Rodrigo Carazo (Costa Rica)*
The american continent means a new horizon for the people of all the other regions of the planet: this is why it has become the major crucible of races, believes, cultures and languages of the world. The diverse origin of the inmigrants has turn the American Continent into a non-comparable human tile.
It was said, many years ago, that if by the end of the XX century Latin America was not united, it would be dominated. It was added that the coordinated action based on the positive political will was the only formula to survive and progress. We think that never, in the history of humanity, it has ever faced so extreme alternatives.
The problems of people are intimately linked to the attitudes and actions of human beings. The will, the human hability, the knowledge, are factors that can contribute in a decisive manner to the change of fortune of the countries.
For all uf us that consider democracy as the best political system developed for the human being, we are distressed by its present stiff-joined situation, as a result of the interested pression of people and groups that look exclusively for their ow benefit. They achieved it by using some sort of capital seed that it is sown all along deceptive campaings preached by communication mass media that they control, or by the financial control upon political parties and their leaders.
It is also distressing the fact that party groups are dependant, instead of popular will, from the machineries that dominate them, that impose, beyond reason and thought and the service to community, what they call party discipline.
The transit to democracy goes through trust, with or without commitment, that such system may achieve a major amount ot common well fare.
We are talking about commitment as the base of the democratic system, commitment towards the more, respect for common fare, real commitment based on ethical principles; we are not talking about fiction, but a true commitment for the achievement of an effective democratic order.
The exercise of democracy demands that the commitment of the leader will not be limited to obedience while attempting to fullfill the wishes of those represented. No: it is a commitment with and through the education, in such a way that it will provide reason to the majority, although the educator, the leader, must bear the criticism and popular mistake, sometimes desiring to receive benefits in the short term, that will produce only damage and pain in the future.
The transit to democracy goes through an education that will vanish the ignorance mantle that blinds so many, education that may illustrate everybody about the meaning of having a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Education that may allow us a participation of the constant citizen excelling; education inspired in a deep faith in human reason that has as starting point the spritual fundaments, the trust in the system and goes through a total commitment with the common wellfare.
Our human tile
The tile without paralell originated by inmigrants of diverse origin, has produced in Amercia two different sectors: the anglosaxon and ours. The North has become the site of the most powerful nation of all times
The South attracted the Iberian people and after them, many others, thus originating the cosmic race that a man, Humboldt, talked us about: race dyed with black, yellow, hindu and all the others, starting from the american race and its first graft: the spanish blood.
We are, to say it in some way, between two groups of nations.
We do not have the strength to pretend to dominate neither of them, no matter how poor it may be, but united we would be able to avoid the domain from the metropolis.
Our culture is the result of the combination of the rich experience of the west, but it has also been nourished with that from the indigenous population full of values that contribute to the own entity that is necessary to reinforce.
The wealth of the South, divided, has allways been transfered along the centuries, to the foreign metropolis of the moment: Spain, Portugal, England, Netherlands, United States of America.
The North of America has become rich because it has remained united and it has known how to attract brains, investments and wealth extracted from the most diverse zones of the Globe. The South turn into poor because it was divided from the inside and from the the outside.
Our America, as Jose Marti call it, has wisely inspired itself from the big cultural, legal, political and social achievements ocurred in other latitudes; we believe it is opportune to take advantage of that experience to benefit ourselves with the scientific and technological improvements.
During years, we have pointed out that the two richness by all means are: natural resources and population, fundamental factors to negotiate with force while facing the North, when striving for a just economy, a dignified treatment and a solidaric interdependence.
In these five centuries that have elapsed from the contact of cultures, Our America has seen the passing through of the its “freedom men”, that were able to create aspirations and to generate action. This american land has become a great laboratory of ideas, a rich fountain of thought in diverse languages, an origin of political formulas converted into achievements, or at least in great aspirations for human beings of our time. America was the craddle of the word “independence”, that has motivated all subjugated people of the earth. Our America also generated the basic concepts and practices of democracy, that so many nations, including latinamericans are fighting for today. The freedom and justice has been cultivated in Our America in a sigular way and the South has promoted the right of asylum and the fight for democracy against tyrans inspired in the right as well as the left.
It is the intense fight for social justice, for the just distribution of wealth, for true equality of all men, for human rights. From the south, expelled by poverty and violence, the major human exodus in history is being produced today.
The North attracts inmigrants. In its urban centers, the spanish is already widely spoken: evidence of one of the biggest conquests upon material and technological wealth concentrated in the north.
Following the road transited by its richness, a huge army of unarmed poors socially conquests the most powerful potence of the planet, thus enlarging the characteristics of the human crucible of the American Continent which, divided from its origins, is now being united by history.
The North calls the Sout its “backyard”; the South depends in a great deal from the North. The lands of this beautiful chain of islands and the isthmus that detours the Caribbean Sea, constitute a big interest for the North in terms of what is called over there security and peace. For the South, this “backyard” is our house.
The interdependence between North and South is clear and evident; this is why the North pretends to consolidate its hegemony upon the whole Continent. The South, if it really desires a fair and respectful treatment, must integrate. The fair treatment must arise from a respectful relationship, from a permanent dialogue where solutions of mutual benefit may arise, from a relation where no winners or conquered people may also arise.
As long as the North pretends to impose its hegemony and the South suffers from dependence, there will be no posibilities of harmony or peace.
Peace is a right for oneself and others and it only can be achieved when there are formulas that can guarantee it. The South must unite through dialogue and the intelligent application of policies and actions.
The North must understand that the better partner, friend or neighbor is the one treated with respect and justice.
America is a continent geographically integrated. The Americas must make the effort to achieve mutual respect and interdependence based on justice. The future will link more and more the North with the South, both of them will integrate socially and economically, and the harmony that should inspire will only be possible on the basis of mutual respect.
The North must procure friendship through justice, respect and harmony and the South must unite knowing that union is the only way to achieve that respect, that justice in harmony.
A latinamerican community
The last milenium has been the scene of the latinamerican experience that has left valuable lessons that is necessary to benefit from.
This extended period has generated in the countries of Latin America a true identity of humanist interests and ideals; a vocation of independence, its parts united by a common history and culture, reinforced by the language base; by a deep desire of social justice, development, democracy and peace.
On one hand reason, and on the other, the need, have conformed the idea that it is urgent for latinamerican countries, inmerse in a common process with large experience in the exercise of sovereignty and its difficulties, institutionalize their relation based on equal social and political conditions, as well as rights and obligations.
With regards to human, social and economical, as well as cultural, the community of people of Our America constitute a process in motion.
The South was divided by odd interests that took advantage of the prevailing provincialism and the traditional caciquism. Bolívar, whose thoughts are remembered with admiration and respect, gave, almost two centuries ago the solution that seems to impose now: a nation of republics.
Every social and political fact is the result of a process. The division of the south was the result of aspirations and frustrations lived and suffered during almost two centuries after the division. The process is in motion, what is lacking is the political will to consolidate it.
The countries of Our America, as a whole, are not yet bound by materialistic interests in such a way that they may prevent making concessions in favor of the common well fare. They can count with unifying factors that are superior to those that characterized other regions of the planet and they can provide to the enterprise important moral, intellectual and political energies.
A considerable sector of the latinamerican polictics is well trained and in condition to contribute, with responsability, to the ellaboration of common plans and programs, as well as setting them in motion, with the purpose of surpassing the existing structural differences.
* Former president of Costa Rica.