The day Steve Jobs died, after a much publicised battle with cancer, Apple’s shares rose in the stock market - analysts called it “a tribute”. The next year Apple’s stock continued its steady rise, becoming the most valued company ever as measured by market capitalisation.
This year Venezuela celebrated 201 years since its declaration of independence on 5 July 1811. Hugo Chávez took this opportunity to talk about the nation’s independence hero: Simón Bolívar. Bolívar liberated Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama of Spanish rule and is considered a revered figure in these countries, especially in Venezuela. Chávez often claims that he is fulfilling Bolívar’s dreams and living by his ideology, thus he calls his movement “la Revolucion Bolívariana” (or the Bolívarian Revolution) in honour of the South American independence hero. But how much of Chávez’ policies and rhetoric actually fit with Bolívar’s vision for the continent?
Military intervention in Syria “would benefit the US the most”. This is the conclusion drawn by two respected authors, Michael Doran and Max Boot, about the current situation in Syria and the way the US and the West should respond to it.
Venezuela heads to the polls on 7 October with Hugo Chávez, battling cancer, seeking to extend his rule until 2019. The increased prospects of victory for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, grave concerns over Chávez health and post electoral scenarios and fraud claims, coupled with weak political institutions, raise fears over the country’s stability.
On 27 June 2012, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner stood at a podium and ad-libbed a farewell speech to her country’s Olympic team as they made final preparations for their departure to the London 2012 Games. Kirchner reassured her nation that despite the recent increase in tensions over the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute, and despite competing in the capital city of the country with whom the dispute exists, neither her government nor the Olympic team would do anything during the Games that does not have to do with sports. During the competition, said Kirchner, Argentina would compete, represent its flag, and not do anything outside of sport to draw attention to itself.
Recently, two stories of American advocacy have been making the news, but not in the way their PR teams would have wanted. PBS’ This American Life (TAL) programme retracted contributor Mike Daisey’s story on Apple’s FoxConn factory in China due to exaggerations uncovered in his report, and Invisible Children’s (IC) Kony 2012 media blitz was derailed by criticism of the group’s methods and the arrest of its most visible figure, Jason Russell. These stories captivated American audiences because of the parties involved, but subsequent coverage has focused heavily on the scandals. This has overshadowed the issues at the heart of these stories, and detracts from a larger discussion of modern American advocacy.