China summons G7 diplomats after group expressed ‘concern’ over situation in South China Sea

Publicado originalmente em 13 de abril de 2016.

China has summoned representatives from the Group of Seven (G7) nations to express anger after the countries said they were “concerned” about the situation in the East and South China Seas.

“China summoned the diplomatic envoys of relevant countries,” Lu Kang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said during a press briefing.

It comes after the G7 countries – the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – announced in a joint statement: “We are concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas, and emphasize the fundamental importance of peaceful management and settlement of disputes.”

The comment was made during a two-day meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.

The G7 nations also urged “all states to refrain from such actions as land reclamations” and “building of outposts…for military purposes.”Beijing has built up artificial islands in the South China Sea, some of which are equipped with runways 3,000 meters long. It has also deployed military equipment to the area.

Although the comments did not specifically name China, Beijing lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea – believed to be rich in oil and gas – despite conflicting claims from Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Japan also has a dispute with Beijing over ownership of the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.

In addition to the statements, Lu said “a senior official of one of the G7 countries mentioned that China needs to heed the voice of [the] G7.” That comment is believed to be aimed at Japan.

In conclusion, Lu said Beijing believes the G7 shouldn’t make such remarks, adding that the countries are “just trying to amuse themselves by issuing such statements.”

The summoning by the Chinese comes as military sources announced that defense officials from the Philippines and Vietnam will meet this week to explore possible joint exercises and naval patrols in the South China Sea. The two nations agreed on a strategic partnership in November to boost security relations, as China continues to expand its presence in the disputed waterway.

On Tuesday, Fox News reported that China had deployed new fighter jets in the South China Sea’s Woody Island, citing satellite imagery from earlier this month. The island, part of the Paracel Islands, is largely controlled by China, although Taiwan and Vietnam have also laid claims on it.

Earlier this month, the US and allied forces gathered in the Philippines for joint military exercises as a show of force against China. More than 5,000 troops are taking part in the annual drills, which will run through April 16. The US military has sent US warships to conduct exercises in the region twice since last autumn, drawing sharp criticism from Beijing.

Fonte: RT

Pepe Escobar: Brasil e Rússia sob ataque de “Guerra Híbrida”[1]

28/3/2016, Pepe Escobar, RT

“Se o veneno, a paixão, o estupro, a punhalada

Não bordaram ainda com desenhos finos

A trama vã de nossos míseros destinos,

É que nossa alma arriscou pouco ou quase nada.”

As flores do mal [1857], Charles Baudelaire, sem indicação do tradutor

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Revoluções Coloridas nunca bastariam. O Excepcionalistão vive à procura de grandes atualizações de estratégia capazes de garantir a hegemonia perpétua do Império do Caos.

A matriz ideológica e o modus operandi das revoluções coloridas já são, hoje, assunto de domínio público. Mas não, ainda, o conceito de Guerra Não Convencional (GNC) [orig. Unconventional War (UW).

Essa guerra não convencional apareceu explicada no manual das Forças Especiais para Guerra Não Convencional dos EUA, em 2010. O parágrafo chave é:

“1-1. A intenção dos esforços de GNC dos EUA é explorar vulnerabilidades políticas, militares, econômicos e psicológicos de um poder hostil, mediante o desenvolvimento e sustentação de forças de resistência, para alcançar os objetivos estratégicos dos EUA. (…) para o futuro previsível, as forças dos EUA se engajarão predominantemente em operações de guerra irregular”

“Hostil” não se aplica apenas a potências militares; qualquer estado que se atreva a desafiar alguma trama importante para a “ordem” mundial Washington-cêntrica – do Sudão à Argentina –, pode ser declarado “hostil”.

Hoje, as ligações perigosas entre Revoluções Coloridas e Guerra Não Convencional já desabrocharam, como Guerra Híbrida: caso pervertido de Flores do Mal. Uma ‘revolução colorida’ é apenas o primeiro estágio do que, adiante, será convertido em Guerra Híbrida. E Guerra Híbrida pode ser interpretada, na essência, como a teoria-do-caos armada – paixão conceitual dos militares dos EUA (“política é a continuação da guerra por meios linguísticos”). No fundo, meu livro de 2014, Empire of Chaos rastreia as miríades de manifestações desse conceito.

Os detalhados e bem construídos argumentos [de Andrew Koribko, um dos capítulos já traduzidos, e outros em tradução (NTs)] dessa tese em três partes esclarece perfeitamente o objetivo central por trás de uma grande Guerra Híbrida:

O grande objetivo por trás de toda e qualquer Guerra Híbrida é esfacelar projetos multipolares transnacionais conectivos, mediante conflitos de identidade provocados de fora para dentro (étnicos, religiosos, regionais, políticos, etc.), dentro de um estado de trânsito tomado como alvo.”

Os BRICS – palavra/conceito de péssima reputação em Washington e no Eixo de Wall Street – teriam de ser os alvos preferenciais de Guerra Híbrida. Por incontáveis razões, dentre as quais: o movimento na direção de comerciar e negociar em suas próprias respectivas moedas, deixando de lado o dólar norte-americano; a criação do Banco de Desenvolvimento dos BRICS; o confessado interesse na direção da integração da Eurásia, simbolizada pelos projetos: Novas Rotas da Seda – ou, na terminologia oficial, Um Cinturão, uma Estrada [ing. One Belt, One Road (OBOR)] liderados pela China; e União Econômica Eurasiana (UEE) liderada pela Rússia.

Implica que a Guerra Híbrida mais cedo ou mais tarde atingirá a Ásia Central: o Quirguistão é candidato ideal a laboratório primário para experimentos tipo revolução colorida, do Excepcionalistão.

