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Newsmotion - Foreign Policy http://newsmotion.org/taxonomy/term/28/all en How to view a changing Cuba http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/how-view-changing-cuba <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> How to view a changing Cuba </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wed, 07/30/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="cnn_first">By <strong>Kevin O’Donnell</strong></p> <p><em>GPS intern Kevin O’Donnell speaks with Jorge Dominguez, professor of Mexico studies at Harvard University, faculty associate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the author of numerous books on Cuba, about relations with the United States. The views expressed here are his own.</em></p> <p><strong>It seems discussion about Cuba in the United States rests on some outdated assumptions. What assumptions do you believe Americans need to challenge when we talk about Cuba?</strong></p> <p>I think the main point to bear in mind is that it’s changing. When Fidel Castro was president, there were moments when things seemed to be changing in two important ways, and both times he reversed them. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the Cuban government opened up the possibility of allowing farmers to sell their goods at market prices. But he cancelled that and prohibited those sales in 1985.</p> <p>In the early 1990s, he authorized self-employment for the first time. I could become a plumber in private practice, I could become an ice cream vender, I could have a restaurant in my living room. But then, in the early years of the last decade, regulations became more onerous and taxes became very high, and the number of people who could afford this kind of work actually declined.</p> <p>This time, under Raul Castro, it looks as if these same changes will stay, so now farmers can sell their products at market price. Now about half a million people have self-employment licenses in a population of just over 11 million people.</p> <p>It’s a significant fraction of the work force working in the private sector. But also, Raul Castro talks the talk – these are changes he values. So the alignment between the policy changes and what the top leader thinks for the first time in over a half century now clicks. That is a significant change.<span id="more-30085"></span></p> <p>It’s difficult in the U.S. to grasp this because the changes are very slow. The government has insisted on authorizing activity-by-activity. So you can be a music teacher in the private sector, but you can’t be a math teacher in the private sector. You can play music in the private sector from the 1940s and 50s for tourists, but you can’t have a band in the private sector that performs contemporary music that Cuban teenagers like. So it really is category-by-category.</p> <p>The Cuban government is very proud that there are nearly 200 categories where private activities are authorized, but this way of doing it is madness. You can have someone who sews shirts and sells them, but you cannot bring a shirt from your cousin in Miami and sell that one. So there are those kinds of distinctions, and it’s very easy to imagine that nothing is happening, that everything is petty (and it’s true some of this is petty), but the general trend is toward opening.</p> <p><strong>How has the regime endured so long? Is that because of this slow opening you’re talking about?</strong></p> <p>I think the slow opening matters politically. It tells people things are changing in ways they can experience in their own lives. They can get a variety and quality of foods they couldn’t get before. They can now earn income with one of these self-employment licenses.</p> <p>But some of the more politically active groups in Cuban American Miami – radio stations and some of the Spanish-language newspapers – do create in enough Cubans a sense of fear that some of the things they value would be lost with change. That fear has been one of the constraining effects</p> <p><strong>Do you think Cubans have reason to fear that some of the more successful programs like education and healthcare, which has become part of Cuba’s economic backbone, would be weakened with privatization? Are they compatible with private enterprise?</strong></p> <p>At some broad level, Cuba’s fairly successful education and healthcare systems will continue. The healthcare system is one likely source of exports for any Cuban in the future – it doesn’t matter what the political regime is or the name of the president. Cuba can export healthcare personnel to other countries. It can have medical tourism – they already have some of this. And if they were to do it on a more commercial basis it would actually earn a lot more than they do now. And no government would want to prevent the healthcare system from working well if the system can then pay for itself.</p> <p>Similarly, you could imagine [private practice] on the school side. Cubans have much, much better results on international tests in mathematics than do others in Latin American countries. You could imagine running summer schools or bringing kids for special training or sending teachers to other countries in the Spanish-speaking world, because Cuban pedagogy happens to be more effective. And that would help to pay for the school system.