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Is President Obama's Wind of 'Change' Blowing towards Eritrea?

U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility 

Is President Obama's Wind of "Change" Blowing towards Eritrea?

By Berhane Alazar

Lately, albeit somewhat belated, the wind of Obama's once promised "Change" that never was, and under whose jargon Senator Barack Obama got help to win the highly contested US presidency, finally seems to have picked up some steam. From establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba today to, possibly, reclassifying the Palestinian Hamas faction as a "Nationalist" organization seems to have set the tone.

Closer at home, a rush of diplomatic activities seemingly expressing a desire to work with the Eritrean government have been forthcoming from nations and organizations that were demonizing Eritrea for actions she was no party to - for many, many years. That being the case, one can't help but wonder if the apparent "Change of heart" is genuine? At any rate, let's just take a look at some short synapses of the current events that appear to be signaling a friendly gesture towards Eritrea and the Eritrean people:

On December 16, 2013 published an article titled: "Time to Bring Eritrea in from the Cold -By Hank Cohen" in which Mr. Cohen stated:

  • "In view of the absence of any intelligence, real or fabricated, linking Eritrea with Shabab for over four years, the UN Security Council should terminate sanctions imposed in 2009 by UNSC resolution 1907”. He further stated:

  • "Since European Union governments have maintained normal relations with Eritrea since the country's independence, one of the European members of the UN Security Council should propose a resolution to end the sanctions. The US should agree to abstain rather than veto such a resolution".

Of course to Eritreans and to all the non-partisans around the world, it would never be appropriate for the US to do anything (including 'abstaining') short of lifting those unjust and illegal sanctions it imposed on Eritrea under fabricated stories. Anyway let's read on.

Mr. Cohen's comment was quickly followed by Mr. David Sheen, a distinguished diplomat and former US Ambassador to Ethiopia, who wrote in January 13, 2014 under the title: "Time to Bring Eritrea in from the Cold (But It's Harder than It Sounds)" in which he stated:

  • "I agree with Cohen that it is long past time to end the stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is also time for the United States to try again to improve relations with Eritrea". He further added:

  • "I accept there is no solid evidence that Eritrea is continuing its support for the al-Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia, thus removing this argument from the list of reasons that obstruct better relations."

Again let the truth be told, Eritrea has never supported Al Shabab. So stating "[Eritrea] is not 'continuing' to support Al Shabab" is puzzling, to say the least. But it is a good start nonetheless. At any rate, Mr. Sheen continues:
  • "Previous Attempts to 'Bring Eritrea in From the Cold' Have Proved Difficult, but We Should Still Try".
Mr. Sheen, could it be possible that the condition under which Eritrea was invited to the so called "Out of the cold" campaign was done with actions that did not safeguard its independence and sovereignty? I would think such one-sided actions would be a no starter and if they failed, no one should be surprised.

 Mr. Princeton Lyman, a diplomat and former United States Ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa, wrote on the, of January 14, 2014 under the title: "Previous Attempts to 'Bring Eritrea in From the Cold' Have Proved Difficult, but We Should Still Try" stating:

  • "Ambassador Cohen is right that ending the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea is long overdue and would be of great benefit to both countries and the region. The same is true for better relations between Eritrea and the US."

Finally, writing about the unsuitability of the forces in the Horn region, in the “Al Monitor” of the Middle East publication, Mr. Ephraim Sneh, a retired Israeli general stated:

  • “But there is one thing the United States can do. Opposite Yemen, on the other side of the straits, lies Eritrea. Over the last decade, the United States has espoused a policy designed to isolate and weaken the country. The wisdom of this policy should be reconsidered, given the new regional configuration. Eritrea is not a Jeffersonian democracy, but neither are the vast majority of African states. Now is the time to take Eritrea out of its isolation and allow it to rejoin the family of nations. We must remember that radical Islam has no foothold in Eritrea, and religious coexistence is a stable force there. With murderous Sudan to its north and the new Yemen to its east, Eritrea can fill a positive role in the Red Sea”

The heightened surge of diplomatic activities including the acceptance by Eritrea about 3 dozen ambassadorial credentials from around the world, including many of the countries that are members of the European Union, Russia, China and India, one would have expected the US wouldn't be the one that was left out in the "Cold". But for reasons that are only known to the US policy makers, the US was conspicuous in its absence from the major countries' diplomatic accreditation to Eritrea.

The question that everyone that follows the silly US position vis-a-vis Eritrea is: "Why is the US stubbornly dogged in a no win situation"? Why all the arrogance while it is fully aware that Eritrea was sanctioned unjustifiably by America’s heavy-handed interference in the dissemination of misinformation provided to members of the UN Security Council and beyond? Come-on, Mr. Obama, you can do better than that. You can rectify the bad rap you've been getting for being in the unenviable spot as the "First Black American president to illegally and unjustifiably blacklist a proud black African state, Eritrea", all under your watch! Mistakes do happen and many of them can be corrected. But that correction can only be done by you, Sir. In doing so, Mr. President, you will feel good about yourself for clearing your conscience by rectifying some clearly wrong actions that you may have been advised to take. Furthermore, such a noble and astute deed will remain in your legacy as the president who corrected some wrong actions rather than the one who help made the lives of Eritreans even harder. It is high time, Mr. President, that you take the lead and lift the unjust UN sanctions your Administration imposed on Eritrea, thereby creating a conducive environment for Eritrea to work with the United States on a win-win situation.

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Is President Obama's Wind of 'Change' Blowing towards Eritrea? Reviewed by Admin on 8:32 PM Rating: 5



  2. Thanks for the link., i was curious about it and i only saw the prisoner (his release) that they had because he violate some laws.

