MADRID, Dec. 27 (EDITIONS) –
Undoubtedly, if there has been a 'character' who has starred in the year worldwide have been the millions of anonymous protesters who moved for different reasons, but in general because of their discontent with their rulers, they have taken to the streets to protest with disparate results.
However, here we present a list of the ten most prominent characters, some of them already habitual from other years, in alphabetical order:
– Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
On October 26, the Islamic State was left without what had been its leader for almost a decade and led the terrorist group to go to the annals of history for their ruthless actions. Cornered by a dog during a US special forces operation in Idlib, in northern Syria, the leader of the Islamic State activated his explosive vest, taking his two children with him.
His death came months after the last redoubt of the caliphate that the Islamic State proclaimed in June 2014 and that led him to impose terror in much of Syria and Iraq. For now, his disappearance does not seem to have had a major impact on the terrorist group, which just days later announced a new leader, Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Quraishi, whose real identity is still a mystery.
– Omar Hasan al Bashir.
Boosted to power in Sudan after a military coup in 1989, Al Bashir left the same way. After more than four months of massive protests that the security forces failed to contain in blood and fire, the Army deposed him on April 11 but failed to silence the protests, which also demanded the end of his regime.
Finally, and after the killing of more than a hundred protesters during the violent dispersion of the sit-in in the center of Khartoum, the new military junta began a dialogue with the promoters of the protests and the opposition, reaching an agreement in August to the creation of a Sovereign Council that will govern the country for three years until the holding of elections.
The new Government led by Abdullah Hamdok has already taken steps to break with the past, such as the dissolution of Al Bashir's party or the annulment of the law of public order that regulated among other things how women should dress. In addition, Al Bashir has already sat on the bench of the accused, for corruption, and has been sentenced to two years in prison, which he will serve in a rehabilitation center due to his age. The debate over whether it should be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which searches for war crimes in Darfur, is still open.
– Abdelaziz Buteflika.
Buteflika, a veteran of the war for the independence of France and one of the most prominent political figures in the country's recent history, was finally forced to resign after expressing his willingness to run for a fifth term, despite not taking years public statements after suffering a stroke in 2013.
The ex-president, 82 years old and who came to power in 1992, had been addressing the population by letter during his last term, so that the new candidacy was received with indignation by the citizens, who began mass mobilizations to request that the withdrawal and a change of regime that will result in greater democratization.
Despite his resignation, which was pushed by the head of the Army, Gaid Salá, the protests have continued and his successor, Abdelmayid Tebune, continues to face the general rejection of protesters, who continue to call for the end of 'Le Pouvoir' (El Poder), the political-military apparatus led by Buteflika for about two decades.
– Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish president has continued to move away from both the United States and the EU in the last year, with which he has had a complicated relationship for years, and getting closer to Vladimir Putin's Russia. His relationship with NATO, of which he is a member, has reached levels of tension never seen to the point that he has even threatened to close the Incirlik base, which US troops also use.
On the other hand, and within the framework of his campaign against the Kurds both inside and outside Turkey, Erdogan began on October 9 – with the approval of Donald Trump – a new offensive in northern Syria, the third, in order to expel terrorists from its border, including not only the Islamic State but also the Syrian Kurdish militias, the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), Washington's key ally in the fight against men from Al Baghdadi.
Erdogan also ends the year ready to embark on a new military campaign outside the borders of Turkey, in this case in Libya. The Turkish president has signed an agreement with the unity government led by Fayez Serraj and has already announced the next shipment of troops to support him in front of quarterback Jalifa Haftar, who has launched an offensive to take Tripoli.
– Juan Guaidó.
Before January 23, Guaido was a perfect stranger. The internal norms of the opposition parties to assume the Presidency of the National Assembly, the only institution they control, placed him in the ideal position to proclaim himself “president in charge” of Venezuela in order to prevent Nicolás Maduro from enjoying a second term for the who had taken possession days before, on January 10.
Guaido revived a fragmented and tired opposition movement and sought recognition from more than 50 countries, including the United States and Spain. He starred in an unsuccessful attempt for humanitarian aid to enter Venezuela, a military coup attempt that allowed Leopoldo López to be released and the nth attempt at dialogue. But so far his achievements. Along the way, the street has been deactivated again and the ghost of the division plans again on the Venezuelan opposition.
