UNASUR and Evo Morales stage the Cirque while Washington and Moscow look at Cairo
Weird coincidences. The ALBA Axis (with its motorized ideological engineering from Havana) chose the approach of July 4th on the calendar –a new anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the thirteen American colonies– in an attempt to grind Washington from the lectern. After the charade recently starred by Evo Morales and his Bolivarian partners at the Altiplano, it will be difficult to hide that the coca chief did not waste time in trying to put 'two and two together', taking advantage of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Moscow (GECF) to synergize with the famous Snowden case and, this way, appear internationally for a short time. Almost paraphrasing the expression 'fifteen minutes of fame' coined by the irreverent late artist Andy Warhol.
The alleged mole Edward Snowden has a secondary role in this story; he is interesting for columnists devoted to the global agenda only because of the colorful ban exhibited by seemingly unrelated endless variables. In accordance with the criminal proceedings, the government of the United States of America has filed criminal complaints charging Snowden with 'Theft of Government Property' [United States Code #641], 'Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information' [U.S.C. #793 (d)] and 'Willful Communication of Classified Communications Intelligence Information to an Unauthorized Person' [U.S.C. #798 (a) (3)]. So it reads the criminal complaint signed personally by FBI Special Agent John A. Kralik Jr. and bellow by Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson, from the Eastern District of Virginia who will hear the case. This legal phraseology refers –almost openly– to treason, perhaps one of the most despicable acts through American jurisprudence eyes (it should never be overlooked that many judges in North America climb the ladder faster thanks to their military background.)
So, on the proto-intellectual perspective of Bolivarian caudillismo, any excuse is valid when nibbling the 'Empire’s' limbs. Regardless of the fact that the strategy costs comfortably exceed its benefits: condemning Spain, France and Portugal, Evo Morales, the sector’s non-permanent spokesman, and his associates prepare themselves to sing praises to traitor Snowden. Maybe because –as never before– they need this media exposure to hide socio-political upheavals taking place in their own countries. Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina, for instance, are not only walking the path of economic destruction inflicted by their respective leadership, but they are also hungry for distracting news in the face of massive citizens protests already experienced and which will be repeated in the end. Ergo, the spectrum’s despair becomes acute. However, there are disagreements: Peruvian Ollanta Humala Tasso –prematurely regarded as sympathetic to the Castro regime– has not been involved as vehemently as expected by UNASUR. When it comes to debilitation, ALBA-UNASUR compound is of no added value to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (the perceptive strategist of Leningrad trained within the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti [former KGB, now FSB]), and his program.
The focus of Moscow and Washington’s concern should be traced quite far from the South American-Caribbean conspiracy: the neurosis observed by both capitals’ highest dignitaries is fuelled by Mohamed Morsi’s ejection from office by the Egyptian army and the subsequent uproar recorded by TV at Tahrir Square. While profane analysts’ look falls on the unexpected revival of the Arab Spring in Cairo, others would like to consult oracles that can enlighten them regarding the future of the Suez Canal.
Under control of the Suez Canal Authority (one hundred percent Egyptian), the artificial waterway is a mandatory route for goods and, essentially, oil tankers. In its role as East-West connector (tying the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea), the canal saves large vessels approximately six thousand miles; otherwise, they should set their GPS devices towards the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, consequently ramping up costs and delivery times. British Barclays Capital estimated that, between 1967 and 1975 –following the Arab-Israeli war and after the temporary closure of the canal–, world trade showed a significant decline. In the past 48 hours, the conflict’s amplification pushed up the price of crude oil to above US$ 100 a barrel.
Many years after the Suez Canal was nationalized by Egyptian Head of State Gamal Nasser in 1956 –leading to the Suez Crisis– the prerogative agreed at the Convention of Constantinople (1888) allowing every vessel without distinction of flag or type through the canal (in time of war as in time of peace) is still in force, even if the canal is no longer under British rule. Nowadays, the Suez Canal is outlined as a meeting point for Russian and American interests, determined to protect world trade’s integrity from any potential disruption. A reality that makes sense when discriminating Egypt’s condition as a country in possession of the eleventh most powerful army in the world: its militia possesses updated armament, hardware supplied by both the United States and by state firms in the Russian Federation –particularly, anti-aircraft battery. A lesson for abolitionists who, from their eternal coffee break and pseudo-academic self-referential talk, make efforts to dissociate economic and diplomatic variables from military power.
It is likely that snapshots like this one represent quite a challenge for UNASUR advisors. Nevertheless, they should pay special attention, as the Egyptian crisis –which will not come to an end while the Muslim Brotherhood is up to its usual tricks– could help black gold prices to spurt upwards and, ultimately, complicate regional economies even more. A contingency –ironically– disregarded by ALBA, since its commanders are unnecessarily focused on the ephemeral Snowden effect. When this is over, it will be time to lay cards on the table and keep an eye on reality.
* Translated into English by Debora Gravano Jordán | e-Mail: debora.gravano [at] gmail.com