Week ending 27 May 2018

BRAZIL: A strike by Brazilian truckers has caused disruption to the national economy this week. The government has tried to end the halt to work, but food shortages and rationing in some supermarkets have been reported. An association of supermarkets in southern Brazil warned that perishable food would run out in days if the strike did not end.

The truck drivers are protesting against rising fuel prices.

ISRAEL: Over 1,500 Palestinian rioters assembled along the security fence on the Israel-Gaza border yesterday (Friday) as the weekly “Great March of Return” protests continued. The protests began on March 30 to demand their right to return to their pre-1948 homes in what is now the state of Israel.

The rioters hurled rocks and burnt tires. Israeli troops responded with riot dispersal means and fire in accordance with standard operating procedures.

According to Palestinian officials, over 100 Palestinians were injured.

SYRIA: Local reports on Thursday evening allege that Israeli fighter jets attacked an air base near Homs in Syria. The Syrian allegedly responded with anti-aircraft missiles.

Israel has carried out several airstrikes in Syria in recent months. targeting Iranian military assets inside the country. Israeli leaders continually note the threat that Iran poses to Israel if they gain a significant military presence in southern Syria.

ARGENTINA: The people of Argentina are enraged as their government continues talks with the IMF (International Monetary Fund). In mass protests, Argentina’s teachers are rejecting an IMF agreement that could demand the country spend even less on public education.

Argentina’s Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne said this week that the IMF provided the best option to protect the tumbling Argentine currency. Many Argentinians blame the IMF for the 2001 financial crisis in the country and are wary of the same thing happening again.

VENEZUELA: President Maduro on Tuesday gave US Chief of Mission and his deputy 48 hours to leave the country. This is only one case of many diplomatic relations that broken down between numerous countries around the world recently.

CUBA: A total of 110 people were killed in a plane crash which occured close to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana last week (Friday 18 May). Ten pastors and their wives of an evangelical church were included in the fatalities.

The Boeing 737 plane of the company Aerolíneas Damojh crashed only minutes after taking off. Carlos Sáenz, regional director for the Church of the Nazarene in the region of Mesoamerica, confirmed that 10 couples of pastors of their church in the East district of Cuba were on that flight.

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been re-elected for a second 6-year term in office. According to Venezuela’s election board, Maduro took 67.7% of the vote with his closest rival coming second place with 21.2%. The veracity of the election is debated.

USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Mexico and Chile have said they do not recognize the results of the election.