This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela reincarnated as a singing bird
- U.S. moves defense missiles to Guam for North Korean threats
- North Korea closes border to factory workers from South
- IMF begins loan talks with Egypt in midst of political turmoil
Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela reincarnated as a singing bird
Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday, kicking off campaign for presidency (AP)
A month after the March 5 death of Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavezof cancer, Acting President Nicolas Maduro kicked off his campaign forthe presidency with a speech about how he had a singing duet with abird who was the reincarnation of Chavez:
“A bird was looking at me and it started singing. Itsang and I responded with a song. The bird took flight, circledaround once then flew away.
I felt the spirit and the blessings of Hugo Chavez for this battlethat begins today — towards victory on April 14!”
There have been no reports of help from the beyond for oppositioncandidate Henrique Capriles. Euro news
U.S. moves defense missiles to Guam for North Korean threats
In response to the North Korean threats of a missile attack on UnitedStates’ possessions, the Pentagon has announced that it’s moving anadvanced missile defense system to Guam to protect that U.S. bases onthat island. The system is the ballistic Terminal High Altitude AreaDefense System (Thaad), which includes a truck-mounted launcher,interceptor missiles, and AN/TPY-2 tracking radar, together with anintegrated fire control system.
In response, the official North Korean news agency issueda statement:
“We formally inform the White House and Pentagon thatthe ever-escalating US hostile policy towards the DPRK [NorthKorea] and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by thestrong will of all the united service personnel and people andcutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike meansof the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionaryarmed forces in this regard has been finally examined andratified.”
North Korea closes border to factory workers from South
For several days, pundits have been saying that the war threats fromNorth Korea don’t really mean anything because the Kaesong industrialpark was still operating. The Kaesong industrial park is in NorthKorea, just across the border from South Korea. It was created in2004 as a point of cooperation between the two Koreas. It providesjobs for more than 50,000 North Koreans, and over 1,000 South Koreans,many of whom cross the border each day to work there. The employersare South Korean manufacturing firms, mostly textiles. The salariesof the North Koreans get paid to the North Korean government, whichthen pays a tiny fraction of the amount to the actual person who didall the work. So it’s a highly lucrative situation for the NorthKorean government.
On Wednesday, North Korea barred South Korean workers from enteringKaesong industrial park. South Korean workers will be allowed toreturn South, but many are staying in Kaesong out of fear that theywon’t be able to return. South Korean firms with workers at Kaesongare expressing concern that they won’t be able to send food to theirworkers.
South Koreans are quite indifferent to the North Korean threats,according to reports, and are just going about their normalbusiness with no concerns. This is contrast to the alarmsbeing expressed in the Western media.
So you can take your pick on what to believe. You can believethat North Korean child dictator Kim Jong-un is just throwinga childish temper tantrum, and that eventually he’ll tire ofit, and just settle down and take a nap.
Or, you can take the view that Kim Jong-un has gone so far over theline in making hysterical threats, that backing down would completelydestroy his credibility, at home and abroad, and that therefore heMUST conduct some sort of military strike. We report, you decide.Globe and Mail (Canada) and Hankyoreh Media (Seoul)
IMF begins loan talks with Egypt in midst of political turmoil
Protesters marched through Cairo on Wednesday to express theirrejection of the austerity requirements of any IMF loan to Egypt. Theprotests come as IMF visitors arrived in Cairo for a brutal ten daysof negotiations with Egyptian leaders for a $4.8 billion, at a timewhen Egypt’s foreign currency reserves are desperately low and thepound currency is falling in value. It is now almost impossible forEgypt to buy wheat, of which it is the world’s biggest importer, andfuel. The IMF and Egypt have reached loan agreements twice in thepast, but Egypt walked away from them because of political protestsagainst the IMF’s austerity rules. But Egypt’s economic situation hasbecome so desperate that president Mohamed Morsi may have to riskfurther unpopularity by signing the deal with the IMF. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Reuters