23 October 2016   Leave a comment

The election commission of Venezuela has ruled that a recall referendum on President Maduro cannot be held a week before it was scheduled to begin.  The decision leaves the opposition with no peaceful alternatives to continued socialist rule.  The government has failed to stabilize a rapidly sinking economy and inflation is very high and there are widespread shortages of essential goods. The international community has soundly condemned the decision, but it has little influence over the Maduro government.  I suspect that the opposition will step up its efforts to unseat Maduro before 2017 because after that date, if Maduro is removed, his Vice-President will take his place without a new election.

The Washington Post has a great article on the history of Mosul.  It provides a good insight into the complexity of claims on the city, particularly when one keeps in mind that the ethnic groups that we identify today are not those of the past.  Its centrality still revolves around the issue of pitch (oil).

Venezuela is not the only country experiencing deep economic problems.  Egypt’s economy is also rapidly deteriorating and the economic discontent is spelling trouble for General Sisi, the President of Egypt.  Inflation is running at 14% a year and prices for common goods are increasing on almost a daily basis.  The country imports most necessities and it is running a serious balance of payments deficit.  Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, the government is cutting subsidies for the poor.  The chances of political protests on a large scale are getting higher and the government only has repression for an answer.

Posted October 24, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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