January 29 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Ukraine Can’t Prosper While It’s Still Corrupt

My recent visits to Ukraine, other countries formerly in the Soviet sphere, and their neighbors have convinced me that Kiev presides over a nation in terrible shape, at least compared to its former comrades.

Infrastructure is crumbling, buildings are dilapidated and old Soviet-style jalopies carefully navigate pothole-strewn streets. And that just refers to areas outside the eastern war zone along the Russian border. The misery index is high nationwide, and Ukrainians understandably want better lives.

Kiev’s attempts to join the E.U. and NATO were desperate moves meant to pull the country out of abject poverty, risking all to break free from a new Iron Curtain of Russian economic and military dominance…. (more…)

January 14 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

As Venezuela sinks, Ecuador rises as chief anti-Yankee antagonist

While Venezuela sinks as the oil market bottoms out, infrastructure crumbles, food shortages abound, the murder rate soars and civil unrest simmers, Ecuador is quietly rising to lead the charge against U.S. interests in Latin America.

It’s no secret that Nicolas Maduro, the track suit-wearing, former bus driver and Hugo Chavez protégé is failing to fill El Comandante’s shoes since he died of cancer in 2013.

Complicating his grip on Caracas, according to Citi Research, Venezuela needs oil at least $151 a barrel to balance their budget. Unless oil prices dramatically rebound, his regime won’t last much longer…. (more…)