Dean Rohrer

¿Ha llegado la primavera saudí?

LONDRES – A principios de los años setenta, el Rey Faisal de Arabia Saudita confiaba, según se dice, a miembros superiores de la familia real su inquietud de que así como en solo una generación el país había pasado de “montar camellos a montar Cadillacs” …. la próxima generación podría estar montando camellos de nuevo.” Su advertencia parece más pertinente que nunca.

Arabia Saudita, que desde hace mucho ha sido una de las sociedades más rígidas del mundo, ahora se encuentra en una encrucijada. Su relación con Occidente –y con los Estados Unidos en particular– se ha deteriorado en medio del caos desatado en Medio Oriente y África del Norte por la primavera árabe. Mientras tanto, un grupo de mujeres dio la señal más reciente de intranquilidad interna al desafiar la disposición que les impide manejar coches en el Reino.

Si bien Arabia Saudita sigue siendo la economía árabe más importante, el productor y exportador de petróleo más grande del mundo y el guardián del Islam sunita, su influencia política ha disminuido significativamente en años recientes. Entre principios de los años ochenta y mediados de los años dos mil, Arabia Saudita fue el coordinador de la política panárabe y a los palacios de Riad y Yedda llegaban líderes políticos de todo el mundo árabe.

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