Ciro Di Costanzo explains how the Mexican people have rejected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador‘s proclamation that he is the legitimate president. In Costanzo‘s opinion, if the PRD continues to support itself on Obrador‘s strategy, the party will end up fragmented and weakened, and will hurt the image of a responsible and viable left that took years to construct. In supporting AMLO‘s protest, the PRD needs to question whether its goal is the best interest of the people, or the satisfaction of a frustrated leader.
Maximiliano Borches describes the steps that the new President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, will put into motion: including a national referendum for the creation of a Constituent Assembly, an across the board refusal of the Free Trade Treaty of the Americas, and the reopening of negotiations with oil companies; all the while maintaining the dollar as the national money and continuing to subsidize private Ecuadorian companies. In Borches‘ opinion, Rafael Correa‘s victory will strengthen Hugo Chavez in the region, but will also consolidate the growing power of the leftist block in Latin America.
Pedro G. Cavallero describes how despite an erratic and contradictory foreign policy, the administration of Nestor Kirchner in Argentina may have finally found the right path. In Cavallero‘s opinion, in supporting Venezuela‘s candidacy to the UN Security Council, Argentina was also supporting Venezuela‘s ally, Iran, believed to be responsible for the double bombings in Buenos Aires in the 1990s. Yet, the recent court decision to issue international arrest warrants for those Iranians responsible for the attacks signifies that finally Argentina has chosen to take on the burden of justice.
Asoka Ranaweera explores the history and present-day oil conflicts within the little known region of the Caspian Sea. Ever since the discovery of abundant resources in the region, the world’s nations have been vying for control over the land not only within a market context, but also on geopolitical, and ethno-linguistic levels. Ranaweera argues that the world has entered into a second Great Game, much more complex than the first and with much more at stake.
Sohail Mahmood discusses the misguided US Global War on Terror, the failure of Arab and Muslim leadership to ensure the wellbeing of their people and stand up to Israeli and US aggression, and the subsequent rise of extremism. In part because of the growing strength of Arab and Muslim local media, radical groups like Hezbollah and Hamas have become the voice of the Muslim people to express their anger, despair, and disillusionment. In Mahmood‘s opinion, the only way to fight fundamentalism is to reform the governments of the region, and change the failed Global War on Terror into a movement of respect for Islam, and support for moderation, democracy, and growth.
Ciro Di Costanzo details the causes and consequences of the Democratic Party’s overwhelming victory in the 2006 Midterm Elections. In Di Costanzo‘s opinion, the American electorate chose to punish the Republican Party for its errors in Iraq, provoking huge repercussions for the Bush Administration, and giving renewed hope to Democratic Party’s Presidential bid in 2008. The results of the elections will also benefit Mexico and the Latino population in the United States.
George E. Irani describes how despite the overwhelming results of the US midterm elections, the administration of President Bush is not backing down from its hardliner policies in the Middle East. With the power and influence of both Iran and Syria on the rise, a new (Persian) Cold War seems to be taking place, with relative power manoeuvres and its own arms race. Yet, taking the strife in Lebanon as an example, Irani points out that the US must sit down at the negotiating table with its Middle Eastern counterparts, in order to break this cycle of war and destruction.
Ricardo Angoso explains why Hugo Chavez is ahead in the polls and why he will continue to be the President of Venezuela, despite the rise of the opposition candidate Manuel Rosales. Yet, given Chavez‘ imminent victory, the fact that the opposition party has been able to stage such a rapid comeback is important evidence of the growing discontent in Venezuela of Chavez‘ administration. Because the economy continues to be a disaster throughout the country (despite the rise in the price of oil), poverty remains endemic and insecurity and unemployment are growing, even Chavez‘ most loyal supporters begin to doubt the past eight years of unfulfilled revolutionary promises.