Ahead of Gabon’s general elections later this year, President Ali Bongo has engaged in a series of carrot-and-stick maneuvers designed to smooth the way for him to maintain power. But in many ways, Gabon’s electoral democracy is a thin veneer for a kinship-based political order at the center of which sits the Bongo family.
In recent years, Beijing’s strong foothold in Latin America has caused anxiety in Washington, particularly amid the recent resurgence of left-wing governments in South America. But although Beijing has made considerable gains in the region at Washington’s expense, claims about China’s influence there might be overstated.
Earlier this month, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency reached an agreement to reestablish certain transparency measures at select nuclear sites. Amid growing concern over Iran’s expanding nuclear activities, the deal is a positive step that bodes well for international efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program.