</p> <p>The fear for Cubans (and this isn’t unfounded) is that they’ll have to pay for these services that they have gotten for free. That would either be through increased taxes or copays – the kinds of things that are familiar in other healthcare systems. But those are systems that remain to be invented in Cuba, and any discussion about a privatization of either the schools or the healthcare system makes Cubans very anxious. Not a lot of things have worked well in Cuba, but these have.</p> <p>Cuba now exports healthcare personnel to Venezuela, it’s begun to export healthcare to Brazil, and they feel pretty good about this. It’s difficult to communicate to Cubans when you hear some of the hostile rhetoric coming out of the United States or part of Cuban-American Miami. I would say, relax Cuba has these assets. No one who wants to govern Cuba would want to destroy the assets you’ve built. But the financing of these activities would no doubt be reexamined.</p> <p><strong>The Castro administration is reigniting talks with China over investments that fell through a few years ago. Why have those investments failed in the past, and what will Cuba have to change to be able to hold onto those? </strong></p> <p>I think it’s ironic that one of the main advocates for market-oriented changes in Cuba is the Communist Party of China. The Chinese message to the Cubans is very simple: “Look, communist, single-party political regimes can survive and prosper provided you change how you run the economy.” And the Cubans are very slowly coming to understand this and do something about it, but they have lagged vastly behind China and Vietnam in this respect.</p> <p>So when Chinese and Cuban officials in Havana have these conversations, it’s all on the basis of, “Yeah we’re prepared to work with you, but we’re talking about <em>investments</em>, right? We’re not talking about <em>bailouts,</em> right? We’re not talking about <em>charity</em>, right?”</p> <p>One of the trends in trade between China and Cuba is that Cuba’s exports to China have been declining, whereas Cuba’s imports from China have remained very high. That means the Chinese are in effect financing a Cuban trade deficit. And that’s not a good starting point for a discussion about market-based investment relations.</p> <p><strong>What do you think could bring them onto a more equal playing field? </strong></p> <p>If I were Chinese, I’d say, “Look, I’m prepared to invest in nickel mines in eastern Cuba if you let me run this mine my way, full stop.”</p> <p><strong>So what’s the risk of setting up a situation much like the inequality in the 1950s that led to the Cuban Revolution?</strong></p> <p>The particular risk is less that, and more that it might end up like Chinese investments in Africa where the Chinese have gone without thinking through in sufficient detail about the social side effects of some of their investments, resulting in some nasty episodes. Cuba does have significant mining resources, principally nickel, some others as well, so that would be perfectly attractive for China.</p> <p><strong>With Russia reopening one of its bases in Cuba, does it look like the shift toward a more open economy will lead them closer to China and Russia and further away from the United States?</strong></p> <p>Having Cuba connect with China doesn’t necessarily move it further from the United States. The Chinese do say that U.S. policy should change and should remove all sanctions from Cuba, but they’re not trying to pick a fight with the U.S. The changes toward a more market-oriented Cuban economy actually go in the direction that Obama, Bush, and Clinton said they want.</p> <p>Putin has been pursuing for some time to reestablish Russia as a significant player worldwide, and that certainly takes him back to Cuba. The Cubans got one valuable thing out of it two years ago – the Russian government forgave the Cuban debt to the old Soviet Union that Russia had inherited. They didn’t forgive all of it, they forgave 90 percent, but that’s a huge amount of money. On a clearing-the-books basis, this was good for Cuba.</p> <p>Two footnotes to this: One is that Cuba will now have to start paying Russia something. Cuba hadn’t paid Russia a penny for the last 25 years, so they need to pay something on the remainder.</p> <p>The other footnote is that in order to pay something on the remaining 10 percent of the old Soviet debt, it assumes that the Russians and the Cubans will find economically productive activities to generate the revenue to pay for it, and they haven’t done it for 25 years. Unlike the Chinese, who have demonstrated that they can make the economy grow in a variety of sectors, the Russians have demonstrated they can only run one sector of their economy reasonably effectively and that’s petroleum and natural gas.</p> <p>Yes, they have been prospecting for petroleum and natural gas around Cuba, but Russian firms haven’t succeeded in finding meaningful quantities. So I’m a little skeptical that there can be enough economic activity between Russia and Cuba.</p> <p><strong>The U.S. has tried to negotiate with Cuba to ease treatment of dissidents, but it seems Europe has been more successful in these attempts. What are we doing wrong?</strong></p> <p>No one has been successful at this. The changes in relations between dissidents and the Cuban government for the most part have been almost wholly unaffected by international actors. In the release of some prisoners who wound up in Spain, the heavy lifting was done by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Havana.