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18/01/2020
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Economic and political context of the trade deal that America and China will sign on January 15th

The “phase one” agreement trims tariffs and obliges China to buy more from American farmers. But do not be fooled. It is a modest accord that cannot disguise how the world’s central relationship is at its most perilous juncture since before Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong re-established links five decades ago. The two sides used to think they could both thrive; today each has a vision of success in which the other lot falls behind. A partial dismantling of their bonds is under way. In the 2020s the world will discover just how far this decoupling will go, how much it will cost.

USA vs China: The planet’s biggest break-up is under way 

Jan. 2.– On January 15th, after three years of a bitter trade war, America and China are US vs China splitUS vs China splitdue to sign a “phase one” deal that trims tariffs and obliges China to buy more from American farmers. Don’t be fooled. This modest accord cannot disguise how the world’s most important relationship is at its most perilous juncture since before Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong re-established links five decades ago.

The threat to the West from China’s high-tech authoritarianism has become all too clear. Everything from its pioneering artificial-intelligence firms to its gulags in Xinjiang spread alarm across the world.

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LEBANON: Severe inequality and an economy near collapse

Protests have been sweeping the Middle East and North Africa this last year. In Lebanon they are largely about corruption, austerity and financial instability, which has its roots in a neighbouring civil war and a drop in foreign investment and remittances from the Lebanese diaspora. Since Donald Trump became US president, tougher sanctions against Lebanese banks accused of links to Hizbullah have weighed on the economy, where banking is central.

Behind Lebanon’s protests

Massive protests in BeirutMassive protests in Beirut Paris, Jan.6.– Lebanon's telecommunications minister Mohammad Choucair decided on 17 October 2019 to introduce a tax of $2 a month — the ‘WhatsApp tax’ — on all free apps for mobile phones. That evening hundreds of young people, many among Lebanon’s poorest, demonstrated in major cities.

The next day they blocked the main roads and held sit-ins in symbolic spots such as Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square. The government shut down its offices, universities and state schools, paradoxically encouraging even more to take to the streets. The closure of Lebanon’s banks for two weeks from the start of the protests fuelled the anger, as depositors were denied access to their money.

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Analysis of Peru’s Political Turmoil and 2020 Elections

[ Lea el análisis en español más abajo ]

Participacion de la Sociedad Civil en la Cumbre de las Americas (PASCA)
has released an analysis of the unusual move by Peru’s President, Martin Vizcarra,
to disband Congress and call for new elections. Although controversial and risky,
Vizcarra’s measure does have democratic legitimacy, PASCA argues.
It has also released a detailed historical analysis of Peru’s politics
and issues of corruption since 1990, as way of providing context
to the upcoming elections in January 2020.
Read the analysis
HERE (in Spanish).

El agotamiento democrático en Perú

Luego de que el presidente Martín Vizcarra decidiera disolver el Congreso de la Martin Vizcarra, Presidente del PerúMartin Vizcarra, Presidente del PerúRepública, interpretando que la cuestión de confianza pedida por su Primer Ministro para la aprobación de un proyecto de ley que modificaba las reglas para elegir a los miembros del Tribunal Constitucional, había sido negada “fácticamente”, surgió como pregunta si lo que apareció como una aparente crisis política estaría constituyéndose como un momento democratizador.

Pero, esto último pronto se disipó pues no estuvo en las proyecciones del Mandatario. Fue, sin ambages, un acto de supervivencia ante un Congreso cuya mayoría fujimorista interpretó que la política era el arte de hacerlo todo imposible, mediante el uso de artimañas, imposiciones y colusiones con colegas indefectiblemente delincuentes. Más todavía, el acto presidencial no conduce a pensar siquiera que contenga algún plan político propio, aun de corto plazo. Así, lo primero que se puso de lado fue la existencia en ciernes de algo que podríamos llamar “vizcarrismo”.

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Actualidad Cubana

El sistema de represión en Cuba controla todos los aspectos de la vida personal
y del acontecer nacional mediante un mecanismo totalitario. Los episodios violentos
de las primeras décadas, los fusilamientos y los encarcelamientos en masa, ya no son necesarios porque el pueblo ha quedado totalmente incapacitado para organizarse y promover cualquier esfuerzo de oposición, incluyendo las movilizaciones pacíficas.
El control total de los medios de comunicación hace imposible coordinar
actividades cívicas o de resistencia, provocando una enorme atomización
de la oposición, a la cual se le aplica un sistema muy eficaz de represión
para vencerla por agotamiento, mediante el hostigamiento constante, las agresiones callejeras, las detenciones e interrogatorios reiterados y una política
de ostracismo laboral y educacional que afecta no sólo a los activistas
sino a sus familiares y allegados. El informe que sigue es uno de los miles
que la oposición divulga al mundo como un medio desesperado
de pedir ayuda efectiva de la comunidad mundial.

 

Cuba: Tomada Cumanayagua por Brigada de Destino Especial perteneciente al Ministerio del Interior (MININT)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Alegan que es para evitar brotes de  descontento popular.
  • Esta posibilidad es por la situación desesperada de desabastecimiento. 

 

INFORME del MOVIMIENTO CUBANO REFLEXIÓN (MCR)
 

El pasado 28 de noviembre nos informó el activista del MCR Jorge Pérez Rodríguez el abandono y la precariedad existente en el municipio de Cumanayagua de la provincia de Cienfuegos.

El tema de los medicamentos resulta muy difícil, pues los mismos están programados para arribar los jueves, y desde el lunes comienzan a formarse las colas, las cuales no están exentas de broncas y griterías de desesperación (la última vez una señora se desmayó).

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The real truth about inequality & income gaps

Readers would certainly have been paying attention to economic controversies in the last decade, and you may have noticed the increasing number of discussions about economic inequality. It’s a hot topic and many believe that the alleviation of poverty requires a substantial reduction in inequality.

In order to understand economic inequality, we need to ask a few questions. First, are there good kinds of economic inequality and bad kinds? Second, is it a good idea, as many policymakers and even some economists insist, to reduce inequality by taxing those at the top end more heavily? Third, has poverty been increasing? Fourth has economic inequality been increasing? In order to answer these question with proper objectivity, it is important to do a broad and unbiased research." 

 

 

Let us see what The Economist found about this subject:

Inequality illusions: Why wealth and income gaps are not what they appear

Inequality could be lower than you think, but there is plenty to do to make economies fairer.

Nov. 28.– Even in a world of polarisation, fake news and social media, some beliefs remain universal, and central to today’s politics. None is more influential than the idea that inequality has risen in the rich world. People read about it in newspapers, hear about it from their politicians and feel it in their daily lives. This belief motivates populists, who say selfish metropolitan elites have pulled the ladder of opportunity away from ordinary people. It has given succour to the left, who propose ever more radical ways to redistribute wealth (see article). And it has caused alarm among business people, many of whom now claim to pursue a higher social purpose, lest they be seen to subscribe to a model of capitalism that everyone knows has failed.

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