By Beatrice E. Rangel
By now Mario Vargas Llosa must be drowned by an ocean of words associated to his romantic forays.
Some words which have been the few are his while most have come from others. Some alien words have been irresponsibly attributed to the literature master with the clear motivation of painting his character with the colors of arrogance. Such was the case of the sham note to the Peruvian media allegedly authored by the Nobel Laureate.
While observing that the author(s) is (are) counterfeit master(s), as they excelled at the art of blending words into emotions, a magic adeptly performed by Mario Vargas Llosa, I must also apologize to him for having taken press reports carrying the note as thorough and accurate.
I thus hereby exert my right to redress a wrong which was part of my column last week. Mario Vargas Llosa did not write, let alone send the furious note to the Peruvian press accusing its leaders and handlers of going after other people’s life given that their lives where empty given their nobodyness.
Redressing or grounding as many children on Aquarius would rather have it has been the sound bite of the week past.
U.S. Congress redressed its very shortsighted stand on trade to the joy of the many and the concern of neighbors south of the Rio Grande who thought they could manipulate the world into corporativism by means of rewriting the free trade story in the U.S. through oil financed “think tanks.”
As President Obama and his team advance in the difficult and lonely road of rewriting the world trade rules so as to create the pillars for a new and internet friendly international regime, South American countries would need to seat and think whether; for instance, Mercosur makes any sense in a world where the value chain is promptly rebuilt in response to improved competitive conditions.
This leaves out of the global production chain those countries where hyper regulation chokes trade and innovation. As it stands today, Mercosur creates and manages monopolies or oligopolies springing from regulations.
This addresses the needs of two constituencies. On the one hand, the business community is spared the stress generated by competition thereby keeping course for decades and decades while the rest of the world innovates. Consumers and jobs are the most prominent casualties generated by these policies.
Second, politicians get to participate in the trade bounty by means of seizing a percentage of the monopolistic rent from businesses so as to keep regulation. Compensation funds flow through Spanish banks which promptly transfer this trade “fees” to Andorran financial entities where the politicians’ fortunes were safe from scrutiny until very recently.
Secrecy prevailed up and until a Bolivarian aide de camp decided to tip a Parisian Hotel porter with a 100,000-euro check thereby prompting a police investigation that led all the way to the Pyrenees Mountains nesting the Principality of Andorra.
A similar road was taken by kickbacks flowing from Petrobras’ operations. Bets are now been placed by pundits as to whether Mercosur and its ancillary trade taxes will outlast the Petrobras’ upcoming trials and the Bolivarian fallout. And that will certainly be the South American redressing epoch. And then perhaps we might see a more sensible and sensitive leadership flourish.
In the U.S., redressing was upgraded to moral fortitude when the Supreme Court called it quits to efforts to bring down the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice Roberts red flagged the arguments against tax subsidies.
In a historic headline, he indicated “Congress passed ACA to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.” And with that, the 50th destruction attempt melted away.
Meanwhile, President Obama flew south to join the saddened Charleston community at the funeral for reverend Clementa Pinckney, a U.S. senator gunned down in church with other members of a bible study group by a mentally disturbed segregationist young man.
In bringing together the Charleston community, the president said “As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind, (...) He’s given us the chance, where we’ve been lost, to find our best selves…”
And then broke the song “Amazing Grace” to finish his eulogy enveloping the names of the fallen in the Christian virtue of love.
Down in Venezuela, a group of Brazilian congress members inspired by the also very Christian virtue of solidarity attempted to meet political prisoners. Aecio Neves, the former Presidential candidate, together with Aloysio Nunez, Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, along with two more senators, traveled to Venezuela to be mobbed by infuriated crowds of government supporters; blocked from entering the capital city and finally pushed out of the country.
This treatment was dispensed in spite of knowledge that the committee was on a fact finding mission and therefore the best stand to take was to treat them well. Instead, the government of Venezuela chose to harass the Brazilian Congress members. And right there the great divide among the two Americas became clear.
The North builds on whatever ground with whatever materials; the South thinks building demands prior destruction. This obliterates moral fortitude.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
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