Monday, May 2, 2011

Latin America reacts to Bin Laden's death

Via, Puerto Ricans reacted with a mix of relief and
trepidation over the death of Osama Bin Laden.

As you are probably aware of, U.S. president Barack Obama announced on Sunday night that Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in a military operation that took place in Pakistan. Subsequently there has been a widespread global reaction to the death of such a vital (and reviled) figure in the so-called “war on terror”.

How did some Latin Americans react to Bin Laden’s death? Here is a taste of what was said via the region’s press:

Numerous heads of state and government officials presented their opinions over Bin Laden’s death and Latin America was no exception. Alluding to his own country’s armed conflict, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos observed, “sooner or later terrorists always fall.” Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno called Bin Laden’s death “positive news” though he also warned, “terrorism will continue” since others will want to take over for him.

On the other hand, Venezuelan vice president Elias Jaua questioned the “ethics” related to “celebrating an assassination.” Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, meanwhile, “rejected” the 9/11 attacks but also mentioned, “we shouldn’t forget that hundreds of innocent Iraqi civilians were killed as part of the response to what occurred with the Twin Towers.”

One of the most interesting diplomatic perspectives was that of the Paraguay’s ambassador to Egypt, Ausberto Rodríguez. In comments made to the Paraguayan press he claimed that Bin Laden’s death “did not have a strong impact” on Egypt. “He considered that various countries (in the region) distanced themselves” from Bin Laden according to the website of Diario ABC.

The political implications of Bin Laden’s death were the focus of numerous analysts from Latin America. Gustavo Sierra wrote on that the “myth” of Bin Laden lay dead and that his passing is an “enormous triumph” for Obama. Yet Sergio Gomez Maseri of observed that with a weakened U.S. economy “the impact of Bin Laden’s death will have little effect on the electorate.” blogger Luciana Coelho wrote that Bin Laden was an “icon” that represented the Al-Qaeda “brand”, and it remains to be seen how his death will affect the group.

One of the most critical pieces against Obama came via Santiago Alba Rico from the Cubadebate website. “Between democracy and barbarism, it is evident that the U.S. has no doubt that barbarism fits much more than the ‘American Dream,’" said Alba Rico.

Perhaps the most unusual reaction from a head of state came from Peruvian president Alan Garcia who claimed that Bin Laden’s death was the “first miracle from (Pope) John Paul II” after his beatification on Sunday.

Online Sources- Too many to list!

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