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from issue no. 06/07 - 2007

The possible future of Latin America

Cardinal Marc Ouellet Archbishop of Québec, Primate of Canada, introduces Guzmán Carriquiry’s book Globalisation et humanisme chrétien

by Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Faced with the complex and inevitable phenomenon of globalization, some thinkers see nothing but advantage in the total liberalization of the world’s markets. Others strenuously challenge this optimism that they perceive as veined with imperialism and forcefully take the side of a courageous but utopian other-worldness. I congratulate Guzmán Carriquiry on bringing a new approach to this promising and, at the same time, menacing phenomenon. The author of this gripping book succeeds very well in enabling us to grasp the importance of the current process of unification of the planet, taking Latin America as his original starting point. He doesn’t go along with the dominant neo-liberal ideology, but rather corrects and completes the partial and above all materialist analyses of an ambiguous phenomenon that does not always bring betterment to the daily life of millions of human beings.
Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, Globalisation et humanisme chrétien. Perspectives sur l’Amérique Latine, Anne Sigier, Québec Canada 2007, 337 pp., 25,00 euro

Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, Globalisation et humanisme chrétien. Perspectives sur l’Amérique Latine, Anne Sigier, Québec Canada 2007, 337 pp., 25,00 euro

Globalisation et humanisme chrétien - perspectives sur l’Amérique latine is an extraordinary and even visionary book on the current role and on the possible future of Latin America in the world scenario. The originality of the book lies in three aspects that seem to me very important to stress and, of these, the first is the point of view of the poor of Latin America, victims of galloping globalization. The latter multiplies the possessions of a small number of the rich while deepening the divide from the poverty of the masses.
Secondly, the author uses a multidisciplinary approach, providing a remarkable quantity of information and considerations that constitute an extremely illuminating dossier not only for a new North-South debate, but also for fuller reflection on the vocation of Latin America on the world scene.
Thirdly, having myself spent ten years in Colombia, I deeply empathize with the aspirations and challenges of Latin America, as they are presented here, with ample vision and considerable technical competence. Few books have offered me such keys to understanding and perspectives just as profound and innovative. Proposing a Christian and rational interpretation of the history of the Latin-American continent and of its manifold bonds with Europe and North America, the author goes deeply into liberatory thinking that will certainly contribute to the intellectual autonomy of the continent, and to the development of a spirit of solidarity, subsidiarity and justice. The Latin-American peoples are invited to go beyond their regionalisms so as to build together the necessary and realistic alliances with their neighbors of the North and their partners of the Third World.
Many will appreciate the intellectual freedom of this Catholic layman who does not hesitate to denounce without ambiguity ideologies reductive of the human, be they of left or right, in favor of an integral vision of the human person and in view of a new ethical world order founded on respect for cultures, on peace, justice and solidarity among nations.
Rarely does one find a critical approach to the challenge of globalization for Latin America as varied and complete in that the ethical, the historical and cultural dimensions are analyzed in their proper place beside the economic, social and political factors. The rich experience of the author on the international level enables him to offer a “catholic” vision of globalization, without confessional parti pris. He does not hesitate to draw abundantly on the basic principles and on the certain criteria of the social doctrine of the Church. We see the latter take back, finally, all its rights and refind its relevance after undergoing partial eclipse due to the Marxist influence on certain forms of liberation theology. On this point, the author avoids inflexible simplifications and puts things back into perspective. He considers the years 1989-1992 as a decisive shift for Latin America, given that the collapse of the communist bloc freed the continent from an ideological burden that hampered the development of true continental solidarity. His criticism does not lack acumen and shows that, after the 11 September 2001 tragedy, it is necessary to construct a new world strategy of peace and development.
I thank the Anne Sigier Publications for offering the French-speaking public a book very stimulating in both the prophetic pulse pervading it and in its rational rigor. I hope that the Christian spirit it testifies to effectively encourages a true globalization of charity and solidarity in favor of the poorest of the earth.

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