Geopolitical Affairs

Posted: December 07, 2018

Geopolitical Affairs

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Geopolitical Affairs

Question 1

In the YouTube videos “Venezuela’s Crisis Explained” and “Top 10 Facts about Venezuela Crisis” what are the main reasons for crisis in Venezuela and what is the position of the government of Nicholas Maduro concerning the crisis? What does he mean by “the state of emergency” he issued and how has the opposition to him challenged his leadership? What role has the Supreme Court played in the crisis?

Venezuela is faced by crisis, and some of the reasons are follows: the economy is shrinking and has been recessing for the past three years, and as a consequence, the prices for the commodities are shooting up. Secondly, Venezuela depends majorly on oil for export, and it has failed to diversify its economy. The oil prices went down in 2014, affecting the economy severely. Thirdly, Venezuela deal with food shortages, and the hospitals are faced with the inadequate supply of drugs. Lastly, Venezuela experiences cash crisis, with less in the central bank reserved.

The government through President Nicholas Maduro is ready for negotiation on the crisis that Venezuela has, but is tough on his stand concerning the arrests. The state of emergency according to him is that the local committees and the armed forces are given powers to sell and distribute the food. Those who are working in private sectors will be given the mandate to cut the week just as the public has done, to purposely conserve electricity. The opposition challenged his leadership by accusing him of failure to follow pledges on negotiations on freeing the prisoners which is viewed as a drawback of recognizing the legitimacy of the national assembly. The Supreme Court played in the crisis by stripping the elected congress of their powers which raised fears of raising dictatorship from the president. It further gave directions concerning the legislative function that it would take the role.

Question 2

 In the YouTube video “Geopolitical analysis 2017: South America” what are the two major concerns facing the South American government in 2017? Using the video and power point titled “The Americas” describe the issues faced by the following countries: a) Chile b) Colombia c) Brazil d) Argentina e) Paraguay

The major concerns facing South America is the economic growth and infrastructure development. It has strived towards competitiveness and has invested more in the infrastructure with the aim of being innovative to attract the international companies. Despite the challenge of economic complexity, it has strived towards the economic growth in the past. Great investments have been open in this regard. The technological infrastructure will enable the commitment in business.

Chile is faced by political and corruption scandals. The claim was made that the son of the president had corruptive deals on land issues which has lead to a decline in the confidence of the people on the politics. The political crisis is a challenge because finding a solution to the corruption will not be easy.  Colombia has some economic challenges. The drug traffickers, who deal with hard drugs such as narcotics and marijuana, spread the violence and corruption affecting the economy due to social unrest. Brazil has been isolated in the global economy and is one of the countries that are characterized by the closed economy. The country should focus majorly on the requirements that keep the foreign investors and promote the local firms. Argentina is faced by environmental and political challenges. The country should rebuild the confidence of the investors by removing the barriers that exist, should manage fiscal circumstances to reduce inflation, and the management of the reduction in the capital controls. The environmental challenge is mainly the deforestation for agricultural production. Paraguay is faced with the economic challenges and has remained to be the poorest country. Land reforms have not been implemented with the land being in possession of small elite. Consequently, the large population lives in poverty.

Question 1

What is Keystone XL Pipeline? Who supports it and who opposes it? What is the main argument of the debate about this project?

It is an oil pipeline extension, running 1,897km which is proposed by Trans Canada and designed to transport the fossil fuel to the market within a short period. It transports the oil from the western region of Canada to the refineries industries in Texas and Illinois, and other parts such as the tank farms.

The U. S. and Canadian government want the pipeline. The oil is to be transported from Canada, specifically in Alberta where it is landlocked, and access is difficult to the international market, where most of the refineries industries in North America are found in the Gulf Coast. Therefore, the two will benefit largely from this pipeline. The organizations which are environmental and scientific based are against this project.

The two governments claim that it is the safest way to transport the crude oil, and also, it will create job opportunities and, therefore, many citizens are employed. The organizations against it, on the other hand, claims that it will increase global warming, increase the damage to the environment especially the rivers, and the leakages would cause harm to human health.

