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Russia

Is Vladimir Putin The Richest Man In Europe?

AL JAZEERA (Qatar)

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Vladimir Putin, the newly re-elected president of Russia, presents himself as a humble, down to earth man of average means. But rumors about his wealth, and the secrecy surrounding it, have been circulating for years, as far back as his time as deputy mayor of St. Petersburg in the early 1990s. This video from Al Jazeera looks at the hints of extreme wealth behind Russia’s most powerful man.

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Geopolitics

Why The Latin American Far Left Can't Stop Cozying Up To Iran's Regime

Among the Islamic Republic of Iran's very few diplomatic friends are too many from Latin America's left, who are always happy to milk their cash-rich allies for all they are worth.

Image of Bolivia's ambassador in Tehran, Romina Pérez Ramos.

Bolivia's ambassador in Tehran, Romina Pérez Ramos.

Bolivia's embassy in Tehran/Facebook
Bahram Farrokhi

-OpEd-

The Latin American Left has an incurable anti-Yankee fever. It is a sickness seen in the baffling support given by the socialist regimes of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela or Bolivia to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which to many exemplifies clerical fascism. And all for a single, crass reason: together they hate the United States.

The Islamic Republic has so many of the traits the Left used to hate and fight in the 20th century: a religious (Islamic) vocation, medieval obscurantism, misogyny... Its kleptocratic economy has turned bog-standard class divisions into chasmic inequalities reminiscent of colonial times.

This support is, of course, cynical and in line with the mandates of realpolitik. The regional master in this regard is communist Cuba, which has peddled its anti-imperialist discourse for 60 years, even as it awaits another chance at détente with its ever wealthy neighbor.

I reflected on this on the back of recent remarks by Bolivia's ambassador in Tehran, the 64-year-old Romina Pérez Ramos. She must be the busiest diplomat in Tehran right now, and not a day goes by without her going, appearing or speaking somewhere, with all the publicity she can expect from the regime's media.

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