No estado em que estamos hoje, a Guerra Híbrida está muito ativa nas fronteiras ocidentais da Rússia (Ucrânia) mas ainda é embrionária em Xinjiang, no extremo oeste da China, que Pequim micro administra como falcão. A Guerra Híbrida também já está sendo aplicada para impedir um gambito crucial do Oleogasodutostão: a construção do Ramo Turco. E também será acionada de pleno para interromper a Rota da Seda dos Bálcãs – essencial para os negócios/comércio da China com a Europa Ocidental.

Dado que os BRICS são o único real contra poder ante o Excepcionalistão, foi preciso desenvolver uma estratégia para cada um dos principais atores. Jogaram tudo contra a Rússia – de sanções à mais total demonização; de ataque contra a moeda russa até uma guerra dos preços do petróleo, que incluiu até algumas (patéticas) tentativas de iniciar uma revolução colorida nas ruas de Moscou.

Para nódulo mais fraco no grupo BRICS, teria de ser desenvolvida estratégia mais sutil. O que afinal nos leva até a complexíssima Guerra Híbrida que se vê hoje lançada com o objetivo de conseguir a mais massiva e real desestabilização política/econômica do Brasil.

No Manual dos EUA para Guerra Não Convencional lê-se que fazer balançar as percepções de uma vasta “população média não engajada” é essencial na rota do sucesso, até que esses “não engajados” acabem por voltar-se contra os líderes políticos.

O processo inclui de tudo, de “apoiar grupos insurgentes” (como foi feito na Síria) até implantar “o mais amplo descontentamento, mediante propaganda e esforços políticos e psicológicos para desacreditar o governo” (como no Brasil). E, à medida que uma insurreição vá crescendo, deve-se “intensificar a propaganda e a preparação psicológica da população para a rebelião”. Assim, num parágrafo, está pintado o caso do Brasil.

Precisamos de um Saddam para chamar de nosso

O principal objetivo do Excepcionalistão é quase sempre conseguir um mix de revolução colorida e guerra não convencional. Mas a sociedade brasileira e sua vibrante democracia sempre seriam sofisticadas demais para uma abordagem de Guerra Não Convencional hardcore, como sanções ou o conto da “Responsabilidade de Proteger” (R2P).

Não surpreende que São Paulo tenha sido convertido em epicentro da Guerra Híbrida contra o Brasil. São Paulo, o estado mais rico do Brasil, onde está também a capital econômica e financeira da América Latina, é o nodo chave numa estrutura de poder interconectada nacional/internacional.

O sistema da finança global centrado em Wall Street – e que governa virtualmente todo o Ocidente – simplesmente não poderia de modo algum permitir qualquer ação de plena soberania nacional, num ator regional com a importância do Brasil.

A ‘Primavera Brasileira”, de início, foi virtualmente invisível, fenômeno exclusivamente das mídias sociais – como na Síria, no início de 2011.

Então, em junho de 2013, Edward Snowden vazou aquelas sempre as mesmas práticas de espionagem da Agência de Segurança Nacional dos EUA. No Brasil, a ASN-EUA espionava a Petrobrás por todos os lados. E então, de repente, sem mais nem menos, um juiz regional, Sergio Moro, baseado numa única fonte – depoimento de um corretor clandestino de câmbio no mercado negro (“doleiro”) – teve acesso a uma grande lixeira de documentos da Petrobrás. Até agora, a investigação de corrupção que já dura dois anos, “Operação Car Wash”, ainda não revelou como conseguiram saber tanto sobre o que os próprios investigadores chamam de “célula criminosa” que agiria dentro da Petrobrás.

O que realmente interessa é que o modus operandi da revolução colorida – a “luta contra a corrupção” e “em defesa da democracia” – já estava posta em andamento. Foi o primeiro passo da Guerra Híbrida.

Assim como o Excepcionalistão inventou terroristas “bons” e terroristas “maus” cujos confrontos criaram a mais terrível confusão e agitações por todo o “Siriaque”, no Brasil surgiu a figura do corrupto “bom” e do corrupto “mau”.

Wikileaks também revelou como o Excepcionalistão classificava o Brasil como “ameaça à segurança nacional dos EUA”, porque poderia projetar um submarino nuclear [esse Wicki-telegrama é de 2009, o mesmo ano do ‘curso’ que o juiz Moro fez no Rio de Janeiro. Só pode ter sido por acaso (NTs)]; como a empresa construtora Odebrecht estava-se tornando global; como a Petrobrás desenvolvera, a própria empresa, a tecnologia para explorar os depósitos de petróleo do pré-sal (a maior descoberta de petróleo confirmada desse início do século 21, da qual o Big Oil foi excluído por, ninguém mais, ninguém menos, que o presidente Lula.[2]

Adiante, por efeito das revelações de Snowden, o governo Rousseff passou a exigir que todas as agências governamentais usassem empresas de tecnologia estatais, para atender todas as necessidades do governo. Significaria que as empresas norte-americanas do setor perderiam, em dois anos, ganhos já previstos de $35 bilhões, se fossem alijadas dos negócios de tecnologia da 7ª maior economia do mundo – como o grupo Information Technology & Innovation Foundation rapidamente descobriu.

O futuro acontece agora

A marcha na direção de Guerra Híbrida no Brasil pouco tem a ver com direita ou esquerda política. Consiste, basicamente, de mobilizar algumas famílias ricas que realmente governam o país; subornar fatias imensas do Congresso; pôr sob estrito controle as principais empresas de mídia; pôr-se a agir como senhores de engenho de escravos do século 19 (as relações sociais da escravidão ainda permeiam todas as relações na sociedade brasileira); e legitimar a coisa toda com discursos de uma tradição intelectual robusta, mas oca.

Todos esses dariam o sinal para mobilizar as classes médias altas.

