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Opposition demonstrators display a Venezuelan flag in front of a line of Bolivarian National Guard officers dressed in riot gear in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 12, 2015 (AP photo by Fernando Llano).
In Context

Maduro Gets More Desperate Amid Venezuela’s Disarray

By Maria Savel
, , Trend Lines

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stepped up his crackdown on his political opponents with the arrest last week of the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, on trumped-up charges of plotting a coup. Maduro has only grown more desperate as state coffers empty and an economic crisis deepens. more


Global Insider

Despite Orderly Transition, Questions Remain for East Timor

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Xanana Gusmao stepped down as East Timor’s prime minister earlier this month, leaving the post to opposition leader Rui Araujo. In an interview, Gordon Peake, a research fellow at Australia National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, discussed East Timor’s political transition. more

Mexico’s Energy Reforms Miss a Key Sector: Renewables

By Alexis Arthur
, , Briefing

Many hoped President Enrique Pena Nieto’s energy reforms would catalyze the renewable sector in Mexico, with its abundance of wind, solar and geothermal resources. Instead, his government risks missing an opportunity to make good on its commitment to a clean energy future and to tackling climate change. more

China’s Marshall Plan: All Silk Roads Lead to Beijing?

By Michele Penna
, , Briefing

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $40 billion for the creation of a Silk Road Investment Fund to “break the connectivity bottleneck” in Asia. It is just one part of Beijing’s ambitious “Silk Road” projects to boost China’s global trade links and, it hopes, reorient geopolitics. more

Special Report

Breakout Capacity: Iran in the Rouhani Era

By The Editors
, , Report

Hassan Rouhani assumed the presidency of Iran last year amid great expectations for reform at home and renewed engagement abroad. From nuclear negotiations to the crises in Iraq and Syria, Rouhani’s term has so far been a mixed bag, offering hope but not yet transformation, as the articles in this report show. more

Global Insider

Mongolia Shuffles PMs to Address Self-Inflicted Economic Crisis

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last week Mongolia’s parliament appointed Chimed Saikhanbileg prime minister, two weeks after Norov Altankhuyag lost a no-confidence vote. In an email interview, Julian Dierkes, associate professor at the University of British Columbia, discussed Mongolian politics. more

Global Insider

Vietnam’s Modernizing Navy Confronts China’s Sea Power

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

As China attempts to assert maritime claims against Vietnam, Vietnam in turn has been expanding its navy and courting new allies, like India. In an email interview, Abhijit Singh, a research fellow at India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, discusses the Vietnamese navy's capabilities. more

World Citizen

In Venezuela, Maduro Teetering on the Edge of Disaster

By Frida Ghitis
, , Column

The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez seemed to become invigorated by class struggle and the passionate protests it engendered. His heir, Nicolas Maduro, has also faced fierce opposition protests and has responded forcefully. But the challenge is growing exponentially riskier. more

Global Insider

Water Management a Keystone of Dutch Foreign Policy

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

In September, the Netherlands offered help to Pakistan after a breached dike forced over 700,000 people to flee their homes. In an email interview, Mariska Heijs, training and research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Clingendael,” discussed Dutch water management diplomacy. more