American professor answers Azeri.Today's questions
American bureau of Azeri.Today
Azeri.Today interviews Professor of History of the Barnard College José C. Moya.
- Mister, let me start off your first question about the US presidential election. How did the elections proceed? Are you satisfied with the election results?
- The result of this election shows the power of demagoguery; the danger of political discourses that negate or distort truth and reality; and the equally dangerous fantasy of politics driven by a single leader with an immense ego
- What do you think will change in Washington's foreign policy in Latin America after the election?
- Despite the rhetoric, not as much as we fear. The value of the Mexican peso dropped 10% the morning after the election of Trump but by the afternoon it had regained half of that lose. The economies of South American countries have become increasingly independent from the US so they are not likely to be affected in any continuous way.
- The Venezuelan opposition holds protests for several months. The population of the country demand the early resignation of Nicolas Maduro. What do you think about Venezuela on the eve of the Civil War?
- The situation in Venezuela has reached such low levels that it has plateaued, reached some equilibrium. A Civil War is impossible as long as the army supports the government. But levels of street violence and crime have become the highest in the world
- Washington has the most difficult relations with Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Will Donald Trump be able to normalize relations with these countries?
- The relations between the US and Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador can be tense at times but are normalized. Trump does not seem to have much interest or knowledge of foreign policy particularly in Latin America outside of Mexico.
- Serious problem for the United States in the Latin American region began with formation of a steady tendency for regional integration without the participation of the United States. Why did it happen? What can you say about it?
- The largest trading block in Latin America, Mercosur, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, was created not recently but 25 years. It did not exclude the US any more than it excluded Mexico. It just tried to integrate South American countries instead of the entire Hemisphere. The Pacific Alliance includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and was founded in 2011. Two years later the US agreed to join as an observer state but given Trump’s negative opinion of international trade deals, he may end even that relatively modest status.
- Barack Obama went to the most significant changes in recent decades in Cuba in relation to Washington's policy. In December 2014, US President expressed the desire to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. What is the main reason for the change in the US foreign policy towards Cuba?
- The lack of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba was a legacy of the Cold War and thus have made no sense for the past quarter of century. Obama wished to normalize relations with Cuba in large part because it was considered something historical and by this stage of his political career that, his historical legacy, is something he cares deeply about. But it was also something relatively easy to do because the Republican senators from Midwestern states, which sell large quantities of grain and food to Cuba supported the change.
- Shortly before the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, his deputy Nicolas Maduro announced that the disease of the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution was the result of a conspiracy of the United States. This opinion is shared by some human rights activists. Can the US intelligence agencies be involved in Chavez's disease?
- No, there is no evidence at all that the US had to do anything with Chavez’s illness. This is the type of conspiracy theory that Maduro loves, and something that he has in common with Trump. They may be the heads of state in the Western Hemisphere with the greatest penchant for conspiracy theories, and the more lunatic, the more they seem to like them.
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