DGI Brief - Aug 17, 2016
- Despite a new chapter in CUBA’s history & an explosion in tourism, Cuba is faced with economic stagnation – this year so far only saw a growth of 1%. Coupled with cuts in subsidized oil from Venezuela (due to Venezuela’s economic crisis), Cuba may have to reduce its electricity consumption by 6%, mainly in its state sector. New economic guidelines filled with fresh ideas would be great, unfortunately the 274 rules include few major changes – centrally planned economy is still the law of the land, property & wealth concentration is still prohibited, internet service will still be slow. A truly missed opportunity.
- TURKEY: It’s painful to watch a country with so much potential & heart slip deeper into autocracy right in front of our eyes – mass incarceration, firings & accusations, severe clamp down on media, education & business. Democracy, fundamental human rights & freedoms are being eradicated. Now, Erdogan’s government is willing to release 38,000 convicted criminals to make room for alleged coup plotters. What a sad state of affairs.
- PHILIPPINES: The death toll is as high as 1,000 people shot & killed in President Duterte’s intense was on illegal drugs that rights groups report include extrajudicial executions. Such actions constitute a violation of fundamental human rights & freedoms, something the UN principally condemns. Well, if President Duterte sees that as interfering, then shouldn’t he have a problem taking all of UN’s humanitarian & development aid & expertise that has been given to his country for decades? No, that part suits him. Small mind.
- ZIMBABWE: The ask is simple – do something about the rapidly deteriorating economy where hyperinflation, currency crisis & high unemployment prevail. But the 92-year old president Mugabe, in power for 36 years, just scuffles & advises if anyone is unhappy, then leave the country. Concerning attitude, troublesome situation.
- LIBYA: Some good news in the fight against ISIS – forces loyal to the central government continue to advance in seizing the city of Sirte from ISIS, reportedly pushing against the last neighborhood still under ISIS control. Lots of political work remains to be done after Sirte is liberated, but good news is always appreciated.
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