Eventuais sanções à Venezuela podem piorar sofrimento da população, diz relator da ONU

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11/08/2017

As sanções não são a resposta para a crescente crise na Venezuela, e a comunidade internacional não deve seguir por esse caminho, disse o relator especial das Nações Unidas Idriss Jazairy nesta sexta-feira (11).

“As sanções podem piorar a situação da população venezuelana, que já está sofrendo com a inflação paralisante e a falta de acesso adequado a alimentos e remédios”, disse Jazairy.

O especialista enfatizou que esforços no sentido de prejudicar a economia venezuelana só levarão a violações dos direitos das pessoas comuns. “Sanções causam perturbação a qualquer Estado, e podem particularmente ter efeitos devastadores para cidadãos de países em desenvolvimento quando prejudicam a economia”.

“O diálogo é a base de uma solução para as disputas”, disse Jazairy. “Os Estados devem se engajar em diálogo construtivo com o governo venezuelano para chegar a soluções para os desafios muito reais enfrentados”, disse.

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The Partition: The British game of ‘divide and rule’

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10/08/2017, by Sashi Tharoor

On August 15, 1947, India won independence: a moment of birth that was also an abortion, since freedom came with the horrors of the partition, when East and West Pakistan were hacked off the stooped shoulders of India by the departing British.

Seventy years later, it is hard to look back without horror at the savagery of the country’s vivisection, when rioting, rape and murder scarred the land, millions were uprooted from their homes, and billions of rupees worth of property were damaged and destroyed. Within months, India and Pakistan were embroiled in a war over Kashmir, the consequences of which still affect us today.

There was an intangible partition, too. Friendships were destroyed, families ruined, geography hacked, history misread, tradition denied, minds and hearts torn apart. The creation and perpetuation of Hindu-Muslim antagonism was the most significant accomplishment of British imperial policy: the colonial project of “divide et impera” (divide and rule) fomented religious antagonisms to facilitate continued imperial rule and reached its tragic culmination in 1947.

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Christopher Kissane: ‘Historical myopia is to blame for the attacks on Mary Beard’

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11/08/2017
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther sparked a movement of Reformation that would leave indelible marks on European history. While some have used this anniversary as an opportunity for reflection, and others a chance to heal old wounds, 2017 finds us in an age of intense historical myopia. Breathless news cycles and furious outrage are shrinking our horizons just as they need to widen. Public debate barely remembers the world of last year, “old news”, let alone that of a decade or few ago.

History’s expertise, and most dangerously its perspective, are being lost in our inability to look beyond the here and now. We stumble into crises of finance and inequality with ignorance of economic history, and forget even the recent background to our current politics. We fail to think in the long term and miss a growing environmental catastrophe. We refuse help to millions of refugees by turning away from our own history. As technology and globalisation bring the world closer together, we have narrowed rather than broadened our perspective. With challenges on many fronts, history needs to be at the heart of how we think about our ever-changing world.

Instead, history’s prominence in Britain is too often reduced to a seemingly endless parade of Tudors, Victorians and the second world war. When history does appear in public debate, it is generally in the form of facile analogies, from all manner of centenary comparisons to the first world war to the Reformation, as “the first Brexit” or “this generation’s Dunkirk”. Such lazy attempts to equate the present and the past are actively misleading, a pointless parlour game that crowds out the vital role of history in understanding current affairs. Instead of examining the historical trends in American economy and culture that have produced Trump, we ask if he is “the new Hitler”.

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How Gaza was made into an unlivable place

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24/07/2017, by Michael Lynk

Gaza and Tel Aviv lie only 75 kilometres apart from each other. They share the same sandy topography and the same intensely hot Levantine summers. But the similarities largely end there. Any recent satellite image taken at night over the eastern Mediterranean would show an incandescent blaze for Tel Aviv, and only wan pinpricks of light further down the shore in Gaza.

Gaza is in the third month of an externally enforced reduction of its already meagre electrical power supply. The enclave of two million people would ordinarily require about 450 megawatts (MW) of electricity daily for around-the-clock power. However, over much of the past decade, as part of the tight Israeli blockade of Gaza, its power supplies have fluctuated around 200MW, resulting in persistent blackouts. But over the past several months, according to the Israeli human rights organisation Gisha, Gaza’s supply each day has varied from 140MW to an all-time low of 70MW, lengthening the blackouts and the human suffering.

