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Geopolitics

River Of Tears: How Chinese Dams Are Devastating The Mekong

Chinese-backed projects are bringing irreperable damage to the Mekong, the largest freshwater fish source in the world feeding millions of people living along its banks.

Morning scenery of Laos' Nam Lik River, a tributary of Mekong River
Morning scenery of Laos' Nam Lik River, a tributary of Mekong River
Bruno Philip

BAN MUANG — Seen from the Thai side, facing the jungle-covered hills of the Laotian bank, the great river bordering the two countries ebbs continuously, like a body of water symbolizing the eternal course of life. The melancholic and beautiful flow of the Mekong, so steady and slow, seems to carry its traditional majesty along with its flat, white waters.

But this is an illusion, and an error of judgment: The Mekong is in danger, and so are the fish, vegetation and people it has nourished since living memory. There is one statistic that illustrates how important the river and its resources are for those who live along its banks: Two million tons of fish are caught in the Mekong every year, a world record for rivers.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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