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From: Section Chief of the Global South
Foreign Policy Advisors to
Latin America, Southeast Asia,
and Subsaharan Africa;
While the status of most of the Global South remains unchanged, several situations have only become more concerning in the past week. These events include:
Election disputes in Kenya: The reelection of Uhuru Kenyatta has been widely contested. Ethnic tensions and violence are rising, and many people are losing faith in the country’s democratic systems.
The normalization of Chinese and South Korean relations: Xi Jinping’s sought détente after more than a year of strained relations surrounding the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) antimissile program in the peninsula. It is unclear if China has changed its position on the defense system.
Venezuelan debt payments: Venezuelan payments of $842 million, although late, went through on November 2nd. $1.3 billion is still due in loans, and while the governing majority insists that the debt will be manageable after a restructuring of the debt, the fragile economic situation has led to life threatening shortages of food and medication.
In light of the potentially grievous implications of these changing situations, foreign policy experts recommend:
Continuous monitoring of the situation in Kenya. Serious consideration of the possibility of sending diplomatic agents to serve as mediators between the government and opposition forces.
Though Defense Secretary Mattis’ recent visit to the DMZ reinforced the strength of South Koreas relationship with the US, and defense systems remain in place, special attention should be paid to avoid being blindsided by a Chinese/South Korean alliance. Intelligence gathering must be increased, and further joint military exercises between South Korea and the US should take place.
Sanctions against Venezuelan officials must be expanded, but humanitarian aid through NGOs should be supported by the US. These interventions are critical to ensure quality of life for the Venezuelan people.