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Venezuela

Just How Sick Is Hugo Chávez? Depends Who You Ask

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez says he’s cancer-free and ready to rule another 20 years. But others say there’s reason to question both his health and political future. If cancer doesn’t end his presidency, next year’s October election may.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez (YouTube)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez (YouTube)

Under President Hugo Chávez, polarized Venezuela has become a hall of mirrors where truth tends to depend on who's doing the talking. But even by Venezuelan standards, the conflicting information being tossed around about the president's health is more than a bit perplexing.

Chávez insists he's cured, that there's not a single malignant cell left in his body. But others who claim direct knowledge of the situation insist otherwise – that not only is Chávez still sick, but his cancer has reached a terminal stage. Exaggerated or not, these versions drive home the point that in the run up to next October's crucial elections, no other story is more important for the oil-producing country.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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