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Manuel Tapial's activities on Facebook (III)

on 22.11.2010

Manuel Tapial, one of the three Spanish activists who were on board the Mavi Marmara, runs his own Facebook account. Surprisingly, he was confronted by one of his friends, Julio Belmonte García (a Honduran citizen), on his Wall. Now I'll provide a first excerpt from the debate between Tapial and Belmonte. Some comments were monitored a few minutes after having been posted. Translations are available, made as accurate as possible and between quotation marks.

1 & 2.- Manuel Tapial suggests in a veiled way to disrupt relations with Israel. Julio Belmonte García answers the activist as follows (text marked as #1):
"I consider it sincerely difficult.
I mean, if we had to cut relations with a country when it had committed violations of human rights, we'd have to turn everything upside down. We could establish relations neither with Israel nor with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Morroco, the United States, China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia and many others."
This is Manuel Tapial's answer to Belmonte (marked as #2):
"Julio, there are countries which not only commit human rights violations but also promote values which have nothing to do with us. There are also countries whose societies are subjected to inclusion and whose dissidents are contacted by us, and we can enhance our relations with them. And which is completely inadmissible, Julio, is Iran and Cuba being considered demons and also isolated and punished by the E.U. while Israel, Morroco, and Colombia are considered 'our friends' letting them to do what they want with their dissidents with any consequence.
Furthermore, the favoritism which these countries enjoy from our governments when they attack our nationals make these governments to appear as puppets in the hands of their owner."

3, 4 & 5.- Julio Belmonte answers Manuel Tapial as follows (marked as #3):
"And wouldn't be more logical not to isolate Israel, Cuba and Morroco, but to keep them with us, as well as to enhance our relations with Cuba and Iran? That's my point."
Manuel Tapial's answer to Belmonte reads as follows (marked as #4):
"Julio, in my point of view, a dialogue is useful to someone who pretends to be integrated or to try to gain access to what he has not access to... Regarding those cases you bring up now, they gained too much access. Why would they change their policies at this moment if they weren't to see their current privileges revoked? .... It's just my opinion... and as said by Eradna [Delastro Sol, a Manuel Tapial's friend], I think our government is on the devil's side.
Julio Belmonte answers Manuel Tapial as follows (marked as #5):
"However, isolating despotic regimes is equally useless. For example, Cuba and Saddam Hussein's Iraq didn't change their repressive policies in spite of the American blockade and the U.N. sanctions, respectively. Moreover, the subsequent economic weakening suffered by these countries were useful to both dictators in order to implement their policies. I'll explain myself.
When a country is subjected to isolation and it affects the economy, the degree of development and the quality of life, its population tends to divide itself into two opposing groups: the adepts to the system and its opposers. Both conflicting groups have been existing since before, and the new situation distances them much more.
The adepts to the system let themselves to be deceived by it and feel themselves attacked by the foreign entities which proceed to isolate their country. At the same time, the isolation suffered by the country makes difficult the entry of foreigners (N.G.O.'s, diplomatic representatives, journalists, etc.), the exit of nationals and the entry and exit of information, which derives on more repression because it can be performed more inadvertently.
All of this has a consequence: the regime which we pretend to destroy through the isolation of the country becomes stronger.
I'll add that if such an isolation drives to the political instability of the affected country, this one will act more aggressively. Could really be considered that forcing Israel to act more aggressively is the best solution? Due to all of this I propose to try to change a country (e.g., Israel or Morroco) from a friendly perspective."

6 & 7.- This is an excerpt from Manuel Tapial's answer (marked as #6) to Julio Belmonte:
"The isolation of these countries is possible and necessary. There are cases like South Africa, in which Boycott, Sanctions and De-investments made the Apartheid to fall, and it's true that there was much repression, but the outcome was positive for the natives. Sadly there are no leaders able to communicate and to take brave decisions in view of the so hostile contexts in which we evolve, we have representatives of the system and not politicians guided by noble ideals, and that put all of us in danger."
Julio Belmonte answers Manuel Tapial as follows (marked as #7):
"I personally dissent from some of your observations. Saddam Hussein's Iraq wasn't the most advanced country in terms of freedom in the Middle East; this one was Israel (something which doesn't legitimate abusing [the Palestinians], of course). According to all the indicators of freedom it's above all the countries of the zone. Lebanon and Jordan also were above Saddam Hussein's Iraq in terms of freedom. Hussein is usually compared with Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao and Stalin, among others, and that's suggestive of something.
Regarding the end of the apartheid in South Africa, it's difficult to believe seriously that the embargo was what ended it. Firstly, sanctions against South Africa weren't respected; for example, France sold Mirage III and Mirage F1 fighter aircraft [to South Africa] during the 60s, the 70s and the 80s. I think that was the internal opposition what favoured the end of the regime, while the international condemnation and the sanctions were accessory to the success achieved in 1993 [please note that the South African apartheid actually ended in 1994].
Furthermore, regarding a boycott against a country, it's doubtfully legal. The European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe sentenced that boycotting a country is an illegal form of discrimination. I'll bring you the sentence:
As a democratic person, I obey the law and the jurisprudence."



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