Pan y pestes contra Bush

LONDRES – Siento un poco de pena por el Presidente Bush. Sean cuales fueren sus muchos otros fallos, tiene una ejecutoria bastante buena en materia de ayuda a los países pobres, en particular de atención de salud. Coherente con esa actitud, recientemente anunció un gran aumento de la ayuda alimentaria de los EE.UU… cosa buena para los pobres hambrientos y para los agricultores americanos.

Fue una reacción más rápida que la de algunos otros países ante la crisis alimentaria mundial. Después de bajar durante más de 30 años, recientemente los precios de los alimentos se han puesto por las nubes. El índice de precios de los alimentos confeccionado por The Economist ha aumentado hasta su nivel más alto desde que se inició en 1845. Como ha ocurrido a lo largo de toda la Historia, los precios disparados y la escasez han causado disturbios desde Bangladesh hasta Bolivia. La palabra que significa “pan” en Egipto es aish , que también significa “vida”. Las amenazas a la vida hacen bajar a multitudes a las calles.

Lo que me hizo sentir un poco de pena por Bush fue la reacción a su anuncio. Bush se refirió a las razones para la escasez y las subidas de precios, pero no se extendió sobre el desvío de maíz americano de sus usos alimentarios a los de biocombustibles, que reciben importantes subvenciones. Tampoco el cambio climático ocupó un lugar prominente en su argumentación, aunque muchos expertos sostienen que puede ser la causa de las sequías e inundaciones que han arruinado las cosechas de trigo en Australia y la producción de aceite vegetal en Indonesia y Malasia.

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