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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Globalization Starts at Home -- And It Is Useless to Try to Prevent It
Latin American genius Carlos Alberto Montaner on Trump's fight against globalization.

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Donald Trump rectified. That’s great. The growing avalanche of rejection toward his policy of separating children from their parents when they crossed the borders irregularly was so big, that he was forced to issue a presidential decree allowing the families to remain united. That shows that at least he has some vestiges of good sense or opportunism. (It’s all the same; the important thing is that he is less stubborn than he appeared to be).

Maybe it's time to ask him to stop harassing allied leaders, such as Angela Merkel, a German conservative leader who treats immigrants with compassion. Perhaps Trump would humbly accept that he was misinformed when he said that crime had increased in Germany because of immigrants. It is not true; actually, it is at its lowest level in recent decades.

It would be very positive that he admits the convenience of NATO, of the European Union, and of all the globalizing instruments that have allowed the United States to prosper and act as the head of the so-called Free World for several decades, because that vast alliance has brought to the world an era of tranquility and (relative) peace unknown in the past, even if there was a cost to be paid.

I hope he now rectifies regarding the Dreamers. He must do it. At least he should listen to the advice of the Republican congressmen themselves, such as Carlos Curbelo, Mario Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. It is a crime not to legalize the stay in the United States of those sociological US citizens, more than eight hundred thousand young people, brought by their parents when they were children. Many of them do not even speak any other language except English.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to stop the trade war before that unjust and useless battle impoverishes us all. Tariffs on steel and aluminum have already raised the price of new houses between 8 and 10% because of the repercussions of these absurd taxes on the entire production chain, and the war has only just begun.

And there are, of course, the consumer rights. If an American buyer wants to purchase a Mercedes Benz or an Audi instead of a Cadillac, the White House should not penalize him for taking that free decision. People also vote with dollars. The market should not be punished in such a brutal way. The market is another expression of individual freedom.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Britain unilaterally eliminated all tariffs and became much richer than its neighbors. It is a pity that Trump does not take into account the advice of Milton Friedman, and that he does not understand that the freedom to choose is fundamental to lower prices and encourage competition.

Trump, unfortunately, is a white nationalist (which in the United States means, more or less, of North-European origin) obsessed by the fear that foreigners change the identity signs of American society.

It is the terror deployed by the usual anti-Semites in almost all of Europe: first, Jews had to be marginalized so that they would not contaminate the society. They were expelled from many countries or forced to live in ghettos. Then the Nazis, when they came to power in Germany and Austria, decided to kill them.

In the United States in 1776 there were four million white settlers, plus half a million slaves. From that census data, the country has moved to its current diversified landscape. If Trump were not blinded by racism, if he did not think that immigrants “infest” the country, he would realize that cultural and ethnic miscegenation not only enriches the United States, but is the inevitable destiny of a successful nation like this one, which already exceeds 320 million inhabitants of all colors and origins.

That is the path taken by civilization in a slow, inexorable and spontaneous march towards the world’s development poles. Africans, basically, emigrate to Europe. Latin Americans, especially those from failed nations, to the United States. It is not smart to segregate them and mock them. Globalization is convenient and begins at home.

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a journalist and writer. Born in 1943 in Cuba and exiled, Montaner is known for his more than 25 books and thousands of articles. PODER magazine estimates that more than six million readers have access to his weekly columns throughout Latin America. He is also a political analyst for CNN en Espanol. In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named Montaner as one of the fifty most influential intellectuals in the Ibero-American world. His latest novel is A Time for Scoundrels. His latest essay is "The President: A Handbook for Voters and the Elected." His latest book is a review of Las raíces torcidas de América Latina (The Twisted Roots of Latin America), published by Planeta and available in Amazon, in printed or digital version.


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