More US Machinations against Cuba

AN investigative report by the Associated Press (AP) in April has revealed the details of a covert US programme code named the “ZunZuneo project.” The programme, started at the end of the last decade, was aimed at destabilising the Cuban government. According to the report, the project named after a Cuban word for the call of a humming bird, was launched by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to set up a Twitter style social media.

Egypt: Back to the Mubarak Era

THE military backed interim government in Egypt, since taking over power last year, has shown scant regard for domestic and international public opinion. It had ridden roughshod over the media, banned the largest political party, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and incarcerated its top leadership along with thousands of its members and sympathisers. Since the beginning of this year, the crackdown has extended to secular and liberal parties and individuals.

Turkey: Erdogan still a Political Force

THE results of the local government elections held in Turkey on March 30 showed that the popular support for the ruling party and its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite all the scandals engulfing the government, has ebbed only marginally. In the hard fought elections, the ruling Justice and Welfare Party (AKP) won around 45 percent of the vote and retained the two major cities of Istanbul and Ankara. In Istanbul, the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), got 40 percent of the vote while the AKP got around 50 percent of the vote.

Nigeria: The Scourge Called Boko Haram

THIS year has witnessed a dramatic spurt in terrorist related violence in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous state. The radical Al Qaeda affiliated Islamist group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for a series of massacres and bombings that have rocked the city of Maiduguri and other towns in northern Nigeria since the beginning of the year. The group once again attacked the capital Abuja in the second week of April. The terror attack at a busy bust station in a working class suburb of the capital killed at least 75 people.

India no Exception in Having Flawed Leaders

THERE is still an ongoing debate in the US and in some key European countries on the question of the 2002 Gujarat riots and the role of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the bloodletting. There are signs that that Washington, London and Berlin are already mellowing in their attitude towards Narendra Modi, but civil society in those countries is reluctant to give the Gujarat chief minister a clean chit In the first week of April, a US congressional panel — the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) — has started hearings on religious freedom in India.

Crimea Returns to Russia

PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin, despite the loud threats of sanctions and other punitive actions by the West, went along with the wishes of the people of the Crimean peninsula and duly signed a treaty incorporating the region into the Russian Federation on March 21. The overwhelming vote by the Crimeans in favour of re­joining Russia in the March 16 referendum had left President Putin with no other choice. In his speech to the Russia parliament, President Putin pointed out that Crimea’s referendum was in line with the UN Charter which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination.

The Disappearance of Flight MH 370

THE formal announcement by the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, that the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 has in all likelihood crashed in the Indian Ocean south of the Australian city of Perth, will not bring immediate closure to the grief and anger that the incident has left in its wake. The Malaysian government has based its conclusions on the new satellite data provided by the British company Inmarsat that has conclusively shown the last position of the plane in the southern Indian Ocean.

Libya on the Edge

LIBYA seems to be on the verge of imploding three years after the western imposed regime change. The interim government does not even have control of the capital Tripoli, if recent events are any indications. The parliament has been raided by militias. Political figures have been targeted for assassination. The international airport has been targeted with missiles and the prime minister, Ali Zeidan, was briefly kidnapped. In the second week of March, he was forced to flee from the country after the government issued a warrant for his arrest.

Syria: Armed Groups in Retreat

THE failure of the Geneva 11 talks, coupled with the deepening splits among the armed opposition groups, have further weakened the possibilities for a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Syria. The conflict, which has now entered its third year, has cost the lives of more than 140,000 people. A third of the country’s population have been turned into refugees. The motley collection of rebel forces has been steadily losing ground since last year. They are also increasingly turning against each other.

Venezuela: A Call for Peace

THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.
Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.


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