The Maastricht Diplomat

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  • Valentina Couceiro

Starting off with a bang.

Some welcomed this first week of 2021, others rejected it, shunned it or even tried to attack it by shaking the world upside down. Indeed, this week’s events were supposed to allegorize the democratic model of the USA. It should have showcased the peaceful transfer of presidential power and Raphael Warnock's victory as first black Democratic senator of Georgia. Instead, the world, and many Americans, were saddened to see President Trump encouraging its supporters to take over the Capitol, questioning the vote of 81 million. Unsurprisingly, these pro-Trump white supremacists paid attention and broke into the US Capitol, threatening all values the USA was built upon.


If the election of Trump questioned the American Dream, this assault buried it underground. Most social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook banned videos of Trump inciting the violent events of Wednesday. Indeed, he fomented the killing of 5 people. Most heads of states refuted his acts. Even Boris Johnson, who always seemed in favour of Mr Trump, dismissed his intervention. No sooner had the ‘coup’ taken place, did non-democratic states started discrediting the USA’s politics. In that, the president Mnangagwe of Zimbabwe tweeted that the US "has no moral right to punish other nations under the guise of a democracy".


Will these events question the USA’s place as first power in the world? Will this discredit the role of the UN? It is difficult to identify the answer today. However, it does not seem to have positive impacts on the USA's international relations.


On the other side of the Atlantic, in Paris, a number of activists from the Collage Féministe set up a memorial for the 111 victims of femicide of 2020. They covered the walls of the 11th arrondissement with the names of all the victims and sentences - "Guilty state, complicit justice", "More listened to dead than alive", or "Reforms before we are dead"; accusing the state of non-reaction. The number of femicides in 2020 was lower than in 2019, but there has been much more violence against women. According to the French Minister responsible for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, their online reporting platform for sexual and gender-based violence recorded a 60% increase in calls from victims during the second lock down compared to the normal rate.


Argentina opened the new year with the new Dante Robino sparkling wine called ‘2020 LPQTP’. "La Puta Que Te Parió" (The bitch who bore you): surely, we all think of that insult, widely used in Argentina, which for many reflects in the best possible way what the events of 2020 have been. However, the company precise that it can be interpreted differently if one wants to. Argentineans identified so much with this bottle that the entire stock has already been sold out. But don't worry! There are plans for a further 280,000 bottles.


I would like to close 2020 like Argentineans did and start a maybe more positive 2021. Although, it is difficult to think that the global economic crisis which is following the Covid crisis will be avoided.

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