Following last week's elections in Bolivia, President Evo Morales is accused of electoral fraud. Several liberal debaters are demanding that aid to the country be stopped. Photo: Sebastian Baryli, Flickr

Current debate

Debaters question Sweden's cooperation with dubious democracies

During the week, several debaters have expressed concern about Sweden's cooperation with states that do not respect human rights and democracy. Swedish arms exports to Colombia, aid to Bolivia and trade agreements with Cuba. There are some issues that have been debated. 

Eight representatives from the network Colombia Group have this week directed strong criticism against Sweden's arms exports to Colombia. The historic peace agreement between the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government hangs on a very fragile thread. The Colombian government is currently reducing its resources for the institutions that contribute to maintaining the peace agreement and is instead embarking on a worrying rearmament. 

The debaters recall the 2019 letter on strategic export controls, which particularly emphasizes the recipient state's respect for human rights.

"At the same time as politicians and human rights defenders are being murdered, Sweden has signed a military consensus agreement with Colombia and at the moment the Colombian air force is considering a billion deal with Saab," the Colombia group writes. They demand that Sweden focus on peacekeeping measures, increase its support for human rights organizations and put political pressure on the government to preserve the peace agreement. 

Due to the suspicions of electoral fraud in the presidential election in Bolivia this weekend, several debaters demand that Sweden immediately freeze its aid to Bolivia until any irregularities have been rectified. "Sweden should act forcefully when free and fair elections are not respected," says Martin Ängeby at the liberal foundation Silc.

The Liberal Member of Parliament Fredrik Malm reasons in a similar way. If President "Evo Morales continues to cling to power, this must have consequences for Sweden's development cooperation with Bolivia also after the year 2020 when the current development strategy expires," he writes. 

Svenska Dagbladet's lead writer Maria Ludvigsson wonders what signals will be sent if the Moderates approve the government's proposed trade agreement between the EU and Cuba. "It would be a shameful day for Sweden, but above all it would be a day of defeat for Cuba's freedom fighters," writes Ludvigsson. 

Turkey's invasion of Syria continues to spark debate. Journalist and author Kurdo Baksi says it is a shame that the UN Security Council could not "agree on a condemnation of Erdogan's massacre" and calls on the Swedes to boycott Turkey. "We can not go and wait for international bodies and great powers while people in Kurdish Syria are murdered on the assembly line," writes Kurdo Baksi.

The Center Party's Diana Zadius is in the same line. "The EU should impose sanctions on Turkey, a total ban on arms exports, and EU citizens should boycott Turkey as a destination," she writes in Göteborgs-Posten.

Sweden's assistance to dubious democracies

"Sweden must defend peace in Colombia - not contribute to combat aviation."
8 organizations from the network Colombiagruppen, Omvärlden. 

"SILC: Freeze aid to the despot in Bolivia"
Martin Ängeby, The outside world

L: Freeze aid to Bolivia immediately
Fredrik Malm, Svenska Dagbladet

"The Cuban Democrats must have the support of moderates"
Maria Ludvigsson, Svenska Dagbladet


"Stand up for the Kurds and boycott Turkey"
Diana Zadius, Gothenburg Post

"Refuse to holiday in Turkey - your money goes to IS"
Kurdo Baksi, The Express 

The clothing industry

"A standard for measuring the environmental impact of clothing already exists"
Sandra Roos at Rise and Lisa Rosengren at Fristads. Today's news

"Misleading about sustainability labeling of clothing"
Cecilia Strömblad Brännsten, Fredrika Klarén, Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Dagens Nyheter

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