17 November 2017   2 comments

Zimbabwean President Mugabe appeared in public today and the military said that it was “engaging” with him, leading to fears that efforts to oust him had been unsuccessful.  But senior leaders of Mugabe’s political party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), indicated that Mugabe no longer had the support of the party.  The move to remove Mugabe from office stems from the abysmal state of the Zimbabwean economy.  According to Reuters: “Unemployment is now running at nearly 90 percent and chronic shortages of hard currency have triggered hyperinflation, with the prices of imports rising as much as 50 percent a month.”  What is next for Zimbabwe is unclear.  His likely successor is his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa (nicknamed, the “Crocodile”) who is reputed to be just as corrupt as Mugabe.

Robert Mugabe


The European Union has given Great Britain two weeks to resolve two key issues in order for the talks concerning the British exit from the Union to proceed to the next phase.  The first issue is for the British to pay for its liabilities to the Union for promised commitments that will no longer be honored.  The British have offered £20 billion, but the Union insists that longer term commitments must also be included which exceed that amount.  The second issue is whether the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (which will remain a member of the Union) will remain open despite the British exit from the Union.  Both issues are incredibly complex and two weeks will not be a reasonable deadline unless Great Britain makes significant concessions.


The Washington Post informative article on the pro-Russian political parties has an that have recently grown-up in Europe.  Russian interference was certainly not limited to the US election in 2016.  The Russians have made significant progress in undermining the legitimacy of democracy throughout liberal societies.  The Russians have found fertile ground in the dissatisfaction of Western European polities to further their strategic interests.

Posted November 17, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “17 November 2017

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  1. While the Zimbabwean economy is unquestionably atrocious, doesn’t the coup have more to do with how Mugabe was setting up his widely-loathed wife Grace to succeed him? That seems to be what African media are saying. Basically, the economy has been bad for a long time, but the threat of her taking over had a certain urgency to it.


    • You are absolutely correct in pointing out that the firing of the Vice President and the likely elevation of Ms. Mugabe to President was the immediate catalyst for the coup. The economic situation was only the context for the coup. Ms. Mugabe probably bothered the elites more, but the economy was likely the thing on the minds of most citizens. Both factors played important roles.


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