 

Question 2

What is NAFTA? What were the goals of NAFTA when it was implemented in 1994? Has it been successful in achieving its goals? Why are some, including president Trump, calling for the renegotiation of the treaty?

NAFTA is a trade agreement drafted in 1987 and signed in 1994, by three states- the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The goal of NAFTA was to eliminate the barriers to investments and trade between the states involved. Within ten years after implementation, the tariffs were to be diminished except for the US exports on agriculture.

The agreement removed almost all the tariffs in the three nations, allowing for the crossing of the goods through the border, and the movement of the operations from the U. S. to Mexico easy. The agreement was successful with the removal of taxes on the products between the states. For example, Mexico has since then been buying a lot of products from the U. S. and has saved it from the cost of selling. The companies in Mexico have also been saved the cost of buying the products from the U. S.

The U. S. president is calling for renegotiation because most of its citizens have lost their jobs to Mexico. This means that most of its citizens would be lacking jobs. The farmers in Mexico have also been selling their products at low prices due to the cheap imports that the state receives from the US agribusiness.

Question 3

What are the largest political parties today in Mexico and what part of the political spectrum to they represent? What is unique about the term of office of Mexican president?

There are a lot of political parties in Mexico. The major ones are National Action Party also called the PAN, Institutional Revolutionary Party, termed as the PRI, and Party Democratic Revolution, known as the PRD.  These parties represent the largest political spectrum with the North of Mexico mostly belonging to the PAN and the south for PRD.

The term of office of the president of Mexico is unique with it being considered as revolutionary. There is a ban on the re-election of a president and, therefore, the president can only serve once in office with the term taking six years.

Answer the Following Questions from the Video “Geopolitical Analysis 2017: Middle East” on Youtube

Question 1-What options does Israel have in 2017especially with the first year of the Trump administration under way?

The republican control the executive and the legislature of America meaning that Israel has more ways of expression of its interest without political fallouts.

Question 2-what is important about June 2017and what does the narrator suggests could happen?

In June 2017, the Israel and Palestine will be preparing a probable new conflict which will be a Six Day War, 50 year anniversary. June 6th is the deadline for diplomatic talks.

Question 3- what are the plans for the Palestinian authority in 2017? How has the president Mahmoud Abbas been put in the middle of his country’s crisis?

The plans for the Palestine authority in 2017 is prepared to make a declaration of independence and will secure the UN majority especially Security Council supports. The president of the Palestine is committed to the diplomatic negotiations that are going on. His people are being isolated in the party, and he is, therefore, forced to declare independence in June 2017.

 

Question 4

What will be the main issue in the upcoming election in Iran?

The main issue in the Iranian election is the topic about the nuclear agreement, with the current framework restricting the Tehran’s nuclear weapon thus, hindering the production of the fissile material.

Question 5

Why is the Iranian nuclear deal essential to Iranian economy recovery?

The nuclear deal will be essential to Iranian economy in exchange of the produced material with many nations depending on the deal for improvement of the business.

Question 6

What are the prospects for Libya in 2017?

The talks in Libya are in final resolutions, but it is still unlikely to attain cohesion in 2017. The national Genera Hifter, for example, is likely to strengthen the push of east towards the west. It will increase the differences between the military and the government.

Question 7

How can Egypt reform both its economy and security in 2017?

Egypt needs to redo the budget deficit, social subsidy programs, and the fiscal stability which will help the country to avoid an economic crisis.

Question 8

What major economic reforms are being planned in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia Economic reforms include the National Transformation Program which is five years old which will balance the budget. Also, Riyadh will help in the reduction of the public spending through the launching of the social subsidy program. It will also seek to increase privatization. It will seek to reduce unemployment of the citizens.

Question 9

How does the situation in Yemen affect the security in the Middle East?

The war that is going on in Yemen is causing a difference between the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabia. It has lead to the proposal for the relocation of the government to Aden. The opposition is also from Saudis side with them making compromises to Houthi rebels. Since none is ready for any peace talk, war will continue in 2017.

Question 10

What could post-ISIS look like in the Middle East? How has the situation improved in Iraq this year?

