Does Washington–Havana Emulate Baghdad–Erbil?

The Iraqi central government in Baghdad has reached an agreement with the Kurdistan regional government in Erbil over future oil exports from the Kurdish region of Iraq.

The Turkish internet paper Radikal comments on December 10:

“All parties stand to benefit…. With this agreement both the Kurds and Baghdad will fill their pockets. In signing the document, the Kurds are not only giving their word that they will share the revenues from oil sales with Baghdad, they are also renewing their alliance with Baghdad.

“That means they’re committing themselves to putting their own dreams of independence on the back burner for the moment. For the US and Iran, which are both opposed to an independent Kurdistan, that is good news. Even Europe can benefit from this situation. If Baghdad and Erbil join forces and cooperate over energy, it can help to cover Europe’s gas demands and reduce its dependency on Russia.”

A Leader of the Left Party has Become Premier of Thuringia

On Friday, December 5, Bodo Ramelow became the first politician of the Left Party to be elected premier of a German state.

The Czech paper Hospodářské noviny writes:

“The Left Party for which Ramelow ran may be the direct successor of the SED, the party of the East German communists, but this is not a return to old times. Democracy is not in danger, especially since the post-communists won’t rule alone in Thuringia but together with the Greens and the SPD. This is more a sign that the radical left is gaining more and more support.

“The Left Party propagates a ‘democratic socialism’ and demands a reform of capitalism in its manifesto, however it doesn’t profess commitment to Marx or Lenin but rather to Keynesianism and the modern intellectual proponents of social justice. In 1989, the party’s leader, Katja Kipping, was just eleven years old.”