Los cachorros de Putin y la democracia rusa

Mientras supervisaba ejercicios militares desde un submarino nuclear cerca de Escandinavia, Vladimir Putin anunció que Rusia había desarrollado un nuevo sistema de misiles, el más sofisticado del mundo. No se trató de su momento más convincente. Tres misiles antiguos, lanzados en su presencia, no llegaron a sus objetivos en Kamchatka. El submarino donde estaba Putin se parecía al Kursk, que explotó durante un ejercicio militar semejante en el 2000, matando a 118 marinos.

Tras la catástrofe del Kursk, se le preguntó a Putin qué había pasado realmente. "Se hundió", contestó con una sonrisa algo macabra. En un chiste reciente, un entrevistador pregunta a Putin que pasó con los cachorros de su perro favorito, cuyo nacimiento había anunciado con orgullo en las elecciones parlamentarias de diciembre. "Se hundieron", responde.

La democracia rusa es casi tan joven y ciega como los cachorros de Putin, pero mucho más pobre. Los países de bajos ingresos pueden desarrollar una democracia, pero tienen dificultades para mantenerla. La India, que es al mismo tiempo pobre y democrática, es una feliz excepción a esta regla. ¿Será Rusia, cuya tradición política no es británica sino soviética, otra excepción? Los países con ingresos per cápita cercanos al nivel actual de Rusia logran mantener una democracia por 15 a 20 años, en promedio. La democracia rusa, nacida en 1991, puede estar acercándose a su fecha de caducidad.

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