[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for April 21, 2012. See original here.]
By Marcos Roitmann Rosenmann
Measures taken to nationalize and to recuperate basic riches in Latin America or Africa or Asia have always suffered the ire of colonial centers and the enterprises affected. There is no shortage of examples: Lázaro Cárdenas, Jacobo Arbenz, Fidel Castro, Omar Torrijos, Velasco Alvarado, Salvador Allende, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez; the list is long.
Accustomed to ordering and to being in charge, arrogant empires are unfamiliar with the concepts of independence and sovereignty. They are reluctant to deal as equals. Paternalism, based on positions of strength, shapes the discourse of imperial haughtiness. To declare oneself opposed to paternal authority and the established order usually brings on exemplary punishment: blockades, destabilizing processes, economic strangulation, assassinations of leaders or coups d’état. These days, the expropriation of a private company, Repsol YPF, whose interests are those only of their stockholders and whose objective is to obtain profits at the cost of any ethical, judicial or environmental consideration, awakens the ire of the hegemonic powers, their institutions and principal political leaders. (more…)