Artful politics

In the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, a short walk from Taksim Square, a tourist may pause to admire the graffiti. On İstiklal Avenue, a pedestrian thoroughfare that six million people stroll down on  a typical weekend, a striking installation depicts an oversized smiley-face holding up his comrades with a gun.

Venezuela on the brink?

The ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela has deteriorated dramatically. On Monday, electricity rationing for 40 days took effect, with rolling blackouts across Venezuela, except for the heavily populated Greater Caracas area.

Impulses towards change in Cuba

The conclusion of the Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist party last week gave an indication of the tendencies towards both change, and resistance to it, at the highest level of decision-making on the country’s future course.

Minister Harmon and Baishanlin

In the last edition of the ‘Public Interest’ television programme, President Granger continued his efforts to tamp down the public consternation over the conduct of Minister of State, Joseph Harmon in relation to his interference with the Guyana Revenue Authority and his subsequent furtive and still-to-be fully explained trip to China.

State media

State-owned media in a country such as this will always be problematic. Given the peculiarities of our political situation, achieving something akin to the BBC will inevitably present a major challenge, and it is no surprise, therefore, that neither NCN nor the Guyana Chronicle (allowing for the fact that the BBC is only a broadcaster) has ever come anywhere near the penumbra of the ideal.

Prison reform

A recent, eye-opening New York Times Op-Ed considers the enormous costs of mass incarceration in America. The economists who co-author the opinion question the value of spending US$80 billion – a quarter of  the Department of Justice budget – on the 2.2 million inmates languishing in America’s jails and prisons.

America’s presidential politics

Undoubtedly, citizens of countries all over the world with access to television must be increasingly fascinated by the ongoing process of selecting candidates from within the Democratic and Republican parties now seeking to be chosen as representatives of those parties for the presidency of the country in the election in November this year.

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