Well, as to be expected, the conflicts which have been covered by the Bolt over the past few months continue to have new developments coming up. In this issue, I will updating you on the revolutionary issues that have been going on during the period I’ve been writing for the Bolt. We will be returning to see where the Syrian conflict is at now, for it has been months since that has been covered here. And of course, we will be looking at the most recent updates of the Ukrainian, Bosnian, and Venezuelan conflicts.
Here are some updates on what is going on in Ukraine. Reports stated that Russia had invaded Crimea, however, the Russians have remained passive and observant as a referendum has been passed around for Crimea to join the Russian Federation. Various reports say that the referendum showed more than 90% of people in Crimea supporting the cause, now they are currently waiting to formally apply to join Russia. As Russian nationalists in Crimea rejoice to be “brought back home,” US and EU officials have claimed the referendum to be illegal, thus raising tensions amongst the spheres of influences. The Western sphere of influence has prepared to set economic sanctions against Russia.
Currently, the new government in Ukraine is struggling to respond to threat of Russia, to the economic damages leftover from the opposition to the prior president (no updates yet on whether he still calls himself the Ukrainian president), and the conflicts between the people of Ukraine due to their allegiances.
In Bosnia, there has been an opposition to international involvement due to the conflicting values that the outside world has compared to Bosnia’s. Bosnians have had a lack of response from their government which has started to wear out their patience. Citizens of various towns in Bosnia have started bringing up “plenums” where they bring up their concern and propose ways to change their circumstances. So far, plenums have managed to reduce pay and privileges for officials. However, as this is going on, the international community keeps trying to influence the events taking place in Bosnia. Valentin Inzko, the International High Representative in Bosnia, insists Bosnians must find their own solutions. “The international community is more in favour of the philosophy of ‘local ownership’. We always stress local responsibilities and local solutions. We have done a huge job, but later we relaxed a little bit [and] said it is time that the responsibility should be taken over by local leaders and the population… Maybe for the first time a general ownership philosophy is materialising. The international community should not interfere but allow this local movement to ripen.” It appears to be that the mass corporate corruption in Bosnia has given a sense of distrust against free economies, however, elections are expected to happen in October and perhaps then Bosnia’s position on the matter will be clearer.
Venezuela continues to undergo the conflicts between protesters and Nicholas Maduro’s police brutality; however, he has been attempting to hold a dialogue with the US as it turns out that the US is harshly criticizing the actions by the Maduro administration. There are two conflicting opinions going around: the revolutionaries are claiming that Maduro is instigating them to act against him due to his poor leadership and the Chavistas are claiming that Maduro is simply trying to maintain order in Venezuela. The opposition leader Leopold Lopez has been arrested in Caracas and currently, according to his wife, is being kept in an isolation cell. Thus, Venezuela continues to be challenged by stagnant conflict between Chavistas and revolutionaries.
In a more unsettling story, the Syrian president, Baashar Assad has been benefited by a new bill coming from the Syrian parliament which makes it harder to oppose to him during the upcoming elections in June. According to a bill, presidential candidates must be permanent residents of Syria for the past 10 years and at least 40 years old. They may not hold any other citizenship, must be the children of Syrian citizens, must be married to a Syrian citizen and have no criminal record. They must also obtain the signatures of 35 members of parliament. Due to these very precise requirements, it is clear that the bill is tailored for Assad. The Assad administration and supporters have managed to push out any rebels to the government, currently there have been hundreds of thousands killed, and many have seek to be refugees in other countries. Opposition voices are calling for the powers to take a more aggressive stance against Assad. Otherwise, they say, Syrians will find themselves without hope on the fourth anniversary of the start of the war. Others suggest a cease fire in order to have more dialogue with major powers and the Syrian government.
So, just to summarize. The Ukrainian uprising managed to get their president out of the country, however, Russia has invaded. And as this is happening, there is an internal turmoil between Russian sympathizers and Ukrainian sympathizers. But, Russia’s involvement has resulted on economic sanctions from the West. In Bosnia, there is a strong rejection of international involvement as the Bosnians prepare for the elections in October. However, it is clear that people in Bosnia have lost trust on their current government and intend to seek a more involved government. In Venezuela, the Maduro administration continues to kept rebels down as it tries to weaken the criticisms by the U.S. And in Syria, the government of Baashar Assad continues to grip to power and eliminate rebels as the rebels try to seek a way of dealing with Assad’s threat.