Democracy

Q&A: “The Knowledge of Local Challenges Can Only Come from Working with People”

The remarkable story of an Adivasi lawyer and social activist who has led peoples’ movements against state development policies, and sought redress for human rights violations of his people in conflict-ridden regions of Maharashtra.

How Many Journalists are Jailed in China? Censorship Means We Don’t Know

Reporting on China's harassment of journalists has never been easy. Lately it's been getting much harder, which suggests that conditions for the press could be worsening.

International Trade Unions Condemn Recognition of Guaidó

More than 60 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president. But among international trade unions, support for Venezuelan self-determination is resolute.

The Crisis in Venezuela

My mission to Venezuela in November/December 2017 was the first by a UN rapporteur in 21 years. It was intended to open the door to the visit of other rapporteurs and to explore ways how to help the Venezuelan people overcome the protracted economic and institutional crisis.

Millions of Venezuelans in Need of Protection

The international community must extend protections for Venezuelans in light of a growing humanitarian crisis with no end in sight. Human Rights Watch has urged governments in the Americas to provide temporary protection to the millions of Venezuelans fleeing a severe humanitarian crisis.

Will ‘People Power’, or Powerful People, Change the World?

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a hero. While my friends dressed up as princesses, I wore a home-made Joan of Arc costume. Where others read romance novels, I read about fighting dragons. I didn’t want to be a princess, I wanted to save them.

Protecting Women’s Space in Politics

Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life.

Violence Fuels Mobilisation by Women against Brazil’s Anti-Gender Equality Government

Crime, a key issue in far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's election in Brazil, has a dimension that is gaining in visibility and could turn against his government: gender violence.

We Are the Invisible. We Are the Invincible. We Will Overcome.

(Tricontinental) – The mood in Caracas (Venezuela) is sombre. It appears that the attempted coup against the government that began on 23 January is now substantially over (as the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tells me). The Lima Cartel is divided. The Europeans have cold feet. On the one-month anniversary of that attempt, a massive crowd of the poor gathered in the centre of Caracas to demonstrate their support for the Bolivarian Revolution. An elderly couple carried a sign which captured the mood – Somos los Invisibles. Somos los Invensibles. Venceremos (We are the Invisible. We are the Invincible. We will Overcome).

Mauritius Scores Win over Britain in Diego Garcia Decolonisation

Mauritius has scored a victory over Britain at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case involving the decolonisation of the strategically important island of Diego Garcia that is home to a United States military base.

“A Year of Shame” for Middle East and North Africa

Human rights violations are at an all-time high in the Middle East and North Africa, and global indifference is only making it worse.

Repression Stands in the Way of Political Solution to Crisis in Venezuela

The violent repression that prevented food and medical aid from crossing into Venezuela, which left at least four people dead and 58 with gunshot wounds, has distanced solutions to what is today Latin America's biggest political crisis, although 10 countries in the hemisphere are stepping up the pressure while at the same time ruling out the use of force.

The Wall: Thirty Years Ago European Walls Were Destroyed, but Others Are Being Built

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration signed Executive Order 13767, instructing the Government to begin new constructions and replacements of walls between the US and Mexico. From December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, the federal government was partially shut down due to President Trump's declared intention to veto any spending bill that did not include $5 billion in funding for a border wall. It was with good reason the Congress withheld such an enormous sum of money. As the European experience indicates, building walls between countries has proven to be both obsolete and disastrous.

The President of the United States Is More the President of My Country Than the President of My Country

(Tricontinental) – As the United States and its allies put pressure on Venezuela, a poem by the Salvadoran radical Roque Dalton (1935-1975) clarifies the structure of politics in Latin America. Dalton came from one of Latin America’s smallest countries, El Salvador, which he used to call the little finger (pulgarcito). A deeply compassionate poet, Dalton was also a militant of the People’s Revolutionary Army, whose internal struggles claimed his short life. El Salvador, like so many other Latin American states, struggles to carve out its sovereignty from the tentacles of US power. That hideous Monroe Doctrine (1823) seemed to give the US the presumption that it has power over the entire hemisphere; ‘our backyard’ being the colloquial phrase. People like Dalton fought to end that assumption. They wanted their countries to be governed by and for their own people – an elementary part of the idea of democracy. It has been a hard struggle.

Maldives Reiterates Commitment to ‘Free, Open Indo-Pacific Region’ & Democracy

Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has reiterated his nation's commitment to a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region and to democracy. During his meeting with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in Washington Feb 20, Shahid “underscored the importance of his government's reform efforts to (ensure) the vitality of Maldives' democracy,” the department's Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said.

International Aid Feeds Hope and Fuels Confrontation in Venezuela

The international food and medical aid awaiting entry into Venezuela from neighboring Colombia, Brazil and Curacao is at the crux of the struggle for power between President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognised as "legitimate president" by 50 governments.

Billions of Swedish Krona Supported the Struggle against Apartheid

Between 1982 and 1988 Birgitta Karlström Dorph was on a secret mission in South Africa. "Why didn't they stop us? Probably they were not aware of the scope of the operation. The money was transferred through so many different channels. We were clever, " Karlström Dorph says. 

Ghana Won’t Have Press Freedom Without Accountability

Three bullets, fired at close range by two assassins on a black and blue Boxer motorbike on January 16, 2019, killed investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela, according to Sammy Darko, a lawyer working on Divela's case.

The Upcoming Generations Can Lift the Arab Region out of Its Current Crisis

History testifies that there is no end to its evolution despite what some have claimed. This is because aspirations of its actors are in constant flux and because the quest for an « ideal city » is asymptotic. Each generation wants to put its imprint on the present and to be the architect of its future in the pursuit of its own ideal.

Venezuela
 
Alea Jacta Est!

The count down towards a tragic outcome in Venezuela has started. All outside powers express what they say is a shared concern for its peace-loving people that has the misfortune of sitting on what is maybe the largest oil reserves in the world.  The problem is that geopolitics lead groups of foreign countries to express different, not to say opposed recipes as to how democracy can be restored and happiness pursued in Venezuela and want to make their own views prevail in this divided country.

Bullets Against Pots and Pans in the Crackdown on Venezuela’s Protests

The protests in Venezuela demanding an end to the presidency of Nicolás Maduro in the last 10 days of January, whose soundtrack was the sound of banging on pots and pans in working-class neighbourhoods, had a high human cost: more than 40 deaths, dozens wounded and about a thousand detainees, including 100 women and 90 children under 18.

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