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Venezuela Revisited: A Crisis of Leadership

February 28, 2014

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Venezuela faces a severe crisis of leadership. The economy is in a tailspin with inflation rates around 50 percent, crime rates are at record highs, and protests are sweeping the nation. But a discontented majority party and fractured opposition have little trust in their leaders. What does the future hold for Venezuela, and should the United States play a part in the unfolding events?

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China’s Economic Woes

January 7, 2014

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Since the formation of the Chinese Communist party, the world has watched China evolve into the world power it is today. However, the rise in Chinese foreign investments indicates a weakening homeland where Chinese billionaires do not want to store their capital. Consequently, China is playing a deceiving game of economic protectionism masked by a rise in soft power. The fact that both the Chinese state and private sectors are seeking to move significant amounts of capital overseas as opposed to investing at home, however, is a reflection of perceptions of the condition of the domestic economy.

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Sudan: Abyei’s Independence Referendum

December 24, 2013

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Since South Sudan voted for independence in 2011, tensions with Sudan have been exceptionally high, particularly in relation to the geographical alignment of Abyei, a small region on the North-South Border. After the Ngok Dinka held a unilateral referendum in October 2013 to push Abyei into the South, ethnic violence and disagreements over oil exports may threaten to destabilize the region making Abyei a critical security concern for the international community.

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Iraq: Current Causes of Sectarian Conflict

November 16, 2013

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The reasons for sectarian dissidence and violence in Iraq are both complex and numerous. While recognizing that there are many factors that contribute to the current situation in Iraq, there are two primary antecedents to the current growth of violence. First, the renewed vigor and aggressiveness of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI); second, government corruption in the Maliki administration.

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Venezuela: Towards a More United Western Hemisphere

November 1, 2013

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Venezuela is one of the United States’ key trading partners in Latin America and the ideological leader of the anti-U.S. contingent after Cuba. It is currently undergoing a significant political succession and experiencing massive inflation and economic tension, providing an excellent opportunity for U.S. diplomacy to stabilize a previously dysfunctional relationship and decrease tension across Latin America.

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