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EXPERT OPINION Close

Pedro Marin

Location: Brazil

Activity: Writer, Journalist

Articles: 10

Notes: 7

Opinion: 7

Pedro Marin

specialization:

Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

About:

Founder and editor of independent journal Revista Opera. Has been covering Ukraine’s war and Latin America, as well as social movements in Brazil. Has articles published on media such as Russia Insider, New Cold War, Truthout and Off-Guardian.

EXPERT OPINION

Pedro Marin

Venezuela's opposition party wins parliament in a blow to Maduro

I can’t say it wasn’t expected – although it is very disappointing. Chavismo’s democratic revolution isn’t something exclusive or new. The Chilean former President Salvador Allende tried it in the 70’s, and failed, as Venezuelan socialists now are. History has already addressed us this message: the “democratic” capitalist system wasn’t made for structural changes within, especially in such a unipolar world, where US has a controlling influence all over the world. But the history, stubborn as it is, keep repeating itself over and over again.

With this new national assembly, where opposition holds almost two thirds of the seats, it will be very hard to rule. If opposition in National Assembly doesn’t work to solve the country’s problems, they can Always say things didn’t get better because “change” hasn’t arrived in the Presidency.

This is a new chapter not only for Venezuelans, but for all Latin Americans. Venezuela, among all Latin America countries – leaving aside Cuba, obviously – is home of the most radical anti-imperialist government of the continent. It was a a guiding light for Latin America.

The results of 6th December elections are clearly the results of a destroyed economy. People kept voting for Chávez and more recently for Maduro because Chavismo made their lives better. The same happened in most Latin American countries.

But new winds began blowing: in Argentina, neoliberal candidate Mauricio Macri won. In Brazil, there’s a impeachment process going on against President Dilma, whose popularity is also disastrously falling. There’s no coincidence here: the world’s periphery is once again paying for the first-world problems.

If Venezuela’s Bolivarian government’s end has arrived already, there’s no doubt other popular governments of the mainland will fall as well. The question now is this: when will we stop struggling with history, and change it once and for all?

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Pedro Marin

Brazil's top court suspends impeachment of Rousseff

It surely was a relief for the government. Both government and opposition have been struggling over the parliamentary recess, which was scheduled to begin in December 22. The deputies would have gone back to their duties only on February. After the government’s loss on the special commision, which would rule over the impeachment, and the following suspension by the Supreme Court, the government decided it would be better to let the recess take place, and suspended taking any political strategy until December 16.

The fact is the Brazilian deputies are playing cards over Brazil’s economic situation– it is almost obvious that political stability scares investors. In regard to the legality of the process, it doesn’t seem that Dilma could be impeached. The Order of Attorneys of Brazil has already stated that Dilma’s fiscal manueverings aren’t enought for an impeachment. But the fact is it isn’t a legal matter, it is a political one, as top court’s Justice Gilmar Mendes said earlier today (December 10). It is true that President Dilma’s popularity has been going down dizzily, but it isn’t worse than the popularity rate of the Speaker of the Lower House, Eduardo Cunha, who is the key face of the impeachment process, and as polls show, is widely abhored.

That’s why vice-President Michel Temer’s letter to Dilma – strangely leaked to the press two days ago – is key. In the letter, Temer complains about Dilma’s lack of confidence in him and his Democratic party. Although the vice-President said the letter was no threat, it may be taken as a clear message to the opposition: If Cunha goes down, right-wing Progressive Party’s deputy Waldir Maranhão takes office. But Waldir has no popularity at all, neither in Congress nor among the voters. Temer would be the perfect new face for the impeachment:

1. His image, at least by now, is clean. He isn’t being investigated.
2. He can easily get the support needed in Congress, as he’s leader of PMDB, one of Brazil’s biggest parties, and has important contacts (in the letter, for instance, he talks about how he has good relations with U.S vice-President Joe Biden).
3. He’s next in line in case Dilma is impeached, so he surely has the interests.
4. The fact he’s been in the government would make the perfect argument for opposition: “Not even Temer, who was working with Dilma, can stand her government anymore”.

December 16 will be a turning point for Brazil. That’s when the Supreme Court decides if the impeachment process may go on or not. It’s also when  popular social movements and unions will take part in anti-impeachment demonstrations. Three days earlier, on 13th December, a pro-impeachment demonstration is scheduled, with all the “color-revolution” movements.

In a place where both Brazil’s President Dilma Roussef and the Speaker of the Lower House Cunha may fall and where most people (57%) disapprove of their congressmen, the noise from the streets is key, both for deputies and Justices of the Superior Court.

