Three Countries, Triple Threat

By: Rolando J. Vivas

A couple of years ago I wrote very excited about three countries, and the very important role they were about to play in the geopolitical dynamics of the world, countries that seemed to be destined to became key players in the integration of regions in a continuous advancing globalized world, but in order to make an attempt to foresee the future, you also have to think in an opposite way, and that can, at a certain point, be even more accurate, than our more hopeful expectations, certainly, neither Turkey, nor Poland or México, lived truly up to the big expectations we had for them, they were supposed to be powerful and lasting bridges between the Middle East and the European Union, between Eurasia and the heart of the European Union, and between North America and South America, the present became a very far and distant reality from the one we thought it could be.

Turkey, a strategically situated country, became very close to be part of a more ambitious plan for the EU, the dream of integrating the Arab World or the Middle East, to the Union, perhaps Turkey, or Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey´s autocratic leader didn’t wanted to wait any longer, he wanted so desperately to integrate Turkey to the EU, that in his desperate attempt, he ended up even farther from his dream, a suspicious “coup d´etat”, which even made Erdogan more paranoid, he tried to use massive migration, an extortion tool against the EU, and finally, Erdogan put Turkey closer to religious fundamentalism, to the Russian authoritarian circle of influence and on the path towards bellicose nationalism, now setting his sights on territories like Libya and Syria.

Amazingly, Poland was a couple of years ago, one of the European Union brightest hope, capable of becoming a bridge between the heart of Europe and the old Iron Curtain countries, but again, paranoia set in, and the ultranationalist government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski (the leader of ruling party PiS), looked for ironic ways to stay away from the Russian influence, by adopting a similar illiberal, conservative, xenophobic and nationalist nature, just as the one imposed by Putin in Russia, in that way, Poland has become a renegade nation, one who is suspicious of the rest of the EU liberal and democratic ways and totally against the interference for the Union on migration matters, Poland has become now, a kind of isolated island in the heart of Europe, that moves towards the path of intolerance, authoritarianism and ultra-nationalism, that could detonate conflict at any moment and weaken even more the EU, as its influence grows towards the other “Visegrad” countries (The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia).

México for a moment, looked as one of the world’s biggest emerging stars, one capable of following Brazil’s path towards world class development, but a mediocre and corrupt administration, along the arrival of Donald Trump as the president of the USA, put the country between a rock and a hard place, the ultra-nationalist party Morena won the elections in 2018, and started to supposedly dismantle the old “neoliberal” (another way of saying capitalist) order, extreme austerity measures were implemented and México’s economy not only stagnated, it started to fall apart, for an instant, it seemed that the supposed left wing government will head towards “Socialismo del Siglo 21”, like Venezuela, Argentina or Bolivia, but something changed in a strange way, first, asylum was granted for deposed Bolivian president Evo Morales, then after a visit by USA high ranking diplomats, he was asked to leave the country, then something even more weirder happened, as the newly formed Guardia Nacional, supposedly an institution created for inner security matters, turned into a border patrol to keep Central America migrants far from the USA border, turning México, the whole country into Donald Trump dreamed “wall”.

Predictions are always bets, and the turnout is not always as expected, and sometimes they end un backfiring, that, or somebody is moving its pieces on very strategic points in order to derail the old order, moving the world towards a more closed, protectionist, isolated and authoritarian world order, as these three polls of globalization seem to be moving more into nationalism rather than into open societies.