El engaño de terciopelo

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – Con la caída del Muro de Berlín en 1989 y el derrocamiento relativamente no violento del comunismo en toda Europa central y del este, los optimistas predijeron una nueva era dorada de un mundo lleno de democracias pacíficas. La historia, para algunos, parecía haber llegado a su fin. Pero los optimistas demostraron estar equivocados, ya que las potencias mundiales, grandes y pequeñas, extrajeron sus propias lecciones, muchas veces encontradas, del pasado.

Para los norteamericanos, 1989 validó todo aquello en lo que ya creían. Habían ganado la Guerra Fría, o al menos eso percibían, a través de la fuerza y la convicción. Veían a los manifestantes en las capitales de Europa del este y las multitudes en China en la Plaza Tiananmen coreando consignas a favor de la libertad y creían que esas multitudes querían ser norteamericanas. Como declaró George H. W. Bush: ampquot;Sabemos cómo asegurar una vida más justa y próspera para los hombres sobre la Tierra: a través del libre mercado, la libertad de expresión, elecciones libres y el ejercicio del libre albedrío, sin obstáculos por parte del estadoampquot;.

Los acontecimientos subsiguientes parecieron validar esta receta norteamericana. La Guerra del Golfo confirmó el poder militar norteamericano y los viejos peligros del apaciguamiento. La era Clinton nos legó la promoción activa de la democracia como la principal herramienta de la política exterior norteamericana, que la administración de George W. Bush llevó a extremos sin precedentes.

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