Sunday, 20 October 2013

INTERESTING COMMENTARY ARISING FROM CONFERENCE IN CUBA



From Atilio Boron (translated from spanish)

Interesting debate in the framework of the First Conference of Strategic Studies, "Rethinking a world in crisis and transformation", organised by Cuba's Centre of International Politics. One of the topics of the afternoon session was about the BRICS countries.

There was an interesting presentation about China and its process of gradual reorientation towards the interior, fomenting the internal market, promoting a redistribution of income and strongly expanding its investment in infrastructure and education. A very significant fact: according to OECD projections for the 2030s, the Chinese economy will be equivalent to 29% of the global GDP, while that of the US will decline until it levels out at around 17%, and the EU and the other countries of the OECD will constitute a combined 14%. By that time the Indian economy will have a GDP roughly equal to that of the US.

In summary, in a little more than a decade and a half, the global economic structure will undergo a radical transformation and if Latin America and the Caribbean don't join together, if they don't integrate, it will be very difficult for our countries to compete in that new international economic scenario. Effective union, not rhetoric, of the South American countries would combine exceptional natural resources that don't exist in any other continent: abundant petrol (Venezuela, Brazil etc), gas, large mineral resources, exceptional water resources, half of the world's biodiversity, potential to feed a billion people, and an important industrial sector. Therefore the empire works day and night to abort the unity of our America.

A very interesting contribution from a council minister of the Russian Federation, Vadim Temnikov, with a stark analysis of the international situation. Referring to Washington he said, literally: "They deceived us with Iraq, they deceived us again with Libya. No more!"

And he added that his country, together with China, would conclusively oppose any aggression against Syria. The path is diplomatic and the non-interference in internal affairs is a fundamental principle of the UN charter.

The dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal is only the beginning; there are other countries in the region (Israel, for example, although not explicitly mentioned) which have many chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction that must also disarm. He also spoke about what he called 'geopolitical transition', in reference to the changes in the global economy outlined above but also to the irresistible configuration of a multipolar system that no longer accepts the messianic and interventionist role of the United States.

He also spoke of the strategic alliance of Russia with China, India and Vietnam, and rescuing the role the Soviet Union had played in supporting the national liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The implosion of the USSR was a terrible blow for Russia but, he said, now we are in conditions of returning to play an important role in the global geopolitical equilibrium. The recent Russian intervention in the Syria crisis attests to this. Something to think about, no?

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