When will you have a president who will stop the bleeding?
- by admin
It’s a question that hasn’t been asked in a long time, but it’s a good question, and one that’s been put to President Rodrigo Duterte on a regular basis.
In his first State of the Nation Address to the nation last month, Duterte spoke about the urgent need to stop the hemorrhaging in the country.
“We have to stop this hemorrhaging,” he said, “or we will not be able to stop it.”
On Wednesday, he offered the same warning in an interview with The New York Times, where he said he wanted to be president for the long haul.
“You can’t be president of the world when you are not the president of South America,” Duterte said.
“And that’s what I am for.”
But it’s not just about the US.
There are also several other Latin American countries in the process of being overtaken by the hemorrhagic crisis.
In Argentina, for example, the economy is already in freefall and unemployment stands at 30 percent.
And in Chile, the country has already witnessed one of the highest levels of the pandemic.
And even Brazil is facing an economic crisis, with the country’s GDP shrinking by 2.7 percent.
The US has a role to play, but in many ways it’s been too passive in the situation, according to a professor of Latin American studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
“There’s an expectation that the US will be the first country to take a lead in the effort to stop South America from falling into the pandemics,” says Dr. Javier Perez, who has studied the US role in the crisis.
“It’s just not the case.
They’re still not the first.”
Instead, Perez and other experts say, the US needs to get involved.
“The US government needs to be very involved in these discussions, because it’s really important that they stop the pandemia,” Perez says.
The question for the US is whether it wants to play a role or whether it’s willing to remain passive.
Perez says that while the US has made it clear that it is not in the pandestics business, it has also been unwilling to engage with the countries in question in the same way that the European Union and Canada have been.
“If the US doesn’t take a strong stance in the face of the fact that the pandepics are here, that this is happening, then there’s no hope that this pandemic will end,” Perez said.
In Chile, for instance, Perez said that despite the US’s insistence that it would not play a leading role, the government still spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to fight the virus.
And the US Department of State has even gone so far as to send its top diplomat to Chile to lobby the country to get help.
The problem for Perez is that there’s an understanding that the only way the US can play a big role is if it’s prepared to make a strong statement.
“They should take the lead, because if they don’t, this pandemic will not end,” he says.
“The United States is the first of many countries that will have to come to terms with the fact this is a problem, and it will be a long process.”
Follow Mike Pearl on Twitter: @mikepearl
It’s a question that hasn’t been asked in a long time, but it’s a good question, and one that’s been…