</p> <p>So the international impact on these matters has been very modest. The trend line, though, is now the number of political prisoners is effectively zero. The Cuban government changed its strategy to deal with dissidents away from locking you up and throwing away the key. The new strategy is they will arrest you and hold you for a week and release you. Then if you do something they don’t like they’ll arrest you again and hold you for 72 hours. So the number of people who get arrested is now much higher; the number of people who spend a long time in prison has pretty close to vanished. Similarly, Cuba no longer applies the death penalty. The death penalty hasn’t been applied in Cuba in about ten years</p> <p><strong>We know about dissent coming from Cubans in the United States. What kind of dissent is there within the country? You don’t seem to hear about that often.</strong></p> <p>It all depends on what the word “dissent” means. If by dissent one means people who are out on the streets demanding a change in the political regime, there’s a lot more than there used to be in the 1980s and 1970s, but there’s not a lot. If by dissent one means they disagree with the policies of the Cuban government on topic x, y, or z and are prepared to say so, that actually happens now with increasing regularity.</p> <p>On election day for the National Assembly, the number of candidates equals the number of posts to be chosen, so you’re not quaking if you’re a candidate. In any one district the party wants you to vote for everybody, but you actually have the option of voting for candidate A but not for candidate B. Candidate B will still be elected because the number of candidates equals the number of seats. But the proportion of votes that each would get would differ. So you’re not doing what the communist party wants you to do, and if voting blank or voiding your ballot, scribbling, you are also not voting the way the communist party wants you to.</p> <p>In the election a year ago, 24 percent of voters cast a non-conforming ballot. Are they dissenters? Well, not in the way the U.S. thinks of them, but yeah, they are indicating that they disagree with some important topic. So you do get an array of opinions and views and disagreement, people who criticize the slow pace of changing government policy. All of that is in the works, and there’s much more of it than before.</p> <p><strong>Some have suggested the U.S. should shift away from a policy of regime change to one of reform and human rights. What kind of credibility does the U.S. have in doing this with Cuba?</strong></p> <p>The U.S. government doesn’t have much credibility on topics of regime change, because the Cuban government thinks that the only policy our government is interested in is whether the Democrats or Republicans control the White House – effectively, to overthrow them. And if I were a Cuban official looking at Washington under Obama, Clinton, Bush, or Reagan, I would come to the same conclusion.</p> <p>The other thing to bear in mind is that the U.S. has no particular incentive to do anything differently because, on the things the U.S. cares the most about, relations with Cuba are excellent. On the only land boundary between the U.S. and Cuba, which is around the U.S. base in Guantanamo, the two armies collaborate because the U.S. doesn’t want prisoners to get out and Cuba doesn’t want the prisoners to get in. So the two commanding officers meet at the border, salute each other, coordinate, and that’s fine.</p> <p>Similarly, on the Straits of Florida, the two coast guards collaborate because Cuba doesn’t want the kind of massive undocumented immigration of the sort that brought down the East German communist government, and the U.S. doesn’t want massive undocumented entry from Cuba. If you think about that idea, it means the U.S. has a stake in the continuation of an authoritarian regime in Cuba, because no future Cuban political regime will have the will and the capacity to cooperate with the United States to prevent Cuban people from leaving. The Mexican government certainly doesn’t do it, and nobody else does it.</p> <p>So the U.S. gets what it wants, the Cuban government gets what it wants. Even with regard to trade there’s a gigantic loophole that allows western states to export agricultural products to Cuba – and Cuba pays cash. No other country does that. So as long as you don’t believe the words about regime change, U.S.-Cuban relations are just great.</p><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/cnngps.wordpress.com/30085/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com&#038;blog=17571933&#038;post=30085&#038;subd=cnngps&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/30/how-to-view-a-changing-cuba/" target="_blank">http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/30/how-to-view-a-changing-cuba/</a> </div> </div> </div> Brazil China Citizen CNN's Jason Miks cuba Cuba Florida Foreign Policy Havana jasonmiks Mexico Miami Russia Spain United States United States Venezuela Vietnam Washington Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:12:22 +0000 feed 313117 at http://newsmotion.org President Obama: "Russia Is Once Again Isolating Itself from the International Community" http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/president-obama-russia-once-again-isolating-itself-international-community <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> President Obama: &quot;Russia Is Once Again Isolating Itself from the International Community&quot; </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tue, 07/29/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p></p> <p class="rteright"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPqPYhgzNmA">Watch on YouTube</a></p> <p>This afternoon, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn about the situation in Ukraine, in the wake of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly two weeks ago.