El eterno Putin

NUEVA YORK - El único voto que importa en las elecciones presidenciales rusas de 2012 ya se ha decidido, y es el de Vladimir Putin. Regresará como presidente de Rusia el año próximo.

Cuando se conoció la noticia -junto con la noticia menor de que el titular actual, Dmitri Medvédev, dejará el cargo para convertirse en primer ministro de Putin- me entraron ganas de gritar "os lo dije". Siempre me ha intrigado la ingenuidad de los analistas, tanto en Rusia como en el extranjero, que creían que Putin nunca tendría la audacia de burlarse del sistema electoral de Rusia al punto de reclamar la presidencia. Pero el desprecio por la democracia ha sido su marca característica desde que llegara al Kremlin desde San Petersburgo hace dos décadas.

Quien creyera que las cosas serían diferentes se engañaba a sí mismo o ignoraba la realidad de Rusia. Putin no puede evitarlo ahora, como tampoco pudo en 2004, cuando siendo un líder muy popular -recuperó la autoestima del país como potencia mundial a través del hábil uso de su control de parte importante de la oferta mundial de petróleo y gas en un momento de limitada disponibilidad- habría ganado sin apenas esforzarse. Sin embargo, igual amañó esas elecciones: en la tradición de la KGB, la gente es simplemente demasiado impredecible como para que no haya que controlarla.

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