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Diplomacy

Nicaragua… ‘Still, It Moves…’

At his Senate confirmation hearing, Rodriguez openly declared his intention to attack Nicaragua's economy and institutions. Among other things he declared that he would work to exclude the country from the Central American Free Trade Agreement. He also promised to seek to isolate Nicaragua internationally so as to obtain the release of criminals the US government paid via its non profit network to overthrow Nicaragua's government in 2018 and to try disrupting the country's national elections in 2021. He even declared that as ambassador he would contest the development of Nicaragua's sovereign relations with China and Russia. The demented United States ruling classes took for granted that they could impose on Nicaragua an ambassador publicly committed to hurting that country's economy, institutions and vital interests.

Summit Of The Americas In ‘Danger’ As Caribbean States Threaten Boycott

Mexico City, Mexico – The upcoming Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles is poised to become a diplomatic liability for US President Joe Biden as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) alliance threatened to boycott the event over efforts by the host nation to exclude Cuba and Venezuela from participating. "The Summit of the Americas is in danger (...) If the United States insists on not inviting Cuba to this meeting, it will immediately cause 14 CARICOM countries not to attend," said Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the US Ronald Sanders last month. Sanders added that CARICOM members would also boycott should the US as host insist on inviting Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaidó in place of democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro.

US And Taliban Delegations Meet In Doha

US and Taliban delegations met in Qatar’s capital Doha on October 9-10, the first such meeting since the political developments of August when the latter took over the country. Following the meeting, the US has reportedly agreed to provide “humanitarian assistance” to Afghanistan. However, the foreign ministry in Afghanistan said that such assistance “should not be linked to political issues.” The delegates included officials from the US intelligence and state department. According to State Department spokesperson Ned Price, the agenda included talks for containing extremist groups, easing the evacuation of foreigners from Afghanistan, and allowing access to humanitarian agencies.

What A Truly Humanitarian Response In Afghanistan Would Look Like

As we reflect on what has transpired in Afghanistan with the Taliban returning to power, we have a vital opportunity for a more authentic, coherent humanitarian response. Toward this end, we must engage some critical analysis and questions.   We might ask why the Afghanistan government didn’t adequately have the support of its people? How can the conditions and momentum be generated for such trust, consideration and inclusion? Why has this been an ongoing issue long before the drawdown of U.S. troops?  President Biden has done a very courageous act by significantly reducing the role of the U.S. military and committing to military withdrawal in a large-scale international conflict, even after 20 years of U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan.

The Peace Movement Must Press For Diplomacy, Not More War, In Afghanistan

Col. Ann Wright was in Afghanistan to open the US Embassy in 2001. She recounts how the recommendation then was to get the US military out as quickly as possible. Instead, the Pentagon spent 20 years lying to the public and causing great suffering to the Afghan people. Wright exposes the truth about why the US stayed in for so long and explains the politics of the country. She has started a campaign to push for maintaining diplomatic relations with the new Taliban government and is calling for the CIA to cease involvement with local militias that could evolve into a civil war. Despite withdrawing the military, the US will continue to cause damage to Afghanistan if it doesn't change course. That is unlikely to happen though unless the peace movement takes action to demand diplomacy, not war.

Keep The US Embassy In Kabul Open

I was on the small U.S. Department of State team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in December 2001 and strongly feel that if the U.S. really cares for the people of Afghanistan, it should keep the U.S. Embassy open. History reveals that generally when U.S. military strategies don't work such as in Cuba (1959), Viet Nam (1975), Nicaragua (1979 and 2018), Iran (1979) and North Korea (1953), the U.S. closes embassies and wrecks havoc through brutal sanctions on the economies of the countries to have some sort of soul-soothing revenge for the politicians that put the U.S. in conflict with the countries. I’m no supporter of the Taliban, its violence, its treatment of girls and women—and boys and men who don’t agree with them.

Make Normalizing Relations With Cuba A Priority

Silvia from Miami, Eduardo from Hialeah, Abel from Lakeland. The names pour in on the donations page for “Syringes to Cuba” as Carlos Lazo promotes the campaign on his popular Facebook livestream. An energetic Cuban-American high school teacher in Seattle, Lazo created a group called Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love, to unite Cuban Americans who want to lift the searing U.S. blockade that is immiserating their loved ones on the island. Puentes de Amor is the latest addition to the Syringes to Cuba initiative, which was started by the Saving Lives Campaign and the humanitarian organization Global Health Partners to help Cuba vaccinate its people against COVID-19.

