China Is Struggling to Keep Control over Its Version of the Past
The Chinese Communist Party likes to describe threats to its grip on power in barely comprehensible terms. Now Communist leader Xi Jinping is waging war against “historical nihilism,” a peril as arcane-sounding as it is, to his mind, grave. As a state news agency recently warned, there is a “seething undercurrent” of it in China. Failure to stamp it out, officials say, could lead to Soviet-style collapse.
Cuba Violates Convention Against Torture
Marlene Azor Hernandez, HAVANA TIMES
Cuba hopes to be chosen once again for the UN Human Rights Council. However, the Cuban government still hasn’t ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, Cultural, Civil and Political Rights that it signed back in 2008. Nor has it changed its penal laws to include the crime of torture in its penal code or changed police protocol, State security and courts with regard to conditions of arrest or conditions in prisons.
North Korea Calls South’s Government Deformed
North Korea is joyfully jumping into a bizarre political scandal rocking Seoul, calling it the inevitable result of a corrupt regime and saying the administration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is “the most deformed, abnormal and stupid in contemporary society.”
How Vladimir Putin’s Russia Has Rehabilitated 1,000 Years of Despotic Rulers
Orlando Crowcroft, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
Stalin’s brutal rule is, for some Russians, eclipsed by his industrialization of the USSR and his leadership during WWII, when Russia was instrumental in defeating the Nazis and liberating Europe from Hitler. That perception has only been encouraged by Putin, the former security services chief and strongman who has led Russia since 1999.
Venezuela’s Government, Opposition Agree to Cool Rhetoric After First Round Of Talks
THE WASHINGTON POST
Representatives from Venezuela’s government and the opposition alliance agreed to tone down fierce rhetoric and hold further meetings amid a political standoff after a first round of exploratory talks about a Vatican-mediated dialogue. Maduro’s administration is engaging in the Vatican-mediated talks to alleviate international pressure, divide the opposition, and buy time, according to the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.