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 threateningthe government of Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro. And thereason that Venezuela is unraveling is because crime and the economycontinue to worsen. The inflation rate at 56% is the highest in theworld. he murder rate is 25,000 annually, one of the world’s highestper capita rates, and 97% of the murders go unpunished. Thesupermarket shelves are bare, with shortages of almost every basicproduct needed for day to day living.
Maduro has reacted to these problems ordering supermarkets to slashprices, jailing business owners as “speculators,” and sending troopsto stores to liberate washing machines “for the people.” He’s closeddown independent television stations, deported CNN reporters, andjailed opponents.
Maduro doesn’t have anything close to the charisma of his predecessor,Hugo Chávez, who died last year and left behind an economy close todisaster. According to one Maduro opponent, Chavez’s gift forshowmanship 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 thecurrent government, Maduro’s tin ear, combined with the worseningeconomy and crime situation, is putting the entire Socialistgovernment in danger.
And the end of Venezuela’s Socialist government would have a profoundimpact on Cuba’s Socialist government, because it would mean the endof Venezuela’s subsidies. Venezuela ships around 100,000 barrels perday of subsidized oil to Cuba, and gives employment to thousands ofCuban doctors, sports instructors and military advisors in Venezuela.Venezuelan opposition activists have been demanding for an end tothese 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 presidentsince 1980, celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday.Mugabe’s party, the Zimbabwe African NationalUnion-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), operate as de facto enforcers ofgovernment policies and commit assault, torture, rape, extralegalevictions and executions without fear of punishment.
Mugabe’s actions are mostly based on the historical enmity oftwo tribes — Mugabe’s Shona tribe, and his enemies, the Ndebeletribe. Genocidal warfare occurred between these two tribes inprevious generational crisis wars — the Mfecane war that climaxed in1828, the Matabele Wars that climaxed in 1897, and the Rhodesia civilwar, climaxing in 1979. It was the last war that gave Zimbabweindependence, making Mugabe the President.
In 1983, to consolidate his hold on power, Mugabe launchedthe spring rain). 20,000 people, almost all of them from the Ndebeletribe, 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 aMarxist socialist “land reform” program by Robert Mugabe thatconfiscated 4,500 white-owned commercial farms and redistributed theproperty 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, theofficial rate of inflation was 231 million percent. Today, Zimbabwe’sofficial currencies are the U.S. dollar and the South African rand.Zimbabwe was a wealthy country until 2000, until Mugabe almostliterally destroyed it single-handedly.
There is no obvious successor to Mugabe, and it’s believed that if heleft the scene, then there would be new violence between the Shona andNdebele tribes. Independent (Ireland)
Russia on top of the world as Sochi Olympics games end
There were doping scandals and gay rights controversies, but overallRussia seems to done pretty well as host of the Winter Olympics inSochi. Russia’s athletes came out way ahead of everyone else, with 13gold medals out of 33 total, ahead of Norway (11 gold out of 26total), 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 50,000police and security personnel on the ground, the interception of dataand emails, and surface to air missiles deployed in strategicpositions. It worked, because there were no reported terroristincidents in Russia during the Olympics games. According toIOC President Thomas Bach in the closing ceremony:
“Tonight we can say: Russia delivered all what it hadpromised. What took decades in other parts of the world wasachieved here in Sochi in just seven years.
Through you [the Russian people], everybody with an open mindcould see the face of a new Russia: efficient and friendly,patriotic and open to the world. We arrived with great respect forthe rich and varied history of Russia. We leave as friends of theRussian people.”