Two casualties; two geographies, same logic
Beatrice E. Rangel
Within a week distance two murders occurred in two cities that are a world apart. In Istanbul Jamal Khashoggi a US based journalist disappeared inside the premises of the Saudi consulate where he had gone to take care of a public matter (Khashoggi is or was a Saudi citizen with US permanent residence). In Caracas the body of Fernando Alban was dropped by the elves of the regime’s secret police from the 10th floor of the dreadful force headquarters. Both events fit the logics of totalitarian regimes that resort to fear as a fundamental vehicle to preserve power.
Both the Saudis and the Venezuelans benefit from the tragic incidents. To Saudi Arabia the disappearance of Khashoggi has several benefits. These include the silencing of a well-grounded critic that had access to the US opinion making media at a time when the kingdom is desperately trying to attract foreign direct investment. The assassination also sends internal dissenters a message on what to expect should they continue to press for reforms. To Venezuela the murder of Alban signaled the already trembling and terrorized opposition the selected destination should they continue their international campaign against the regime. It also heralded to the world that the regime is willing and able to kill elected officials in case anyone thought that getting elected provided of some kind of shelter against the regime’s brutality. . In short, both regimes opted for brazen dissent quenching techniques to hold on to power. And, in the short term, these tactical moves work wonders. In the medium to long run these moves will most probably boomerang.
The down side of this move to Saudi Arabia has already emerged, as President Trump has unequivocally demanded Saudi Arabia to produce Khashoggi or face dire consequences as he would adopt sanctions against the Middle Eastern kingdom. And while we all know that president Trump will never withhold arm sales to Saudi Arabia, as he will not give that early Christmas present to Russia and China, economic sanctions could severely affect the kingdom’s current and future wellbeing while depleting its power base in the Middle East. Amazingly enough president Trump’s statement has been backed by several European leaders and, of course Canada, as all seem to agree on the truthfulness of the horrific recount by the Turkish authorities on the way Khashoggi met his end at the Saudi Consulate. Next enters Turkey a key Sunni allied to Saudi Arabia which seems to be unruffled by the fact that Khashoggi was executed in Istanbul at a time in history when the Turkish authorities are trying to feature the city as the European Alexandria.
In the case of Venezuela, the Lima Group and the nations suing Venezuela at the International Penal Court have already ordered their foreign ministries to enrich the proceedings with Mr Alban’s assassination. And as both regimes attempt to cover up their responsibilities more elements of evidence flourish picturing them as what they are: totalitarian forces thriving to survive the information revolution. In the end they will be vanquished. But unfortunately as my friend Shining Star would say ” this is bound to happen many many moons down the road”.
Published by LAHT.com on Monday, October 15 th, 2018
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.