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Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;

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sexta-feira, 23 de agosto de 2019

Paises balticos sob dominacao sovietica: paises que nunca aceitaram, EUA e Brasil

Permito-me esclarecer que a diplomacia brasileira, que reconhecia os países bálticos como independentes, no período de entre-guerras, jamais aceitou a soberania soviética sobre os três Estados. Quando ingressei no Itamaraty, e comecei a trabalhar na Divisão de Europa Oriental, surpreendi-me ao encontrar maços sobre cada um dos países nos arquivos da Divisão. Logo aprendi que nós nunca tínhamos aceitada a invasão soviética de 1940, e continuávamos mantendo maços sobre os três países, alimentados, em grande parte, pelos materiais produzidos pelas rádios e instituições de pesquisa americanas, financiadas pela CIA, Radio Free Europe e Radio Liberty.
Este artigo do ex-diplomata americano Nicholas Burns – que acaba de publicar um livro devastador sobre o afundamento da diplomacia americana nos tempos que correm – permite reconsiderar o caso dos países bálticos.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

From: Belfer Center, Harvard University
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I enclose below my Atlantic article on the remarkable event that took place thirty years ago today when more than two million citizens of the Baltic republics of the U.S.S.R. engineered one of the most dramatic and successful mass protests in Soviet history.
Men, women and children linked hands in a continuous human chain over 400 miles long to protest the secret agreement that had been made on that date fifty years earlier between Hitler and Stalin to divide control of Eastern Europe between them in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. That odious backroom deal allowed Stalin to invade Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 1940, erase their national identities and incorporate them by terror and force into the Soviet Union for more than half a century.
Every president starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused to recognize the incarceration of the Baltic countries in the Soviet empire. And four recent American presidents—George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—all worked to right a historic wrong. Bush 41 helped to liberate the Baltics from Soviet rule. Clinton helped to negotiate the departure of Russian troops from Estonia and Latvia. Bush 43 led in bringing them into NATO. Obama protected them from further Russian aggression. 
It is a remarkable story of American commitment and long-term bipartisan strategy to help democracy be reborn in three countries on the northern rim of Europe. 
I conclude by arguing that President Donald Trump has failed to continue this long-term American effort to support democracies at risk in Europe. In fact, I fear our NATO allies cannot truly depend on the U.S. as long as he is in the Oval Office.
As always, I welcome your comments.
Nick Burns
Faculty Chair, Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship

The Lasting Lesson of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

For the first time in its history, NATO does not have a strong, principled American leader to guide it.

