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Dialogue perspective and Latin America

20 Nov

Some changes on the world stage give hope for peace, the 5-day truce and exchange of hostages in Palestine, Germany returns to dialogue with Russia and there is already popular pressure for peace in Europe, in Latin America tension between Venezuela and Goiânia and election of the ultra liberal Javier Milei in Argentina, by a greater margin than the polls showed.

What few or no analysts will say, because polarization goes from the periphery of countries to the most independent journalism, is that there is no single solution for either pole and there are errors in analysis and principles at both poles, polarization itself is already a nonsense.

The dialogue between Germany and Russia is certainly what draws the most attention, the last dialogue that was held between the two countries was on December 2, 2022, and this resumption could be a glimmer of hope for a turnaround in the escalation of war in Ukraine and Russia.

On the other hand, the world’s greatest hope at the moment is a possible peace agreement that could release some of the 240 people taken hostage in a Hamas attack on Israeli territory that killed around 1,200 Israelis, with signs of cruelty and barbarity, Israel also reacted with brutality and force and a large part of the civilian population of Palestine suffered.

Israel’s ambassador to the USA, Michael Herzog, was the one who announced on ABC television that there were “serious efforts” for a 5-day truce in exchange for the release of hostages, and the Qatari government is also working on a possible agreement.

The election of Milei, a 52-year-old candidate, took place by a margin that no survey indicated, he received 55.95% of the votes in the dispute against the government leader and Minister of Finance of the current government Sergio Massa with 44.04% of the votes, indicating that the Argentine people, although Milei is little known, bet on a very radical change, Argentina is in a deep economic crisis.

Several governments recognized Milei’s victory, but the ideological division is deep, and there is tension between Venezuela and Guyana (formerly English Guyana, with a rich history of indigenous peoples and internal struggles for emancipation) and although it is a region that has already been an issue in history, the reason for the dispute now is because oil was discovered in the Essequibo River region, which came to be called Guyana Essequiba, with a strong indigenous presence (figure).

After several agreements, in 1904, 19,630 km2 were handed over to the colony of England and 13,570 km2 were agreed with Brazil and to this day everything that establishes the limits between these three countries, there were several previous agreements, in 1966 Guyana became independent of the Kingdom United.




Escalation of conflicts, the thought of peace

30 Oct

It is incredible that polarization takes over even the discourses of peace, such as the question of the Other and the meaning of what “terror” means, whereas anti-Semitic discourse is emptied and so is the idea of ​​“Nazi” forces, polarization has reached a global scale and can grow.

The war between Ukraine and Russia is also getting worse, with new long-range American military equipment and the arrival of winter makes it dramatic and could escalate from now on.

Praise and defense of Hamas have placed the UN itself in a position of polarity, there is also a discourse that tries to mischaracterize the killing of civilians and innocents as that which is carried out by the Other, so there is no space for dialogue and peace, everything can have a reverse narrative.

Humanitarian aid faces difficulties both from those who want to assist the population and from the governments themselves that make it difficult for civilians to cross and open borders. The land war in Gaza will only worsen humanitarian conditions.

Turkey’s position in favor of Hamas could also disturb the region and escalate the war. This position is very complicated because Turkey is part of NATO and has been important in its position on the passage of grains. Let us remember that in the Bosphorus Strait, the Passing through Istanbul, the city with territory in Europe and the Middle East, is strategic.

In war, it is civilians who lose, and the limits of civility are almost always exceeded on all sides, there are no agreements that can establish clear limits that are respected.

A true philosophy of peace must condemn the conflicting sides, each side’s misguided attempt to establish an acceptable narrative, polarization does not allow.

Which forces will be able to sue for peace? What will happen in a growing escalation of war, with Iran involved? and if China and eastern countries get involved, there will already be issues of tension between the countries.

The hope is that a stifled outcry from those who truly desire peace will come, the forces that are of true humanism could recover hope for a less dangerous world.


Tension in the Middle East

16 Oct

Despite beginning a critical phase (winter), the war between Ukraine and Russia is out of focus, with increasing tension between Israel and Palestine, which claims its own territory.

After a daring and cruel incursion into Israeli territory, the military group took several hostages and Israel responded by attacking areas of the Gaza strip and cutting off water and energy in Israeli territory as a way of pressuring the handover of the hostages.

