a la cabeza algunas asociaciones curiosas entre tomates y política. Probablemente recuerden la imagen de Paul Wolfowitz, el todopoderoso neocon artífice de la guerra de Irak, mostrando al mundo sus calcetines horadados a la entrada de una mezquita en Turquía. Aquella foto fue todo un símbolo de las desnudeces argumentales del poder americano en la era Bush frente a la riqueza y sofisticación de una cultura milenaria.

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Eye-opener

12 marzo, 2010

I have just returned from an eye-opening visit to Serbia and Kosovo, where I saw close up the difficulties people face in putting the past behind them. In Belgrade I talked with Jovan Teokarevic, a political science professor: “Many people here think that the worse things go in Kosovo, the better for Serbia. But they are wrong. The better things go in Kosovo, the sooner we will join the EU. We’re in the same boat.” And Natasa Kandic, a human rights lawyer who wants to bring war criminals to trial, says: “Many people in Serbia think that the massacres in Bosnia and Kosovo are tales invented by NATO to justify the war. In Serbia we need to face the past and acknowledge our mistakes and crimes, if we want to have a European future.” (more…)

Abrir los ojos

8 marzo, 2010

Regreso de un intenso viaje a Serbia y Kosovo donde he podido comprobar de primera mano las dificultades que la gente corriente tiene para superar el pasado y enfrentar el futuro. En Belgrado hablo con Jovan Teokarevic, un profesor de Ciencia Política: “Muchos aquí creen que cuanto peor le vaya a Kosovo, mejor para Serbia. Pero están equivocados. Cuanto mejor vayan las cosas en Kosovo antes nos integraremos en la Unión Europea. Su futuro y el nuestro están completamente vinculados”.

También hablo con Natasa Kandic, una conocida defensora de los derechos humanos que intenta llevar ante los tribunales a los criminales de guerra de su país: “Muchos en Serbia piensan que las matanzas de la guerra de Bosnia y los crímenes cometidos en Kosovo son falsedades inventadas por la OTAN para justificar la guerra”. “Los serbios”, dice, “necesitamos enfrentar el pasado y reconocer nuestros errores y crímenes: sólo así podremos tener un futuro europeo”. (more…)

Part IV: Scorpions

4 marzo, 2010

 

I am in front of a Scorpion. His name is Momcilo. The phoenix tattooed on the necks of such men means there’s no chance of mistaking them. The Scorpions were the most feared Serb paramilitary unit during the Bosnia and Kosovo wars. In one infamous video which went round the world, we saw them laughing at several Bosnian civilians who are packed into a truck on the roadside in 1995. Later, they executed them. (more…)

Part III: South of Ibar river

3 marzo, 2010

Today, Wednesday, we have a second chance to talk to the Serb minority in Kosovo and find out how they feel, what their views are, what sort of problems they face. Contrary to the area of North Mitrovica, where the Serbs are the majority and feel relatively safe because their territory is contiguous with Serbia proper, we are now talking with Serbs in Serbs enclaves surrounded by Albanian kosovars. These Serbs see things from the perspective of an isolated minority. They feel squeezed between Pristina and Belgrade, none of them, they feel, really cares about their practical needs. (more…)

Part II: Crossing the Ibar River

2 marzo, 2010

Monday we drive to Mitrovica in order to have a first hand experience of how is it to live in a divided city. Our guide today, an Albanian, used to live in the North. She had to flee during the war and when the war was over and she returned, her house was occupied by Serbs. For ten years now, she has been unable to return to her flat, and the UN has been of little help. (more…)

Part I: Beograd

2 marzo, 2010

This is the first post of a series I am going to be running for the few days on Serbia and Kosovo. I am here invited by the Kosovo and Serbia Open Society Foundations. With me, there are two members of the Spanish Parliament’s Commission for Foreign Affairs, a lawyer and former MP who is specialized in human rights and a journalist. (more…)

Orlando’s refusal

2 marzo, 2010

The death of Orlando Zapata shows up the extreme fragility of the Cuban regime. After 50 years of total control of everything in Cuba, the fact that it has to use these means of repression on a bricklayer, whose only form of resistance has been peaceful and verbal, can only mean that the regime fears its citizens as much as they fear the regime – or perhaps a little more. (more…)