The Exodus and the Backlash: Venezuelans Abroad

Across Latin America, US President Donald Trump is deeply unpopular, in part because of his harsh policies (and words) towards immigrants from the region. But as Venezuela’s political and humanitarian crisis deepens, driving hundreds of thousands of desperate people into neighboring countries, Latin American governments that have generally kept open-border policies are facing harder choices of their own on migration policy.

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago has already deported several dozen Venezuelan refugees, drawing criticism from the UN.

In Brazil, waves of Venezuelan asylum-seekers are overwhelming the infrastructure of sparsely-populated regions that border Venezuela, prompting one governor to sue the federal government in a bid to close the border and secure more humanitarian assistance.

In Colombia, where the recently-ended conflict with Marxist guerillas had already displaced some 7 million people, the arrival of 600,000 Venezuelan refugees is further straining resources and sharpening political divides ahead of this month’s presidential election. In fact, the leading presidential candidate has already proposed quotas for refugees.

Across the region, an increasingly nasty xenophobia against Venezuelans is taking root, even in popular culture.

In Europe, the shock of the Syrian refugee crisis fundamentally altered the European Union and its member states, driving politics rightward, stoking long-dormant nationalisms and, arguably, costing the EU its second largest economy.

Modern Latin America has never known a cross-border refugee crisis of this magnitude.

Will the impact be as profound?

The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace launched in 2018 with the commitment of signatories to stand up to cyber threats like election interference, attacks on critical infrastructure, and supply chain vulnerabilities. Last week, on the first anniversary of the call, the number of signatories has nearly tripled to more than 1,000 and now includes 74 nations; more than 350 international, civil society and public sector organizations; and more than 600 private sector entities. These commitments to the Paris Call from around the world demonstrate a widespread, global, multi-stakeholder consensus about acceptable behavior in cyberspace.

Read More at Microsoft On The Issues.

In recent years, Republicans have come to dominate most of the state legislatures in the US. Ironically, it was during the Obama-era that the GOP made major headway in states that had long been considered safely blue. State legislatures are now redder than they've been in nearly a century, and in most parts of the country, one party holds all the levers of power. For the first time since 1914, there's only one split legislature in the entire country: Minnesota. To be sure, some state races are bucking the trend: Kentucky and Louisiana, both deep-red states, recently elected Democratic governors. Here's a look at how Democratic and Republican control of state legislatures has evolved over the past four decades.

Forty years ago, Islamic extremists angry at the Saudi government's experiments with social liberalization laid siege to the Grand Mosque of Mecca, the holiest site in Islam.

The attack came on the heels of the Iranian revolution across the Gulf, putting the House of Saud and its American backers in a precarious spot. Tehran had challenged Saudi Arabia's Islamic legitimacy from without, while jihadists were now doing the same from within. For a few days it seemed as though the world's most important oil producer – and the custodian of Islam's holiest places – might be in danger of collapse.

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Forty years ago today, dozens of bearded gunmen stormed the holiest site in Islam, the Grand Mosque at Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

They held the complex for two weeks before a French-trained Saudi force rooted them out, but the fallout from the attack went on to shape the modern Middle East in ways that are still with us today: in the scourge of transnational jihadism and the deepening rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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What changes now that the U.S. softened its position on Israeli settlements?

Well, I mean, not a lot. I mean, keep in mind that this is also the administration that moved the embassy to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv. Everyone said that was going to be a massive problem. Ultimately, not many people cared. Same thing with recognition of Golan Heights for Israel. This is just one more give from the Americans to the Israelis in the context of a region that doesn't care as much as they used to about Israel - Palestine.

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