O sociólogo Jesse de Souza identificou um fenômeno freudiano de “gratificação de substituição”, pelo qual as classes médias altas brasileiras – que, em grandes números vivem agora a exigir mudança de regime – imitam os poucos muito ricos, ao mesmo tempo em que são cruelmente exploradas por eles, mediante montanhas de impostos e taxas de juros estratosféricas.

Os 0,0001% mais ricos e as classes médias altas precisavam de um Outro para demonizar – à moda do Excepcionalistão. E ninguém seria mais perfeito para o complexo judicial-policial-midiático-velhas-elites-comprador, que a figura que tratariam de converter num Saddam Hussein tropical: o ex-presidente Lula.

“Movimentos” de ultradireita financiados pelos nefandos Koch Brothers repentinamente começaram a surgir nas redes sociais e em movimentos de rua. O advogado-geral do Brasil visitou o Império do Caos chefiando uma equipe da “Operação Car Wash para entregar informações da Petrobrás que talvez levassem a uma acusação formal pelo Departamento de Estado.

A “Operação Car Wash” e o – imensamente corrupto – Congresso brasileiro, o mesmo que, agora, vai decidir sobre um possível impeachment da presidenta Rousseff, já se mostram absolutamente indistinguíveis, uma e outro.

Àquela altura, os autores do roteiro estavam certos de que já havia uma infraestrutura implantada para mudança de regime no Brasil na numa massa-crítica anti-governo, o que pode levar ao pleno desabrochar da revolução colorida. E assim se pavimentou a trilha para um golpe soft no Brasil – sem nem ser preciso recorrer ao letal terrorismo urbano (como na Ucrânia).

Problema hoje é que, se o tal golpe sofrer falhar – como agora já parece pelo menos possível que falhe –, será muito difícil desencadear golpe hard, de estilo Pinochet, com recursos de Guerra Não Convencional, contra o governo sitiado de Rousseff; vale dizer, completar o ciclo de uma Guerra Híbrida Total.

Num plano socioeconômico, a “Operação Car Wash” só seria plenamente “bem-sucedida” se levasse a um afrouxamento das leis brasileiras sobre exploração de petróleo, abertura do país ao Big Oil dos EUA. Paralelamente, todos os gastos em programas sociais teriam de ser esmagados.

Mas, diferente disso, o que se vê agora é a mobilização progressiva da sociedade civil no Brasil contra esse cenário de golpe branco/soft em cenário de golpe/mudança de regime.

Atores crucialmente importantes na sociedade brasileira estão agora firmemente posicionados contra o impeachment da presidenta Rousseff, da Igreja Católica a grandes igrejas evangélicas; professores universitários respeitados; pelo menos 15 governadores de estados; artistas, massas de trabalhadores da ‘economia informal’, sindicalistas; intelectuais públicos; a grande maioria dos principais advogados do país; e afinal, mas não menos importante, o “Brasil profundo” que votou e elegeu Rousseff legalmente, com 54,5 milhões de votos.

Ainda não acabou e só acabará quando algum homem gordo na Suprema Corte do Brasil cantar. O que é certo é que já há pensadores brasileiros independentes que começam a construir as bases teóricas para estudar a “OperaçãoCar Wash” não como mera ‘investigação’ ou ‘movimento’ massivo “contra a corrupção”; mas, isso sim, como legítimo caso exemplar, a ser estudado, de estratégia geopolítica do Excepcionalistão aplicada a um ambiente globalizado sofisticado, com ativas redes sociais e dominado pelas TIs.

Todo o mundo em desenvolvimento muito tem a ganhar, se se mantiver com os olhos bem abertos – e aprender as lições que dali brotem, porque é bem possível que o Brasil venha a entrar para a história como caso exemplar de Guerra Híbrida ( Soft )*****

Fonte: Blog do Alok

Sede de África: A atuação das multinacionais brasileiras na África é uma questão em grande parte nova no País, que pode ser aperfeiçoada

Publicado originalmente em: 24/03/2016

É um Celso Amorim informal o que nos recebe em seu apartamento em Copacabana, iluminado pela tarde de verão. Longe de governos e dos rituais de sua profissão, o ex-chanceler e ex-ministro da Defesa respondeu abertamente às perguntas da Pública com bom humor e pragmatismo. Não assumiu a defensiva nem quando questionado a respeito da relação do país com governos autoritários, como o de Angola.

“O planeta Terra é um grande condomínio, eu não posso ficar escolhendo meus vizinhos”, brincou.

“Todos aqueles que partiram para impor o bem, causaram mais mal do que bem. Exemplos recentes: Iraque, Líbia…”

Orgulhoso de ter participado da aproximação entre Brasil e África no governo Lula, defende a política adotada pelo ex-presidente, de apoiar as empresas brasileiras na África. “Se você está apoiando uma empresa brasileira em relação a uma chinesa ou uma russa ou uma norte-americana é o que todos os países fazem!”. E garante: ganhar dinheiro não era a prioridade do Brasil no continente africano.

“Haviam razões comerciais também, mas eu não diriam que elas predominaram. Elas eram importantes um pouco até para satisfazer o apetite da mídia brasileira”, disse, afirmando que havia um “racismo subconsciente” que apontava como inútil a aproximação entre Brasil e África.

Confira a entrevista concedida em outubro de 2015 a Eliza Capai, Marina Amaral e Natalia Viana:

Fonte: Brasil no Mundo

Sergey Lavrov’s article “Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background” for “Russia in Global Affairs” magazine, March 3, 2016

Published originally in: 03/03/2016

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International relations have entered a very difficult period, and Russia once again finds itself at the crossroads of key trends that determine the vector of future global development.

Many different opinions have been expressed in this connection including the fear that we have a distorted view of the international situation and Russia’s international standing. I perceive this as an echo of the eternal dispute between pro-Western liberals and the advocates of Russia’s unique path. There are also those, both in Russia and outside of it, who believe that Russia is doomed to drag behind, trying to catch up with the West and forced to bend to other players’ rules, and hence will be unable to claim its rightful place in international affairs. I’d like to use this opportunity to express some of my views and to back them with examples from history and historical parallels.

