So why is Venezuela suddenly on fire with protest? A simple question, with no simple answer actually. A month of violent protest and crackdowns has gripped the country, as it marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez. Related events? Everything always is. In short, we have a society in a ideological showdown with itself; a battle over socialism that might possibly be heading for its endgame. In this special long form podcast, the Professor tries to explain how policies and politics of the last decade and a half have now turned the great state of Venezuela into a ticking time bomb…with no clear picture of what will be left after the explosion.
Keywords: Venezuela, Maduro, socialism, Caracas, protests, violence, San Cristobal, Colombia, Panama, USA
The 6th Summit of the Americas just wrapped up in Cartagena, Colombia…and it could not have been more of a debacle for the United States! President Obama went to this grand meeting of the leaders of all the countries of the Americas (minus Cuba!) in order to rebuild bridges and ties after decades of US apathy towards Latin America. He failed. The status of Cuba, the miserable Drug War in the Americas, and even a US Secret Service scandal involving hookers has perhaps widened the gap between the US and the rest of the hemisphere. No bueno!!!
Keywords: Summit of Americas, US, Latin America, OAS, Organization of American States, Drug War, Cuba, legalization, decriminalization, embargo, Secret Service, Colombia
2012 is a big election year…everywhere! The Professor takes a brief world tour to catch you up on the hot spots of political power transition happening right now across the planet.Russians are at the polls today to likely re-elect Vladimir Putin; a presidential run-off is in play in Senegal; Iran just wiped out political support for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Nicolas Sarkozy of France is getting ready to be trounced; and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a big question mark as a second round of cancer treatment calls into question his ability to stand again for office. Democratic change is afoot, Watson!
Happy New Year’s Eve! The Professor takes some time on the brink of 2012 to look back at what happened to world leaders from around the globe in 2011. It was a tough year to be in charge this year, as evidenced by the demise of dictators, the overthrow of or attacks on authoritarian regimes, plagues of personal health, and even the decline in support of significant democratic leaders all over the planet. Sometimes “it’s good to be da’ king!”....but not in 2011 it wasn’t!!!!
The Professor gives his take on a few international stories he thinks are of much greater significance this week than the droll domestic drivel that is forced upon the American public on a daily basis. This week:
...Mexican billionaire loses $8 billion
...major drought in Eastern Africa
...Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko arrested
...Hugo Chavez back in Cuba for chemo…which may mark the end of his significance in Latin American affairs?
Keywords: Carlos Slim. Mexico, Latin America, stock market, Vegas, drought, eastern Africa, Somalia, Ukraine, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil