Tuesday, September 21

Deb Haaland, an Indigenous and Green Voice in the US Government | USA elections

Congresswoman Deb Haaland, on March 5 at the Capitol.
Congresswoman Deb Haaland, on March 5 at the Capitol.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

President-elect Joe Biden had promised a Cabinet that reflected the diversity of the country and with the election of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior he gives the final brushstroke to the multicolored portrait of an Administration in which there will be more women, more Latinos, members of the community. LGTBI + as Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, and, in addition, the Prime Minister – the equivalent position to Secretary of State – belonging to one of the 574 original nations, in which 1.9 million people live.

If the Senate confirms them in their positions, Biden’s will be the most plural Executive in US history. But the election of the congresswoman for New Mexico fulfills another task: it is a clear nod to the most progressive sector of the Democrats, who Until now they had not seen their aspirations to place pawns in the future Administration materialize, to influence their policies and alleviate what many of them criticize as establishment democrat; the hard core, conservative and immobile, of the party.

Haaland, 60, single mother without a fixed address only fifteen years ago, as it recognizes on its website, in 2018 it was one of the first two natives to be part of Congress, where it has tried to improve the living conditions of native communities, such as assistance during the pandemic –Aborigines have suffered a disproportionate impact, and one of the most important tribes, the Navajo Nation, presents the highest rate of infections per capita in the country – as well as environmental policies and against climate change. That makes it a defining piece of Biden’s great green program, the Green New Deal, also the axis of economic reconstruction after the pandemic.

The nation to which Haaland belongs is Laguna Pueblo, located in New Mexico, near the city of Alburqueque. “A voice like mine has never been a cabinet secretary, nor has it been in charge of the Department of the Interior,” he wrote on Twitter after the appointment. “Growing up in my mother Pueblo’s house made me strong. I will be strong for all of us, our planet and all of our protected land. I am honored and ready to serve. ” The new minister plans to increase the production of renewable energy in indigenous territories to combat climate change, as well as freeze the granting of permits for hydrocarbon exploration or large hydraulic projects.

His appointment will contribute to reverse the mistreatment experienced by indigenous territories during the Donald Trump Administration, which has ordered the largest reduction of natural reserves in the history of the country to allow the extraction of gas and oil, mining or logging, with projects like the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, vehemently rejected by natives and environmentalists. The latest example is Oak Flat, a tribal area in Arizona over which a copper mine project is planned that the White House would have tried to expedite in the Republican’s final days as president.

“Trump failed indigenous power and only broke more promises,” Haaland wrote on Twitter Thursday, shortly before his appointment was announced. “[Su actitud] it was exacerbated by the Administration’s refusal to take this pandemic seriously. Wishing to turn the page of this dark chapter, “warned the secretary of the Interior in pectore.

It goes without saying that the election of the so far vice president of the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources is due to the mandatory filling of quotas or the long-awaited winks to the left, much less the hypothetically minor importance of the business. On the contrary, Interior is one of the largest agencies of the Federal Administration, with 70,000 employees and direct supervision over 20% of the country’s territory, and Haaland will have the maximum responsibility for the management of natural resources, including natural parks and gas or oil fields, as well as the cultural heritage of the country. He will also be in charge of straightening the department’s traditionally convulsive relations with the 574 recognized peoples, which in the Trump period reached the climax of disagreements.

In choosing Haaland, Biden has weighed the pros and cons. The biggest risk is resigning a Democrat in the House of Representatives at a time when the majority of the party is hanging by a thread. But neither could he turn a deaf ear to the huge public campaign in support of Haaland by dozens of tribal leaders, who asked him to include her in their cabinet. Little has transpired from the career of Haaland, the daughter of Army veterans and educated in public school, beyond the fact that she achieved reelection as a congressman in November, that she has fiercely fought against Trump’s immigration policy, vindicated indigenous sovereignty o underlining the dimension of gender violence in their communities.

Before studying law thanks to a loan – the draconian conditions of which Biden insistently denounces – he tried his fortune with a pastry shop and a sauce business, and had only one daughter, and resorted to coupons to give her a Thanksgiving dinner when Homeless, sleeping in friends’ houses, he did not know what the next day would bring them. Regardless of his biography, one of those that imprints character, his figure, like that of the Native American populations, is declined in the plural, like the voice of a nation silenced for centuries. And in code verde.


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