Monday, November 7, 2016

Foreign Digest: France & Spain, Montenegro, Nicaragua and Hong Kong

French Police Arrest the ETA Leader
            French police arrested the leader of the Basque terrorist organization ETA.  The left-wing terrorists, who have killed over 800 people since the 1960s, advocate for the independence of the Basque country of northern Spain and southwestern France.  After many arrests of their members in Spain and France, they have ceased attacks, but have not laid down their arms.

Montenegro Find Russia Was Behind the Coup Attempt
            A special prosecutor in Montenegro has determined that Russia was behind a nationalist coup attempt the day of the former Yugoslav republic’s parliamentary elections last month.  The plotters planned to assassinate the Montenegrin Prime Minister.  The recently-reelected premier is trying to get Montenegro to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a move Russia opposes.  Because of Russian aggression against former Soviet republics and threats to other states, NATO has sent forces to its eastern flank.  Russia, which has supported various European nationalist parties, has also been interfering with the United States presidential election.

Nicaraguan Presidential Elections Were Not Representative
            The presidential election in Nicaragua was won by the leftist incumbent after he had effectively weakened the opposition by removing all of their members from congress.  There was low voter turnout with only a few opponents standing for election in order to make the election appear competitive.  The President’s wife was elected vice president.  The opposition suspects his wife will succeed him to extend his legacy.  The former Marxist dictator won his third consecutive term after he was made eligible for the presidency indefinitely.  Nicaragua is an ally of Socialist Venezuela and Communist Cuba.  The United States Congress is considering a measure to limit loans to Nicaragua, which it should do until representative government is restored.

Update: Hong Kong’s Opposition Members Barred From Taking Office by China
           Communist China has effectively barred the two newly-elected opposition members of the Hong Kong legislature from taking office because they declined to take the oath verbatim as a protest against Peking’s infringement on the territory’s promised autonomy.  There will have to be special elections to fill their seats.  The two opposition victors could stand for election again.  The democratic opposition had won a majority in Hong Kong’s legislature, which includes many members appointed by Peking and others who support the Chinese Communists.  The two opposition candidates were among those advocating for independence from China.

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