World Leaders to Know – RantAWeek
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World Leaders to Know

Al-Assad, Bashir- Syria

The President of Syria, Assad was quick to send the Syrian army against the beginnings of an Arab Spring Revolution, instigating a series of bloody clashes that have killed thousands.  Many western leaders have called for action to be taken against his rule, but the notable exceptions of Russia and China in calls to remove him from power have halted international action.  Currently, his forces are under a ceasefire with rebel forces.

Cameron, David- United Kingdom

The Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Cameron is a conservative but leads a coalition government.  His Conservatives have been forced to partner with the Liberal Democrats, who are headed by Nick Clegg, who is the deputy Prime Minister.  Internationally, Cameron has worked to separate Britain from problems related to the E.U. debt crisis and has largely acted as a bystander to economic affairs of the European continent.

Castro, Raul and Fidel- Cuba

Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after his revolutionary activities helped spawn the Cuban Revolution.  Under his oversight, Cuba became a communist state.  After five decades of rule, Fidel stepped down, citing his age, and passed the control of Cuba to his younger brother, Raul.  Under the last few years of Raul’s rule, some capitalist reforms have been made, but Cuba remains largely under communist influences.

Fernandez de Kirchner, Christina- Argentina

The current President of Argentina, Christina Kirchner was elected following the presidency of her husband.  As Argentina’s President, she has overseen a period of large economic growth, but also has experienced large inflation.

Hollande, Francois- France

Farther to the left than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, the newly elected President of France is challenging many of the current techniques being used to combat the European Debt Crisis.  His election presents a different and untested attempt to improve financial issues, although it may also complicate relations with Germany and Angela Merkel.

Karzai, Hamid- Afghanistan

The President of Afghanistan, Karzai has worked closely with the United States in order to combat the Taliban’s activities within his country.  More recently, Karzai has offered to negotiate with the Taliban, who still control much of his country.  His plan is to come to accords with the Taliban’s leadership to further peace in the war-torn area.

Maduro, Nicolas

Maduro was handpicked by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to succeed him as President.  Maduro won the presidency in a close election after Chavez’s death, and so far has continued many of Chavez’s socialist policies.

Merkel, Angela- Germany

The Chancellor of Germany, Merkel belongs to the Christian Democratic Union Party.  She has taken a leadership role in combating the E.U. debt crisis, often working with France’s Nicolas Sarkozy in a partnership that helped to expedite monetary reforms dealing to the debt crisis.  She has been a fervent supporter of bailouts to provide emergency funds for cash strapped entities, but also maintains that these bailouts should be coupled with cost-cutting austerity measures.

Morsi, Mohamed – Egypt

Following an Arab Spring Revolution, Egypt went through a long transitional period headed by the army.  However, in Egypt’s first free presidential elections ever, Morsi was able to win.  He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and endorses political Islam, but is also a moderate. In 2013, he was ousted from power by Egypt’s army, and a temporary army leader General Abdel Sisi took over as the nation’s chief.

Mugabe, Robert- Zimbabwe

The President of Zimbabwe, Mugabe rules over one of the poorest nations in the world.  Following a bout of heavy inflation that destroyed the national economy, Mugabe was forced to accept a power-sharing deal with opposition leaders.

Netanyahu, Benjamin- Israel

The Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu has been criticized by some for his controversial move to expand Israeli settlements into the West Bank.  Internationally, Netanyahu has had some harsh criticisms for the Iranian regime led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The rhetoric used by both countries has led to tensions and threats of violence in the region.

Obama, Barack- United States

The President of the United States, Barack Obama belongs to the Democratic Party.  Domestically, he has been an advocate for healthcare reform and expansion of social programs.  Internationally, he has worked to maintain America’s policy of engaging adversaries, including taking a leading role in the NATO intervention in Libya.

Pena Nieto, Enrique, Mexico

The President of Mexico, Pena Nieto is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which had single party rule over Mexico for decades in the latter half of the twentieth century.  However, Pena Nieto has partially distanced himself from the party’s corruption with his tough anti-cartel stances.  Still, Pena Nieto faces an uphill battle both to fix Mexico’s drug problems and its stumbling economy.

Putin, Vladimir- Russia

A member of the United Russia Party, Putin served as President of Russia from 2000 to 2008, but due to constitutional term limits, stepped down to the position of Prime Minister.  In 2012, he was once again eligible to run for president and won easily.  However, there were many charges of election fraud.  Internationally, Putin has tried to expand Russia’s interests in Eastern Europe and has criticized calls for intervention in Syria.

Rouhani, Hassan – Iran

Hassan Rouhani was elected President of Iran in 2013, after term limits forced former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to step down.  Rouhani is widely viewed as a more moderate candidate than the conservative Ahmedinejad, but he still has many connections to Iran’s theocratic leadership.

Rousseff, Dilma- Brazil

The President of Brazil, Rousseff was elected after being the chosen successor of Brazil’s wildly popular ex-President Lula de SIlva.  Domestically, she has worked to combat the influence of drug cartels in the nation’s cities and has prepared for the Olympics that will come to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.  Internationally, she has worked to increase Brazil’s standing as a global economic power.

Singh,  Manmohan- India

The Prime Minister of India, Singh has worked to combat unemployment within his country.  As part of a plan to modernize his country, Singh has opened up India to increased investment from foreign companies and reduced regulations.  Internationally, Singh often finds himself at odds with India’s rival and neighbor, Pakistan.

Xi Jinping- China

The Chinese Communist Party has the power to select its future leaders, and Xi Jinping replaced Hu Jintao as China’s President in 2013 after years of being groomed for the role.  Xi Jinping has made combating corruption in Chinese politics an important goal of his presidency.

Zardari, Asif Ali- Pakistan

The President of Pakistan, many feared that there would be a coup attempt against him.  Army leaders have seemingly grown hostile to his rule, although they have stated that no coup will occur.  His presidency has been marked with corruption in the eyes of Pakistan’s people.  He has also faced difficult tensions with Pakistan’s neighbor, India.

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