Following the recent strategy decided by NATO at its Madrid Summit, which states that China “challenges its interests, security and values”, and that Russia is “the most significant and direct threat” to its interests, the world is moving very quickly towards its partition in terms of the structure of the international system.
By Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
The event reaffirmed NATO’s values. One might ask, what does it refer to when it seems that they are referring to the traditional US policy of endorsing Russia’s alleged interest in “establishing spheres of influence and direct control through coercion, subversion, aggression and annexation”, adding that it “uses conventional, cybernetic and hybrid means…” as a communiqué published on the website of that warlike organisation, the largest terrorist structure on the planet, states.
In the case of Latin America, it is very easy to ascertain the truth: how many Russian or Chinese military bases are there in the region? How many aircraft carriers or fleets of those countries prowl our seas? How many presidents have Russia or China assassinated in Latin America and the Caribbean? How many invasions have they carried out or encouraged?
They assume the stupidity, ignorance and forgetfulness of our citizens to pretend that we do not know or forget our history. Or perhaps they believe that we are still Spanish, and that we have pantomime monarchs, governments that only serve as puppets for the amusement of their masters and presidents who sit at the table of the powerful to pick up the crumbs that Washington throws up when it is finished eating?
The truth is that Europe is a continent militarily occupied by the United States from where it plans and executes its global hegemonic project through offensive actions against any place on the planet. In a recent article, Spanish analyst Luis Gonzalo Segura explains it with certainty and precision: “We are told that Europeans and Americans are partners, but there are unquestionable facts that dismantle this fallacy. There are normally 70,000 US military personnel deployed on European soil in military bases distributed throughout the Old Continent, a figure that currently stands at more than 100,000 troops. Moreover, there is a multitude of US weapons in Europe, including weapons of mass destruction – not the kind the US claimed existed in Iraq, but the real kind.
Now, having established this fact, ask yourself how many European military bases there are in the United States. The response is known to all: none.
Let us turn to the other two great world powers: China and Russia. How many Chinese military bases are there in Russia or how many Russian military bases are there in China? Effectively, there are none. Not only are there none, but it does not even cross the minds of either country to allow the other to install military bases on its territory.
Some might retort that there is a dissymmetry in the partnership between Europeans and Americans, but the truth is that what exists is an abnormality. An abnormality if we consider Europe and European countries as sovereign and independent, but an absolute normality if we assume the reality: Europe is a territory militarily subject to the United States.
Seen in this light, we are moving towards an unprecedented international system, never before explained and unthinkable even in the recent past. In an article in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, the prize-winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz writes: “It seems that the United States has started a new cold war”.
But in contrast to the last century, when ideology was the driving force in international relations, Stiglitz argues that in the face of US hypocrisy that bases its views on a supposed defence of democracy, the current one “…suggests that, at least in part, it is global hegemony rather than a question of values that is at stake here”.
The avalanche of multilateral events in recent weeks, such as the summits of the BRICS, the Americas, the G-7, NATO and the St. Petersburg and Davos Forums, among others, are indicative of the intensity with which the main players on the international stage are moving and the maelstrom of negotiations in which they are involved.
It is worth noting that the Venezuelan government has taken note of this situation, which is why President Nicolás Maduro has sought to broaden the look and the space of the country, taking personal responsibility, together with Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, for solving Venezuela’s problems in this chaotic and effervescent world in which the empire is intensifying its aggressiveness, while it is struggling in a multi-sectoral crisis from which it sees that it can only emerge through war and a permanent conflict that ensures it can increase its income through its main industry: that of arms production and sales.
Thus, we arrive at this original and strange situation framed by the possibility of the new cold war of which Stiglitz speaks. What is new is that bipolarity manifests itself in a different way. On the one hand, the Western pole calling itself the “international community”, made up of 11% of the world’s population, functions inwardly in unipolar terms with the United States acting hegemonically and having Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan as obedient subordinates, even to the detriment of their own citizens.
The other pole, made up of the vast majority of humanity, has set out to build a large multipolar environment in which various centres of world power can participate in a space of cooperation and aid that has already been demonstrated in the fight against the pandemic.
In this sphere of confrontations and definitions, the validity and persistence of an international law built up over centuries of seeking peace on the planet is pitted against the US proposal to establish “an international system based on rules” as a form of unilateral imposition of its imperial logic. At this point it is no longer clear what the role of the UN will be in the future. If it continues to exist, it will have to be defined under what conditions it will do so, when we observe that NATO has taken over the main multilateral organisation on the planet.
The current situation is comparable only to that which began to unfold after the Nazi defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943, when it became clear that a new world would emerge after the defeat of Germany and its allies and that it would have to be organised and structured.
But now the situation is different and much worse. At the conferences in Teheran (28 November to 1 December 1943), Yalta (4 to 11 February 1945) and Potsdam (17 July to 2 August 1945), the structure of the post-war international system was shaped. Ideological adversaries Joseph Stalin of the USSR, Winston Churchill of Britain and Franklin Roosevelt of the United States (Harry Truman in the latter because President Roosevelt had died in April of that year) met there. The aim was to exterminate Nazism, and they had become allies around this goal.
At the beginning of the 20th century Cold War, in spite of everything, in the face of the debacle that resulted in 100 million deaths, rationality and the desire for peace prevailed, even though ideological rapprochements were impossible to produce. Everything changed, of course, when only four days after the Potsdam Conference ended, Truman (a Democratic Party president) rushed back to Washington to order the dropping of an atomic bomb on the unarmed Japanese city of Hiroshima. It became clear that for the United States, rationality had a limit if it threatened its hegemonic ambitions.
Interestingly, one of the agreements of the Potsdam Conference, held two months after the end of the war and the surrender of Berlin, was the demilitarisation and denazification of Germany, the same goal that Russia is now pursuing with its special military operation in Ukraine. Why, one might ask, was it valid in 1945 and not now? And another question, what has happened? Or rather, what has not happened so that 77 years afterwards, the objective is the same?
Today the situation is different, the irrationality that emerges – precisely – from the West’s support for the resurgence of Nazism and fascism as tools of hegemonic control of the planet is imposed. They had done it before by creating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but this time it has a greater scope when the entire structure that orders the international system has been called into question.
Of course, neither Biden is Roosevelt, nor Johnson is Churchill, nor Macron is De Gaulle. Beyond ideological differences, one cannot fail to recognise that those were statesmen, while the current ones are no more than clowns trying to stage a circus in which they are trying to save themselves from debacle. Subjecting their peoples to untold hardship only to apply sanctions on Russia that have been reversed unfavourably for their promoters can only come from small and mediocre minds that are hardly thinking about safeguarding peace and coexistence for everyone on the planet.
Such is the size of the predicament we face. But today, the world cannot evoke that assumption that it is possible for anyone to be able to preserve himself alone, because now, either we will all be saved or we will all disappear equally. Let everyone do his or her part.