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Pedro Marin

Fears Grow In Wake Of Confirmation Of 1 Case Of Zika Virus In LA County

That’s very disturbing. Although it was already known that the virus could spread through mosquito bites (even if there weren’t infected mosquitoes in US, for instance, once it bites somebody infected it can spread to other people), the fact that it can spread through sexual contact is an aggravating factor. The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said last week that in Brazil, the current epicenter of this epidemic, 1.5 million people could be infected in 2016, and that the virus could spread to 6 million people in the Americas. That’s before these new revelations came out.

Of course, in such a scary scenario, conspiracy theories about the origins of this outbreak emerged. Although these theories should be taken into account and investigated, there are more urgent issues to worry about. It’s a fact, for instance, that poor people will be the major victims of this virus, due to the conditions they live in. There are already reports of upper-class women aborting in Brazil, as they suspect they’ve got the infection – a procedure that often leads to the death of poor women, as they can’t afford to pay for a secure abortion. Also, it’s worth to mention that babies born with microcephaly need special care. Governments need to work to stop the virus, to make everybody safe – either poor or rich – and to make sure that women who gave birth to children with physical defects will have all support needed to raise their kids.

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Pedro Marin

Kim Jong-un’s show of force disturbs his neighbors

Unfortunately, this conflict is far from its end. Nobody is actually working to accomplish a less militarized Korea - it’s solely a media war. As I stated at an article on January, it is clear that to have a denuclearized North Korea it is necessary that the United States cease its military presence in the Peninsula. This kind of demonstration of power by the North is neither new - it’s historically the way the country pursues independence - nor exclusive, as South Korea and the U.S army repeatedly do military drills in Korea. The disturbing fact is that the media and governments worldwide only worry when it’s North Korea who’s doing it. But these sanctions are actually quite revealing: President Obama said in late December, during his speech on the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, that “these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach”, and that the sanctions policy “provided the Cuban government with a rationale for restrictions on its people.” Still, for some reason, President Obama seems to think it will work in the Korean case. Is there a hidden agenda in the rapprochement policy towards Cuba or in the isolation policy against North Korea? I’d definitely say both.

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Pedro Marin

A Quick Guide to the Panama Papers

Ukrainian  President  Poroshenko, Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, and even the President of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha, who’s a key figure in Brazilian politics nowadays - all appear in the Panama Papers- all of them supposedly linked directly to illegal activities. Still, newspapers all over the World (including the Brazilian media) chose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s portrait  to be featured below the headline on the Panama Papers, even though the only thing that the Panama Papers reveal is that Putin has terrible friendships, as he wasn’t linked to any corruption or bribery scheme at all.

The Panama Papers leak is useful, but to ignore the interests surrounding it is to be naive. It’s a great thing that Wikileaks didn’t swallow it right away. After all, it’s like the popular saying: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

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Pedro Marin

US man Kim Dong-chul jailed for spying in North Korea

North Korea seems to be something like a Bermuda Triangle for U.S: every time the former stands against something happening in there, it makes it look just hypocritical. It’s very ironic, after all, that the U.S government accuses North Korea of using its citizens “as pawns in a diplomatic game”. This is the same country that until recently held Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González in prison (the ‘Cuban Five’) for over a decade because they fought terrorism. Not because they’ve stolen classified data with the support of foreign governments, as Mr. Kim Dong-chul has confessed to.

I should ask, as some American media outlets argue DPRK gave Mr. Dong-chul a “harsh sentence”: Can Snowden return home already?

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Pedro Marin

Brazil crisis: Rousseff impeachment vote 'annulled'

Once the Captain has left the boat, the rats start fighting for the cheese. That’s what is going on now. Eduardo Cunha, who was the Lower House Speaker until he was suspended last week, wouldn’t go to prison without a fight. After all, he is the one who worked hard to get Dilma Roussef removed from office - and then was betrayed by his own allies in the Lower House.

What is happening now will not stop the impeachment. Things will get normal again - meaning President Dilma Roussef’s impeachment will be approved in the Senate - once Cunha is assured he won’t go to prison. Even Dilma know this already. “Be cautious, because we live in a scenario of tricks and wiles”, said Dilma to some allies who were cheering acting Lower House Speaker Waldir Maranhão’s decision. One possibility is that Cunha will be offered a position within Temer’s government.

Another possibility is that Waldir Maranhão’s decision will be smashed by the Supreme Court. In such case, Cunha will for sure go to prison, as he has nothing to bargain on anymore.

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OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

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