The self-proclaimed interim president has been aware that this year “has not been enough”, although he has claimed a renewed effort to achieve his triple objective: “the end of usurpation, a transitional government and free elections.” His first test will arrive on January 5, when he must be replaced or re-elected for another term at the head of the National Assembly.
– Boris Johnson.
The former mayor of London began 2019 as a deputy and ends the year as prime minister with a clear mandate from the British to remove the country from the European Union. For now, he has already secured the support for the law that will facilitate the exit on January 31, although he will have to negotiate before the end of 2020 the new trade agreement with the EU.
Johnson, one of the main promoters of Brexit before the 2016 referendum, succeeded Theresa May in Downing Street after prevailing in the Conservative Party primaries after the prime minister chose to resign before the fracture in the 'tories' ranks created by Your agreement for Brexit.
– Evo Morales.
For Morales, 2019 has been a year to forget. It has been marked by the social response, first for what the Bolivian opposition considered an illegitimate candidacy, for circumventing the result of the 2017 constitutional referendum, and then for a questionable victory. The indigenous leader was proclaimed winner in the elections of October 20 but his main rival, Carlos Mesa, denounced a “gigantic fraud” that the OAS came to confirm by detecting “irregularities” in his electoral audit.
On November 10, Morales put an end to three mandates that have kept him 13 years at the Burned Palace. First he arrived in Mexico, where he was almost a month as a political asylum seeker, and finally in December he arrived in Argentina as a refugee after a brief stopover in Cuba for medical reasons. His new role is that of his party's campaign manager, the MAS, because the agreement reached in Bolivia to overcome the political crisis prevents him from repeating at the polls in elections scheduled for 2020 but still without an exact date.
– Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli Prime Minister, who this year has become the person who has held this position for the longest time, has also moved to history books as the first 'premier' to be charged for corruption while on duty.
Netanyahu, who has rejected the accusations against him, which he has labeled “witch hunts” and even “coup attempt”, also faces an increase in criticism within the Likud before his complaint, which is why Training will have to hold primary.
In addition, he has reaped two bad electoral results that have prevented him from forming a government and have led Israel to third elections in less than a year, given the inability of the opposition leader, Benjamin Gantz, to assemble a coalition.
– Matteo Salvini.
The leader of the League his ordeal went wrong. During the first months of the year, he became the face of the Italian coalition government between his party and the Luigi di Maio 5 Star Movement (M5S) from his Interior portfolio, Salvini withdrew his support for the alliance, hoping to force a electoral advance in which the polls were favorable.
However, the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on August 20 triggered the formation of a new coalition of government between the M5S and the Democratic Party, thus preventing the Italians from having to go through the polls again. Salvini's departure from the Government also meant the end of his policy of closed ports and of persecution against the rescue boats of migrants and refugees from NGOs in the Mediterranean.
– Donald Trump.
The tycoon is already the third president to which he will undergo an impeachment process in the Senate. In the spotlight since the beginning of his term for his alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential elections, it has been, however, a telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, who will sit him on the bench of those accused of the alleged pressure exerted to investigate in this country the business of his possible Democratic rival in the 2020 elections, Joe Biden, and his son. Trump denounces a witch hunt against him by the Democrats and is convinced that with the support of Republicans, majority in the Upper House, he will be victorious.
Outside the United States, Trump has continued with his foreign policy strokes. After a second summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, and a historic visit to the demilitarized zone on the border between the two Koreas at the end of June, cordiality seems a thing of the past and Pyongyang has hardened the tone in the final stretch of the year, reproaching Washington for not having made gestures in reciprocity in its steps towards denuclearization.
On the other hand, the US president has reinforced the historic alliance with Israel and, after moving the Embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, this year he has recognized the Golan Heights and the legality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as Israelis. In neighboring Syria, it has led to Turkey's current offensive in the north of the country after withdrawing its support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), the main ally in the defeat of the Islamic State and mostly made up of Syrian Kurdish forces, to which Ankara considers a subsidiary of the PKK and therefore a terrorist group.
In addition, it has maintained its pulse with Iran, hardening the sanctions against the country that has taken steps to restore its nuclear program, while with its southern neighbor, Mexico, it has had two clashes this year that have not grown. The first, its threat to impose tariffs on all Mexican products if the country did not effectively tackle illegal immigration, and the last its announcement that drug cartels would be considered terrorist organizations. In both cases, he ended up reversing.