The dice have been rolled and it looks like French electors may buck the political narrative
The Decline of the West; the destiny of Western civilization; the unraveling of the EU; the future of democracy itself. All stops are pulled when it comes to how the French presidential elections will shape the geopolitics of a young and turbulent 21st century.
And it’s about to come down to the fate of three men and one woman – not exactly rising to the occasion, rather overwhelmed by it.
The run-up to the first round this coming Sunday turned out to be an immensely entertaining Gallic House of Cards.
On the right, burdened by his massive unpopularity, the conqueror of Libya, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, a.k.a. Sarko The First, was eliminated right from the get-go alongside the conservative favorite, Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.
The winner of the right’s primaries was former Prime Minister François Fillon – emblem of provincial Catholic France drenched in uncompromising neoliberalism (low corporate taxes mixed with an assault on social welfare). But just when Fillon seemed to be comfortably cruising towards a second round victory, he was spectacularly derailed back in January by pugnacious satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé; a mysterious source, with devilish timing, took Mr Clean to the cleaners.
It is important not to overlook the very real economic war being waged by the U.S. and its allies in Venezuela and throughout Latin America.
This morning I saw the sun rise over Venezuela from 30,000 feet, my flight descending to Caracas in the early dawn light. As the darkness retreated, a rugged, majestic coastline came into view: the small waves lapping against the rocky shore, perceptible only by a thin streak of white foam set against the dark brown of rock, and deep green of the lush hillside just above it.
This was my first glimpse of Venezuela, a country I have been following since the early days of my political development, when a man named Hugo Chavez was elected and shook the very foundations of Latin America, challenging the hegemony of the U.S. Empire in its own “backyard.” Soon I was in the airport, sipping strong coffee from a small plastic cup with a few members of my delegation from the U.S. and Canada. We all came to the Bolivarian Republic to bear witness to the all-important elections scheduled to take place Sunday, as well as the violence and destabilization that is likely to follow if the U.S.-backed opposition loses.
From the back seat of the car taking us from the airport to the center of Caracas, I gazed out the window, drinking in the landscape, the people, the juxtaposition of modern public housing high rises and small, dilapidated homes lining the hillsides. But as I observed the surroundings, there was one pair of eyes that seemed to be gazing back: El Comandante.