But the truth is that the world is, indeed, a mess. Only a few weeks ago, Tunisian protests began due to the high costs of food and gas. Very soon these protests made clear the long and excessive rule of the Tunisian political leader. And very soon, neighboring countries followed; presently, mass protests have been ongoing in Egypt, where the demonstrations are increasingly heating up.
It was Mubarak’s opponents who first took to the streets: men, women and even children peacefully demanding the resignation of their president. There, the origins of the protests were similar to the Tunisian ones. Yet the stubbornness of a ruler who has been in power for over three decades has come to the forefront, and what initially was taking place peacefully and in an orderly fashion has become unstable: now the supporters of the regime have begun to counterattack and, for the first time, we are witnessing abuses, violence, Molotov cocktails, showers of stones from rooftops, aggression to foreign journalists, deaths and hundreds of injuries. The civilized world asks for a peaceful transition and the creating of a new government. It wasn’t long before Mubarak’s counterpart in Yemen got the message and, sensibly, he has already declared he will not run for reelection and that he will not nominate his son as his successor.
In the meantime, here in our continent, the leader of our neighboring Bolivarian brother, proclaimed that not only he will celebrate his twelve years in power, but that he also plans to celebrate another twelve, and then another twelve, and more and more after that, boasting about his illustrious intelligence.
And meanwhile, I, unwillingly, have caught myself remembering that old saying from my grandma: “When you see your neighbor’s turban burn, soak your beret.”
My friends, the world is, indeed, a mess.
Translated by T
February 4 2011