The humanitarian situation caused several international organizations to appeal to Israel to allow humanitarian aid, while Israel gives the option of moving to the south where the water and energy supply would be restored, giving a very short deadline and an ultimatum.

There is a point to the south where a passage to Egypt is possible, which is the Rafah refugee camp, negotiations between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi indicate that this passage would be open for humanitarian aid.

Israel is preparing for a fight on three fronts, as in southern Lebanon there were attacks by another anti-Semitic group, Hezbollah and there are already tensions and the capture of combat points with Syria, also through Hezbollah.

The greatest tension is the possible involvement of Iran, which finances these groups against Israel and Hamas leaders have already gone to Iran to talk to the country’s authorities, however the US warns that Iran’s entry into the war would cause strong tension with the West, since the US sent aircraft carriers.

The involvement of the Arab world could make the crisis even greater, as there are already unilateral talks.

Russia is a traditional ally of Syria, and with a military approach to Iran it could create an axis of allies with common enemies, which paints a dangerous geopolitical picture.

Peace seems distant, and the elements for a war with tragic consequences are emerging, but there are still localized forces for peace.



New war front and dangerous week

09 Oct

Since Israel had developed a strong anti-aircraft battery scheme called the Iron Dome, missile attacks in the region had decreased, but at the end of the week a new attack by the Hamas group took place and more than 700 people were killed, showing that there are weaknesses in this system.

Israel’s military was caught by surprise on Saturday (10/07) and despite decades of the country becoming a technological powerhouse with the world’s most impressive military and a world-class intelligence agency, all of this simply hasn’t worked and This creates a new front of war in geopolitics already with delicate problems and Israel responded with missiles into Palestinian territory.

Hamas has Iran as a strong ally, which has supplied drones to Russia, and although it has denied that this continues to happen, Iran wants to be part of the BRICS and on the side of another invisible war, according to the words of Medvedev, the vice-president of the Russia’s Security Council and former president of the country, this war is taking place.

He was referring to Russia’s good harvest of wheat grains, which it intends to become a bargaining chip with allied countries, even providing supplies to allied countries in Africa that do not have the resources to purchase grains.

The week is delicate in Ukraine and Russia, because on both sides a new surprise attack is expected, such as that of Hamas in Israel, on the Ukrainian side long-range missiles, and on the Russian side the destruction of energy sources in Ukraine which would make the coming winter cruel to the population and weaken the Ukrainian military army, which already has difficulties with ammunition for conflict regions.

Something new is expected in terms of peace, there is no shortage of nods from Russia, but without negotiating the territories already conquered, while the Ukrainian side wants possession back, including the controversial Crimea, one of the main targets in the counteroffensive.

All people of good will and who know the dangers of war want some relief.



Because evil grows

05 Oct

Common sense is to say that evil grows because good is omitted, in part this is true, as evil is the absence of good, but this absence can be due to aporia (lack of knowledge), due to bad education that forms unenlightened minds and due to end out of pure pride and power.

Power is a way of legitimizing both good and evil, this is only possible through violence, and generalized violence is war, so this is the clearest and most unequivocal form of evil, in it intolerance, contempt for what is different, the imposition of ideas and injustices is facilitated.

Thus, at different times in our history, it was through violence that empires and dictators imposed their wills and ideologies, not without the consent of a large part of the population, which is why we remember bad education, whether through propaganda campaigns or through schooling itself. impoverished and malformed, the two issues are linked.

Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to management at all levels, from our homes, neighborhoods and condominiums to power structures, small illegitimate actions, education for empathy, coexistence, cleaning and even leisure must be observed and guided by managers and public bodies in order to preserve common space and public goods.

The zeal for honesty, transparency, respectful dialogue between opinions that are not necessarily opposite, but different even if in completely divergent directions should not be a reason for hatred and violence, dialogue is always possible.

Evil needs polarization, radicalization (in the bad sense, there is the good sense of going to the root of a problem), pure disagreement as a way to justify and propagate violence.

Just like the seeds of a good tree, weeds and poisonous plants also have roots, they grew in a healthy plantation and the fact that they must grow together can be a mistake because they can suffocate the good seeds, pests and diseases in plants.