It is an established fact that a substantiated policy is impossible without reliance on history. This reference to history is absolutely justified, especially considering recent celebrations. In 2015, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Victory in WWII, and in 2014, we marked a century since the start of WWI. In 2012, we marked 200 years of the Battle of Borodino and 400 years of Moscow’s liberation from the Polish invaders. If we look at these events carefully, we’ll see that they clearly point to Russia’s special role in European and global history.

History doesn’t confirm the widespread belief that Russia has always camped in Europe’s backyard and has been Europe’s political outsider. I’d like to remind you that the adoption of Christianity in Russia in 988 – we marked 1025 years of that event quite recently – boosted the development of state institutions, social relations and culture and eventually made Kievan Rus a full member of the European community. At that time, dynastic marriages were the best gauge of a country’s role in the system of international relations. In the 11th century, three daughters of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise became the queens of Norway and Denmark, Hungary and France. Yaroslav’s sister married the Polish king and granddaughter the German emperor.

Numerous scientific investigations bear witness to the high cultural and spiritual level of Rus of those days, a level that was frequently higher than in western European states. Many prominent Western thinkers recognized that Rus was part of the European context. At the same time, Russian people possessed a cultural matrix of their own and an original type of spirituality and never merged with the West. It is instructive to recall in this connection what was for my people a tragic and in many respects critical epoch of the Mongolian invasion. The great Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin wrote: “The barbarians did not dare to leave an enslaved Rus in their rear and returned to their Eastern steppes. Christian enlightenment was saved by a ravaged and dying Russia.” We also know an alternative view offered by prominent historian and ethnologist Lev Gumilyov, who believed that the Mongolian invasion had prompted the emergence of a new Russian ethnos and that the Great Steppe had given us an additional impetus for development.

However that may be, it is clear that the said period was extremely important for the assertion of the Russian State’s independent role in Eurasia. Let us recall in this connection the policy pursued by Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky, who opted to temporarily submit to Golden Horde rulers, who were tolerant of Christianity, in order to uphold the Russians’ right to have a faith of their own and to decide their fate, despite the European West’s attempts to put Russian lands under full control and to deprive Russians of their identity. I am confident that this wise and forward-looking policy is in our genes.

Rus bent under but was not broken by the heavy Mongolian yoke, and managed to emerge from this dire trial as a single state, which was later regarded by both the West and the East as the successor to the Byzantine Empire that ceased to exist in 1453. An imposing country stretching along what was practically the entire eastern perimeter of Europe, Russia began a natural expansion towards the Urals and Siberia, absorbing their huge territories. Already then it was a powerful balancing factor in European political combinations, including the well-known Thirty Years’ War that gave birth to the Westphalian system of international relations, whose principles, primarily respect for state sovereignty, are of importance even today.

At this point we are approaching a dilemma that has been evident for several centuries. While the rapidly developing Moscow state naturally played an increasing role in European affairs, the European countries had apprehensions about the nascent giant in the East and tried to isolate it whenever possible and prevent it from taking part in Europe’s most important affairs.

The seeming contradiction between the traditional social order and a striving for modernisation based on the most advanced experience also dates back centuries. In reality, a rapidly developing state is bound to try and make a leap forward, relying on modern technology, which does not necessarily imply the renunciation of its “cultural code.” There are many examples of Eastern societies modernising without the radical breakdown of their traditions. This is all the more typical of Russia that is essentially a branch of European civilisation.

Incidentally, the need for modernisation based on European achievements was clearly manifest in Russian society under Tsar Alexis, while talented and ambitious Peter the Great gave it a strong boost. Relying on tough domestic measures and resolute, and successful, foreign policy, Peter the Great managed to put Russia into the category of Europe’s leading countries in a little over two decades. Since that time Russia’s position could no longer be ignored. Not a single European issue can be resolved without Russia’s opinion.

It wouldn’t be accurate to assume that everyone was happy about this state of affairs. Repeated attempts to return this country into the pre-Peter times were made over subsequent centuries but failed. In the middle 18th century Russia played a key role in a pan-European conflict – the Seven Years’ War. At that time, Russian troops made a triumphal entry into Berlin, the capital of Prussia under Frederick II who had a reputation for invincibility. Prussia was saved from an inevitable rout only because Empress Elizabeth died a sudden death and was succeeded by Peter III who sympathised with Frederick II. This turn in German history is still referred to as the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. Russia’s size, power and influence grew substantially under Catherine the Great when, as then Chancellor Alexander Bezborodko put it, “Not a single cannon in Europe could be fired without our consent.”

I’d like to quote the opinion of a reputable researcher of Russian history, Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, the permanent secretary of the French Academy. She said the Russian Empire was the greatest empire of all times in the totality of all parameters – its size, an ability to administer its territories and the longevity of its existence. Following Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyayev, she insists that history has imbued Russia with the mission of being a link between the East and the West.

During at least the past two centuries any attempts to unite Europe without Russia and against it have inevitably led to grim tragedies, the consequences of which were always overcome with the decisive participation of our country. I’m referring, in part, to the Napoleonic wars upon the completion of which Russia rescued the system of international relations that was based on the balance of forces and mutual consideration for national interests and ruled out the total dominance of one state in Europe. We remember that Emperor Alexander I took an active role in the drafting of decisions of the 1815 Vienna Congress that ensured the development of Europe without serious armed clashes during the subsequent 40 years.

Incidentally, to a certain extent the ideas of Alexander I could be described as a prototype of the concept on subordinating national interests to common goals, primarily, the maintenance of peace and order in Europe. As the Russian emperor said, “there can be no more English, French, Russian or Austrian policy. There can be only one policy – a common policy that must be accepted by both peoples and sovereigns for common happiness.”

