This week marked the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Brazilian military coup. The coup remains divisive in Brazilian society: Colin M. Snider notes a recent disruption in the country’s congress when a right-wing politician’s supporters hung a banner celebrating the military’s actions because ‘thanks to you Brazil isn’t Cuba.’ Pablo Uchoa remembers the torture of his father, torture Brazil’s military is only beginning to investigate. In an intersection between politics, memory, and social media, the social media team of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff — herself tortured by the military regime — recently changed her page’s Facebook profile picture to an image of her at the time.
As violent political unrest continues in Venezuela — the death toll from ongoing protests reached 39 this week — President Nicolás Maduro attacked the opposition in a New York Times op-ed as seeking “to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people”; the message is notable for attempting to speak to a US audience, a possible indication that the government fears the prospect of US sanctions. Last week Thomas O’Donnell looked at the government’s economically-risky strategy of pulling out the stops to alleviate shortages in the short-term.
In Crimea, signs of a modernizing, more professional Russian Army, at least among the forces deployed to the peninsula. Joshua Foust passes along a look at Chechens’ view of the annexation.
A Ukrainian government inquiry says that members of the special police were responsible for firing into crowds in Kiev’s Maidan.
Foreign fighters streaming into Syria to battle the Assad regime are weakening the rebels and discouraging Syrians from joining opposition forces. On a similar topic, how the Assad regime, seeking to channel Syria’s Islamists into the Iraq War, helped create the jihadi networks that then turned against it (via Danny Hirschel-Burns).
In the wake of an ugly incident in Bangui where Chadian soldiers killed 30 civilians in disputed circumstances (via Laura Seay), Chad is pulling its forces from the African Union force in the Central African Republic in protest of claims they have aided mostly-Muslim ex-Seleka fighters. Via Jay Ulfelder, the UN now hopes to evacuate 19,000 CAR Muslims from regions where they are threatened by anti-balaka militias.
The International Crisis Group has a new report on Nigeria’s efforts to combat Boko Haram.
Encouraging news in the push to make Mozambique landmine-free, including the story of a young man who lost his leg to a mine and “says he lost his confidence and could not face the world until he was lucky enough to find people to help him believe in himself again,” later founding an organization to help those affected by mines.