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Uzbekistan family feud takes odd turns

If you ever dread holidays, like the upcoming Labor Day, because it means getting together with relatives, be glad you aren’t in the family of Islam Karimov.

Karimov is the only president Uzbekistan, a former satellite of the old Soviet Union, has ever had. He is 76 years old, with an election set for next year with no named successor, and to the extent he has been seen has been acting strange.

These are the highlights:

He has imprisoned his daughter, the once glamorous socialite Gulnara Karimova. She used to be photographed with celebrities at the Cannes Film Festival. Now photos are smuggled out of the country that purport to show her disheveled, supposedly under house arrest, and sipping chocolate milk.

Gulnara’s son, a university student in Great Britain, says that his mother was the victim of a plot by his aunt and grandmother. His sister, a student at a British private school, is likewise locked up in their house.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the dictator is angry about his daughter’s Twitter account. She has been linked to charges of money-laundering and corruption.

Gulnara Karimova, at one point thought to be the successor to her father, may have said it perfectly when she told the Guardian newspaper: “(T)hings usually change with money and politics or power.

“Envy or jealousy always destroys unity, even inside one household.”

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