Weekly Reports Archives — CANVAS

Weekly Report: 14 February, 2019

Migrants from Honduras, arrive at a migrant hostel hoping to be taken in as they wait to apply for asylum in to the United States in Piedras Negras, Mexico. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Cuba As Cuba nears the February 24th date of a final referendum to make changes to their constitution, the state has begun to crackdown on protesters who are arguing for a NO vote. On Monday, 20 members of the opposition group ‘Cuban Patriotic Union’ were detained. In the following days, a number of other activists had their homes raided and also faced arrests. The new constitution will change some government structures but keep the Communist Party as supreme. Prince Charles is set to visit Cuba this spring, a first for any member of British royalty. Florida senator Rick Scott argues that the prince should visit Florida instead, saying that a visit to Cuba would “condone the Castro regime’s brutality”. Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been attempting to restore people’s confidence in the government of Gabon. This comes soon after the coup attempt on January 7. Bongo has reportedly strengthened his control on the government, and previously requested and received$350 million from the United States government. Bolivia Bolivian President Evo Morales has slammed Juan Guaidó’s remarks about welcoming a US military intervention in Venezuela. After the US and EU-backed interim president Guaido stated that he would not rule out US intervention to remove Maduro from power, Morales tweeted that Bolivia rejects Guaido’s statements.He has also tweeted that the economic blockade threatened by the US will “threaten the human rights of the Venezuelan people”. Nicaragua Nicaragua has experienced political and social unrest since April 2018, when Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega unleashed...

Weekly Report: 8 February, 2019

Venezuelan soldiers erected blockades on the Tienditas Bridge at a border crossing between Colombia and Venezuela. (Edinson Estupinan / AFP/Getty Images) Cuba Cuba is now in the middle of the ongoing tensions between Colombia’s ELN rebel group and the Colombian government, as leaders from the rebel group have said that they will not leave Cubawithout confirmation from Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez that he will adhere to conditions agreed to by the previous president of Colombia. The conditions set by Marquez’s predecessor agree to: “guarantee guerrilla commanders safe return to Colombia or Venezuela within 15 days of peace talks, and to bar military offensives for 72 hours”. President Marquez has asked Cuba to extradite those representing the group. Cuba has been the previous site of peace talks between the group and the Colombian government, and have openly stated that while they denounce the car bombings confirmed to be caused by the rebel group, they will still follow the protocol of the conditions as it has been previously established. Gabon An anti-government activist has been released after being held 17 months for creating videos deemed hostile to President Ali Bongo. Herve Mombo Kinga was initially charged with spreading propaganda and insulting the president, and faced 8 years in prison. Mombo Kinga was released on Tuesday after the judge threw out the case. Bolivia A devastating mudslide in Bolivia has caused significant damage, resulting in at least 14 people killed and around 50 injured. The mudslide comes amidst economic concern, as Brazil and Argentina, Bolivia’s biggest natural gas export customers, have announced that they plan to boost their own economies by becoming their own outputs and work to further access the global market. As the 2019 presidential elections approach, Bolivia remains...

Weekly Report: 1 February, 2019

Demonstrators hold banner that reads “Justice” during a rally of the opposition with the self-proclaimed interim president Guaido in Caracas, January 25, 2018. Marco Bello   Cuba As the Cuban government makes the decision to push for legalization of gay marriage, Evangelical churches and their members have made their lack of support clear, causing concern that the reform will be rejected. The legalization of gay marriage will appear sometime this month in a state-proposed constitutional reform in a nationwide referendum. Pastors have been encouraging widespread “no” votes. This vocal rejection of gay marriage is not new from the Cuban evangelical churches; in December of 2018 as the conversation began in favor of changing the language for the description of marriage to the union of “two people”, protests broke out from members of evangelical churches. Gabon Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo, returned to the country on January 15th, about one week after a failed coup attempt. The visit was short-lived, as the president returned to Morocco for further treatment just one day after his arrival. Bongo has been president since 2009, but after suffering a stroke in October, doubts of his ability to lead became evident. The coup attempt was executed by a group of soldiers seizing control, but was shut down quickly by those loyal to the president. Bolivia Bolivian president, Evo Morales, has secured the position as official candidate of his Movement for Socialism party after winning the primary election this week. This means that Morales will be able to run for a fourth presidential term, a move rejected by 51.3 percent of voters in a referendum in 2016, but approved by the Bolivian Supreme Court in December. Nicaragua...