Care must also be taken to cure these pests, in agriculture several pesticides have already been condemned, and even disease-resistant plants can be questioned, genetic mutation can cause greater harm than expected, there is a lot of ethical dialogue about this.

Therefore, three precautions must be considered: the ethical education of valuing what is good, the zeal so that error and evil do not spread and finally the correction methods must be careful not to cause even greater harm.


War attrition and peace in Nagorno-Karabakh

02 Oct

As the Russian/Ukrainian war enters a phase of attrition, a border region has a sign of peace, even if it means a loss of territory.

The struggle for dominance over the Armenian-majority region of Nagorno-Karabakh goes back centuries, however the president of the self-declared republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Samvel Shaharamanyan declared that it would cease to exist from the 1st. January 2023.

In the 18th century, when the region was under pressure from Persia, Russian Tsarina Catherine II issued letters of protection to them, but the conflict was never fully resolved.

The signed decree dissolved all state institutions that will be vacated by the beginning of 2024, and more than 100,000 Armenians have already left the country, which already has the presence of military personnel from Azerbaijan, with a Muslim majority and supported by Turkey, Armenia is Christian and supported by Russia.

The region has geopolitical importance because since Russia’s war against Ukraine, Azerbaijan has supplied millions of barrels of oil to the European Union through the Caspian Sea along the Mediterranean coast, and recently Russia announced that it will no longer supply it.

The Armenian genocide of 1915-1916 during the Otman Empire led many Armenians to flee to this region of Nagorno-Karabakh, since then they have been called Azeris, during the Russian revolution the region continued in conflict with Azerbaijan, although both were Soviet republics, the anti-Armenians in the city of Shusha killed 30 thousand Armenians.

With the end of the Soviet Union, the Armenians once again established themselves as a nation, but the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remained, there were several periods of fighting in the region, now with the session of the territory this autonomous republic ceases to exist.

Despite the fears of separatist Armenians, this new situation is a great sign of peace.

Russia and Ukraine can be inspired by this model or something similar, the world wants peace.



Administer the common good and peace

22 Sep

I thought about keeping silent and just writing PEACE, PEACE, PEACE today, but that would be silent.

Managing the common good is making peace prosper, disregarding it is allowing a large space for hatred, intolerance, violence and on a larger scale: war.

The 21st of September was established by the UN as an international day of Peace, the secretary general António Guterres cited in a video the effect of conflicts that expel a record number of people from their homes, and did not fail to also talk about these factors people, other factors such as: fatal fires, floods and high temperatures, combined with poverty, inequalities and injustices in a reality of distrust, division and prejudice.

In Italy, a group with numerous social initiatives launched a campaign “Italy united for peace”, the Community of Sant’Egidio stands out for a dispassionate and bilateral vision on the problems of wars and peace, it has the authority to talk about peace.

On the 10th to 12th of September in Berlin, Germany, they had already promoted a religious meeting that they called “The boldness of peace”, and there was no shortage of reflections on social inequalities, intolerance and injustices present in various areas across the planet.

We need to manage what Nature, the Planet and human development itself have given us to allow for a more fraternal, more just and more humane world.

For those who believe, all this is a divine gift, but it is necessary to manage it well as we will be charged in some way for the consequences of our actions, as the biblical parable says of the employees who were entrusted with talents through the owner of a vineyard.

The contract workers arrived, but as he needed more he went to the square and also hired those who were unemployed, and asked why they were there without work, they replied: “because no one hired us” (Mt 20,7) and then they were also hired.

At the end of the afternoon he paid the same salary, 1 silver coin to everyone, and some who were there from the beginning didn’t think it was very fair, but the boss remembers that the agreement was a silver coin so everyone was receiving the agreement.

So the meaning of the common good is that everyone has the right to a decent wage, but correct administration and honesty and zeal on the part of those who pay are necessary, it is fair for everyone to receive a decent wage.

But peace also requires a heart open to the just and dignified rights of the excluded other.




The return of evil

19 Sep

Even if due to naivety or social context, from time to time demons, existing or not, come back to haunt us, there is a truth between reality and fiction: it exists, if not in the imaginary (as some think) also as a real entity.

Horror films, almost all mere fiction, exist, and their audience is not small, as in the case of “The Exorcist” (1973) and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1980), two classics of the genre, but there are films that can stand out as works of art: “Nosferatu” (1922 and remake 2018) and “Get Out!” by director and screenwriter Jordan Peele, who competed for the Oscar for best film in 2018.

