Must-Reads from Around the World: March 27, 2012

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Supporters of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hold a flag of him as they celebrate his return from Cuba in Caracas on July 4, 2011. (Photo: Leo Ramirez - AFP - Getty Images)

Life After Chávez – The Economist examines splits emerging in Venezuela’s ruling United Socialist Party as the president undergoes more cancer treatment. “The fissures in the ruling party show only too clearly what is likely to happen once the president is no longer around—or fit enough to bang his underlings’ heads together. Most observers agree there can be no chavismo without Mr Chávez,” it notes.

Brewing Storm – The Hindu reports on the growing fallout from revelations Monday by India’s Chief of the Army Staff, General V.K. Singh, that he was offered a bribe to clear the purchase of a batch of defective vehicles, which has “sparked a crisis that threatens to escalate into a frontal confrontation between the military brass, the Ministry of Defense’s civilian bureaucrats and the political leadership.”

African Governance – The New York Times evaluates the contrasting democratic pictures provided by recent events in Senegal and Mali. “After 50 years of independence, the path to democracy does not follow an obvious, straight line in this region, just as it did not in the West — the model for most citizens here — where it was centuries in the making,” writes Adam Nossiter from Dakar.

Nuclear Talks – North Korea and Iran are not officially on the agenda of the Global Nuclear Summit (the goal is to reduce nuclear materials), but both countries are areas of heavy conversation.  The Atlantic assesses what the summit means after speeches are given and memos sent. The author concludes real success will come in “the signals from Russia and China,” once the summit is over.

Caught on Film –  The Washington Post reports Al-Jazeera received video footage that appears to show the shootings in Toulouse, France. The station’s Paris bureau chief told a French television program Tuesday a letter claiming the killings were committed in the name of al-Qaeda and a USB drive containing the video were dropped off anonymously. President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for the station not to broadcast the video out of “respect for the Republic.” Al-Jazeera has not made a decision if it will air the images.

Simplemete Alina – Alina Castro, the estranged daughter of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, speaks out to Italian newspaper La Stampa about Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the island. Castro, who defected from the island in 1993, reveals she does not believe the Pope’s presence on the island will accelerate change and his presence only aids to legitimize the government. Castro calls her father “a tragedy for Cuba,” admitting she hasn’t seen him in several years and has no interest in rekindling the family bond. “Even a child and father’s love can disappear, if no one feeds it,” she told the newspaper.

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