El Interminable ``Recessional''

La crisis de Zimbabwe ha incitado un inquietante sentimiento de déja vu . La razón es clara: ya no está de moda, por fortuna, vituperar los males del colonialismo cuando se asigna la culpa de cada infortunio nacional. Las estatuas imperiales son derribadas, las ciudades y las calles renombradas, los vestigios del dominio externo abandonados o adaptados. Con la sola excepción de Zimbabwe, ningún político líder de ningún país postimperial ha hecho en años recientes un discurso notable atacando al colonialismo. Ese gran depósito de retórica política parece haber sido enterrado en todo el mundo en desarrollo.

Internacionalmente, el colonialismo está todavía más pasado de moda. Alguna vez, los partidarios de uno u otro nuevo tipo de orden internacional vituperaron los males del imperialismo al justificar las demandas para una dispensación más justa. Ese tema ha muerto en el discurso diplomático. Pero quienes siguen el acontecer mundial serían poco sabios si consignaran el colonialismo al basurero proverbial de la historia, pues todavía es un factor del entendimiento de los problemas y peligros de nuestro mundo.

Para empezar, los problemas residuales de finales de la era temprana de la colonización, por lo general resultantes de salidas poco cuidadosas del poder colonial, continúan estando peligrosamente en tablas. Los eventos en Timor Oriental en 1999 siguen frescos en la memoria y las dificultades permanecen. Pero por lo menos parece que el fin está a la vista, a diferencia de los descompuestos legados del colonialismo europeo: el Sahara Occidental, Chipre y Palestina.

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