Weekly Report: 7 December, 2018

One of Colombia’s top wanted drug lords, named “Puntilla” was killed by authorities this week. (Colombia Reports) Syria According to a human rights group, a U.S. citizen who was held captive by Assad’s government for three years was killed. Layla Shwekani was born in Damascus and spent her childhood there, but then moved to the United States. Layla was known as a humanitarian activist. She returned to Syria in 2015, and then was detained in 2016. Soon after, she was reported dead. Bolivia Presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, Óscar Ortiz, the leader of the Democratic Social Movement requested “urgent treatment” for the February 21st referendum. The appeal is against the enabling of Evo Morales to run for presidential candidacy in the upcoming elections in Bolivia. Along with the appeal, the Democratic Social Movement began holding a signing throughout the country, on a national level, in order to disable Evo Morales from running for president.   Three separate mobilizations of people are making their way towards La Paz. The three groups began in Beni, Konani, and Chulumani. Their goal is to demand that the electoral tribunal not qualify Evo Morales. Once they arrive in La Paz, they intend to hold a peaceful vigil in front of the TSE. Further, they are not ruling out a hunger strike. The mobilization of people intends to hold their strike until the TSE listens to their demands. Nicaragua This week, several civil society organizations will stand before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and speak of the repressions which continue to unfold through Nicaragua due to the actions...

Weekly Report: 23 November 2018

An estimated 1.7 million people died during the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia. This week, deputy PM announced there will be no more persecutions. (The Guardian) Syria On Saturday, at least 40 people were killed in a US-led airstrike in an area along the border of Iraq. While the strike was against the Islamic State, civilians were killed by the coalition. The coalition spokesperson denied allegations of civilian killing, although Syrian medics and media outlets have said otherwise.   Between November 28-29th, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are going to hold a meeting to discuss talks about Syria. The meeting will take place in Kazakhstan and members from the Syrian government along with delegates from the Syrian rebels are supposed to attend.   On Tuesday, the Trump administration developed new sanctions which will harm both Syria and Iran. The Trump administration is under the impression that an Iranian company posing as a pharmaceutical and medical business is having money funneled out of Iran’s central bank, and into a state-owned Russian bank account. Furthermore, it is believed that the money is being used to aid Syria in paying for Russian oil. Another accusation is that President Assad facilitated “hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars” towards Hezbollah and Hamas. Now, new sanctions will be imposed on both Syria and Iran due to Iran’s continuous support of the Assad regime and funding towards “terrorist organizations.” Bolivia As stated in the memorandum of understanding between Bolivia and Paraguay, Bolivia is working on creating a technical team to form the gas pipeline project. The Bolivian proposal will be presented before the established 90-day deadline. Bolivian...

Weekly Report: 16 November 2018

Disarmed bombs left from American activities in Laos during the Vietnam War. (Halo Trust) Syria In the area of Deir al-Zor, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces resumed fighting against the Islamic State. This comes after a   suspension in warfare. Presumably, Deir al-Zor is the last “foothold” of IS near the Iraqi border. A report which came out this week claims that beginning in February, the global chemical weapons watchdog group will begin to hold accountable those responsible for chemical weapons used during the Syrian war. The task was given to the watchdog group, given the number of attacks in the most recent years by both the Syrian forces and rebel groups. Attacks have previously used both chlorine and sarin. The team will begin analyzing attacks which began as early as 2014. Bolivia Last Friday, a bricklayer shouted “Bolivia said no! Respect the referendum!” at president Morales. For this, the man was imprisoned and put on trial. After hearing of this case, presidential candidate Mesa took to Twitter to declare his solidarity and support for the man. Mesa sees his imprisonment as a direct abuse of the government. While the Bolivian government is claiming that the man also tried to throw an unknown object at president Morales, there is no evidence of the event. There was no reported aggression. This week, the Social Democratic Movement, led by Ruben Costas and the National Unity party, led by Samuel Medina, agreed upon an alliance in the upcoming presidential elections. The new alliance is also open to agreements with other parties, for they believe that uniting citizen platforms will create a strong movement...