</p> <p>&quot;In the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, and countries around the world,&quot; he said, &quot;families are still in shock over the sudden and tragic loss of nearly 300 loved ones senselessly killed when their civilian airliner was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.&quot;</p> <p>Noting that those families and their nations are America&#39;s friends and allies, the President made clear that the U.S. &quot;continues to do everything in our power to help bring home their loved ones, support the international investigation, and make sure justice is done.&quot;</p> <p>President Obama then explained that Russia, along with its proxies in Ukraine, are neither cooperating with the investigation, nor pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine.</p> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/president-obama-russia-once-again-isolating-itself-international-community" target="_blank">read more</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/president-obama-russia-once-again-isolating-itself-international-community" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/president-obama-russia-once-again-isol...</a> </div> </div> </div> <a href= Australia Australia David Hudson Europe and Eurasia Foreign Policy Gaza Malaysia Malaysia Netherlands Netherlands Obama Obama Speaks Official Russia Russia The President Ukraine Ukraine United States White House Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:58:58 +0000 feed 312998 at http://newsmotion.org Watch Live: Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/watch-live-summit-washington-fellowship-young-african-leaders <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Watch Live: Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Mon, 07/28/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today, President Obama kicks off a three-day Summit of the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/28/fact-sheet-mandela-washington-fellowship-young-african-leaders">Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders</a>, the flagship program of the President&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/28/background-fact-sheet-president-s-young-africa-leaders-initiative-yali">Young African Leaders Initiative (</a><a href="https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/">YALI</a><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/28/background-fact-sheet-president-s-young-africa-leaders-initiative-yali">)</a>. The Washington Fellowship gives 500 of sub-Saharan Africa&rsquo;s most prominent young leaders the opportunity to engage with U.S. government officials, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives, as well as leaders in international development.</p> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/president-obama-participates-town-hall-summit-washington-fellowship-young-african-leaders">Watch President Obama&#39;s town hall</a> below -- and <a href="http://www.irex.org/">tune in</a> for events throughout the week with First Lady Michelle Obama, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and more.</p> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/28/watch-live-summit-washington-fellowship-young-african-leaders" target="_blank">read more</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/28/watch-live-summit-washington-fellowship-young-african-leaders" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/28/watch-live-summit-washington-fellowshi...</a> </div> </div> </div> <a href= Alexa von Tobel Bill Carter Chris Coons Foreign Policy Heather A. Higginbottom John Boozman John Kerry Karen Bass Kori Schulman Leaders Town Michael Froman Michelle Obama Official Rajiv Shah Sipho Moyo Sonal Shah Steve Case Sub Saharan Africa sub-Saharan Africa The First Lady The President United States Washington Washington Fellow Alain Washington Fellow Tchegoun White House Young Americans Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:38:13 +0000 feed 312366 at http://newsmotion.org President Obama Visits the Dutch Embassy: "We're All Heartbroken by What's Happened" http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/president-obama-visits-dutch-embassy-were-all-heartbroken-whats-happened <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> President Obama Visits the Dutch Embassy: &quot;We&#039;re All Heartbroken by What&#039;s Happened&quot; </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tue, 07/22/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="embed"> <div class="clearfix" id="small-node-embed-image-detail"> <img src="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/imagecache/embedded_img_small/image/image_file/p072214ps-02852.jpg?itok=fG48Hggp" alt="President Barack Obama visits the Embassy of the Netherlands" title="President Barack Obama visits the Embassy of the Netherlands" width="430" height="287" class="imagecache imagecache-embedded_img_small" /> <p> President Barack Obama visits the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., July 22, 2014, to sign a condolence book honoring those who were lost in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. Standing with President Obama is Peter Mollema, the deputy chief of mission for the Netherlands Embassy. