Promoviendo la democracia en el Gran Medio Oriente

Los líderes de Estados Unidos y Europa hablan sobre la necesidad de promover reformas en el "Gran Medio Oriente". Los estadounidenses ven esto como el campo de batalla clave para la guerra contra el terrorismo, y los europeos quieren gobiernos estables y responsables que detengan el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales y el crimen organizado. Ambos reconocen que trabajar con socios locales para buscar cambios democráticos pacíficos hoy es la mejor manera de evitar revoluciones violentas y acciones militares mañana.

Este entusiasmo por las reformas marca un cambio de paradigmas. Anteriormente, tenían prioridad otros intereses, como garantizar un flujo ininterrumpido de petróleo o la cooperación contra el terrorismo. Pero, a pesar de la florida retórica, la promoción de la democracia todavía no está respaldada con planes concretos de acción. Una estrategia seria debe lograr tres cosas: aumentar el apoyo a los demócratas de la región; crear un contexto regional que facilite el desarrollo democrático; y, por último, reorganizarnos en casa para buscar y sostener políticas en pro de la democracia en el exterior.

Primero, aunque Occidente debe desempeñar un papel crítico de apoyo, el cambio debe venir desde adentro de la región. Nuestra tarea es robustecer a las fuerzas políticas locales que presionan para lograr cambios democráticos. En muchos países, los activistas de la democracia están en las cárceles debido a su compromiso con los derechos humanos-y poco se hace para ayudarlos. Ningún alto funcionario de Estados Unidos o Europa debe visitar la región sin referirse a los derechos humanos y defender a los individuos que luchan por la democracia.

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