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.

Chavez didn’t Die; He Multiplied

THE streets of Caracas and other cities in Venezuela were flooded with common people who had come out to solemnly observe the first death anniversary of Hugo Chavez on March 5. The small minority opposed to his legacy continued with its violent protests in scattered upper middle class areas of Caracas and a few cities. The presidents of Cuba and Bolivia, Raul Castro and Evo Morales respectively, had flown to Caracas to be personally present on the occasion of the late leader’s first death anniversary.

Venezuela: Another Coup Bid!

IT may not be a coincidence that there are simultaneous moves afoot in Asia, Europe and Latin America to remove democratically elected governments through unconstitutional means. The democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, has been forced out of office by an unruly mob. The prime minister of Thailand, despite having got a renewed democratic mandate, is slowly but surely being removed by a creeping coup d’état.

Thailand: Political Impasse Continues

THE snap general elections held in Thailand in February took place without the bloodshed and violence that many had feared. On the eve of the elections, those intent on foiling the electoral process had opened fire on supporters of government who were mobilising to cast their votes. That incident has further undermined the credibility of the opposition which has managed to virtually paralysed Bangkok for the last three months.

Ukraine and Imperial Designs – II

IN the past few days, tensions in Ukraine have escalated, with Russia moving its troops for military exercises along the border with Ukraine. It vowed to protect the interests of Russian citizens living in the East and Southern regions of the country and naval forces stationed in Crimea. Reports indicate that Ukrainian naval chief had expressed his support to Russia, while Ukraine had called for 'popular mobilisation'.


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