mahnmut: (An understanding has been reached.)
FT: Cuba detente is the latest sign the cold war is over

...And the events around Russia are the latest sign that it is not.
mahnmut: (Quaero togam pacem.)
Some recent steps by Juan Santos, the president of Colombia, which he has made toward China are causing concerns in the US and are putting pressure on the Congress to finally pass the free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia. Maybe this is exactly what Santos is aiming for when he's playing that game, after all. But his moves which got a lot of recent publicity should be put in the actual context of his larger attempts to diversify Colombia's foreign policy options. So this shouldn't be under-estimated. It's yet another block from the back-yard fence which the US generally takes for granted but has to keep maintaining, should it avoid finding itself in a uncomfortable situation where they'd have to step in again (hello, Costa Rica?)

So let's sprinkle some context into this )
mahnmut: (Quaero togam pacem.)
Dilma Rousseff elected president of Brazil )

There was a nice recent post about the influx of politicians of immigrant origin to the top ranks in South America. Yesterday Dilma Rousseff won the presidential elections in Brazil. Obviously, between change and continuity, Brazil chose the latter. Dilma Rousseff, the first female president of Brazil, was the most trusted ally of the charismatic Lula da Silva who's ending his reign after two extremely successful mandates and an amazing 80% popularity.

Dilma defeated her opponent Jose Serra, the former mayor of Sao Paulo, from the Social-Democratic Party - yes, in Brazil and many South American countries, the political spectrum seems to be the exact opposite to the US, where the liberals (generally seen as center-right anywhere else) are regarded leftist, and the conservatives are the right. In most of the rest of the world, it's otherwise. The differences with the US and Obama continue in that the electorate saw in Dilma a continuation of Lula's successful policies and they didn't want any change, rather they wanted "more of the same", possibly with some minor improvements.

More of the same for Brazil, please )
mahnmut: (Albert thinks ur funny.)
Jon Stewart made a couple of segments that blew me away hahaha :-))

Provinces in Peril - Indecision Oh-Eh?
Stephen Harper dodges a no-confidence vote by dissolving Parliament.

Provinces in Peril
Sam Bee, John Oliver and Aasif Mandvi debate Canada's dependence on Queen Elizabeth.

mahnmut: (Poshel na huy!)
Here we go. The expected unrest in Bolivia has begun. To cut the long story short, several years ago Evo Morales became the first president in the country who represents the indigenous majority. He promised socially orientated policy changes, and he was elected with a landslide. He started implementing the promised changes, giving a bigger share to the people in the governing of his country, and thus effectively cutting the hands of the West-backed corporate oligarchy in the country.

But the counter-punch was inevitable. The eastern provinces which are dominated by the successors of the former European colonialist elite, and which are rich in energy resources, received the needed assurance for support from abroad, and they've now started a counter-"revolution". First they want to cut their provinces away from the central control, and effectively make them independent (South Ossetia and Ajaria, anyone? And Kosovo?) Then they'll get back their grip on the natural resources, and suffocate the economy of the rest of Bolivia.

Can you notice the similarity to the organised campaign against Chavez in Venezuela? A media smear campaign abroad, and a "hotter" approach at home (reference: the coup which was organised against him and which even succeeded for a while - but he was brought back to power by the people, who had eloquently voted to elect him. In a democratic election). The similar examples in history are endless - and many of them are actually in the Americas. Yes, the US back yard.

The chess game never stops. The pawns have started moving again. And someone in the West is rubbing their hands with delight...
(Sorry for the dramatism :-))

Read the news: Bolivian rivals meet as political tensions simmer

mahnmut: (Default)
Chavez opens oil gate for SA
Traderelations between South Africa and Venezuela were officially launched yesterday in the form of signed agreements at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

South Africa, Venezuela sign major energy deal
South Africa and Venezuela sealed a major oil deal Tuesday during a visit by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who touted it as an example of southern nations cooperating in a new strategic alliance.

mahnmut: (Quaero togam pacem)
"There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come"
-- Victor Hugo

The War On Democracy  by John Pilger

The film asks a question: Is there a change coming in Latin America and the world? Or will the mouths of the invisible people be shut again?
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