Global Pulse: From Iran to Cuba, a New Year fraught with protests

Cuban President Raul Castro | Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

While there is no telling what course the protests that have engulfed Iran over the last month will take, the mass demonstrations are being closely scrutinised by all the major geopolitical players for how it will impact them.

An overhaul of Iran’s politics will have far reaching repercussions on the politics of the Middle East, Syria, Yemen and affect the relations between Russia and the United States.

Cuba’s psychosis

Like with Iran, Cuba seems to be witnessing intermittent protests against the Castro regime, that has had a hold over the island for nearly six decades, editorialises The Washington Post.

Cuban authorities have steadfastly cracked down on any activity by the Cuba Decide, a movement that advocates a plebiscite for free elections and free speech.

After the death of the famed revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, his younger brother Raúl Castro has retained power with ‘fists and force.’

“What Cuba really needs is not more Castro, or a handpicked clone to prolong the deprivations of socialism and dictatorship. What the island’s long-suffering people should get is a genuine chance to decide their own future, one where they can perform a play called “Psychosis” without arrests and fear.”

Pakistan is working at ‘Punjabi speeds’

 Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab is witnessing educational reforms at an unmitigated pace, explains The Economist.

“In April 2016, as part of its latest scheme, private providers took over the running of 1,000 of the government’s primary schools. Today the number is 4,300. By the end of this year…it will be 10,000.”

To ensure that targets are being met, Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahnaz Sharif and education secretary Allah Bakhsh Malik, are keeping officials of each district on their toes with the threat of being fired for poor results.

“It is in part the spread of private options that has spurred politicians like Mr Sharif into action. The outsourcing of schools to entrepreneurs and charities is on the rise across the country. It is too early to judge the results of this massive shake up, but it seems better than the lamentable status quo. If this wholesale reform makes real inroads into the problems of enrolment, quality and discrimination against girls that bedevil Pakistan, it may prove a template for other countries similarly afflicted.”

Trump, the ‘Twitter demagogue’ 

President Donald Trump’s inflammatory statement about going to war with the United States third-largest oil supplier had not been forgotten by the leaders of four Latin American countries that sat down for dinner with President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly writes Susan B. Glasser of Politico.

“Trump struck them as uninformed about their issues and dangerously unpredictable, asking them to expend political capital on behalf of a U.S. that no longer seemed a reliable partner. “The word they all used was: ‘This guy is insane.’”

But this wasn’t the first and is certainly not the last time President Trump will make such brash statements which leave America’s so-called enemies and allies alike, “reeling from the encounter.”

“All of them have anxiously pored through his Twitter feed for clues to America’s intentions, seeking the glimmerings of a Trump Doctrine in the president’s inflammatory, typo-ridden early morning pronouncements.”

“Over their year of living dangerously with Trump, foreign leaders and diplomats have learned this much: The U.S. president was ignorant, at times massively so, about the rudiments of the international system and America’s place in it, and in general about other countries. He seemed to respond well to flattery and the lavish laying out of red carpets; he was averse to conflict in person but more or less immovable from strongly held preconceptions. And given the chance, he would respond well to anything that seemed to offer him the opportunity to flout or overturn the policies endorsed by his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here