Sunday, March 29, 2015

The international support for nationalist populism comes from Russia

Secessionists and other populist movements in Western Europe spend a lot of time and resources deploying an international diplomacy trying to find support for their causes. Often these strategies have a lot of posturing and are mainly addressed to a the local clientèle, but of course they wish to find someone relevant in the international arena that become an ally. In this sense, these strategies are in general a big failure: there is little appetite in developed countries for supporting the cause of groups that live in places that enjoy full respect of human rights and democratic freedoms. However, many of them have found one not always welcome support, namely from Russian nationalists. Marine Le Pen does not hide having received a loan from Putin's Russia, and The Economist recently reported on a variety of populist movements in Europe having links of different intensity with the Kremlin. Spanish Podemos has has also received the support of the chavistas in Venezuela, but probably the politically most interesting link of these groups is from the current Russian rulers and their allies. Another most distant but interesting example comes from Texas, where the Texan secessionists (perhaps the most important of secessionist groups in the US), also have links with Russian nationalists, as reported in this piece. Robert Beckhusen says in this post that "of all the strange political relationships, one of the strangest has to be the one between Texan secessionists and right-wing Russian nationalists. On March 23, the pro-Kremlin newspaper Vzglyad interviewed Nathan Smith, the third-in-command and chief of staff of the Texas Nationalist Movement. According to the paper, Smith is in Moscow to meet with the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia — which supports separatist movements in eastern Ukraine.
Since last spring, Kremlin-backed separatists and Russian troops have fought a war with a pro-European government in Kiev. Smith didn’t take sides in the conflict.
Instead, he told the newspaper that Texas should secede from the United States to preserve its “cowboy” culture and to halt the state’s contributions to an “astronomical military budget.”
“I’m going to meet with a number of public organizations that are close to us in spirit and have common values ​​with us,” Smith told Vzglyad."

No comments:

Post a Comment