Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 27th 2014 Contents A49
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American country of Guyana has ordered
an in-depth investigation into the 1980
assassination of Walter Rodney, a local
historian and black activist who was
involved in the Black Power movement in
the US and the Caribbean. The Working
People's Alliance, a Guyanese political
party that Rodney founded in the 1970s,
said yesterday that it hopes a
commission composed of three
Caribbean attorneys will identify all those
responsible for Rodney's death.
"We are very interested in the truth
coming out," party spokesman Desmond
Trotman said. Rodney was killed in a June
1980 car bomb explosion in Guyana's
Sixteen years after his death,
prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for
former army Sgt Gregory Smith, who fled
to nearby French Guiana and was never
arrested. He has since died.
Commission chairman Richard
Cheltenham, of Barbados, said that at
least 100 witnesses including politicians
and ex-soldiers are expected to testify.
Guyana orders probe into Walter Rodney's death
MOSCOW---President Vladimir Putin ordered
a surprise military exercise of ground and air
forces on Ukraine s doorstep yesterday,
intending to demonstrate the country s mil-
itary preparedness at a time of heightened
tensions with Europe and the United States
over the turmoil gripping Russia s western
Russia s military put tens of thousands of
troops in western Russia on alert for an exercise
scheduled to last until March 3.
The minister of defence, Sergei Shoigu, also
announced unspecified measures to tighten
security at the headquarters of Russia s Black
Sea Fleet on Ukraine s Crimea peninsula.
The orders came as thousands of ethnic Rus-
sians gathered outside the regional parliament
in Crimea s capital, Simferopol, to protest the
political upheaval in Ukraine s capital, Kiev,
that felled the government of President Viktor
Yanukovych over the weekend and turned him
into a fugitive.
Crimea was a part of Russian territory until
the Soviet Union ceded it to the Soviet Socialist
Republic of Ukraine in 1954, and Russians there
have already pleaded for the Kremlin s inter-
vention to protect the region and its population
from Ukraine s new leadership.
"Crimea is Russian!," some of the protesters
screamed as brawls erupted with rival demon-
strations by Crimea s ethnic Tatars supporting
the new interim authorities.
The economic and political crisis confronting
Ukraine was deepening as the interim leaders
scrambled yesterday to form a new government
able to find ways out of an impending default.
The national currency, the hryvnia, plunged
to 10 cents, near a previous low in 2008.
The leaders also announced the dissolution
of the country s widely despised riot police
force, the Berkut, whose officers were blamed
for shooting demonstrators last week in Kiev s
central Independence Square.
Senior defense and government officials later
said the exercise was not related to the events
in Ukraine, which officials here have watched
with growing alarm, but they also said there
was no reason to postpone them either, and
the geopolitical message was clear.
"I think it is flag waving, but it s more than
that also," Dmitri Trenin, the director of the
Moscow Carnegie Center, said after the
announcement of the exercise.
"It s a message to Kiev not to impose its
rule in Crimea by force."---The New York Times
CARACAS---It is Carnival time in
Venezuela, when revellers typically fill
the streets in rum-powered dance parties
leading up to Tuesday s Mardi Gras
And after two weeks of deadly street
demonstrations against his government,
embattled president Nicolás Maduro would
like nothing more than for the country to
go numb on booze and rumba.
A social media campaign pushed by his
("a safe Carnival with Maduro"), is pro-
moting the government as the official
guarantor of the good times.
The next few days appear to be a critical
interval for the protest movement and the
government s effort to contain it.
Maduro has declared a national holiday
between now and next Wednesday, the
one-year anniversary of the death of his
predecessor, Hugo Chávez, offering Maduro
his best chance to convince the Chávez
support base he s capable of keeping his
mentor s legacy from coming undone.
But the vacation time potentially leaves
even more people free to take to the streets,
setting up the possibility for bigger clashes.
The sharply divided country hasn t
looked very festive lately as it sorts out
its hangover from 14 years of Chávez rule:
A country with not enough milk or sugar
in the supermarkets and far too many car-
jackings and murders in the streets.
Caracas student leader Juan Requesens
said the protestors are in no mood for
The heavy-handed government response
has only encouraged them to dig in further.
"We are going to stay in the streets," he
said in an interview. "As long as the gov-
ernment keeps up its repression, we re not
going to sit down."
Maduro has taken to the airwaves almost
nightly, lurching between calls for peace
and incendiary denunciations of the pro-
testors as "fascists" and "coup plotters."
He claims the demonstrations are part
of a subversive campaign hatched in the
United States, a charge American officials
The demonstrations have cooled off in
recent days, and tactical disagreements
have emerged among protestors, partic-
ularly over the construction of street bar-
ricades that some residents have started
to see as a nuisance. ---Washington Post
Nuns raise their arms during a women's march protesting repression against anti-government demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela,
yesterday. Former US president Jimmy Carter is expressing concern about Venezuela's escalating political crisis and wants to meet with
leaders on both sides in an upcoming trip. AP PHOTO
Carnival could sap
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