By the same token, the Vienna system was destroyed in the wake of the desire to marginalise Russia in European affairs. Paris was obsessed with this idea during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. In his attempt to forge an anti-Russian alliance, the French monarch was willing, as a hapless chess grandmaster, to sacrifice all the other figures. How did it play out? Indeed, Russia was defeated in the Crimean War of 1853-1856, the consequences of which it managed to overcome soon due to a consistent and far-sighted policy pursued by Chancellor Alexander Gorchakov. As for Napoleon III, he ended his rule in German captivity, and the nightmare of the Franco-German confrontation loomed over Western Europe for decades.

Here is another Crimean War-related episode. As we know, the Austrian Emperor refused to help Russia, which, a few years earlier, in 1849, had come to his help during the Hungarian revolt. Then Austrian Foreign Minister Felix Schwarzenberg famously said: “Europe would be astonished by the extent of Austria’s ingratitude.” In general, the imbalance of pan-European mechanisms triggered a chain of events that led to the First World War.

Notably, back then Russian diplomacy also advanced ideas that were ahead of their time. The Hague Peace conferences of 1899 and 1907, convened at the initiative of Emperor Nicholas II, were the first attempts to agree on curbing the arms race and stopping preparations for a devastating war. But not many people know about it.

The First World War claimed lives and caused the suffering of countless millions of people and led to the collapse of four empires. In this connection, it is appropriate to recall yet another anniversary, which will be marked next year – the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Today we are faced with the need to develop a balanced and objective assessment of those events, especially in an environment where, particularly in the West, many are willing to use this date to mount even more information attacks on Russia, and to portray the 1917 Revolution as a barbaric coup that dragged down all of European history. Even worse, they want to equate the Soviet regime to Nazism, and partially blame it for starting WWII.

Without a doubt, the Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing Civil War were a terrible tragedy for our nation. However, all other revolutions were tragic as well. This does not prevent our French colleagues from extolling their upheaval, which, in addition to the slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity, also involved the use of the guillotine, and rivers of blood.

Undoubtedly, the Russian Revolution was a major event which impacted world history in many controversial ways. It has become regarded as a kind of experiment in implementing socialist ideas, which were then widely spread across Europe. The people supported them, because wide masses gravitated towards social organisation with reliance on the collective and community principles.

Serious researchers clearly see the impact of reforms in the Soviet Union on the formation of the so-called welfare state in Western Europe in the post-WWII period. European governments decided to introduce unprecedented measures of social protection under the influence of the example of the Soviet Union in an effort to cut the ground from under the feet of the left-wing political forces.

One can say that the 40 years following World War II were a surprisingly good time for Western Europe, which was spared the need to make its own major decisions under the umbrella of the US-Soviet confrontation and enjoyed unique opportunities for steady development.

In these circumstances, Western European countries have implemented several ideas regarding ​​conversion of the capitalist and socialist models, which, as a preferred form of socioeconomic progress, were promoted by Pitirim Sorokin and other outstanding thinkers of the 20th century. Over the past 20 years, we have been witnessing the reverse process in Europe and the United States: the reduction of the middle class, increased social inequality, and the dismantling of controls over big business.

The role which the Soviet Union played in decolonisation, and promoting international relations principles, such as the independent development of nations and their right to self-determination, is undeniable.

I will not dwell on the points related to Europe slipping into WWII. Clearly, the anti-Russian aspirations of the European elites, and their desire to unleash Hitler’s war machine on the Soviet Union played their fatal part here. Redressing the situation after this terrible disaster involved the participation of our country as a key partner in determining the parameters of the European and the world order.

In this context, the notion of the “clash of two totalitarianisms,” which is now actively inculcated in European minds, including at schools, is groundless and immoral. The Soviet Union, for all its evils, never aimed to destroy entire nations. Winston Churchill, who all his life was a principled opponent of the Soviet Union and played a major role in going from the WWII alliance to a new confrontation with the Soviet Union, said that graciousness, i.e. life in accordance with conscience, is the Russian way of doing things.

If you take an unbiased look at the smaller European countries, which previously were part of the Warsaw Treaty, and are now members of the EU or NATO, it is clear that the issue was not about going from subjugation to freedom, which Western masterminds like to talk about, but rather a change of leadership. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about it not long ago. The representatives of these countries concede behind closed doors that they can’t take any significant decision without the green light from Washington or Brussels.

It seems that in the context of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it is important for us to understand the continuity of Russian history, which should include all of its periods without exception, and the importance of the synthesis of all the positive traditions and historical experience as the basis for making dynamic advances and upholding the rightful role of our country as a leading centre of the modern world, and a provider of the values of sustainable development, security and stability.

The post-war world order relied on confrontation between two world systems and was far from ideal, yet it was sufficient to preserve international peace and to avoid the worst possible temptation – the use of weapons of mass destruction, primarily nuclear weapons. There is no substance behind the popular belief that the Soviet Union’s dissolution signified Western victory in the Cold War. It was the result of our people’s will for change plus an unlucky chain of events.

These developments resulted in a truly tectonic shift in the international landscape. In fact, they changed global politics altogether, considering that the end of the Cold War and related ideological confrontation offered a unique opportunity to change the European architecture on the principles of indivisible and equal security and broad cooperation without dividing lines.

We had a practical chance to mend Europe’s divide and implement the dream of a common European home, which many European thinkers and politicians, including President Charles de Gaulle of France, wholeheartedly embraced. Russia was fully open to this option and advanced many proposals and initiatives in this connection. Logically, we should have created a new foundation for European security by strengthening the military and political components of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Vladimir Putin said in a recent interview with the German newspaper Bild that German politician Egon Bahr proposed similar approaches.

