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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-Feb-2014
22-Feb-14 World View -- Europeans broker a 'peace agreement' in Ukraine

Web Log - February, 2014

22-Feb-14 World View -- Europeans broker a 'peace agreement' in Ukraine

Venezuela and other countries increasingly block press freedom

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Europeans broker a 'peace agreement' in Ukraine


Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych's arch-enemy
Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych's arch-enemy

With violence growing in Ukraine, and the country becoming increasing lawless and ungovernable, foreign ministers from Poland, France and Germany brokered a Ukraine peace agreement between president Viktor Yanukovych and the leaders of the opposition. Whether the agreement will get fully implemented remains to be seen, and it leaves Yanukovych in power, at least for the time being, in defiance of the key demand of the opposition that he step down. Instead, the agreement calls for new elections by December, which opposition leaders say is far too late. However, the opposition signed because European leaders warned them that the alternative was martial law.

Under the agreement, Ukraine's parliament voted to restore the 2004 constitution, limiting some of Yanukovych's power and giving more power to the parliament. The parliament also voted to fire the interior minister who ordered police violence that resulted in hundreds of deaths.

It's not clear how much support the agreement will continue to have. In particular, the Russian envoy to the negotiations originally initialed the agreement, but then disappeared before the final signing, apparently on orders from Moscow.

Some people sang the Ukraine's national anthem after the agreement:

Ukraine has not yet perished,
The glory and the freedom!
Still upon us brave brothers,
Fate shall smile!
Our enemies will vanish
Like dew in the sun;
We too shall rule
In our country.

That's the original 1863 version. In later versions, the first two lines were changed to: "Ukraine's glory has not yet perished, nor her freedom." AP

Ukraine's parliament votes to free president's arch-enemy from jail

After the agreement was signed, Ukraine's parliament voted to free Yulia Tymoshenko, a bitter political enemy of the president Viktor Yanukovych. Tymoshenko became of a world recognized figure in 2004 of her distinctive mix of peasant hair and high-fashion dresses, after she played a major role in the 2004 "Orange Revolution" that ousted Viktor Yanukovych, the current president, from power. Tymoshenko herself became prime minister in 2007, but then lost in 2010 election to Yanukovych.

Yanukovych got his revenge in 2011 by sending Tymoshenko to jail on charges that many consider to be trumped up. The European Union has been demanding that Tymoshenko be freed, and now the parliament has agreed. However, there's no timetable for freeing her.

She's developed back problems in jail, so it's not clear whether she capable of entering politics again, but if she did, and she joined the opposition against Yanukovych, then watching those two fight it out would be quite a spectacle. AP and AFP

Venezuela and other countries increasingly block press freedom

On Thursday, Venezuela's president Nicolás Maduro announced that he would expel CNN if it dod not "rectify" its coverage of anti-government protests, saying that "They [CNN] want to show the world that there is a civil war in Venezuela."

On Friday, Maduro carried out his threat, notifying seven journalists for CNN International and CNN en Español that their press credentials had been denied or revoked, and that they should book flights back home. So far, CNN International and CNN en Español continue to broadcast in Venezuela.

Increasingly, countries around the world are taking legal measures to restrict press freedom when the press doesn't support the government. Besides Venezuela, examples are:

Other countries, like China and Iran, have strict controls on all media, most of which is state-owned. CNN and Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Jamestown and Washington Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 22-Feb-14 World View -- Europeans broker a 'peace agreement' in Ukraine thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (22-Feb-2014) Permanent Link
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