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10/12/2018
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Informe FAES «América Latina, Una Agenda de Libertad», realiza un diagnóstico sobre libertades, Estado de Derecho y calidad democrática

La Fundación FAES, de España, ha presentado este informe el viernes 16 durante la Cumbre Iberoamericana, el cual analiza los problemas de consolidación y calidad democrática, desconfianza institucional y desempeño económico de los países latinoamericanos, y que incluye también América Latina en Cifras, un documento adicional que ofrece una radiografía gráfica y cuantitativa de la situación demográfica, económica y social del subcontinente."

América Latina debe generar confianza y certeza institucional para integrarse en la economía global

Guatemala, Nov.16.– La Fundación FAES ha presentado esta tarde su informe estratégico América Latina. Una Agenda de Libertad, un diagnóstico sobre la salud de las libertades, el Estado de Derecho y la calidad democrática en la FAES presenta su informe en la Cumbre Iberoamericanaregión.Asimismo ha dado a conocer América Latina en Cifras, un documento adicional que realiza una radiografía cuantitativa de la situación demográfica, económica y social de los países latinoamericanos. FAES presentan también ambos textos esta semana durante la celebración de la Cumbre Iberoamericana en Guatemala.

¿Podemos afirmar que el socialismo del siglo XXI ha sido derrotado? ¿Ha perdido realmente legitimidad? ¿Se encuentran en crisis las visiones liberticidas y autoritarias exitosas en varios países de América Latina? ¿Qué países todavía pueden bascular hacia la pérdida de libertades y garantías democráticas? ¿Qué nuevas incertidumbres añaden las victorias de López Obrador en México y Bolsonaro en Brasil? El nuevo informe de FAES reflexiona sobre estas y otras cuestiones, sobre la libertad y las amenazas que América Latina enfrenta en la segunda década del siglo XXI.

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La tragedia de la inmigración ilegal a Estados Unidos

La integración, y no la segregación, es el objetivo final y lógico de la inmigración. Cualquier persona que emigre a un país donde decidió establecerse y donde quiere pasar el resto de su vida, debe estar dispuesto a aprender y adaptarse a su cultura, idioma y leyes, sin por eso olvidar su origen ni renunciar a su cultura, pero con la suficiente flexibilidad para acomodarse a las costumbres y compartir los intereses y aspiraciones del país que lo recibe.

No es justo que los ciudadanos de ese país se vean obligados a adaptarse a sus costumbres ni a ceder en sus intereses, porque es el huésped quien está obligado a respetar a quien lo recibe. No es aceptable que llege con exigencias. Fue su elección vivir en el país que lo recibe, pero si no se puede adaptar, es libre de irse y regresar a su país de origen y al estilo de vida que prefiere.

Inmigrantes ilegales desmantelando por la fuerza las vallas fronterizas.Los países anfitriones tienen todo el derecho de rechazar a cualquier extranjero visitante o inmigrante, y cualquiera de ellos que viole las leyes de inmigración o cometa cualquier delito o acto de violencia debe comprender que no tiene derecho alguno de permanecer en el país que no ha respetado, mucho menos si son una amenaza para la paz y la seguridad de sus ciudadanos o residentes.

Muchos cristianos, sobre todo católicos, argumentan a favor de conceder una amplia indulgencia a los inmigrantes que permanecen o han entrado al país ilegalmente, o abrirles las puertas indiscriminadamente a los que llegan como una obligación de caridad cristiana. Sin embargo, Santo Tomás de Aquino indicó específicamente en su Summa Theologiae (I-II, 105, Art.3) que: «Las relaciones con los extranjeros puden ser de paz o de guerra, y en uno y en otro caso son muy razonables los preceptos de la ley (...) Por esto establece la ley que algunos ...  son recibidos en la comunidad a la tercera generación. Otros, por el contrario, que muestran su hostilidad hacia el país, nunca son admitidos a ser parte del pueblo; y otros que se oponen al país han de ser tratados como enemigos perpetuos». Pero admite también excepciones edificantes: «Sin embargo, por dispensa, un individuo podía, en razón de un acto virtuoso, ser admitido en el seno del pueblo.»

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The world should prepare for the next recession, while it still can

As financial markets take fright, we should take a look at the next recession. Last year growth was accelerating around the world. Today, America alone is booming. As interest rates diverge, emerging markets will find it harder to service dollar debts—which could blow back to the rich world. Although a re-run of the crisis of 2008 is unlikely, many economies are ill-prepared to deal with even a mild recession. Central banks do not have much room to cut interest rates and politicians may balk at unconventional monetary policy, deficit spending or co-ordinated international action. The time to prepare is now."