Unfortunately, our Western partners chose differently. They opted to expand NATO eastward and to advance the geopolitical space they controlled closer to the Russian border. This is the essence of the systemic problems that have soured Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union. It is notable that George Kennan, the architect of the US policy of containment of the Soviet Union, said in his winter years that the ratification of NATO expansion was “a tragic mistake.”

The underlying problem of this Western policy is that it disregarded the global context. The current globalised world is based on an unprecedented interconnection between countries, and so it’s impossible to develop relations between Russia and the EU as if they remained at the core of global politics as during the Cold War. We must take note of the powerful processes that are underway in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Rapid changes in all areas of international life is the primary sign of the current stage. Indicatively, they often take an unexpected turn. Thus, the concept of “the end of history” developed by well-known US sociologist and political researcher Francis Fukuyama, that was popular in the 1990s, has become clearly inconsistent today. According to this concept, rapid globalisation signals the ultimate victory of the liberal capitalist model, whereas all other models should adapt to it under the guidance of the wise Western teachers.

In reality, the second wave of globalisation (the first occurred before World War I) led to the dispersal of global economic might and, hence, of political influence, and to the emergence of new and large centres of power, primarily in the Asia-Pacific Region. China’s rapid upsurge is the clearest example. Owing to unprecedented economic growth rates, in just three decades it became the second and, calculated as per purchasing power parity, the first economy in the world. This example illustrates an axiomatic fact – there are many development models– which rules out the monotony of existence within the uniform, Western frame of reference.

Consequently, there has been a relative reduction in the influence of the so-called “historical West” that was used to seeing itself as the master of the human race’s destinies for almost five centuries. The competition on the shaping of the world order in the 21st century has toughened. The transition from the Cold War to a new international system proved to be much longer and more painful than it seemed 20-25 years ago.

Against this backdrop, one of the basic issues in international affairs is the form that is being acquired by this generally natural competition between the world’s leading powers. We see how the United States and the US-led Western alliance are trying to preserve their dominant positions by any available method or, to use the American lexicon, ensure their “global leadership”. Many diverse ways of exerting pressure, economic sanctions and even direct armed intervention are being used. Large-scale information wars are being waged. Technology of unconstitutional change of governments by launching “colour” revolutions has been tried and tested. Importantly, democratic revolutions appear to be destructive for the nations targeted by such actions. Our country that went through a historical period of encouraging artificial transformations abroad, firmly proceeds from the preference of evolutionary changes that should be carried out in the forms and at a speed that conform to the traditions of a society and its level of development.

 Western propaganda habitually accuses Russia of “revisionism,” and the alleged desire to destroy the established international system, as if it was us who bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 in violation of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, as if it was Russia that ignored international law by invading Iraq in 2003 and distorted UN Security Council resolutions by overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi’s regime by force in Libya in 2011. There are many examples.

This discourse about “revisionism” does not hold water. It is based on the simple and even primitive logic that only Washington can set the tune in world affairs. In line with this logic, the principle once formulated by George Orwell and moved to the international level, sounds like the following: all states are equal but some states are more equal than others. However, today international relations are too sophisticated a mechanism to be controlled from one centre. This is obvious given the results of US interference: There is virtually no state in Libya; Iraq is balancing on the brink of disintegration, and so on and so forth.

A reliable solution to the problems of the modern world can only be achieved through serious and honest cooperation between the leading states and their associations in order to address common challenges. Such an interaction should include all the colours of the modern world, and be based on its cultural and civilisational diversity, as well as reflect the interests of the international community’s key components.

We know from experience that when these principles are applied in practice, it is possible to achieve specific and tangible results, such as the agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme, the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, the agreement on stopping hostilities in Syria, and the development of the basic parameters of the global climate agreement. This shows the need to restore the culture of compromise, the reliance on the diplomatic work, which can be difficult, even exhausting, but which remains, in essence, the only way to ensure a mutually acceptable solution to problems by peaceful means.

Our approaches are shared by most countries of the world, including our Chinese partners, other BRICS and SCO nations, and our friends in the EAEU, the CSTO, and the CIS. In other words, we can say that Russia is fighting not against someone, but for the resolution of all the issues on an equal and mutually respectful basis, which alone can serve as a reliable foundation for a long-term improvement of international relations.

Our most important task is to join our efforts against not some far-fetched, but very real challenges, among which the terrorist aggression is the most pressing one. The extremists from ISIS, Jabhat an-Nusra and the like managed for the first time to establish control over large territories in Syria and Iraq. They are trying to extend their influence to other countries and regions, and are committing acts of terrorism around the world. Underestimating this risk is nothing short of criminal shortsightedness.

The Russian President called for forming a broad-based front in order to defeat the terrorists militarily. The Russian Aerospace Forces make an important contribution to this effort. At the same time, we are working hard to establish collective actions regarding the political settlement of the conflicts in this crisis-ridden region.

Importantly, the long-term success can only be achieved on the basis of movement to the partnership of civilisations based on respectful interaction of diverse cultures and religions. We believe that human solidarity must have a moral basis formed by traditional values ​​that are largely shared by the world’s leading religions. In this connection, I would like to draw your attention to the joint statement by Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis, in which, among other things, they have expressed support for the family as a natural centre of life of individuals and society.

I repeat, we are not seeking confrontation with the United States, or the European Union, or NATO. On the contrary, Russia is open to the widest possible cooperation with its Western partners. We continue to believe that the best way to ensure the interests of the peoples living in Europe is to form a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific, so that the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union could be an integrating link between Europe and Asia Pacific. We strive to do our best to overcome obstacles on that way, including the settlement of the Ukraine crisis caused by the coup in Kiev in February 2014, on the basis of the Minsk Agreements.

I’d like to quote wise and politically experienced Henry Kissinger, who, speaking recently in Moscow, said that “Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States… I am here to argue for the possibility of a dialogue that seeks to merge our futures rather than elaborate our conflicts. This requires respect by both sides of the vital values and interest of the other.”  We share such an approach. And we will continue to defend the principles of law and justice in international affairs.

