Destaque Internacional - Year VI - No. 151 - Buenos Aires / Madrid - Oct. 20, 2004 (translated from original in Spanish).-

The American Elections: Gulliver and Latin America

The international concerns of the United States turn primarily toward the unfolding of the military war in Iraq and the problem of Moslem terrorism. However it should not absorb one's attention in such a way as to stop one from seeing that in Latin America, the natural rearguard of the United States, they are becoming victims of another war, that of disinformation.

The Presidential Debates: Latin America Ignored

The presidential candidates of the United States, conservative George W. Bush and liberal John Kerry, ignored Latin America in the three pre-electoral debates - a particularly striking omission in the first of them, dedicated to foreign affairs and held in Florida, a state with a strong Cuban and Latin American presence, where the problem of Communist Cuba is a particularly burning one.

That relegation of Latin America to a secondary status favors the "pink" and "red" Left of the continent, driven on to encourage anti-American resentment, isolating the United States from its Southern neighbors and creating, in relations on both sides, a climate of "the worse, the better."

Military War and Information War

One can understand that the international attention of the United States turns primarily toward the unfolding of the military war in Iraq and the problem of Moslem-inspired terrorism. But it should not absorb that attention in such a way as to stop one from seeing that in Latin America, its natural rearguard, they are becoming victims of another form of war that does not affect bodies, but rather people's mentalities: disinformation. Not in vain a recent investigation by Latinobarómetro in eighteen countries of the region confirms the growth, in the majority of them, of the anti-American feeling (cf. Destaque Internacional, "United States and 'Guerrilla Warfare' Politics in Latin America," and "The Left: The Hidden Truth Behind the Wave of 'Anti-Americanism'").

A Guarantee for the North's Stability

If the American presidential candidates had, as part of their priorities, the vast conservative and centrist sectors of Latin America as necessary and indispensable allies - keeping in mind that the stability and prosperity of its Southern neighbors constitute a guarantee for the North's own stability - they would have found in those pre-electoral debates of international projection a superb occasion to present their in-depth proposals for that region.

It is true that the interviewers did not question them on Latin America. Nevertheless, the rules of the debates granted each candidate sufficient time to recapitulate the ideas expressed and add, even if only briefly, other themes considered to be of importance. Also it is true that in recent months both candidates have not spared making promises to the Hispanic voters in general, and Cuban Americans in particular. But they have done it undoubtedly on less important occasions, many of them of a regional nature.

Latin Americans: The Largest Minority

There is a paradox surrounding this relegation of Latin America to secondary status. In spite of being ignored, the region has managed to acquire rights of citizenship in the United States itself, where forty million people of such origin live, and who constitute the most numerous and growing minority of the country. Of that total, eight million possess the right to vote and, still while being a minority, in the presidential elections of 2004 they have in their hands the possibility of defining the results in at least four of the so-called "swing states," or "pendulum states," in which a narrow difference among the candidates exists: Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.

Cuban Americans, Once Again Decisive

Already in the presidential elections of 2000, the votes of the Cuban Americans of Florida, indignant with President Clinton for having delivered "boat boy" Elián González to the dictator Castro, were decisive for the defeat of the Democratic candidate and for the victory of the Republican candidate, the current President Bush. All indicates that in the next elections on November 2, Florida, with one of the larger electoral colleges of the country and with a booming Cuban-Latin-American community, will again be decisive.

"Pinks" and "Reds": To Frustrate the Giant Gulliver

These considerations have been presented with the loyal and constructive purpose of encouraging collaboration between conservative currents and those of the center, in the three Americas, as a way of offering an alternative to the present advance of the "pink" and "red" brands of socialism on the continent.

Precisely as was acknowledged in the Third World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, a common strategy of the "pinks" and "reds" is the creation of the so-called "Lilliputian networks" with the objective of neutralizing the influence of the American giant. They are inspired by the work of the Irish writer Jonathan Swift, in which a multitude of "dwarfs" managed to frustrate the giant Gulliver (cf. CubDest, "World Social Forum: The 'Networks,' Their Goals and Strategies - Tactics Known As 'Lilliputian' Give the Appearance of Spontaneity to What Constitutes a Gigantic Contestatarian Articulation," Feb. 6, 2003).

Natural Allies

In the context of the Americas, Gulliver and the Lilliputians are called to be natural allies, replacing confrontation with collaboration. Even when one might make legitimate objections to aspects of the foreign policy of the present president and candidate Bush - and we have just presented one of them - the mere fact of seeing the Latin American Left so interested in the victory of candidate Kerry is a sufficient motive as for not wanting it.

Related Editorials:

* Elecciones norteamericanas: Gulliver y América Latina

* American Elections: What They Make Us Believe - and the Reality

* Elecciones norteamericanas: lo que se nos hace creer y la realidad

* World Social Forum: Its Networks, Goals & Strategies

* Foro Social Mundial: las "redes", sus metas y estrategias

* The U.S. & Political "Guerrilla Warfare" in Latin America

* Estados Unidos y "guerra de guerrillas" política en América Latina

* Leftists Movements: The Hidden Truth behind "Anti-Americanism"

* Izquierdas: la verdad oculta detrás de la ola "anti-estadounidense"

* Leftist bias in the media: serious worldwide problem

* Medios de comunicación y parcialidad izquierdista: grave problema mundial

* América Latina y la censura de las izquierdas