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) </p> </div> </div> <p>President Obama <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/22/remarks-president-embassy-netherlands">visited the Embassy of the Netherlands</a> this morning, signing a condolence book for those killed in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine. In the condolence&nbsp;book, the President wrote:</p> <blockquote><p>On behalf of the American people, I extend our deepest condolences to the people of the Netherlands as they mourn the loss of so many family and friends. No words can adequately express the sorrow the world feels over this loss. It is made more acute by the deep ties of friendship between our two countries. Bound by that friendship, we will not rest until we are certain that justice is done.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/22/president-obama-visits-dutch-embassy-were-all-heartbroken-whats-happened" target="_blank">read more</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/22/president-obama-visits-dutch-embassy-were-all-heartbroken-whats-happened" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/22/president-obama-visits-dutch-embassy-w...</a> </div> </div> </div> <a href= Barack Obama David Hudson Foreign Policy Gaza Malaysia Netherlands Obama Speaks Official Pete Souza Peter Mollema Russia The President Ukraine Ukraine Washington Washington D.C. White House Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:06:37 +0000 feed 310000 at http://newsmotion.org The President Gives an Update on the Situation in Ukraine http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/president-gives-update-situation-ukraine <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The President Gives an Update on the Situation in Ukraine </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Mon, 07/21/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p></p> <p class="rteright"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=valZEKv5cBg">Watch on YouTube</a></p> <p>This morning, <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/21/statement-president-situation-ukraine-and-gaza">President Obama made a statement</a> on the current situation in Ukraine, in the wake of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down last week over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.</p> <p>Following <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/18/president-obama-speaks-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-russia-and-ukraine-and-situati">his press statement on Friday</a>, the President restated today that &quot;our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened, and putting forward the facts. We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists.&quot;</p> <p>He also noted that international investigators are already on the ground, prepared and organized to conduct &quot;the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this.&quot; President Obama then called on Russia -- and President Vladimir Putin in particular -- to &quot;insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, [and] grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the crash site.&quot;</p> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/21/president-gives-update-situation-ukraine" target="_blank">read more</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/21/president-gives-update-situation-ukraine" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/21/president-gives-update-situation-ukrai...</a> </div> </div> </div> <a href= Barack Obama David Hudson Europe and Eurasia Foreign Policy Gaza Israel Malaysia Obama Speaks Official Pete Souza Russia Russia The President Ukraine Ukraine vladimir putin White House Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:38:31 +0000 feed 309353 at http://newsmotion.org President Obama Speaks on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, Russia and Ukraine, and the Situation in Gaza http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/president-obama-speaks-malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17-russia-and-ukraine-and-situation- <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> President Obama Speaks on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, Russia and Ukraine, and the Situation in Gaza </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Fri, 07/18/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p></p> <p class="rteright"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNV0BkDsYzM">Watch on YouTube</a></p> <p>Today, <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/18/statement-president-ukraine">President Obama delivered a statement to the press</a> in the wake of the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 yesterday:</p> <blockquote><p class="p1">Yesterday, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border.