Saturday, December 10, 2016

Foreign Digest: Colombia, Philippines, Russia, Gambia

Columbia Update: the peace accord has been ratified
            The new peace accord between the Colombian government and the Marxist narco-terrorists was approved by the legislature this week.  It replaced the one rejected by referendum, which, unlike the new accord, included amnesty from criminal prosecution for the rebels.  The agreement ends over five decades of guerilla war.  The government of Colombia is working on peace accord with a smaller leftist rebel organization.

Philippines Update: Rodrigo Duterte’s Abuses and Donald Trump’s Praise
            President Rodrigo Duterte, the “Filipino Trump,” encouraged neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia this week to pursue and strike kidnappers in Philippine waters, even if their hostages would be hit.  The populist strongman has been encouraging citizens to kill suspected drug dealers, which has resulted in thousands of deaths without trial. Republican United States presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom Duterte admires, praised his Filipino counterpart this week for this human rights abuse. The "Filipino Trump" also this week barred American naval vessels from using Philippine ports to conduct freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea, which is claimed by China, but is disputed by all the neighboring states.

Russia: the 25th Anniversary of the Dissolution of the Soviet Union
            Late this week, Russians observed the 25th anniversary of the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991 and the independence of the Soviet Republics, leaving the Russian Federation as the rump of the polyglot Russian/Soviet Empire.  The Baltic States had earlier declared their independence.  Russian Federation Communist dictator Vladimir Putin regards the Soviet dissolution as the greatest political disaster of the Twentieth Century and has endeavored to reform the Soviet Union, despite Russian treaties with the former Soviet Republics recognizing their sovereignty and independence.  Russia has invaded two of them, Georgia, where they have installed two puppet states in breakaway regions, and Ukraine, first annexing Crimea and then invading Eastern Ukraine in support of Russian-backed Russian-speaking separatists.  

Gambia Update: the longtime Gambian President Has Retracted His Concession of the Election
            The longtime president of Gambia changed his mind yesterday and retracted his concession of defeat in the presidential elections earlier this month.  The African Union has announced its rejection of his concession.  The President has ruled for 22 years since taking power in a coup.  He was defeated by a coalition of the democratic opposition led by a businessman.  It is hoped that the election results, once confirmed, will be accepted and a peaceful transition of power will follow.

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