El teatro de la reforma en Arabia Saudita

Después de haber generado expectativas de una reforma política real en Arabia Saudita, el Rey Abdullah anunció en cambio que el momento del cambio todavía no ha llegado. Tras el reacomodo del gabinete, todo sigue igual. La población saudita, de la que el 50% tiene menos de quince años, continuará viendo en la televisión nacional a los mismos príncipes viejos, algunos de los cuales han estado en el poder durante cuarenta años, símbolos de la putrefacción al centro de la política saudita. La paradoja es que mientras que Arabia Saudita se vuelve más activa diplomáticamente para trata de resolver los problemas en Iraq, se ha paralizado al interior.

Esto no es lo que esperaban los sauditas comunes y corrientes. Durante el pasado año y medio estuvieron esperando un reacomodo del gabinete que fortaleciera la reputación del Rey como un ferviente partidario de la reforma. Se esperaba que el significado simbólico de un nuevo gabinete reflejara la redefinición de la nación saudita y de su futuro. Había una esperanza de inclusión de los grupos marginados, como el nombramiento de un ministro chiíta por primera vez en la historia del reino, y de acciones contra la corrupción como el despido de los ministros que han estado en la administración durante mucho tiempo.

En cambio, un desasosiego paralizante ha caído sobre el reino, a medida que la peculiar inercia de Arabia Saudita ha provocado conversaciones vanas sobre la reforma que no pueden ocultar la realidad del estancamiento. La inercia va más allá del reacomodo del gabinete: el poder judicial –con 700 jueces- también sigue sin cambiar.

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