How To Make A Gulf Monarchy All-American

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., was on the hot seat. In early March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, oil prices collapsed and a price war broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia, leaving American oil and gas companies feeling the pain. As oil prices plummeted, Republican senators from oil-producing states turned their ire directly on Saudi Arabia. Forget that civil war in Yemen — what about fossil-fuel profits here at home? To address their concerns, Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud agreed to speak with a group of them in a March 18th conference call — and found herself instantly in the firing line, as senator after senator berated her for the Kingdom’s role in slashing global oil prices.

North Korea Speaks Out On US Foreign Policy, Demands Respect

Choe Son Hui, First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, gave a statement to media on the 17th. The statement said: The United States has tried to make contact with us through several channels including that in New York since mid February. Recently, it requested the contact with us by e-mail and telephone message through different channels and, at the night just before the start of the joint military exercises, sent us through a third country another message for our affirmative response to the contact. However, we deem it not necessary to consent the US attempt to get time again. We declared already our stand that any DPRK-US contact and dialogue cannot be made unless the US hostile policy is withdrawn and, accordingly, will ignore such US attempt in the future.

Vaccine Diplomacy Is Paying Off For China

Vaccines have had a place in diplomacy since the Cold War era. The country that can manufacture and distribute lifesaving injections to others less fortunate sees a return on its investment in the form of soft power: prestige, goodwill, perhaps a degree of indebtedness, even awe. Today the country moving fastest toward consolidating these gains may be China, under President Xi Jinping, who proclaimed last May that Chinese-made vaccines against COVID-19 would become a “global public good.” Since that time, top officials have promised many developing countries priority access to Chinese vaccines, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry has announced that the country is providing free vaccines to 69 countries and commercially exporting them to 28 more.

Foreign Policy Of This Country Has To Reject US Exceptionalism

Describing the Democratic presidential candidates after a debate back in January, our next guest noted that they had “talked some about what it means to be the commander-in-chief,” but not “enough about what it means to be the diplomat-in-chief.” The same might be said for corporate news media, whose assessment of presidential contenders gives foreign policy short shrift generally, and then, as we noticed in the debates, overwhelmingly frame international questions around military intervention. What’s missing from that truncated conversation, and what does it cost us in terms of global political possibilities?

US Orders China To Shut Down Its Houston Consulate In 72 Hours

The United States has asked China to close its Passport and Visa Office at the China Consulate General in Houston, Texas, according to the Global Times editor-in-chief, as cited by Reuters. The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed the development, saying that Washington had "abruptly" informed Beijing to close down its Texas consulate on 21 July. According to daily briefing of Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, Beijing has strongly condemned the decision and called upon the US to rescind the move, while suggesting retaliatory measures in response, as quoted by Reuters. During the briefing, Wang Wenbin also described the US decision as a "political provocation" and "a grave violation of international law".

Can We Democratize Foreign Policy?

Since 1946, when the Army Air Forces decided to give $10 million to the Douglas Aircraft Company to found what would become the RAND Corporation, national security think tanks have exerted a profound influence on the U.S. role in the world. Though less well-known than defense contractors like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, think tanks are as important when it comes to determining the direction of U.S. foreign policy. It was think-tank analysts, for instance, who developed the nuclear strategies that guided U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War...

Farewell To The World Social Forum?

The first World Social Forum in 2001 ushered in the new century with a bold affirmation: “Another world is possible.” That gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil, stood as an alternative and a challenge to the World Economic Forum, held at the same time an ocean away in the snowy Alps of Davos, Switzerland. A venue for power elites to set the course of world development, the WEF was then, and remains now, the symbol for global finance, unchecked capitalism, and the control of politics by multinational corporations.

US Policy: Global Climate Crisis Not Our Problem. Really?

By withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, the US is effectively saying the global climate crisis is not our problem. This is American exceptionalism run amok. The US acts as if it can opt-out of the only planet we have because, well, because we’re special. This is not logical, this is not practical, this is not moral, and this is not possible. This is delusional. This is a crime against humanity. And yet the House Democrats remain obsessed with the low-level intrigues of Ukraine, Trumps, Bidens, and other clowns while turning away from the growing global catastrophe.
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