Coup attempt against Maduro
In Venezuela, a pro-American opposition group tried to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The United States supported oppositionist Juan Guaido, who called on Venezuelans to ignore the results of the presidential elections and recognize him as president, despite that he did not even run for the position.
Mass actions in Venezuela began on January 21. According to non-governmental organizations, 791 people were arrested during the protests, and 29 were killed.
The legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro, called the Guaido a “puppet of Washington.”
Britain, Germany, France and Spain announced their recognition of Guaido as president of the country if no new elections are announced in Venezuela within eight days.
Now, in addition to the United States, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Georgia, Albania and a number of other countries have recognized Guaido as the head of state.
Four months before parliamentary elections, a pro-Macron movement of “red scarves” took to the streets. On Sunday, January 27, members of the movement took part in the “Republican march” from Paris’s Place de la Nation to Place de la Bastille to support the liberal measures of Emmanuel Macron and accuse Yellow Vests of “violence”.
According to experts, the secret task of the “Red Scarves” is to ensure that Macron’s party wins the May elections to Parliament. Unlike the Yellow Vest movement, which was formed independently, the Red Scarves are officially registered, have a formal leader, governing bodies, representatives in the media and a public relations team.
Meanwhile, the “Yellow Vests” continue regular protests against Macron. It is still possible that they will form their own party for participating in the parliamentary elections in May – for this to happen, the organization needs enough to raise enough funds to register (including large expenditures on posters, campaigning and printing of ballots).
Referendum in Mindanao (Philippines)
This week, a referendum in the Philippines was held where 2.8 million Muslims in Mindanao expressed their opinion on expanding the island’s autonomy. Participants voted overwhelmingly ‘yes’ the formation of Bangsamoro (new name of this Mindanao district) and the new regions self-rule.
The referendum may mean the end of the conflict in the Mindanao region which has gone on for four decades and led to the death of more than 120,000 people.
Despite the optimism, the referendum was immediately followed by several terrorist attacks, including the bombing of a Catholic Church. The tragedy occurred during mass at a cathedral in the city of Holo (Sulu province). The first explosive device went off around 9 am local time at the walls of the church. After the military and the police arrived at the scene, a second explosive device went off in a nearby parking lot.
Most of those killed in the attack are civilians who attended Sunday mass. No one has claimed responsibility for this attack. However, as observers note, militants of the Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf are active in this area of the Philippines.
The attacks show that inter-ethnic and inter-faith contradictions remain a serious problem in the country.
The end of the Government Shutdown in the US
U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders agreed on Friday to reopen the government for three weeks.
The longest shutdown in US history lasted 35 days until Donald Trump made concessions to opponents to stop it, passing a three-week budget before re-entering negotiations.
The shutdown occurred over disputes about funding a border wall between the US and Mexico.
President Donald Trump asked for 5.7bn dollars to go toward the construction of the wall, but his opponents from the Democratic Party refused to fund the project altogether.