¿Quién perdió a Tailandia?

TOKIO – Tailandia, la economía más desarrollada y compleja del Asia sudoriental, se tambalea al borde del abismo político. Sin embargo, la mayor parte del resto de Asia parece estar apartando la vista de los disturbios actuales, cada vez más anárquicos. Esa indiferencia no sólo es absurda, sino también peligrosa. Ahora las democracias de Asia se arriesgan a tener que afrontar la misma y peliaguda pregunta que los Estados Unidos cuando Mao Zedong avanzaba hacia Beijing y de nuevo cuando el Ayatolá Ruhollah Jomeini derribó al Shah en el Irán. Tendrán que preguntarse: ¿quién perdió a Tailandia?

Gran parte del mundo se pregunta cómo una economía tan lograda pudo permitir que su política se descontrolara. ¿Cómo se explica la existencia de esos ejércitos de manifestantes que se distinguen, como bandas, por el color de sus camisas y cuya antipatía mutua raya con frecuencia en la rabia nihilista?

Las raíces de los disturbios actuales se remontan a hace más de un decenio, cuando la primera victoria en las elecciones de 2001 del ex Primer Ministro Thaksin Shinawatra. El triunfo de Thaksin no representó la alternancia normal en el poder propia de una democracia, sino que su victoria anunció el ascenso político de la mayoría rural, pobre y durante mucho tiempo silenciada, del país. La minoría selecta instalada en Bangkok retrocedió alarmada.

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