Toxic politics and constrained central banks could make the next downturn hard to escape

Oct. 12.– Just a year ago the world was enjoying a synchronised economic acceleration. In 2017 growth rose in every big advanced economy except Britain, and in most emerging ones. Global trade was surging and America booming; China’s slide into deflation had been quelled; even the euro zone was thriving. In 2018 the story is very different. This week stockmarkets tumbled across the globe as investors worried, for the second time this year, about slowing growth and the effects of tighter American monetary policy. Those fears are well-founded.

The world economy’s problem in 2018 has been uneven momentum (see article). In America President Donald Trump’s tax cuts have helped lift annualised quarterly growth above 4%. Unemployment is at its lowest since 1969. Yet the IMF thinks growth will slow this year in every other big advanced economy. And emerging markets are in trouble.

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Europeans worried on their dealings with China

Facing a trade war with the United States that they know it is impossible to win, the Chinese government try to find alternative markets and investment opportunities in Europe, but as Chinese investment pours into the European Union, the Europeans are beginning to worry too. Europeans do not feel safe with the huge trade deficits in their dealings with China."

China has designs on Europe. Here is how Europe should respond.

Oct. 4.– Europe has caught China’s eye. Chinese investments there have soared, to The huge European trade deficit with Chinanearly €36bn ($40bn) in 2016—almost double the previous years’ total. Chinese FDI fell in 2017, but the share spent in Europe rose from a fifth to a quarter. For the most part, this money is welcome. Europe’s trading relationship with China has made both sides richer.

However, China is also using its financial muscle to buy political influence (see Briefing). The Czech president, Milos Zeman, wants his country to be China’s “unsinkable aircraft-carrier” in Europe. Last year Greece stopped the European Union from criticising China’s human-rights record at a UN forum. Hungary and Greece prevented the EU from backing a court ruling against China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea. Faced with such behaviour, it is only prudent for Europeans to be nervous.

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CUBA – The End Game

Summary of the28th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE)

The 28th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE), held in Miami, FL, was slightly different from prior meetings. As in recent meetings, an increasing amount of Cuban-based economists and students attended; indeed the two student essay prizes were won by students living in Cuba. The papers presented, and there were many good ones, seemed to sum up the disastrous state of the Cuban economy, its very poor prospects, and then fatalistically concluded there would be little or no light at the end of the tunnel. There was little preaching or suggested reforms; virtually no participant expected further significant political or economic reforms or an economic recovery. Short of finding a new Sugar Daddy like the USSR or Venezuela, one would have to conclude Cuba runs a high risk of becoming a failed state.

The present situation. Cuba claims its real GDP grew by about 2 percent last year, but there are strong reasons (see below) to doubt this, and little to expect growth this year. The fiscal deficit seems unsustainable, real salaries remain well below those of the late 1980's--i.e., One of ASCE's meetings during the 28th Annual Conferencebefore Soviet aid ended--and investment remains at just over one tenth of GDP. The steady net disinvestment in many areas--transport, energy, and water/sewerage infrastructure, let alone housing (the deficit is now estimated at over 880,000 units)--continues. Some indices for this year show a distinct decline. Tourist arrivals are down the first half of 2018, and the sugar harvest (which runs from about December to April) produced virtually a record low of only 1.1 million tons of sugar. One of Cuba's best economists noted a continued rigidity of the bureaucracy, reversal of some reforms, and a drop in the expectations of younger Cubans.

Some of the recent reforms--freer international travel and house/car sales--seem to have worked; some such as "cuenta propista" (informal, but semi-legal family enterprises) workers and agricultural liberalization have been reversed; and some have either failed--such as the sugar rationalization--or after much talk (currency unification)have never been undertaken. The emigration of so many skilled and experienced workers has had some effect on the quality of teachers, the capacity of government, and the general productivity of the economy. A variety of recent estimates of Cuba's GDP seem to show recent per capita incomes may be either similar to those of 1959, when Fidel first took office, or at most had 1 percent annual growth over the period. Cuba, once ranked in per capita income equal to Spain, Italy, or Argentina, now is about equal to some of the poorest Central American countries. Surveys show those Cubans born after 1990 now have little hope of an economic recovery; many want to leave Cuba.

Some details. Pre-Castro, Cuba was the world's largest exporter of sugar. Indeed, during the 1950s Cuban governments' main concern was to keep the sugar harvest down, usually below 7 million tons, since after filling its US quota, too large an excess export amount could depress the world market price. 

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