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The Fate of Cassandra: Dire Predictions Go Unheeded

In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was a priestess who was able to predict the future but unable to convince others to act upon her prophecies. The fate of Cassandra seems particularly relevant today, for there has been ample warning about three developments that...

Imagine a World with U.S.-China Cooperation

On September 10, 2021, during an important diplomatic meeting that occurred by telephone, U.S. President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the necessity of a better relationship between their two nations.  According to the official Chinese...

Building Social Solidarity Across National Boundaries

Is it possible to build social solidarity beyond the state? It’s easy to conclude that it’s not.  In 1915, as national governments produced the shocking carnage of World War I, Ralph Chaplin, an activist in the Industrial Workers of the World, wrote his stirring song,...

Alex Saab, Afghanistan, and the limits of US power

The US government will (perhaps as I write this piece) succeed in extraditing businessman Alex Saab from Cape Verde. His “crime” was being an official envoy for the Venezuelan government as he attempted to negotiate the sale of medicines from Iran to Venezuela. US...

Infant Mortality: a look at how Cuba and Venezuela ranked in 1980

In 1980, Venezuela’s infant mortality rate ranked 58th best in the world, far below Cuba, whose infant mortality rate was 28th that year. Infant mortality is a basic Venezuela’s infant mortality rate in 1980 was more than twice as high as that in Cuba – all according...

Some notable facts about Venezuela’s oil history

Venezuela has been an important oil exporter since the 1920s. See this essay for historical details. As the chart below shows, It was not until the 1970s that big Middle east oil exporters like Saudi Arabia and Iran overtook Venezuela in oil production  

Independence and Constitution in Spain

There’s a serious political problem in the Spanish Kingdom that seems difficult to resolve and leads to a vicious circle. Probably because of the influence  of Francoist ideology, having independence as an objective is contrary to the Spanish Constitution, (art.2...

Conflict or Cooperation in U.S.-China Relations?

The United States and China, the world’s mightiest military and economic powers, are currently heading toward a Cold War or even a hot one, with disastrous consequences.  But an alternative path is available and could be taken. Beginning in 2018, U.S. government...

Nationalism on the Decline

Although, beginning in about 2015, nationalist political parties made enormous advances in countries around the world, more recently they have been on the wane. The nationalist surge was led by a new generation of rightwing populist demagogues who, feeding on public...