Sunday, December 21, 2003

Democracy in Latin America

In a fascinating interview in El Pais, the Mexican intellectual Enrique Krauze discusses the prospects for liberal democracy in South America.

I found his comments on the US most striking, however. He says, "[C]reo que nosotros hemos estudiado poco EE UU y ellos han estudiado muy poco el mundo. Ellos son un país casi autista. El único país del mundo donde hay un campeonato deportivo nacional, el del béisbol, al que se llama la serie mundial. Es indicativo."

(My translation: "I believe that we have not studied the US carefully enough, and they, likewise, have not learned about the rest of the world. It's almost an autistic country. It's the only country in the world where a national sporting championship, that for baseball, is called a world series. That's indicative.")

He goes on to compare the British with the American empire; for all its defects, abuses and excesses, the British Empire strove to build the foundations for democracy, and today one can see many democracies among its former territories. The opposite happened in America; the US always choose against democracy in Latin America, and always supported dictatorships.

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