Thirty years ago this week, on August 23, 1989, more than 2 million citizens of the Baltic republics of the U.S.S.R. engineered one of the most dramatic and successful mass protests in Soviet history. Men, women, and children linked hands in a continuous human chain more than 400 miles long that they called the “Baltic Way,” connecting the Estonian capital of Tallinn in the north with the Latvian capital of Riga in the center and the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius in the south.
Soviet Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav Molotov signs the German-Soviet nonaggression pact; Joachim von Ribbentrop and Josef Stalin stand behind him. Moscow, August 23. 1939.
Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signs the German-Soviet nonaggression pact; Joachim von Ribbentrop and Josef Stalin stand behind him, Moscow, August 23. 1939.
(U.S. National Archives & Records Administration)
They were protesting what was then the 50th anniversary of one of modern history’s most brutal and cynical backroom deals—the secret agreement made 80 years ago on August 23, 1939—by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin to divide Eastern Europe between them on the eve of the Second World War. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (named after Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop) divided Poland, giving Hitler a free path to go to war against it 10 days later and Stalin the green light to invade Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in May and June of 1940.
The three young Baltic states were stripped of their national identities and incorporated by terror and force into the U.S.S.R. in the summer of 1940. Stalin’s secret police murdered many of the Baltic government, business, and cultural leaders. Thousands of others were sent to the Soviet Gulag prison system east of the Ural Mountains. Against their will, three independent nations were imprisoned as puppet republics of the Soviet Union for more than half a century until they liberated themselves in September 1991, just before the Soviet empire itself disintegrated.
By 2004, in a remarkable transformation, all three were admitted to NATO. They joined the European Union that same year. The story of how these three small countries on the northern rim of Europe made their way from prisoners in the Soviet Union to members of the two great institutions of the West has lessons for us at a time when President Donald Trump is abandoning the American leadership role in Europe that was so critical in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful and democratic end.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt refused in 1940 to recognize the takeover of the three countries by Stalin. He froze Baltic gold reserves and other financial assets to deny their use by the Soviets. Backed by President Dwight Eisenhower, Congress established in 1959 a Captive Nations Committee to illuminate the imposition of communist rule on formerly free nations, including the three Baltic states. Through the long decades of the Cold War, however, very few American officials would have given good odds that the trio would ever regain their independence from Moscow.
When I joined the National Security Council staff in 1990, I became its liaison to the three Baltic legations in Washington, D.C. It was impossible not to admire Estonian Ambassador Ernst Jaakson and Latvian Ambassador Anatol Dinbergs. Jaakson had arrived in the United States as a young diplomatic representative of Estonia in 1929 and stayed all through the lean and seemingly hopeless years of the Soviet occupation of his country to independence in 1991. Dinbergs came to the U.S. in 1937 and, like Jaakson, never left. They came to work every day for more than five decades to represent governments that had ceased to exist at the start of World War II. Along with Lithuanian Ambassador Stasys Lozoraitis, who represented Lithuania in Washington after 1987, they kept faith with their country and the dream that some far-off day in the future, the Baltic states might be reborn. There is simply nothing like it in modern diplomatic history.
The Balts are the real heroes of this story. They liberated themselves against great odds. They did, however, receive critical support from the U.S., Canada, and Europe in the waning months of the dying Soviet Union.   
Bush pushed the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the summer and autumn of 1991 to let the Baltic states go free, arguing against the use of force by Moscow. When Secretary of State James Baker later visited the three capitals, he pledged full support for their independence.
President George W. Bush pushed NATO leaders to admit the three Baltic countries into NATO in 2004. As Bush’s ambassador to NATO at the time, I believed the Baltic countries would be truly free only when they were inside the alliance, protected by its Article 5 mutual-defense guarantee.
Before the end of his presidency, Obama and NATO leaders deployed a battalion of NATO troops to each of the Baltic countries and Poland as a visible symbol of that commitment—that the independence of the states Russia had dominated in the past would be secure.
The Cold War ended peacefully in large part because of the constancy and determination of the U.S. and its NATO allies. Each American president had a shared sense of what was at stake and a common strategy to deploy U.S. military and diplomatic strength to defend freedom.  
Together, they held the line for five decades to help Europe resist communism, even when the odds seemed slim that it would ever be vanquished. John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan’s historic speeches at the Berlin Wall best symbolized that common will and commitment.  
When the wall finally fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union itself dissolved two years later, President George H. W. Bush proclaimed that a Europe “whole and free” had been reborn and a “democratic peace” had taken root across the continent. This decades-long U.S.-led campaign is surely one of the great foreign-policy achievements in our history. Every American should take pride in it.
President Trump, however, sees the world through a radically different lens than his predecessors did. He is dismantling, block by block, the foundations of our power that made America great from FDR’s time to Obama’s.
As antidemocratic populists contest power across Europe, Trump has effectively sided with such leaders in Hungary and Italy against true friends such as Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron. Just this week, Trump bullied the NATO ally Denmark and canceled a state visit to Copenhagen because its government had the temerity to refuse to sell Greenland to the U.S. The reaction among the usually stolid Danes has been anger and bewilderment that an American president would treat them with such disrespect.
And on the eve of this weekend’s G7 Summit, Trump is calling publicly for Russia to be reinstated in the group, even as it continues to occupy Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine.
The 20th century was the American century not just because the U.S. wielded enormous military and diplomatic power. The U.S. became the leading nation in the world because all of its presidents, until Trump, believed in helping Europe to become a united, democratic continent after centuries of war and division.
The lasting message of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is that evil triumphs when democracies fail to stand up to it. And the message of the Baltic Way protests is that America is at its greatest when it stands up for freedom where it is at risk. The Baltic governments that previous presidents worked so hard to defend must now be worried that, if Russia threatens, Trump will not heed those lessons.
As Americans reflect on the 2020 election and the prospect of Trump gaining another term in office, we must come to one simple conclusion: We simply can’t afford it. Two and a half years into his presidency, Trump has demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that America can’t be great in the world, and our allies can’t truly depend on him, while he remains in the Oval Office. 

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