Letting democracy run its course, Speak up for Myanmar’s persecuted, Can the European Union survive?, Honoring Fidel Castro, In defense of global integration

A roundup of global commentary for the Dec. 12, 2016 weekly magazine.

A.M. Ahad/AP
Sufia Begum, a Rohingya who recently crossed from Myanmar to Bangladesh, cries as she describes her experience at an unregistered refugee camp in Ukhiya, near Cox's Bazar, a southern coastal district about 183 miles south of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 2.

Daily News / Cairo

Letting democracy run its course

“Free and fair elections are one of democracy’s main pillars as is the smooth and peaceful transfer of power,” writes Khalaf Al Habtoor. “America has chosen and, whether one approves of that choice or not, it should be accepted and respected.... I cannot deny that I was shocked and surprised at [Donald Trump’s] stated intention to bar Muslims from visiting the US..., which forced me to rescind my initial enthusiastic endorsement. I now believe that once he is in office he will gain a better grasp of issues.... I can only wish Trump and the people he will swear in to serve ... good luck in revitalising the American dream.... Forgiveness and reconciliation are the keys to a bright future for all.”

Bangkok Post / Bangkok, Thailand

Speak up for Myanmar’s persecuted

“It takes a unique grievance to inspire linked demonstrations across Southeast Asia and beyond...,” states an editorial. “[I]n half a dozen cities including Bangkok, protests occurred at the embassies of neighbour and fellow [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] member Myanmar. The focus was the recent escalation of violence against Rohingya people in the western state of Rakhine.... [Aung San] Suu Kyi, as an acknowledged leader, must bear responsibility for the killings and the dire refugee situation in western Myanmar.... Thailand and other countries also have refused to take the proper courses.... The region’s worst humanitarian crisis deserves action from the Asean countries, not silence.”

EUObserver / Brussels

Can the European Union survive?

“The founding document of European integration, the Treaty of Rome, is celebrating its 60th anniversary next year,” writes Andras Baneth. “Sadly, it may be its last one.... The real problem ... is how shaky our European institutions are. While their popularity is even higher than that of the US Congress, their legitimacy is constantly challenged.... And the pressure is mounting. We don’t need to have Marine le Pen elected for the euro to crumble.... The same populist forces and lack of honest discussion that got Donald Trump elected are present and gaining traction in Europe. Dismissing them, as most American newspapers did, is a grave mistake. It will not only get populists elected, it can bring Europe to its knees.”

The New Times / Kigali, Rwanda

Honoring Fidel Castro

“[Fidel] Castro’s death has provoked a multitude of mixed emotions,” writes Elizabeth Rugege. “Mine is one of sadness but even more of gratitude for his immense contribution to the freedom struggles of the peoples of Africa, Latin and Central America, Asia, and the Caribbean.... He showed us what self-determination means by standing up to the most powerful nation in the world, the United States, and enduring economic sanctions in the quest for human dignity.... Africa is a distant continent and was not part of the colonial Spanish world but Castro’s solidarity with the African people was and has been unrivaled.... Cuba remains an invaluable and reliable ally to Africa, and has a lot to offer in the post embargo period.”

El Comercio / Lima, Peru

In defense of global integration

“The results of the US election [were not] formally on the agenda when leaders [gathered] ... at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Lima,” states an editorial. “Nevertheless, the subject [would have been lurking] surreptitiously beneath the surface.... The Republican victory underscores a global current – much deeper than the election of Donald Trump.... Before the threat of ever tighter borders in parts of both the New and Old World, the right response is not resentment and retaliation; that simply breeds more animosity and poverty. The correct response is, rather, the demonstration that a globalized, integrated, and free world functions better for its citizens than one that is closed, sectarian, and divided.”

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