by Luis Vega
The free market economy and capitalist ideologies have always been beneficial to many democratic nations worldwide, and ultimately Americans. But what happens when fifteen percent of your hard earned money is dedicated to U.S. healthcare and could possibly exceed thirty percent by the middle of the century. (Foreign Policy, p. 74) Now imagine you are a hard working lower-middle class American and you make 30,000 a year. After taxes and anticipated healthcare costs you bring home about 40% of your paycheck at the end of the year. It is barely enough to make a living on your own, don’t even think of having a family. Just thinking of yourself as this person it is hard to argue that everyone deserves adequate healthcare. I mean that is the least our government could do for us, we pay enough taxes. It is difficult to determine what will happen in America in the next four years with President Bush’s re-election. One thing is for certain; the cost of healthcare will continue to rise.
Democracy This and That
Now what this has to do with Latin America, maybe nothing but you may want to take into consideration the political, and social unrest in Latin America is by far more rampant than is actually heard of. All you here is democracy this and democracy that in Central and South America but the question that you may wish to ask yourself is, How strong is democracy and the fight for it. As Americans we are supposed to set the right example and lead by example, which I must say, we do a fairly good job. Let’s take a look at our democracy, where senior citizens cannot afford medicine for their own livelihood. It is quite disturbing that we, Americans have a plan to spread democracy across the globe and we are having our fair share of problems in our own backyard. I know a lot of you are thinking, “it is none of our business to be in other areas of the world” or “let countries handle their own problems”. But I ask you to actually stop and think about what you are saying.
Of arguments that I have heard in the past two years since the war in Iraq and Afghanistan was waged by American forces and their allies, people actually say “maybe they don’t want us there”. No matter how naïve you sound as an American citizen where your freedoms give you a podium to actually make these accusations and analyses you must realize that there are no voices in these countries were totalitarian and authoritarian regimes preside. There are no human rights groups, gay liberation groups, women’s rights groups or any other types of groups to speak up for you. Just imagine being forced to say what the regime makes you say, like in North Korea, or the former Iraq, or the array of countries on the continent of Africa with brutal leaders involved in politics for the sole reason of self-gain.
In this day in age it is quite difficult to believe that some people would consider themselves pacifists. Especially after the attacks on the United States it is simple to see that there is a war being waged against the west, whether it’s against democracy, capitalism, or Catholicism it does not matter, people have to realize that war is war and preventable measures need to be taken and as sad as it sounds war is a necessary evil. The spread of democracy may be the right forum for the United States to get support from its citizens. And although the concept maybe a great one, at least theoretically speaking it needs to be a bit more consistent especially in regions of the world that are not of particular interest to the United States.
Let’s talk about the continent of Africa and all the countries that are economically and politically unstable. In the Darfur region of the Sudan where the Arab militia is waging war against the black Christian population it is hard to find reason why the United States have not intervened. The spread democracy is perfect in theory, but not perfect in carrying out the long-term project. There are many questions that one must ask him/herself, like what is so important in the Middle East that is not in Africa. Both areas breed terrorists alike so if there is a difference an explanation would be nice. Civil Wars and border wars have killed countless of Africans in Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Congo, and Libya just to name a few.
Many of the wars in these small but highly unstable African nations have been labeled mass genocide and many of the killings have been politically and religiously motivated. In such a powerful nation such as the United States of America it is quite difficult to understand why our government has not been able to spread democracy on a continent that probably needs it the most. It doesn’t even seem that the Americans are making a conscience effort in assisting the poverty stricken continent.
It is understandable that there are other priorities in the United States, but then the reason for entering Iraq and Afghanistan should not have been what they said it was, and was the “Spread of Democracy”. That phrase is such a deadly phrase because once you use it you must stay consistent with it. If you do it in one place you have to do it in another, and then another, and then another until democracy is everywhere.
The spread of Democracy, not really such a bad idea, but why start in Iraq, maybe just a starting point, but why not start with North Korea, or even Cuba. Logically Cuba would have been the best first choice in strategic terms. The military force in Cuba really does not stand a chance against the American army. And considering the amount of Cuban refugees in Florida and throughout the United States it would have not been that difficult to get Cuban support in the United States. “Just food for thought” but a broken Communist Cuba in the Western Hemisphere might remedy the large amount of Left wing movements in Latin America.