11 August 2018   Leave a comment

There have been large-scale protests against political corruption in Romania, and the police have responded with heavy force, leaving hundreds wounded.  The protests were directed at the  Social Democrat-led government, and follow similar large protests in 2017 as the Romanian people fear that the limited anti-corruption efforts since then are being turned back.  The largest protests were in the capital city of Bucharest and many Romanians from abroad participated in themCorruption is heavily entrenched in Romanian politics and daily life and it has proven to be extremely difficult to root it out.   The World Bank did a detailed study of corruption in Romania and its analysis is dispiriting.


Spiegel has published a deeply disturbing story on the state of medicine in Venezuela.  The background to this story is, of course, the serious economic decline the country has endured over the last few years:

“Venezuela, the country with the largest known oil reserves in the world, is bankrupt. It once was one of the richest nations on the continent, but now the people are starving, especially in the interior of the country. The economy collapsed in 2014, and now there are regular protests and riots because stores lack food and everyday items like toilet paper and detergent. Armed guards stand at the entryways of supermarkets, and the annual inflation rate of 42,000 percent is eating up people’s incomes. The poor are starving, the weak and the sick are dying, youths are joining criminal gangs. Anyone who can afford to is leaving the country.”

It is hard to figure out what will happen in Venezuela.  The Washington Post ran an op-ed suggesting that the country was on the brink of a civil war .  Reuters has a photo essay on the massive exodus from the country by those who can afford to leave.  Every day, 4,000 Venezuelans leave for Ecuador.

Posted August 11, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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