Speaking about Russia’s role in the world as a great power, Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin said that the greatness of a country is not determined by the size of its territory or the number of its inhabitants, but by the capacity of its people and its government to take on the burden of great world problems and to deal with these problems in a creative manner. A great power is the one which, asserting its existence and its interest … introduces a creative and meaningful legal idea to ​​the entire assembly of the nations, the entire “concert” of the peoples and states. It is difficult to disagree with these words.

Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Brazil begins to prepare for a post-Maduro Venezuela

Publicado originalmente em: 26/02/2016

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As Venezuela’s political and economic crisis rages on, foreign policy makers across the region, irrespective of their ideological orientation, are slowly beginning to reorient their positions vis-à-vis the world’s worst-performing economy. While the change of posture has been quite abrupt in Argentina, where Macri’s election victory transformed Buenos Aires from Maduro’s greatest ally to its greatest critic, the Brazilian government is quietly adapting to the growing regional consensus that Maduro may no longer be in office by the end of the year. Venezuela’s embattled President — generally seen as incompetent even by many chavistas — may either face a coup from his own party, or be ousted by the country’s National Assembly, dominated by opposition parties.

Critics have argued for months that the Brazilian government should be more assertive in establishing a dialogue with Venezuela’s opposition, anticipating that Venezuela’s current economic model would be one of the commodity bust’s most prominent victims, after years of profligate spending that depended on unusually high oil prices. The Venezuelan government’s authoritarian streak only became more apparent when President Maduro recently announced a rule that foreign embassies could only contact opposition members after obtaining a written permission by the government — a move ridiculed and openly ignored by many foreign diplomats in the country. Dilma Rousseff, on the other hand, has traditionally been more reluctant to criticize of provoke Caracas, possibly worried about Brazil’s massive investments in Venezuela, and the approximately U$6 bn the Venezuelan government owes to Brazilian companies.

It this context, it was highly significant that on February 25, Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira was the first leading Brazilian government representative in seventeen years to officially welcome members of Venezuela’s opposition in Brasília. Luis Florido and Williams Dávila (pictured below), currently traveling the region in order to shore up support for their attempt to oust Maduro, also spoke with Brazilian opposition figures, such as Aloysio Nunes, in the Senate’s Commission for Foreign Relations.

Opposition

The meaning of Vieira’s decision to meet opposition figures in Brasília, of course, should not be exaggerated, and the Brazilian government is extremely unlikely to align with Argentina’s more critical stance. Rather, the move is the product of a growing and purely pragmatic concern in Brasília that a change of government in Venezuela could lead to a deterioration of bilateral relations, and the awkward scenario of a post-Maduro leader openly accusing Brazil of not having done enough to reign in the chavistas’ excesses.

Almost any previous Brazilian president — such as Fernando Henrique Cardoso or Lula — would most likely have taken a proactive stance and proposed the recreation of the “Friends of Venezuela” group to force Maduro and the opposition to solve the political and economic impasse. Yet considering Brazil’s current internal crisis and its largely paralyzed President, anything resembling regional leadership seems unlikely at this point.

Engaging the opposition is  a necessary move — in fact, as the region’s dominant power, Brasília should always maintain a dialogue with opposition leaders across the region, including in Cuba or any other country where government critics are not welcome. However, caution is warranted. During their presentation at Brazil’s Senate, even some observers critical of President Maduro rolled their eyes at some of Florido’s and Dávila’s radical arguments, which did not seem to appreciate that that demonizing everything Chavez and Maduro have done over the past seventeen years will do nothing to reduce polarization and mutual hatred between government and opposition.

Those who believe Maduro’s removal from office would end Venezuela’s troubles are deeply mistaken and overlook that even in the midst of an economic implosion and a public health crisis, more than 40% of Venezuelans still voted for the government. Considering the opposition’s track record, the end of chavismo could lead to a witch hunt which could poison the political atmosphere further still.

More than ever, benign outside pressure is needed to assure that Venezuela’s political future will be dominated by moderate forces, capable of preserving chavismo’s positive legacies, while correcting its many mistakes.

Fonte: Post Western World

No Chile, presidenta defende cooperação entre países por maior desenvolvimento econômico

Publicado originalmente em: 26/02/2016

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Após se reunir com autoridades chilenas e brasileiras nesta sexta-feira (26), em Santiago (Chile), a presidenta Dilma Rousseff defendeu que Chile e Brasil trabalhem conjuntamente para superar desafios globais, sobretudo os relacionados à economia, desenvolvimento sustentável e acordos climáticos.

“Mesmo porque num momento de crise, num momento de queda dos preços das commodities, de desaceleração de economias emergentes e de crise mais profunda, nós temos de cooperar, nós temos esse caminho que, sem dúvida, leva ao maior desenvolvimento econômico e à criação de emprego e mais renda para as nossas sociedades”.

A presidenta afirmou que os dois países continuarão atuando de forma coordenada nas decisões emanadas da COP-21, assim como na Agenda 2030 e nos objetivos de desenvolvimento sustentável. “Coincidimos na visão de que o mundo enfrenta desafios que só poderão ser superados com esforços coletivos, coordenados e muito cooperativos”.

 Sobre o Acordo de Cooperação e Facilitação de Investimentos entre Brasil e Chile (ACFI), assinado em novembro de 2015, Dilma reiteirou ser um passo decisivo na criação de um ambiente mais favorável aos investimento entre os países.

“Ao mesmo tempo nós estamos negociando um acordo de compras governamentais que, certamente, vão ajudar a dinamizar as nossas relações. Além disso, estamos também trabalhando numa proposta de Acordo de Serviços Financeiros, que complementará o acordo de facilitação dos investimentos”.

