Trump’s victory turns the clock back at least 60 years for Americans and the world alike. And after decades of flourishing culture, civil rights, and progress, the American dream, as we knew it, is over.
I have to admit it. When Trump first announced his candidacy, I laughed. It was impossible to believe that a man who behaved like a buffoon would sit in the Oval Office. We elected one in Italy, back in the days of Silvio Berlusconi, to run our Government, but I assumed America, to which we so often looked up at, would know better.
It was inconceivable to think that the country that elected the first black President in its history would suddenly choose a man who made of racism one of his campaign banners. That the same nation that proudly said, “Yes, we can,” would now call all Mexicans rapists and drug dealers.
Italy has on paper a liberal abortion law. Yet, in practice it is becoming more and more complicated for women to terminate their pregnancy, and the number of illegal abortions is reportedly increasing. Religious beliefs and political weakness when it comes to defending this constitutional right of women are keeping Italy in the Dark Ages of reproductive rights.
Theoretically, a woman in Italy can decide to have an abortion – IVG, spontaneous interruption of pregnancy- within the first three months of pregnancy. After that term, abortion is allowed solely if the mother’s life is at risk, and upon medical request.
But Italy is also a Catholic country, hence, the same law that allowed abortions, the law 194 passed in 1978, also allows doctors and nurses to refuse the surgery if it goes against their religious beliefs.
It is all good on paper, but the reality is dramatically different.
After months of push-pull, Theresa May finally announced that the Brexit procedure will officially start by the end of March 2017. But it is too early for the hard-core Euroskeptics to start their celebration: with a population less and less favorable to abandon the EU, a conflictual Cabinet, and a PM whose positions are still to be clarified, the UK stance on Brexit is far from being done and dusted.
Theresa May has announced that she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017. If she sticks to her plans, the U.K will leave Europe in spring 2019. But the road toward Brexit is bumpy, to say the least.
The regrets of the Leavers.
First of all, leaving the EU might not reflect anymore what the British want. A recent survey conducted by the British Election Study reveals that 6% of the Leavers would change their vote, if asked again today, against only 1% of the Remainers, enough to overturn the results of the Referendum. Be it because, eventually, many of the promises made by Nigel Farage and his followers turned out to be unrealistic, not to call them lies, like the copious (and non-existent) amount of funds to be committed to the National Health System. Be it because the United States reiterated that there wouldn’t be any bilateral agreements, nor discussion, until the British Government sorts out his role with the EU. Or be it because the pounds is plummeting and it is expected to reach parity with the Euro within 2017, British people seem to second guess their desire of leaving the Union.
It looked like a done deal. And yet, in a surprising turn of events, Colombians rejected the agreement between their Government and the FARC, an agreement which could have ended 52 years of civil war.
The negotiations between President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, a.k.a Timoleón Jiménez, a.k.a Timochenko, the political and military leader of the FARC, took four years to be finalized. The terms of the deal were approved unanimously by the International community, from President Obama to the Pope, from the United Nations to the International Monetary Found. Santos and Londoño Echeverri’s names also popped in during the discussion on the future Nobel Prize for Peace.
And yet, less than 40% of Colombians participated in what was considered the most crucial referendum in the country’s recent history, and 50.1% of the voters opposed the deal.
Mercosur it is at a political impasse, without Presidency and with three out of five members trying to isolate Venezuela. But even more daunting, Argentina and Brazil seem to be working tirelessly to deprive Mercosur of any political connotation.
Mercosur is at a political impasse. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay refused to recognize Venezuela presidency of the bloc, based on the failure of the Caracas Government in complying with Mercosur trade tariffs and in protecting human rights. Uruguay, the only member still partially siding with Venezuela, has managed to grant Nicolas Maduro’s executive an extended deadline, 1st December 2016, to comply with the bloc’s requirements. In the meantime, Mercosur is swinging between acephaly and a collegial presidency by the remaining members, and Venezuela is becoming increasingly isolated inside the same organization where, during Hugo Chavez’s Government, it used to have a primary role.
But there is more going on in the Mercosur than bickering over the Presidency.
Michel Temer has wanted to be President for years and now has the chance to rule the country. But with a destroyed economy and shadows of “golpism” hovering over his mandate, he is up for a bumpy ride.
On 31 August 2016, Michel Temer has become the new President of Brazil. Just a few hours before, the Senate had voted to impeach Dilma Rousseff, who has been dismissed from her role as President.
Temer’s mandate will expire on 1st of January 2019 (the original end date of Rousseff’s charge as President), when new elections will take place.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both sided with Obama’s opening toward Cuba, even though with different degree of enthusiasm. Regardless of who will sit in the Oval Office, and despite the possible antagonism of the Congress, the embargo has to end as soon as possible, unless the US wants to live in the past forever.
Both Hillary Clinton and Donal Trump have paid only cursory attention to Cuba in the last months. Since President Obama reopened the channel of communication with Raul Castro, it seems a no-brain that whoever is elected to the White House will continue the “unfreezing” of the mutual relations.
Donald Trump has been more cryptic than Clinton, though. He agreed with Obama’s opening but wished the US could have had a better deal, and complained about the lack of respect shown, in his mind, by Raul Castro. Castro did not go personally to welcome Obama during his visit to Cuba, and in Trump’s view, this is a disrespectful attitude.