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The thing to take away from the Unasur declaration

The Presidents of Unasur

The declaration hammered out by the Unasur heads of state last night is, I believe, one of those moments in history that is not recognized as such until much later (text in English and Spanish linked here). For sure the resolution was about the current unrest in Bolivia, but after reading it through several times I've been struck by its recognition of Latin America's turbulent past and the declaration's mature, forward-looking tone. What it's really saying to the world is something far more important than "hey, Santa Cruz, stop being jerks" (vitally important though that is). The Moneda Declaration says to the world









For some, that outside help (from Asia, the USA, Europe, Soviet-era Russia, wherever) was welcomed, for others it was rejected. But it was always necessary on one level or another. However times have changed, and the Moneda Declaration may well be the moment historians use to mark that change. That change includes, "If you wish to help, we thank you. We will decide whether we want it or not, because now we do not need it."

Deep down it's about respect. From the end of the dictatorship era until now, Latin Americans have learned to respect democracy and respect themselves. Today they can look the rest of the world in the eye and say, "It's time you people respected us."

I warmly applaud the Moneda Declaration of September 15th 2008 and I am proud to live in South America at this time.