9 octobre 1967

Avec un peu de retard, 41 années après son assassinat, un hommage au Che, hommage que je ne m’explique pas réellement n’ayant jamais été communiste:

La version originale est du martyr chilien Victor Jara:

Pour expliquer cet hommage, je trouve que le journaliste et bloggeur sud-africain Tony Karon, a.k.a. The Rootless Cosmopolitan, a trouvé les meilleurs mots dans « The guilty pleasure of Fidel Castro« :

What fascinates me, however, is the guilty pleasure with which so many millions of people around the world revere Fidel Castro — revere him, but wouldn’t dream of emulating his approach to economics or governance. People, in other words, who would not be comfortable actually living in Castro’s Cuba, much as they like the idea of him sticking it the arrogant yanqui, his physical and political survival a sure sign that Washington’s awesome power has limits — and can therefore be challenged.

Nelson Mandela is a perfect example of the guilty pleasure phenomenon: A dyed-in-the-wool democrat with an exaggerated fondness for British institutions, Mandela is nonetheless a warm friend and admirer of the Cuban leader. The same would be true for almost all of the current generation of ANC leaders in South Africa, not only those who jump and prance while singing about machine guns, but also those with impeccable credentials in Washington and on Wall Street. When the guests were being welcomed at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration in 1994, the announcement of Hillary Clinton’s presence, representing her husband’s administration, elicited polite applause. When Fidel Castro was announced, the assembled political class of the new order went into raptures of ecstasy. (…)

But equally important was what Fidel represented to the global south — not a model of governance and economic management (after all, the very ANC leaders who cheered him to the heavens were embarked upon a diametrically different political and economic path to Castro’s — whose revolution, by the way, looked as if it was on its last legs in 1994, having lost the massive Soviet subsidy that had enabled a quality of life for poor people unrivaled in the developing world). No, what Fidel represented to South Africa’s new leaders was a symbol of independence, of casting off colonial and neo-colonial overlords and defending your sovereignty, against Quixotic odds, from an arrogant power.

Take a survey among today’s Latin American leaders on Fidel Castro, and he’ll get a huge popularity rating. For the likes of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, he has, rather unfortunately, been a role model in every sense; for the more sober and pragmatic social democrats of the Lula-Bachelet-Kirschner variety, Fidel nonetheless represents an inspiration that opened the way for their generation to cut their own path and stand up to the U.S.-backed dictators that imprisoned and tortured their ilk. In Latin America, Castro personifies nothing as much as defiance of the Monroe Doctrine, by which the U.S. had defined the continent as its backyard, reserving the right to veto, by force, anything it didn’t like. Get a Mexican conservative politician drunk in a discreet setting, and you’ll probably discover a closet Castro fan.

Castro appeals not only to socialists, but to nationalists everywhere. And, of course, the Cuban leader himself was a radical nationalist, rather than a communist, when he seized power in 1959, and the U.S. response to his moves to nationalize the sugar industry were part of what drove him to make common cause with the Soviets.

Addendum: le texte de Tony Karon traite de Fidel Castro mais s’applique dans son principe aussi au Ché, même s’il y a des éléments particuliers – sa fin dramatique particulièrement – qui contribuent tout spécialement à la popularité du Che.

Crise financière – quelques pistes concrètes

La première piste, via Lenin’s Tomb:

La deuxième piste offre une méthodologie alternative mais équivalente dans ses effets, via le Comité de salut public:

Ceci sans préjudice du programme d’endiguement du déboulement des ftours et de l’éradication du gang des petits malins.

Vérité à New York, erreur à Caracas

Vous vous rappelez peut-être du référendum constitutionnel spectaculairement perdu l’année dernière au Vénézuela par l’épouvantail de la presse bien-pensante, Hugo Chavez – à la lire, on aurait dit qu’il avait envahi illégalement un Etat membre de l’ONU ou colonisé un autre peuple depuis soixante ans.

Une des réformes constitutionnelles proposée et donc rejetée était le suppression de l’interdiction de mandats successifs à la présidence de la République bolivarienne du Vénezuela. En effet, sur le modèle étatsunien, un président ne peut être élu que deux fois consécutives – le mandat de six ans ne peut donc qu’être renouvelé qu’une seule fois consécutivement (article 230 de la Constitution du Venezuela). Tous les pays n’ont pas ce type de limites: l’Italie l’ignore par exemple, de même que la Suisse.

Bien évidemment, un bonne partie de la presse, aux Etats-Unis et en Europe, voyait dans la proposition de suppression de la limitation des mandats présidentiels un signe avant-coureur du goulag tropical qui attendrait le Vénezuela. Prenons par exemple le New York Times:

Since he took office eight years ago, Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, has grabbed more and more power, exploiting his nation’s oil wealth to buy up popular support. Now there are hopeful signs that his plan to become president for life may be too blatant for the electorate to swallow.

Tomorrow, Venezuelans are scheduled to vote on a package of constitutional reforms proposed by Mr. Chávez that would grant the president control over nearly every major political institution, as well as the option to stand for re-election as many times as he wants.

(…) His favorite provisions, of course, would extend the presidential term from six to seven years and remove presidential term limits.

(…) Now there are signs that more Venezuelans have decided to take a stand and vote no. This referendum is too important to miss. Opponents are calling for a massive “no” vote. For the sake of Venezuela’s battered democracy, voters should heed the call. (NY Times, « Saying No to Chávez« , Dec. 1, 2007)

N’attrapez pas le tournis, mais quelques mois plus tard, le New York Times semblait revenir à une approche plus critique de la limitation des mandats électoraux:

The bedrock of American democracy is the voters’ right to choose. Though well intentioned, New York City’s term limits law severely limits that right, which is why this page has opposed term limits from the outset. The law is particularly unappealing now because it is structured in a way that would deny New Yorkers — at a time when the city’s economy is under great stress — the right to decide for themselves whether an effective and popular mayor should stay in office.

(…) But we would go further and ask the Council to abolish term limits altogether — not to serve any individual’s political career but to serve the larger cause of democracy.

(…) Term limits are seductive, promising relief from mediocre, self-perpetuating incumbents and gridlocked legislatures. They are also profoundly undemocratic, arbitrarily denying voters the ability to choose between good politicians and bad, especially in a city like New York with a strong public campaign-financing system, while automatically removing public servants of proven ability who are at a productive point in their careers.

(…) It is worth repeating: This is a rule that needs to be abolished. If the voters don’t like the result, they can register their views at the polls.

(NY Times, « The Limits of Term Limits« , Sep. 30, 2008

Etonnant, non?

Hat-tip: Ali Esbati & Biology&Politics.

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