“There are in the world and in this region of the world, Latin America in particular, important concerns regarding what is happening precisely with something more than authoritarian instincts.”
With this provocation of Carmen aristegui, as moderator, began the dialogue table “Equality versus freedom, freedom versus equality: is it possible to resolve the perennial tension?”, as part of the FIL Thought program of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, in which they took part the former president of the Spanish Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and one of the moral leaders of the Mexican left, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano.
In this conversation, Aristegui asked the Mexican politician, three times presidential candidate, a balance of the state of things in the country three years after the current administration.
“The results of a government are measured by the achievements. I have the impression that in the economic aspect we have not managed to reverse the trend that we have carried over four decades to here (…) Violence is present throughout the country, the insecurity of the people, of the families. We have a high unemployment rate, we have not managed to recover even the jobs lost in these years of pandemic. We have an educational system with very serious deficiencies, not to mention the health system, “he said.
“I believe that this is what we have in these three years, beyond efforts that should be recognized, such as raising the minimum wage or seeking to subsidize deficiencies in different sectors of the population.”
The affirmation of the historical leader of the Mexican left contrasted with what was said that same afternoon by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in his message to the nation, after three years of government, in which, among other statements, he said: “It is also satisfactory inform that we have recovered 1 million 395 thousand jobs that were lost due to the pandemic and 320 thousand additional jobs have been created, so that now we have the highest employment figure in history with 20 million 933 thousand workers registered with the IMSS ” .
But Cárdenas Solórzano sees a country “with many lags still and without proposals to overcome the problems of employment, poverty, insecurity, low economic growth, environmental deterioration, all gender issues. I do not see initiatives from those who should have them.”
He pointed out that this absence of proposals is especially lamented by the political entities, “starting with the government, to tell us how to recover the growth of the economy, how to carry out a fiscal reform”, but also from the parties politicians, “since right now political life is focused on confrontation: from the opposition it is everything against the president and from the government party it is everything against the opposition without seeking dialogue.”
Necessary, an integration in AL
Already entered the matter, both panelists discussed the state of democracy in our nations and issued their proposals for alternatives to avoid taking steps back on this matter.
“We need to improve our own electoral democracy to avoid, on the one hand, interference by officials who try to tip the electoral balance in favor of certain candidates or certain tendencies, and we require that, in our case, there is no dirty money in the elections” declared Cárdenas Solórzano.
He estimated that in our case it is very important to achieve internal peace. “Something that has been lacking is the political decision to achieve peace, but necessarily involve society. Eradicating crime is not only a matter of the State, of the police order or of the armed forces, as is our case, but it has also failed to involve society ”.
For its part, Rodriguez Zapatero argued that today more than ever it is essential that values such as freedom and equality be embraced in the 21st century, although, he admitted, it is difficult to distinguish which is a priority and, even more difficult, “it is to conquer them at the same time, in depth, in a fully free and equal society (…) it is not easy to conquer these two great values at the same time, it must be assumed (…) they are two values that have to be sheltered by a special culture of what it means to live in society. History gives us no reason to be proud. History is the history of violence ”.
He concluded that none of the most distressing challenges: inequalities, poverty, institutional weakness, will have transparency in an increasingly global world if there is no process of commercial, scientific, development and innovation integration, in this case of Latin America, which allows the region to have autonomy, strength and not dependence on the United States.
On that Cárdenas Solórzano agreed: “the union of Latin American nations is what will allow us, or what would allow us in a world that is constituted in blocks, it would be to be able to speak from you to you with the great blocks that currently exist in the world and it would be the possibility that policies could be put into practice that would allow us not to seek dependence on each other but rather collaboration that could derive benefits for some and for others ”.