Deuda, dictadura y democratización

NUEVA YORK - Después de la caída de Saddam Hussein, Estados Unidos presionó con éxito a los acreedores para que condonaran gran parte de la deuda externa de Irak. Altos funcionarios estadounidenses, incluido Paul Wolfowitz, más tarde presidente del Banco Mundial, sostuvieron que el pueblo iraquí no debe cargar con las obligaciones que el dictador contrajo con el fin de enriquecerse y oprimir a sus súbditos. Citando una doctrina de larga data en el derecho internacional, los defensores de una condonación de la deuda de Irak afirmaron que era "odiosa". Como resultado, los acreedores dejaron de estar protegidos por las normas jurídicas mundiales.

A medida que el cambio político nuevamente recorre el Oriente Próximo, el tema de la deuda "odiosa" está de vuelta. Sin embargo, toda deuda contraída por un régimen opresor anterior no puede, por esa sola razón, ser clasificada como "odiosa". La pregunta es:¿cuánto del dinero se destinó a proyectos de desarrollo meritorios y cuánto terminó apuntalando el régimen y llenando los bolsillos de sus dirigentes?

En el caso de Egipto, por ejemplo, el Ministro de Cooperación Económica Faiza Abu al-Naga sugirió en enero que Mubarak mismo dirigía la política de endeudamiento extranjero del país y "supervisaba todo el proceso." Incluso si es cierto, puede que desde el punto de vista legal no hubiera nada erróneo con ese acuerdo. Después de todo, por largo tiempo los préstamos y la ayuda a Egipto por parte de EE.UU. y otras potencias occidentales han estado estrechamente imbricados con consideraciones geopolíticas, y el uso de las herramientas de financiación para respaldar a un aliado leal en una región inestable no es odioso o ilegítimo per se.

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