The post-ISIS region will experience a rise of many sectors that cannot defeat each other. This is because; conditions that lead to chaos in Iraq and Syria will last, even with the removal of the ISIS. This year the Ankara will control the region, with the occupation drawing Turks into a position they can’t reverse. The condition is causing the chaos in Iraq and Syria will endure.

Question 1

From the Economist March 25, 2017. In the article “Coca-growing in Colombia” describe why the growing of coca in Colombia is at an all-time high. How has the peace agreement between the government and FARC contributed to the increase?

The hilly geographical location of South-West of Colombia and climatic conditions worked in favor of the increase in production of the crop. This reason coupled with an increase in total area under cultivation lead to an all-time high production of coca.

How the peace agreement between the government and FARC contributed to the increase in coca production?

Coca growing in Colombia is at the highest of all time because of a likely unreasonable cause. The increase resulted from an agreement signed between the government and the guerilla group, FARC, which consented to convincing coca farmers to transition to other crops cultivation. The signing of the deal occurred in November 2016. However, sources indicated that the guerilla group had extorted money from the farmers and had been involved in cocaine trafficking while on the peace agreement the group agreed to the eradication of the drug. The terms of agreement took quite some time to be arrived at and the information about the due process were at the disposal of the farmers, the terms which stated that coca farmers who agreed to transition to other cops would be compensated provided an avenue for growing more coca in the due time before the final agreement was signed.  

Question 2

From the Economist April 1, 2017. In the article “Cuba: stuck in the past” what does the tourist industry reveal about the state of the economy in Cuba? What could the future hold in the post-Castro Cuba when Raul Castro is expected to retire?

Tourists visiting Cuba reveal a poor state of the economy according to report in the article. They revealed an economy where a low-range vehicle that would otherwise cost much less, went for $50,000. Most people are reportedly poor with an average employee by the government earning as little as $25 per month. The majority of the population cannot afford cars, and that could probably be depicted by the fact that the tourists hired believed to be 1950s models. It is however opinioned that the tourist industry is underexplored with respect to its potential capacity. The hospitality industry is underdeveloped which is revealed by the fact that there are hardly private investors in the hotel industry. However, the few hotels available are overrated in terms of service delivery. The whole picture shows an economy of the poor population with very least infrastructural development.

The Future of Cuba in Post-Castro

There is an expectation that better policies will be developed and implemented which could lead to the development of tourist industry. As a result, foreign exchange is expected to double especially due to tourists’ attraction whose estimates shows it will triple by 2030.  However, the unknown side is whether the linkages created by the former president of the United States will be promoted by the incumbent; this reason brings about uncertainty and, therefore, investors, especially in the hotel industry, are reluctant to proceed to invest in Cuba. 

It is important to note that Cubans spells pessimism with the expectation that little or no reforms will result from the incoming president, early 2018. The kind of economic reforms the Cubans need is said to have the potential of hurting people, as scholars put it. It is said that not until the country work on barriers to private investment attraction in hospitality services and the rest of tourism supply chain, tourists will still shy away due to lack of value for their money. But still, the country has got a lot of choices for future prosperity.

Question 1

What was the “Arab spring?” What are some of the uprising successes, and what are its notable failures?  

Arab spring relates to a revolutionary wave of resistance in the Arab countries where protesters stood to demonstrated against their oppressive governments in an attempted to bring change to their countries. In the year 2011, countries in North Africa and the Middle East among them, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Syria took to the streets.

Successes of the Arab Spring

In Tunisia, after the long confrontation with the government of the day, the suffering and going against human rights, finally, the people’s hope was restored when the first multi-party free and fair elections were held that marked a history in the country.

Countries like Egypt experienced a revolution that led to reforms of the justice system, governance and dispensation of the law. They experienced democratic elections and justice was administered to those who were held culpable.

Failures of the Arab Spring

The revolution led to torture, other forms of ill-treatment. People were innocently arrested, detained, blackmailed and tortured. 

The rights of civilians were widely abused and the most affected were women and children. Women were mistreated, sexually harassed and beaten up. People were denied their rights to access medical care, schooling and freedom.

