World View: Mass Murderer Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe Has 90th Birthday
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Protests in Caracas threaten both Venezuela and Cuba
- Mass murderer Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has 90th birthday
- Russia on top of the world as Sochi Olympics games end
Protests in Caracas threaten both Venezuela and Cuba
Hundreds of pro-government demonstrators, most of them older people,
marched through Caracas on Sunday, for the "March of Seniors."
However, it's the anti-government demonstrators that are threatening
the government of Venezuela's president Nicolás Maduro. And the
reason that Venezuela is unraveling is because crime and the economy
continue to worsen. The inflation rate at 56% is the highest in the
world. he murder rate is 25,000 annually, one of the world's highest
per capita rates, and 97% of the murders go unpunished. The
supermarket shelves are bare, with shortages of almost every basic
product needed for day to day living.
Maduro has reacted to these problems ordering supermarkets to slash
prices, jailing business owners as "speculators," and sending troops
to stores to liberate washing machines "for the people." He's closed
down independent television stations, deported CNN reporters, and
Maduro doesn't have anything close to the charisma of his predecessor,
Hugo Chávez, who died last year and left behind an economy close to
disaster. According to one Maduro opponent, Chavez’s gift for
showmanship enabled him to create distractions and defuse frustration,
but Maduro, stiff and wooden in comparison, relies more on thuggery.
So although the "March of Seniors" is demonstrating in favor of the
current government, Maduro's tin ear, combined with the worsening
economy and crime situation, is putting the entire Socialist
government in danger.
And the end of Venezuela's Socialist government would have a profound
impact on Cuba's Socialist government, because it would mean the end
of Venezuela's subsidies. Venezuela ships around 100,000 barrels per
day of subsidized oil to Cuba, and gives employment to thousands of
Cuban doctors, sports instructors and military advisors in Venezuela.
Venezuelan opposition activists have been demanding for an end to
these subsidies, at a time when Venezuela's economy is so poor.
CNN and Gulf News and Miami Herald
Mass murderer Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has 90th birthday
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has been president
since 1980, celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday.
Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), operate as de facto enforcers of
government policies and commit assault, torture, rape, extralegal
evictions and executions without fear of punishment.
Mugabe's actions are mostly based on the historical enmity of
two tribes -- Mugabe's Shona tribe, and his enemies, the Ndebele
tribe. Genocidal warfare occurred between these two tribes in
previous generational crisis wars -- the Mfecane war that climaxed in
1828, the Matabele Wars that climaxed in 1897, and the Rhodesia civil
war, climaxing in 1979. It was the last war that gave Zimbabwe
independence, making Mugabe the President.
In 1983, to consolidate his hold on power, Mugabe launched
"Operation Gukurahundi" (The rain that washes away the chaff before
the spring rain). 20,000 people, almost all of them from the Ndebele
tribe, were tortured, raped and slaughtered.
As recently as the 1999, Zimbabwe was a breadbasket of Africa,
exporting up to 500,000 metric tons of surplus food. By 2003,
Zimbabwe was starving. What happened during those three years was a
Marxist socialist "land reform" program by Robert Mugabe that
confiscated 4,500 white-owned commercial farms and redistributed the
property to his own Shona ethnic group.
After 2003, more and more Zimbabweans have been dying of starvation,
because Mugabe has destroyed the farm infrastructure. By 2008, the
official rate of inflation was 231 million percent. Today, Zimbabwe's
official currencies are the U.S. dollar and the South African rand.
Zimbabwe was a wealthy country until 2000, until Mugabe almost
literally destroyed it single-handedly.
There is no obvious successor to Mugabe, and it's believed that if he
left the scene, then there would be new violence between the Shona and
Ndebele tribes. Independent (Ireland)
Russia on top of the world as Sochi Olympics games end
There were doping scandals and gay rights controversies, but overall
Russia seems to done pretty well as host of the Winter Olympics in
Sochi. Russia's athletes came out way ahead of everyone else, with 13
gold medals out of 33 total, ahead of Norway (11 gold out of 26
total), Canada (10 out of 25), and the United States (9 out of 28).
Russia conducted the biggest security operation in Olympic history,
with a flotilla of naval vessels in the Black Sea, around 50,000
police and security personnel on the ground, the interception of data
and emails, and surface to air missiles deployed in strategic
positions. It worked, because there were no reported terrorist
incidents in Russia during the Olympics games. According to
IOC President Thomas Bach in the closing ceremony:
"Tonight we can say: Russia delivered all what it had
promised. What took decades in other parts of the world was
achieved here in Sochi in just seven years.
Through you [the Russian people], everybody with an open mind
could see the face of a new Russia: efficient and friendly,
patriotic and open to the world. We arrived with great respect for
the rich and varied history of Russia. We leave as friends of the
It looks like the Kazakhstan really wants to encourage their people to
participate. Reuters and Ria Novosti
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail