By Alejandro A. Tagliavini *
The pompous «II High Level Conference on South-South Cooperation (PABA + 40)» was held in Buenos Aires a few days ago, with the participation of the Secretary General of the UN and the representatives of 193 countries, more than a thousand people between delegations both governmental and civil. A lot of taxpayers’ money for nothing, only for the bureaucrats to travel and spend a good time.
For the Argentine chancellor, it was «an opportunity … to reinforce the interconnection between the nations». He teases us, he definitely is joking on us. Let’s see. To interconnect more the peoples the only thing necessary is that these bureaucrats, instead of spending the money of their impoverished citizens, return to their countries and just open their borders.
But the Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, was not satisfied with just inaugurating this Conference of High content of bureaucrats, but traveled to Chile to participate in the creation of Prosur, more bureaucracy. The regional ideological arm wrestling between governments of the left and the right has a new round where the real losers will be the citizens, who will have to pay more taxes for these bureaucrats.
The remnants of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), defended by Maduro and Evo Morales, among others, will face Piñeira from Chile, Bolsonaro from Brazil, Macri, Benítez from Paraguay and Duque from Colombia, who endorse the creation of the Forum to the Progress of South America (Prosur), more multilateral bureaucracy. «Unasur died, and Prosur is a forum to prevent us from becoming Venezuela,» said Bolsonaro, who bowed to this new organization after his visit to Washington where he very much strengend the strategic alliance between the US and Brazil.
Finally, among the many niceties that produce the obstacles that these bureaucrats impose, Christina Goldbaum tells, in The New York Times, that Mike McMahon fears that, if one of his workers without documents is given a traffic infraction, it could provoke a migratory audit to all his farm. And if his undocumented workforce disappears, he has no way to replace them.
«It keeps me awake at night,» said McMahon, owner of a dairy farm in upstate New York, where the industry survives thanks to the undocumented. Agriculture contributes some US $ 37,000 million to the economy of this state and employs about two hundred thousand people. «You are currently going to work and you do not know if you will return to be with your family again,» said a Mexican immigrant.
By the way, bureaucrats are easy prey to corruption, because by having in their hands the discretionary power to decide on life and fortune of other citizens, they are often tempted and end up «negotiating» with those potentialy harmed.
So, it is not surprising that former Brazilian President Michel Temer was arrested – and then released – in the context of Operation Lava Jato, for corruption offenses. Ironically, he had acceded to the presidency after the impeachment of the ex-president Dilma Rousseff, whose government broke records of accusations of corruption, while her mentor, former president Luiz Inácio «Lula» da Silva, has been in jail since last year. .
And there is a long list of imprisoned politicians, but even so what is striking is that there are not many more detainees in the whole world, given the circumstances.
* Member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Global Prosperity, Oakland, California