Infraestrutura

Em relações aos demais temas da agenda bilateral, Dilma pontuou que o foco são os projetos de infraestrutura, em especial os corredores bioceânicos, que farão a integração física da América do Sul, interligando os oceanos Atlântico e Pacífico.

A meta do governo é priorizar a rota rodoviária que ligará o porto de águas profundas em Iquique à cidade de Porto Murtinho(MS), no Brasil. Ao interligar Brasil, Paraguai, Argentina e Chile, o corredor é uma alternativa estratégica para o escoamento da produção da região para os mercados asiáticos. Outro corredor em análise é o corredor POA-Coquimbo.

“Esse corredor {Iquique-Porto Murtinho} é estratégico porque vai permitir uma articulação inter-regional e vai nos colocar diante dos portos do Atlântico e do Pacífico, permitindo tanto o acesso aos mercados da Europa, da África e dos Estados Unidos, como também aos mercados asiáticos”. 

Saúde, tecnologia e direitos humanos

 A presidenta ainda destacou os acordos firmados nas áreas de tecnologia, cultura e saúde. Ela agradeceu a colaboração da presidente Bachelet em relação aos esforços do governo brasileiro no combate ao mosquito Aedes aegypti.

“Nós concordamos ser fundamental essa cooperação regional frente a esse desafio. Não só em relação ao vírus zika, mas também ao vírus da dengue e da chikungunya.”

 Na área de tecnologia, a presidenta disse que a criação do Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia do Chile vai contribuir para ampliar a cooperação no setor de ciência, tecnologia e inovação.

“Nessa área nós já identificamos várias oportunidades como as tecnologias de comunicação, de informação, a biotecnologia em fármacos, as energias renováveis, enfim, a prevenção e a mitigação de desastres naturais, a astronomia e astrofísica. Nosso ingresso no Observatório Europeu do Sul trará benefícios não somente para a indústria brasileira, mas também para a ciência e a educação no Brasil. E essa é uma cooperação com o Chile”.

Sobre a cooperação humanitária, Dilma falou sobre a importância  do Memorando de Entendimento para o Intercâmbio de Documentos para Esclarecimento de Graves Violações aos Direitos Humanos, assinado no Brasil em 2014.

“É simbólico para a história de nossos países que o acordo tenha sido assinado por duas presidentes, nós que somos testemunhas vivas desse processo, como disse na ocasião a presidente Bachelet. Agradeço-lhe novamente, minha querida amiga Bachelet, pelas informações enviadas pelo Chile, que contribuíram para o relatório final da Comissão Nacional da Verdade”.

Olimpíadas

Dilma também aproveitou a oportunidade da visita oficial para reiterar o convite à presidenta Bachelet para acompanhar, em agosto, a abertura dos Jogos Olímpicos no Rio de Janeiro. “Também convidei o Chile a estabelecer uma Casa Nacional do Chile, no Rio de Janeiro. Desejo também muita sorte aos chilenos e às chilenas que vão participar dessa disputa e dessa cerimônia que, além de ser uma cerimônia esportiva, é uma comemoração sobre a paz”.

Fonte: Blog do Planalto

Russian draft resolution has no prospect of success

Publicado originalmente em 20 de fevereiro de 2016.

Veto powers the United States and France have both indicated that a Russian draft resolution concerning questions of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has no prospect of success.

The Russian text comes amid Turkish calls for its allies to support a ground invasion of Syria while it continued cross-border artillery shelling on a region dominated by Syria’s US-backed Kurdish militia.

Turkey’s capital Ankara was hit by a suicide car bombing Wednesday, with accusations it was the work of the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish group that has ties to the Kurdish Workers Party inside Turkey, that has for decades clashed with the government there.
Russia is calling it a moment of truth.

Expressing concern that Turkey is preparing a military ground intervention into Syria’s north an escalation that could turn this already complex conflict on its head.

“It’s a moment of truth, it’s a moment of truth because what’s written in this draft, reaffirmed, repeated and stated by all SC members during all time of Syrian crisis, so I don’t consider from even political reasons how they can refuse all these principles in the Russia draft,” says Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov.

Russia’s bombing campaign in support of the Assad regime has allowed the Syrian government forces and its allies to make important gains on rebel positions in the last number of months, infuriating Turkey and other NATO allies.

We need to focus on implementing 2254, it’s incredibly important that there’s de-escalation, that all parties use and show restraint, but this is a distraction from the core fact which is that 2254 needs to be implemented.

Ambassador Safronkov says, “The main elements of the Russian draft resolution to demand all parties, to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Syria, to fully respect sovereignty and independence, stop incursion and abandon plan of ground operations which would undermine all fundamental decisions of resolution 2254, Vienna and Munich decision on Syrian political settlement.”

Yet the United States Ambassador Samantha Power rejected the draft as a distraction, calling for the implementation of existing resolutions that call for a complete ceasefire and that underpin a peace process.

“We need to focus on implementing 2254, it’s incredibly important that there’s de-escalation, that all parties use and show restraint, but this is a distraction from the core fact which is that 2254 needs to be implemented. We have a resolution on the books, it’s the right resolution, we’ve committed ourselves to it and we need Russia to do the same,” says Power.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre indicated the draft had no prospects of success.

We are facing a dangerous military escalation that could easily get out of control and lead us to uncharted territory. This military escalation is the direct result of the brutal offensive in the north of Syria led by the Syrian regime and its allies and here Russia must understand that its unconditional support to Bashar al Assad is a dead end and a dead end that could be extremely dangerous,” says Delattre.
Turkey’s Ambassador Yasar Halit Cevik says they would only move on Syria with the approval of their allies or with the blessing of the Security Council.
Relations between Russia and Turkey have been strained since Turkey downed a Russian bomber near its border with Syria in November last year.

Fonte: SABC News