Putin 'No Hero' for Troubling America (Folha, Brazil)
Russia is homophobic. Beyond that, it is deeply reactionary. … There are plenty
of reasons for the Brazilian government not to be tempted to get too close to
Putin. … To explain the temptation: part of the left in Brazil and the world is
dim-witted enough to think that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Part of the
left has always been anti-American, so when someone like Putin comes to the
fore trying to create complications for the United States, they start treating
him almost like a hero. Nonsense: it is perfectly reasonable to criticize the
United States for the sins it commits, while at the same time, to criticize
Putin for the values he champions."
If edited in Russia, this edition of Folha couldn't publish the advertisement
in favor of gay marriage. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is homophobic. Beyond that,
it is deeply reactionary.
Anyone in doubt should read Marine Le Pen, the great French
far-right wing icon. According to her, she and Putin "defend common values."
According to xenophobe Le Pen, both lay claim to "the Christian heritage
of European civilization." [Le Pen interview video, upper, right].
As confirmation, the St. Basil Foundation, which is
sponsored by Konstantin Malofeev,
a young oligarch close to the Kremlin, brought together the cream of European
nationalists and traditionalists in Vienna to rescue Europe from liberalism, atheism
and the gay lobby.
When Le Pen speaks of "Christian heritage," she doesn’t
look ahead, but is thinking of an archaic church, because for this kind of mentality,
even a moderate conservative like Pope Francis is a dangerous
Furthermore - when these people speak of liberalism, they
aren't thinking about the economy, but rather customs. They oppose what is referred to as "Euro-Sodom" - a continent they consider to be in the process of dissolution
To summarize, Putin’s Russia is "a country that has
gone from communism to something very similar to fascism," as columnist
John Carlin, an English journalist who occasionally collaborates with Folha, recently wrote
for El País English.
In addition to these reactionary policies is the bullying of
Ukraine, and more recently, the case of the Malaysia Airlines plane
I discussed at length on July 19th. All in all, there are plenty
of reasons for the Brazilian government not to be tempted into getting too close
To explain the temptation: part of the left in Brazil and the
world is dim-witted enough to think that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Part
of the left has always been anti-American, so when a man like Putin emerges trying to create complications for the United States, they start
treating him almost like a hero.
Nonsense: it is perfectly reasonable to criticize the United
States for the sins it commits, while at the same time, to criticize Putin for
the values he champions, which are in line with much of Europe's far right.
Of course, it is legitimate to agree with such values, in
which case, yes, it is reasonable to ally oneself with Putin. However, that is
not the case for the two Brazilian parties that have taken turns in power for
the last 20 years, both of which are carefully liberal in their customs.
Moreover, if there is a consensual desire to improve the
international environment, one must understand that any improvement depends on
changes in Russia.
It is hard to disagree with the recentFinancial
Times editorial that states: "What makes Mr. Putin so
confrontational on the world stage is, at bottom, an awareness that Russia’s
post-communist attempt at building a modern state and society is running into
All things considered, Brazil doesn't need to adhere to sanctions on Russia, nor to let others take advantage of Brazil, through the BRICS, for example, to force Putin from his isolation.
Clovis Rossi is a special
correspondent and member of the Folha
editorial board, is a winner of the Maria Moors Cabot award (USA) and
is a member of the Foundation for a New Ibero-American
Journalism. His column appears on Thursdays and Sundays on page 2 and on
Saturdays in the World Notebook section. He is the author, among other works,
of Special Envoy: 25 Years Around the World and What is Journalism?