Venezuela Worsens, Shutdown Ends, & Too Many Candidates

The North & South American News Roundup 29/01/2019

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americas, trump

The longest shutdown in U.S. history came to an end, or at least a break, Venezuela nears civil war, and way too many people are running for the Democratic nomination for President. This is the last week in review.

No more sorta-shutdown

35 days after the U.S. government “shut down,” the President finally caved on his demands for border wall funding and signed a funding bill to reopen non-essential government services. The deal came after a strong stand from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats that included a blow against Trump’s ego. Pelosi disinvited Trump from visiting the House of Representatives to give his State of the Union address, after some back and forth trolling between the most powerful people in the country. The bill Trump signed only funds the government for three weeks, and he has urged Congressional action on the border wall. If it isn’t reached, he will declare a state of emergency to do it himself. Read Killian Hobbs’ piece on the shutdown ending here.

Venezuela nears a real crisis

Following a controversial election which saw very low turnout, the Venezuelan legislative body used what little authority it has to remove Nicolas Maduro from the Presidency and replace him with Juan Guaido, the head of the National Assembly. The country has seen massive protests in the last year or two, and this could be what it takes to finally bring the once-oil rich country to civil war. Trump recognized Guaido as the president, along with Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, and Israel. Spain, France, Germany, Britain, Portugal, and the Netherlands have called for new elections immediately, or they will also support Guaido. Maduro is supported by China and Russia, both of whom have massive financial interests in the current regime, and are joined by their allies Cuba, North Korea, and Iran, as well as by Turkey, Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico, and Greece. Maduro expelled American diplomats, but they are expected to defy his orders to leave the country within 72 hours of Friday. You can read more about this from Logan Davies here.

STOP RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

In the last week, Kamala Harris (Junior Senator from California) announced her campaign for the White House, and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg formed an exploratory committee, for some reason. West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda also became the first Democrat to suspend his 2020 campaign, after two and a half months. Harris is obviously the biggest name to enter this week, with a large number of supporters, but also the probably the most inner-party critics. Progressives are tying her to 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as going after her aggressive track record as a prosecutor back in San Francisco. On top of that, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle that he did date Kamala Harris, and it did likely improve her career, in this 133-word letter.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the top two finishers for the Democratic nomination in 2016, have allowed rumors that they will run again for president. While Clinton should not be taken too seriously, it looks more likely by the day that Sanders will run. He’ll be 79 by the 2020 election, which would make him nine years older than Trump was when he was elected in 2016. Trump was the oldest president at the time of their inauguration.

Stay tuned to Think Liberty and Being Libertarian for more news on all of the above and more as it pertains to politics in the Americas.

Editors note: The previous American News roundup has evolved to cover more international news. It will now be the North & South American News Roundup and will be written by Andrew Bartholomew going forward. Today is a special edition, but make sure to check back every Monday for of the latest news from these two continents.

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