In the work directed by F. W. Murnau (1922) there is something of German expressionism, with techniques of using shadows, treated more as a madness around the unknown, also remember that we are in between the wars when Germany and Russia sign the Treaty of Ropallo, trying to form a counterweight in the global geopolitics of the time, an agreement that would last until Hitler.

There are certainly other films, however, they are now reappearing with a more strongly religious tone and color: “The Pope’s Exorcist” (Julius Avery, released this year) which talks about events that happened to Father Gabriele Amorth, who was officially an exorcist from Rome recognized by the Church Catholic, in the film directed by Russell Crowe (Guys – Nice Guys, War Promises – The Water Diviner), the other demon film is Nefarious (Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, based on the 2016 novel by Steve Deace: A Nefarious plot) .

While Nefarious is another fiction about the existence and tricks of the Devil, with some Christian contours, The Pope’s Exorcist is based on real events narrated by Father Gabriele himself, who performed more than 60 thousand exorcisms and certainly some notable ones were selected, among From the conversations that are narrated there, I quote the most important one, in which during a possession he says that the devil can only do what God has allowed, his power is limited.

I don’t like the genre, but I had more patience with “The Pope’s Exorcist” out of curiosity and an attempt to understand the problem, but situated in a context of confusing social issues and the danger of an even bloodier war than those currently underway, but Without Manichaeism, the power of evil is not greater than that of good, and its effects are not comparable.

Evil has a real existence due to the absence of good, so thought Augustine of Hippo, who was a Manichaean in his youth.



Urgent: earthquake in Morocco

09 Sep

The news began to emerge in the early hours of Brazil, an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the center of Morocco approximately halfway between the historic cities of Agadir and Marrakech, the region is called Adassil, according to the country’s interior ministry 820 people have already died (the number exceeded 2000 in the early hours of Sunday), 672 people have been injured and 205 are in serious condition, according to the latest information.

People rushed into the streets and the earthquake was felt in Portugal, Spain and Algeria, an aftershock of magnitude 4.9 was felt 19 minutes later.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicenter was in the mountains known as the High Atlas, 71 km from Marrakech, at a depth of 18.5 km, the city was heavily hit and has a historic center declared a world heritage site, it occurred in middle of the night, but online newspapers don’t give the exact time.

Several governments declared solidarity and promised help, the pain is hard, but it awakens solidarity, even Zelesnky from Ukraine and Putin from Russia declare their regret.

All solidarity with the Moroccan people, the under-20 Brazilian team is there and there were no injuries.



Fears of a 3G

04 Sep

A third world war, which would be the greatest civilizing crisis ever, seems to arrive together with the proximity of the European autumn, interviews with a BBC reporter in Moscow show that there is a climate of patriotism and support for the war in Ukraine, even if it is euphemistically called a “special military operation”.

The reporter interviewed pro-Kremlin blogger Andrei Afanasiev, a university professor, and also heard the other side of military analysts who say that state propaganda hides military failures and losses in war, he also interviewed anti-war activities, although most have left Russia or be arrested.

The scenario, despite a good amount of the population maintaining a certain indifference, is one of a growing climate of war, some fear of the future and no hope of peace in sight.

The increasingly declared and ostensible involvement of NATO creates an even worse climate, last week there was an attack on the Russian airport in Pskov, and in Ukraine there is a threat of bombs in schools that are returning to classes, since the beginning of the war 3,750 schools have been partially or completely destroyed by missiles and bombs, according to Ukraine.

On another front that is beginning to draw a war, after the elections there was a military coup in Gabon, a country of French language and influence, the re-elected president Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose family has governed the country for 56 years, is arrested and the elections were considered fraudulent.

Countries of the Central African Union condemned the coup, now the number of countries that do not align with the West is growing and a war could start in the region that I have already seen other coups and military councils governing the countries, recently there was in Niger with the support of the Russia (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Tunisia are former French colonies) (see the map).

In the famous missile crisis in Cuba, three generals of the Soviet Navy were supposed to approve the firing of missiles according to Russian protocol, but one of them Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov was against it, and this avoided a tragic nuclear holocaust, the hope is that there are other Vasilis who prevent the 3G war.