&nbsp; Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken -- men, women, children, infants -- who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine.&nbsp; Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions.</p> <p class="p1">We know at least one American citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was killed.&nbsp; Our thoughts and prayers are with his family for this terrible loss.</p> <p class="p1">Yesterday, I spoke with the leaders of Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Netherlands.&nbsp; I told them that our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and that the American people stand with them during this difficult time.&nbsp; Later today, I&rsquo;ll be speaking to Prime Minister Abbott of Australia, which also suffered a terrible loss.</p> <p class="p2">By far, the country that lost the most people on board the plane was the Netherlands.&nbsp; From the days of our founding, the Dutch have been close friends and stalwart allies of the United States of America.&nbsp; And today, I want the Dutch people to know that we stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, in our grief and in our absolute determination to get to the bottom of what happened.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/18/president-obama-speaks-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-russia-and-ukraine-and-situati" target="_blank">read more</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/18/president-obama-speaks-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-russia-and-ukraine-and-situati" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/18/president-obama-speaks-malaysian-airli...</a> </div> </div> </div> <a href= amsterdam Amsterdam Australia Australia Barack Obama Chuck Kennedy David Hudson eastern Ukraine Europe and Eurasia Foreign Policy Gaza Israel Malaysia Malaysia Middle East And North Africa Netanyahu Netherlands Netherlands Obama Official putin Quinn Lucas Schansman Russia Russia South and Central Asia Tel Aviv The President Ukraine Ukraine United States United States White House Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:58:02 +0000 feed 308576 at http://newsmotion.org President Obama Responds to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/president-obama-responds-malaysia-airlines-flight-17 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> President Obama Responds to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thu, 07/17/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Update at 10:38 p.m. ET: The Press Secretary <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov//the-press-office/2014/07/17/statement-press-secretary-malaysian-airlines-flight-17">released a statement</a> on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.</p> <p> <div class="clearfix" id="small-node-embed-image-detail"> <img src="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/imagecache/embedded_img_small/image/image_file/7.17.14_potus_on_phone_with_ukraine.jpg?itok=99dRRcvy" alt="President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One" title="President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One" width="430" height="286" class="imagecache imagecache-embedded_img_small" /> <p> President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) </p> </div> </p> <p>This afternoon, aboard Air Force One, President Obama placed separate telephone calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine and Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.</p> <p>Here&#39;s a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/17/readout-president-s-call-president-poroshenko-ukraine">readout</a> of the President&rsquo;s call with President Poroshenko of Ukraine:</p> <blockquote><p> President Obama spoke with Ukrainian President Poroshenko this afternoon to discuss the tragic crash of flight Malaysian Airlines 17. President Poroshenko welcomed the assistance of international investigators to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation of the crash site. President Obama assured him that U.S. experts will offer all possible assistance immediately. The Presidents emphasized that all evidence from the crash site must remain in place on the territory of Ukraine until international investigators are able to examine all aspects of the tragedy.</p></blockquote> <p>And a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/17/readout-president-s-call-prime-minister-najib-malaysia">readout</a> of President Obama&rsquo;s call with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia:</p> <blockquote><p> President Obama called Malaysian Prime Minister Najib today to express condolences to the people of Malaysia for the terrible loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, as well as all the families who lost loved ones in this tragic event. The President told the Prime Minister that United States has offered immediate assistance to support a prompt international investigation. President Obama reaffirmed the strength of the friendship between the United States and Malaysia and underscored that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance or support necessary.</p></blockquote> <p>Bernadette Meehan is Deputy Spokesperson of the National Security Council.