It is also important to note that many people are displaced and ended up in refugees’ camp both within and outside their countries, some of whom are still in refugees camp to present day.

Question 2

What is the Arab League? When was it founded and why was the organization first founded?

Arab League is an organization or association of Arab states in and around North Africa, Arabia and the Horn of Africa which focuses on developing their economies, promoting peaceful coexistence and coordinating their political agendas. The Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945 after an agreement was reached between member states to adopt Alexandria Protocol of 1944. The member states include all the independent Arab States which agrees to the terms and has signed into the Pact. It started with only six member states in 1945 but it has grown to current 22 members and additional four states as observers.

Question 3

What is the OIC? What is its mission? What role does the Islamic Development Bank play?

This is an Islamic organization that is viewed as their voice. Their mission is to guard Muslim interests and at the same time ensuring that the people lives in peace and harmony throughout the world. 

The bank ensures progress regarding the economic and the social status of the countries involved. These countries are mainly dominated by the Muslims who observe the law, and, therefore, the bank will ensure growth of the individuals in the community with regards to the law.

Question 4

What is OPEC? When was it founded? How does OPEC operate? What are the largest countries in the Middle East with known oil reserves?

This is an organization that forms an umbrella for twelve countries that mainly produces oil for export. This umbrella was formed in 1960 during the Baghdad Conference. OPEC's works by coordinating and bringing together policies relating petroleum among Member states to negotiate for price fairness and stability for petroleum producers and promote an efficient and economic supply channel for petroleum to nations in need of it; and at the same time ensure return on investment for the capital invested into the industry.

Venezuela: Had oil reserves 297.6 billion barrels in 2013; Saudi Arabia: Had oil reserves of 267.91billion barrels by 2013; Iran: Had oil reserves of 154.58 billion barrels by 2013.

 

Question 5

What does Algeria mean by a “Controlled Democracy?”

Politics of the republic of Algeria is conducted in a framework guided by the constitution through which the president is elected; with the President being the head of state and the Prime Minister takes charge of the government. The executive power falls on the government side. Legislative power is exercised by both the two chambers of parliament and the government. Algeria has a bloody legacy independence war with France an event that claimed about 1.5 million lives. After 1988, parties apart the ruling FLN were allowed with a multiparty elections being held. However, there were restrictions regarding the political freedom of expression and speech, political demonstrations and any gatherings. In 2014, the major opposition parties boycotted general presidential elections. This lead to Algeria being termed as a "controlled democracy" or a state because the military and "a certain select group" of unofficially elected civilians were reportedly known to make major political decisions, including presidential choice

Question 6

How many members are in the Israeli Knesset? What are the two largest political parties now in Israel?

The Israeli Knesset is made up of 120 members. These members form the legislative branch of the government and are mandated with powers such as the passing of the laws. The politics of Israel is divided mainly into the right and the left political parties. The smaller parties are very many which is reflected by the large population of the country. These representations form the Knesset. Above 60 Knesset seats will be required to form the government.

 

Question 7

Describe the political situation in Turkey. What type of a government does it have? What are the two largest political parties in Turkey today? List the major challenges faced by Turkey government and President Recep Tayyip Endogan in 2017?

The current political situation of turkey is an unstable one, experiencing a lot of high tension due to the fights with Kurdish militants and the Islamist militants from Syria. There have been deadly bombing in Ankara and Istanbul.

Turkey is a democratic republic with the Prime Minister heading the government and the President heading the state, a ceremonial role with substantially reserved powers.

The separation of powers is a characteristic of Turkey republic with the Ministers given the executive roles and the National assembly given the legislative role. The judiciary for this case is independent

The two main political parties are; the Justice and Development party also termed as the AKP and the Republican People's party also termed as the CHP.

Challenges Facing Turkish Government

Kurdish Problem: the outlawed Kurdish militants destabilize the economy the government has to deal with them first

Presidency and Constitution: President Tayyip Erdoğan has to prioritize a shift to the presidential powers in the country and build back good relationship that existed with the CHP which will enhance faster reform process.

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