Friday, October 07, 2016

Santos Gets the Nobel Consolation Prize

It was just announced that Juan Manuel Santos has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Does this matter? I actually had a former student, who is Colombian and is there, tell me that she had heard a lot of people derisively talking about how Santos had paid more attention to getting the prize than working to convince the Colombian people to vote yes. If you're opposed to the deal, does this statement by the international community matter, or could it possibly even be seen as unwanted pressure? Think too of President Obama's Nobel Prize, which if anything had a negative effect.

To really make a difference, the prize would have to give Santos leverage over Alvaro Uribe and his followers, which is difficult to see. I would assume the whole thing would be dismissed as a bunch of international leftists who don't understand Colombia's reality. And anyway, would this be enough to convince the "No" voters that the FARC shouldn't just be locked up, which is what they want?

Along these lines, I've heard a lot of comparisons to Brexit, which I think is tricky. There was a clear sense in Great Britain that many "Exit" voters regretted their votes and given a second chance would no longer vote that way. I am not getting that impression in Colombia, and I am not sure how a Nobel Prize would change that. Here is Alvaro Uribe's response.

That likely will be a common one.


Alfredo 9:57 AM  

"There was a clear sense in Great Britain that many "Exit" voters regretted their votes" sure about that.......

Greg Weeks 10:13 AM  

there's even a word: "bregret."

Alfredo 10:27 AM  

The only credible connection that can be made between the peace referendum and Brexit is that both confounded the credible (wink) polls.....btw the poll you cite also indicates that a certain % of voters wished they had voted brexit....the result for brexit would have been reduced but brexit would still come out on top.....

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