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/17/president-obama-responds-malaysia-airlines-flight-17-ukraine" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/17/president-obama-responds-malaysia-airl...</a> </div> </div> </div> Bernadette Meehan Bernadette Meehan Defense Europe and Eurasia Foreign Policy Malaysia Malaysia New York City Obama Official Pete Souza The President Ukraine Ukraine United States United States White House Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:48:33 +0000 feed 308112 at http://newsmotion.org U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Approaches, Website Goes Live http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/us-africa-leaders-summit-approaches-website-goes-live <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Approaches, Website Goes Live </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Mon, 07/14/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With less than a month to go until the start of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., we&rsquo;re excited to announce the launch of the Summit&rsquo;s official website, <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/us-africa-leaders-summit">which you can access here</a>. As the site describes, the Summit constitutes the largest single engagement by any U.S. President with Africa.</p> <p>Starting on August 4 and with events spanning three days, it will include approximately 50 African heads of state and government as well as the Chairperson of the African Union, a range of U.S. and African civil society and business leaders, young African leaders, and Members of Congress. The presence of so many African leaders in the nation&rsquo;s capital provides an historic opportunity to further strengthen ties with our African partners and highlight America&rsquo;s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa&rsquo;s development and its people.</p> <p>In addition to the website, which will be continuously updated as the Summit nears, we invite you to follow the Summit on Twitter using the hashtag #AfricaSummit.</p> <p>These online tools will offer an opportunity for broader dialogue as we prepare for this unprecedented engagement with one of the world&rsquo;s most dynamic regions. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/us-africa-leaders-summit">Learn more about the upcoming Summit here.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/14/us-africa-leaders-summit-approaches-website-goes-live" target="_blank">http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/14/us-africa-leaders-summit-approaches-we...</a> </div> </div> </div> Foreign Policy Gayle Smith Grant Harris Grant Harris and Gayle Smith Official U.S. Washington Washington D.C. White House Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:00:00 +0000 feed 306452 at http://newsmotion.org U.S., Europe must not forget about Bosnia http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/us-europe-must-not-forget-about-bosnia <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> U.S., Europe must not forget about Bosnia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Fri, 07/11/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>By <strong>Sofía Sebastián</strong>, Special to CNN</p> <p><em>Editor’s note: Sofía Sebastián is a TAPIR Fellow at the Stimson Center and the author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Post-War-Statebuilding-Constitutional-Reform-Rethinking/dp/1137336870"><em>Post-war Statebuilding and Constitutional Reform: Beyond Dayton in Bosnia</em></a><em>. The views expressed are her own.</em></p> <p>The ongoing instability in the Middle East is understandably drawing much of the United States’ and Europe’s attention. But almost 20 years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the Bosnian War, political divisions between the three major ethnic groups continue to threaten the viability of the state. And for Bosnia, just as for the Middle East, the near-term stakes could not be higher.</p> <p>So what has gone wrong?</p> <p>As many analysts have noted, Dayton represented the best possible settlement to end the war. But it also burdened Bosnia with highly complicated and dysfunctional institutions. Lacking political and institutional incentives for inter-ethnic cooperation, the system instead rewards ethnic-based nationalist platforms and intra-ethnic infighting, making cross-group cooperation almost impossible. (Milorad Dodik, the president of the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example, has turned to nationalist rhetoric to gain and consolidate power since 2006).</p> <p>Historically, international actors in Bosnia have countered nationalist dynamics in trying to strengthen the Bosnian state. But the state-building process started to unravel in 2006 amidst increasing inter- and intra-ethnic divisions and a failure of political leaders to agree on critical reforms.</p> <p><span id="more-29938"></span>Constitutional reform initiatives were introduced in 2005 as part of a strategy by the United States, and later championed by the EU, to help build a more functional state – one that could survive the transition to full sovereignty and prepare Bosnia for EU membership. However, after years of unsuccessful discussion of reform, Dayton is no longer seen by local actors as a sacrosanct agreement. Indeed, politicians have taken to publicly challenging the agreement, advancing ethnically oriented agendas and further raising tensions.