Venezuela’s new National Constituent Assembly (ANC) unlocks another arena of struggle between President Nicolás Maduro and his long-time rival, Vice President of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello Rondón. As a member of the ANC, Cabello is well-positioned to shape a political future in which his power is entrenched, possibly at Maduro’s expense.
At a time of growing isolationist political thinking in the West, enterprises and investors should capitalise on the opportunities offered by China’s OBOR.
The astonishing growth trajectory of China’s HNA Group is perplexing, not only to many Western businessmen, but also to observers from within China. It seems to owe much of its growth to its ability to skilfully balance political exposure – a blessing for now, but a potentially dangerous game.
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Based on an in-depth investigation conducted by Shadow Governance, this report details the criminal infiltration of Mexico’s second largest port – Lazaro Cardenas. In addition to highlighting how and why the port has been open to criminal influence, it identifies the groups involved and names key players.
China has been on a global port buying spree, and the pace is quickening. Beijing believes that China needs to rule the waves to truly secure its status as a great political and economic power. If it plays its diplomatic cards carefully, its strategy of influence through ports will continue to gain traction.
King Salman’s one month tour of Asia produced several bilateral agreements of note between Saudi and China, particularly in the energy sector. However, the intentions of these may be more-deep rooted.
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By placing increasing strategic importance in Djibouti, Beijing can turn the country into a major trade hub and a gateway to African economies. Although the construction of China’s Djibouti naval base has been perceived as a security threat to the ‘West’, it brings good news for global investors.
Should the US take a backseat in African affairs during the Trump presidency, China would have ample opportunity to increase its dominance over the continent.
In March 2016, Zimbabwe announced its decision to rigorously impose its indigenisation law; news that sent shockwaves through the Chinese investment community.
Shortly after his inauguration in 2012, President Nieto announced a major package of reforms to revitalise Mexico’s stagnant economy. The PRI administration introduced new education, energy, political, fiscal and telecommunications legislation. However, many of the reforms soon became open to influence from informal actors, primarily the business elite, who undermined their fundamental objectives.
While controlling the SNTE teachers union for almost 25 years, Elba Esther Gordillo garnered vast political influence and a reputation of being virtually ‘untouchable’. She was also able to amass a considerable personal fortune, allegedly using misappropriated funds to subsidise her lavish lifestyle. However, Gordillo's illusion of invulnerability was swiftly shattered by the Peña Nieto administration.
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Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, the founder of the Sinaloa Cartel, has risen to become one of the world’s most powerful drug lords, with a billion dollar transnational empire. Prior to his latest capture in January 2016, he had operated with relative impunity, surviving Calderón’s ‘war on drugs’, which conveniently wiped out most of his competition. This assessment addresses the long-held suspicions that he received direct governmental protection during this time.
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