15 November 2017   Leave a comment

Robert Mugabe has been President of Zimbabwe since its independence 37 years ago.  He is now under house arrest by the Zimbabwean military in what seems to be a coup d’etat although the military denies that it has seized power.   The arrest stems from doubts about the successor to the 93-year old President, whether it was to be his wife, Grace Mugabe or Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.  Last week, President Mugabe fired the Vice-President for disloyalty, clearly indicating that he wished to be succeeded by his wife.   Manangagwa, however, had strong support among the security forces and their intervention in the politics of the country indicates that Manangagwa will likely return to the country as the legitimate successor.

The political infighting is limited to the elites of Zimbabwe.  Both Mugabe and Manangagwa have misruled Zimbabwe and the country–which has the natural resource base to be one of the richest countries in Africa–is in economic ruins.  They have been accomplices in political crimes against the people of Zimbabwe.

 

According to US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) statistics, the number of simple and aggravated assaults in 2016 against Muslims in the US has exceeded the number in 2001.  Hate crimes rose sharply in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center:

“Overall, there were 307 incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2016, marking a 19% increase from the previous year. This rise in hate crimes builds on an even sharper increase the year before, when the total number of anti-Muslim incidents rose 67%, from 154 in 2014 to 257 in 2015.

“As in previous years, the largest number of all types of hate crime incidents against religious groups targeted Jews. In 2016, there were 684 anti-Jewish hate crime incidents, marking a slight increase from 664 in 2015. By comparison, in 2016, there were 62 hate crimes against Catholics and 15 against Protestants.”

The increase is a very worrying sign for civil society in the US which has begun to fray beyond recognition.

 

Venezuela came perilously close to defaulting on its international debts but was bailed out at the last minute by Russia and China.  Venezuela is estimated to owe between $120 and $140 billion to foreign lenders, but its foreign reserves are close to zero.   The US has imposed sanctions on many individuals in Venezuela to express its opposition to Venezuelan President Maduro’s dismantling of democratic institutions in the country.  But as the US withdraws, China and Russia move in to prop the regime up.

Posted November 15, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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