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Algeria

Algeria Marks 50 Years Of Independence - France Stays Home

LE MONDE (France), EL ATWAN (Algeria), REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS (France)

Worldcrunch

Algeria marked the 50th anniversary of independence Thursday, an event with significance in both Algeria and France, its former colonial ruler.

As part of its coverage of the anniversary, French daily Le Monde published a commentary by Raphaëlle Branche, a historian at Université de Paris I: "During these celebrations, we mustn't ignore the difficult struggle that was involved in snatching liberty from the French colonial power, present on Algerian soil for more than 130 years. We must pay homage to those who lost their life for their homeland."

El Watan, the Algerian independent daily, examined young people and their response to the 50th anniversary . A young student, Anis Saïdoune tells El Watan: "History has been tailored by the government. Each young Algerian must do their own "private investigation" to understand our country's true history... It's depressing to see our country's history written by foreigners. It's absurd that we have to watch a documentary on (French-German cable network) Arte made by French or American people to even know our own history."

"We are independent, but not free," another young woman tells El Watan. "Fifty years later, where are women's rights?"

Reporters Without Borders published a report Tuesday on the state of Algeria's media freedom.

The report states: "It is not easy to be an independent journalist now in Algeria, a country marked by corruption and nepotism, a country where the military and the Intelligence and Security Department (DRS) occupy a privileged position."

Although life in Algeria is relatively less dangerous than during the civil war from 1991 to 2002, journalists still face financial, judicial or physical harassment from authorities and Islamist groups.

Drawing on a report commissioned by the United Nations, the study also concludes that despite Algeria having more than 80 newspapers, most are linked to businessmen with vested interests in support of the government and therefore no more than six of these newspapers are entirely free.

Although France was not officially invited to participate in the anniversary celebrations, French President François Hollande is set to visit Algeria in the coming weeks where he will no doubt address the shared history.

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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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