Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2020 (AP photo by Markus Schreiber).

Juan Guaido is on tour and looking presidential, visiting some of the more than 50 countries around the world that have recognized him as Venezuela’s legitimate interim president. In the past two weeks, the 36-year-old opposition leader made an official state visit to Colombia; met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London; addressed the European Parliament in Brussels and met with the EU’s new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell; held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris; chatted with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European officials on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; […]

Burundi’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, center, arrives at the national conference for the ruling CNDD-FDD party in Gitega, Burundi, Jan. 26, 2020 (AP photo by Berthier Mugiraneza).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Burundi’s ruling party has selected a close ally of President Pierre Nkurunziza to stand in May’s presidential election, fueling concerns that an ongoing government crackdown on political opponents, civil society groups and journalists will only continue. At a party conference over the weekend, the ruling CNDD-FDD selected Evariste Ndayishimiye as its candidate after Nkurunziza confirmed he will step down after 15 contentious years in office. Ndayishimiye is a retired army general who serves as the party’s secretary general and heads the department […]

A stencil of former President Evo Morales adorns a wall in La Paz, Bolivia, Dec. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Juan Karita).

When towering political figures are suddenly ousted from power, what role will they play in their country’s future? That question is at the heart of what is unfolding in Bolivia some 10 weeks after former President Evo Morales resigned at the “suggestion” of the military amid mass public protests over a disputed presidential election. Morales, who fled into exile, first to Mexico and then Argentina, still insists he will lead the charge to topple the current, interim government. But he has faced a new and unexpected challenge to his political influence in Bolivia: an increasingly powerful current in his own […]

Demonstrators burn an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while protesting against a new citizenship law, in Kolkata, India, Jan. 11, 2020 (AP photo by Bikas Das).

India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act, which passed last month and applies to migrants from three neighboring South Asian countries, has sparked domestic unrest as well as international outrage that has reverberated beyond the region. Less than a year after winning a landslide reelection, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suddenly finds his global reputation stained. Though controversial on its own, the citizenship law has triggered such strong opposition because it epitomizes the sharp right turn Modi has taken in his second term. Since August, his government has implemented a series of divisive policies that align with long-held ideological goals of the […]

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 18, 2019 (Pool photo by Mandel Ngan via AP).

The stunning allegation this week that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hacked the phone of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, according to a report by United Nations investigators, may come as a shock to some. But for most people tracking the rise of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler over the past five years, it’s business as usual. From his disastrous proxy war in Yemen to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, the young crown prince, known as MBS, has demonstrated time and again his hubristic belief that there are no limits […]

Guinean President Alpha Conde arrives at the “Compact with Africa” conference at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Nov. 19, 2019 (Photo by Bernd von Jutrczenka for dpa via AP Images).

Guinean President Alpha Conde announced plans in December to replace the country’s constitution via a referendum, a move that critics say will allow him to stay in power beyond the current two-term limit. Guinea’s existing constitution requires the 81-year-old Conde, who was first elected in 2010, to step down after finishing his second and final term later this year. But the proposed draft document is replete with vague language on term limits that would likely allow him to run for reelection. Conde has not stated explicitly whether he plans to do so, but many Guineans believe he is clearing a […]

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa inspects the guard of honor during the opening session of Parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

HARARE, Zimbabwe—Samantha Kureya’s memories of the night she was abducted are not totally clear, but she vividly remembers one phrase that her attackers kept repeating. “You are too young to mock the government,” they said. The young Zimbabwean comedian, whose viral online skits poke fun at the government, was taken from her home in Harare, the capital, on Aug. 21 by three unidentified men wielding machine guns. She said they drove her to a remote location she did not recognize, where they beat her, forced her to strip and made her drink sewage water, before abandoning her. The incident left […]

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev poses for a photo during parliamentary elections, at a polling station in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dec. 22, 2019 (screengrab image from UZREPORT Government TV Channel via AP Images).

Last month, The Economist boldly labeled Uzbekistan its “country of the year,” declaring that “no other country travelled so far in 2019.” It is a remarkable achievement for a state that perennially finds itself at the bottom of international rankings on corruption, governance and human rights issues. But while Uzbekistan certainly is changing, the government’s quest for economic stability, not democracy, is driving the process. After taking power in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev quickly recognized that growing socioeconomic discontent could destabilize his regime. He saw that resentment toward a corrupted status quo could push angry populations into the streets, as […]

Refugees and migrants wait outside the information office at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos, Sept. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Petros Giannakouris).

ATHENS, Greece—The last dog days of summer are usually quiet in Athens. Most people leave for their summer holiday, scattering to beaches looking out over azure waters or mountains filled with wildflowers. Only a few dazed tourists remain behind to wander the city. But in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarchia last August, the mood was somber and determined as protesters marched through the streets. “You can’t evict a movement!” read one banner, clearly aimed at the right-wing New Democracy government, elected the previous month, and its hard-line policy on migration. Exarchia has long been associated with left-leaning political activism, […]

People hold flags during a rally to show support for China’s Uighur Muslims, in Hong Kong,  Dec. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Lee Jin-man).

In order to understand the mounting tensions in both Taiwan and Hong Kong over their relationships with mainland China, one must abandon the usual time frames of weeks, months or at most a handful of years and instead imagine the scenarios that open up over decades—five decades, to be precise. Over the next 50 years, interlocking dreams and nightmares will hang even more heavily over Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, and Hong Kong, over which Beijing wants to assert more direct control, with possibly tragic outcomes. China has all but announced that a new common reality must be […]

Opposition leader Juan Guaido demanding that the National Guard let him and all opposition lawmakers into the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 7, 2020 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

Among the many glaring pieces of unfinished business on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy ledger is Venezuela, where his campaign of “maximum pressure” on President Nicolas Maduro has failed. Venezuelans are preparing to mark the anniversary this month of a policy to oust Maduro that Trump launched with great fanfare and to high expectations nearly a year ago, when he declared Maduro’s presidency “illegitimate” and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate, interim president. At the time, Trump vowed to restore Venezuelan democracy, declaring that “all options are on the table.” Yet in a sign of where things now […]