</p> <p>Meanwhile, ongoing constitutional negotiations have underscored the divisions within the country – broadly speaking, Bosniaks seek to strengthen the state, while the Croats and the Serbs do not fully accept its existence.</p> <p>And these divisions have only grown with the disengagement of the U.S. and Europe. Bosniaks, for example, fear the disintegration of Bosnia following the closure of the office of the high representative, the international envoy entrusted with the implementation of Dayton. Croats have, for their part, grown increasingly wary of their standing as a “minority,” and are therefore seeking to resolve “the Croat question” through the creation of a third entity for Croats, a move opposed by Bosniaks (Bosnia is currently divided into the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska).</p> <p>As for the Serbs, they regard state-building as a strategy aimed at undermining their status, and are seeking a withdrawal of the international presence in the country as a way of achieving a more level playing field.</p> <p>Ultimately, Bosnia’s different ethnic groups have come to view their own agendas as a matter of survival, which has undermined efforts at state-building and working toward the EU accession process. But this problem has been made worse by the fact that the international community is itself divided on how to handle Bosnia and appears reluctant to address some of these underlying issues.</p> <p>As a result of this neglect and confusion, the high representative has become irrelevant, and although the recent international emphasis on local ownership is welcome in principle, it is hard not to feel that this approach is largely driven by a realization that those involved are not able to properly shape events on the ground.</p> <p>If the United States and Europe want to play a meaningful role, they will need to strengthen their engagement and collaboration and provide incentives for ethnic cooperation. And they must also understand that state-building in Bosnia, as elsewhere, is always subject to constantly shifting expectations, perceptions and the interests of those involved.</p> <p>Despite the uncertainties, an outbreak of violence seems unlikely, although the ethnic divisions, coming as they do against the backdrop of deteriorating economic conditions, mean there is genuine potential for social unrest. As a result, upcoming elections, slated for this October, represent a potentially decisive moment in a country that has been politically paralyzed since the last polls.</p> <p>The tragic violence of Iraq and Syria might seem like it is spiraling beyond the ability of Western powers to influence events. But the U.S. and Europe still have a viable opportunity to engage Bosnia in a way that will allow for a more stable future. They must not miss the opportunity.</p><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/cnngps.wordpress.com/29938/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com&#038;blog=17571933&#038;post=29938&#038;subd=cnngps&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/11/u-s-europe-must-not-forget-about-bosnia/" target="_blank">http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/11/u-s-europe-must-not-forget-ab...</a> </div> </div> </div> Bosnia and Herzegovina Citizen CNN's Jason Miks Europe Foreign Policy Iraq jasonmiks Syria United States Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:28:22 +0000 feed 305456 at http://newsmotion.org Fareed taking readers' questions on global issues http://newsmotion.org/feed-story-en/fareed-taking-readers-questions-global-issues <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Fareed taking readers&#039; questions on global issues </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datetime field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wed, 07/09/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="cnn_first"><em><strong>Watch&#034;Fareed Zakaria GPS,&#034; Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN</strong></em></p> <p>From Syria to Iraq to the fast deteriorating situation in Gaza, the prospects for stability in the Middle East are looking increasingly bleak. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has also had to contend with a newly assertive Russia, a rising China and a persistent threat from militant groups such as al Qaeda.</p> <p>To help make sense of these challenges, understand what to look out for next, and to assess where U.S. foreign policy has gotten it right – and wrong – GPS host Fareed Zakaria will be answering readers’ questions on recent developments across the globe.</p> <p>Please leave your questions for Fareed in the comments section below.</p><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/cnngps.wordpress.com/29927/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com&#038;blog=17571933&#038;post=29927&#038;subd=cnngps&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Story URL:&nbsp;</div> <a href="http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/09/fareed-taking-readers-questions-on-global-issues/" target="_blank">http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/09/fareed-taking-readers-questio...</a> </div> </div> </div> China Citizen CNN's Jason Miks Foreign Policy GPS Show Iraq jasonmiks Russia Syria United States Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:20:31 +0000 feed 304398 at http://newsmotion.org