The immediate cause of the power crisis lies with the dispute between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas over fuel taxation. This prompted the PA to request the Israel reduce the 120MW it sold daily down to around 70MW, and Israel has complied.

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How can young people secure a better future for Africa?

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03/08/2017, by Gerald Chirinda

With 70% of Africa’s population under the age of 30, we as a continent are presented with a great opportunity and, possibly, a great challenge. Young Africans today are taking actions that not only have an immediate impact, but will also determine the future of the continent for decades to come.

Never has there been such weighty responsibility on the shoulders of young people. Never has there been the influence in the hands of young people like the influence they carry now. But for Africa to reap the dividends she has longed for, it is up to our generation to make sure that influence is channelled correctly and directed towards relevant issues that affect not only ourselves, but generations after us. This can only be achieved if we come together as young people and begin to address the challenges before us as a continent.

The role of African youth is drastically changing, but so are some of the challenges we face, such as employability and entrepreneurship opportunities. The strength of any society is within the strength and resolve of its youth – what investment are young people making in our continent today?

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The energy factor in the GCC crisis

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28/07/2017, by Susan Kurdli

As top diplomats from various countries flock to the Gulf in an attempt to solve the GCC rift, major energy companies continue to vie for competitive projects in the oil and gas fields in the region. The latest of these projects is the development of the South Pars/North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field, which is owned by both Iran and Qatar. This field plays a central yet often underrated role in the development of foreign and national policies in both Qatar and Iran. In light of this, any attempt for isolation or pressure on either country to alter select policies is futile insofar as it disregards this fact. 

As several experts have previously noted, the tension arose briefly after the Riyadh Summit, when US President Donald Trump assured Saudi Arabia of his commitment to the region in the face of the “Iranian threat”. The US’ hope of forging an impenetrable GCC shield against Iran fails to appreciate the centrality of the energy question and exhibits a narrow sightedness based on the pursuit of self-interest. It is, therefore, predestined to fail.

Similarly, the ensuing Saudi-led blockade against Qatar is destined to eventually subside and give way to normalised relations in spite of the current tension. As a sign, perhaps, that energy trumps political antagonism, it is noteworthy that shortly after the rift, Qatar announced it would not disrupt liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which runs through the Dolphin pipeline.

The UAE receives about two billion cubic feet on a daily basis from Qatar. Egypt, similarly, will continue receiving Qatari LNG shipments which it secured till the end of 2017. Qatar’s LNG ships continue to make their way unhindered to Asia through the Hormuz Strait and to Europe through the Suez Canal.

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El futuro de la lucha contra la pobreza en América Latina

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24/05/2017, by Fernando Rey

América Latina es una de las regiones más pobres y desiguales del mundo. Tras una década de progreso al amparo del crecimiento económico, la tendencia actual está en disposición de revertir los logros alcanzados. Frente al desafío que entraña emprender la erradicación de la pobreza, el trabajo conjunto de los principales actores de la región en el marco de una estrategia integral, la Agenda 2030 y sus objetivos de desarrollo sostenible (ODS), se convierte en un requisito indispensable para continuar la lucha.

La erradicación de la pobreza en todas sus formas es una de las grandes metas que persigue la cooperación para el desarrollo. Han sido múltiples las formas en las que esta lucha se ha materializado en todo el mundo, desde aquellas más asistencialistas y paternalistas hasta otras que decidieron apostar por un desarrollo local que permitiera un progreso real y autónomo.

En el marco de esta lucha, América Latina es una región paradigmática, puesto que pobreza y desigualdad son dos variables que han golpeado históricamente a los países que la forman. Los orígenes de esta realidad descansan en las relaciones sociales que se han producido en la región durante los últimos tiempos, que se materializaron en una estructura de poder oligárquica fraguada en el marco del colonialismo y cuya herencia ha perdurado. La lucha contra la pobreza alcanzó sus mayores éxitos a principios del siglo XXI, cuando tras décadas de inestabilidad e incertidumbre, tanto política como económica, la situación de la población vulnerable mejoró sustancialmente.

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