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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, February 19, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, February 19, 2013

Christian Caryl explains why George W. Bush deserves to be remembered as the greatest presidential humanitarian.

Anna Nemtsova reports on the deepening standoff between Georgia’s president and recently elected prime minister.

Roger Bate illuminates the dark side of free trade zones.

Juan Nagel diagnoses faulty messaging from the government in Venezuela thanks to the absence of communicator-in-chief Hugo Chavez.

Mohamed Eljarh offers a situation report on Libya two years after the revolution began. And Mohamed El Dahshan laments the failed promise of political change in Egypt.

Finally, Neha Paliwal provides a unique look at the women’s rights demonstrations that took place around the globe in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

Freedom House presents a powerful video clip in which Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja speaks about the fight for freedom.

Human Rights Watch releases its 2013 World Report on conditions in more than 90 countries and territories.

Writing in The National Interest, Leon Hadar explains why aspiring to "universal democracy" doesn’t make sense as a strategy.

Pictured above, Cuban dissident blogger, Yoani Sanchez, leaves Cuba for the first time in almost a decade. The Miami Herald reports that she was heckled by pro-Castro supporters during her first stop in Brazil. 

Agence France-Presse reports that Zimbabwe has been arresting activists who are meeting to discuss the draft constitution presented by the government.

Kristine Eck argues in Al Jazeera that Burma’s democratic transition is doomed to failure unless the constitution is re-written. The Committee to Protect Journalists questions the legitimacy of media reforms in Burma amid a new wave of cyber-attacks on news organizations.

International Crisis Group assesses Tunisia’s Salafi challenge and the rising wave of violence. The Atlantic Council explains why the tragic murder of opposition leader Chokri Belaid’s death may lead to greater popular participation in the constitution-drafting process.