Even if Paraguay and Venezuela do not slide into total dictatorship, neither will qualify as legitimate democracies in the eyes of other Latin American states and the rest of the world. This serves as an impediment to the kind of Latin American unity necessary for the preservation of regional trading and security blocs MERCOSUR and UNASUR – organizations Paraguay and Venezuela both belonged to for several years before Venezuela was removed from MERCOSUR in late 2016 for violating the bloc’s democratic bylaws. Setbacks such as this stall the movement towards Latin American political and economic integration that underpins both organizations.
Venezuela and South Korea are both presidential republics/representative democracies; they have a system where the executive branch exists separately from a legislature, and elected representatives – not citizens themselves – vote on legislation. Currently, these two countries are experiencing high political tensions, making headlines all over the world. The two cases share some common threads which are worth noting.
African development discourse likes to debate whether Africa’s rapid population growth constitutes the desirable demographic (“youth”) dividend, or a much more ambivalent youth bulge. The United Nations defines a demographic dividend as “the economic growth that ensues when there are more working-age people (15 to 64) than the non-working people (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” Conversely, a youth bulge is characterized by “high youth unemployment and widespread protests—a recipe for political instability.” So, which one is it?
In 2011, the U.S. and its allies tried to forcefully install a democratic system in Libya by removing its president of 42 years, Muammar Gaddafi. He was killed soon after by militants. Gaddafi had succeeded in improving many societal services in Libya, including education, health, and housing. According to the World Bank, in 2010 Libya had the sixth highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa, and its population’s life expectancy ranked number one. In his 2011 remarks on Libya, while Gaddafi was still in power, President Obama said, “Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means.” Unfortunately, Libya has been standing on shaky grounds ever since the U.S and its allies removed Gaddafi from power...
China is North Korea’s sole ally. Since intervening on behalf of North Korea during the Korean War, China has been a staunch supporter of the Communist North Korean government. In the past, China has done little to pressure North Korea to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and its provocative missile tests, but that may soon change. I
The use of sarin indicates that Assad’s chemical weapons program is far more extensive than intelligence experts and policymakers believed. In the wake of the 2013 chemical attack in the Ghouta district outside of Damascus, the U.S. and Russia backed a plan by which Syria would give up its chemical stockpiles. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)would then transport and dismantle them under international supervision. By spring of 2014, the Obama administration reported that all of Syria’s reported chemical weapons had been removed from the country. Since then, the Syrian government has used chlorine gas on rebels on multiple occasions.
What if every global development project was designed by people in the villages and cities who were the actual beneficiaries of that project...Could this truly work, or is it just a grand-sounding idea?
Sino-African relations date back to the early 1950s and the emergence of the People's Republic of China as an international actor, but, since 2000, China's presence in Africa has exploded. Beijing's involvement extends beyond trade to influence diverse sectors, such as infrastructure construction, national development funds, natural resource extraction, health, and a Chinese migration pattern that has now settled more than 1 million Chinese in Africa. [Please note that this article is in French]
Cultural monuments and sites have historical and personal significance for nations. A radical group may target such sites to demonstrate a blatant and intentional disregard for a culture’s history and to display the scope of the group’s power over a population.