This Week’s Under-reported News Summary Feb. 20, 2019

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Trump is tough on Venezuela—but won’t let fleeing Venezuelans into the US
  • Conflict erupts for control of Libya’s largest oil field
  • Fourteen candidates running in first round of Chicago mayoral elections

• While the Trump White House has imposed harsh economic sanctions and threatened military intervention to depose Venezuelan President Nicholas Madero in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaido, the US government has slammed the door shut on refugees fleeing Venezuela’s economic and political crisis.

(“Trump Is Tough on Venezuela — but Won’t Let Fleeing Venezuelans Into the U.S.,” American Prospect,  Feb. 12, 2019)

• Forces loyal to Libya’s eastern leader Khalifa Haftar have taken control of al-Sharara, the country’s largest oil field. Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army drove out armed groups who had closed down the 300,000 barrel-per-day facility in December, demanding more money and investment in the remote region. Haftar’s forced have pledged earlier to hand the field over to the National Oil Corporation once it was fully secured.

(“Conflict Erupts for Control of Libya’s Largest Oil Field,” Guardian, Feb. 8, 2019; “Libya’s Oil Chief Calls for National Force to Guard Petroleum Installations,” Guardian, Jan. 29, 2019)

• Three years ago, Chicago community activists shook the city’s political establishment when voters ousted Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alverez in a primary, over widespread outrage over the police killing of Laquan McDonald. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, tarnished by the McDonald killing and his delay in releasing the police video of the shooting is retiring, creating a historic opportunity for progressives to sweep out Chicago’s entrenched old guard in City Hall.

(“Chicago’s Political Revolution,” In These Times, Feb. 12, 2019)

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