    I thought it was gonna just be more hot air from Obama. Good to hear anyways.. hopefully its not just words but followed by action.

  3. BTW could Russia's show of force be the reason for this "diplomacy".

    Gotta keep your eyes/ears open. Russia has been flying those bad boys all over Alaska and gulf air space. I remember reading an article that Cuba's air space could be used if sanctions and aggression towards Russia got worse form the west.

  4. Mr. Obama,

    The Canadians have been profiting

    The Chinese and the Russians have already arrived

    The Europeans are on their journey

    Your “coalition” of the world leaders are leaving Susan Rice in the “cold”

    What is your excuse as there is no third term presidency?

    Do you want USA left in the “cold” on your watch?

  5. hawi55
    You Got it! The super powers don't know diplomacy not democracy, unless it is with countries much stronger than the developing countries. The reason they want to normalize relations with Cuba is a No-Brainer. They are definitely worried by recent development in Russia/Ukraine. By the way, the same thing holds for the criminal Russians. They might support Eritrea, for their own good. We know the history of Russians in Eritrea. Regardless, Eritrea should take any support from the Russians or USA, if and if nothing is attached to it.

  6. Alazar,
    You dont need to be a rocket scientist to comprehend the fact that Eritrea is a victim of its leadership. We need to stop blaming US, the greatest democracy on earth, for the failures of an inept junta (pfdj) that has beeb running or ruining the nation for the last tow decades. This inept junta antagonized its neighbours and the international community at large by failing to understand the basics of diplomacy. Change will come as soon as pfdj is removed by force and that is what president obama should help materialize.

  7. Better late than ever..great CUBA and we say also great that usa finally realize that is better cooperating instead confronting or competing..
    Now is the us-Eritrea relation to be restored mr. president..and we would love to see also the total revision of the us foreign policy..
    May this 2015 bring serenity in all the world..

  8. well said, wedi welala agame, lol
    ur tribal junta demise is near.
    u agames will meet meles zenawi very soon
    good luck,

  9. Dormant, don't you see that usa is changing its failed policy? Do you think they are dumb like you do and they stubbornly persist on the already FAILURE we witness in CUBA? For us (Eritreans) are used to Resistance..

  10. Welcome every good news dear Madote and Alazar, what ever the people of CUBA pays as sacrifice they are well paid with this historical decision..
    Hasta la victoria siempre

  11. Nope sanctions will not be eased/lifted in the coming months. In the last reply to the SEMG the eritrean regime gave unprecedented insight into its financial state. It gave information on the RRT (2% diaspora tax) and on its mining revenues. Don't forget that this regime has never published a budget in its 20 plus year of existence. No accountability, no transparency, no rule of law, no National Assembly to monitor the government and its policies. One could argue that the monitoring of the regime is being done by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group in the absence of a National Assembly. That's sad, but at the same time it's reassuring, that the regime feels compelled to provide the SEMG confidential information, that it never, ever provided to the Eritrean people from its inception. This terror regime only folds when under pressure, and guess what, the pressure by the SEMG is not going anywhere anytime soon. Don't forget the Djibouti POW's and the conflict that the regime initially denied. The sanctions were not just put in place over Somalia, but also over it's reckless handling of the Djibouti conflict (another neighbor Eritrea has bad relations with).

  12. What do we eritreans really miss by not having a relationship with the US? Nothing!!!!!

  13. No I don't think so, unless Eritrea makes a move to establish full relation with Russia, may be. I don't think Obamas move to establish relation with Cuba after fifty years he cares for the island, he just did not want the Russians to build their strength 90 miles from the shores of US.

  14. Abdulkader Mohamad AdemDecember 18, 2014 at 5:28 AM

    You filthy looser, you run away from building and protecting the country, now you writing re-transparency. Keep on slaving where ever you may be you have no right for any enquiry.

  15. Nothing...except that since they were the only superpower, have damaged our country with their stupid Sanctions...otherwise not necessarily we need a close relationship with them.

  16. There is a proverb in Amharic 'yedenkoro chewata meleso melaleso. Let us put everything aside and focus on the title and the good will of the President of USA. Cuba's relation with USA is renewed. That is great news and a good sign. The root cause of our problem is not what y said above. It is immaterial comparing with the 50 years decision made by the then American's President. As the CUBA's case, our root cause problem will be the end of the story if Obama turn his face to us too. I pray the Great Lord guide Obama to the right decision. Guys let us concentrate on this and we Eritreans will have time to say 'ehene mehene'.

  17. You mean Legesse Chenawi?

  18. See its always, nothing personal just business with the US. cuz the Cubans had a great relation with the Russians, and thats why they want to improve their relations with them. and now we will see their so called change of heart blow...towards Eritrea. Its b/c of Russia's craziness that, the US is bitting their filthy tongue. and this is what kedemti woyane scared of...b/c if the US changes its bad policy against Eritrea...the kedmti will be left hanging in the wind. like i said nothing personal just business.

  19. Eritrea needs re-branding. Let's start with the national flag. Since the UN failed us for decades, shouldn't it be wise to go back to the EPLF flag and remove the olive branch that honors the UN and replace it back with the yellow star in to represent country's rich mineral resources (and development). It makes economic sense to me.

    Madote, this is should be a topic for 2015.

  20. Indeed., Many ask why are Eritreans so nationalist and so caught up with doing things themselves. The answer is just as you said. Betrayed by everyone and allies turning to enemies overnight (Russians) are the reasons for Eritrean nationalism. I won't even go into century long betrayals and deceit.

    We aren't naive nor jaded by everyday occurrences in the "geo political" sphere. We know only Eritreans will look out for Eritrean interest. I'm starting to ramble haha! but ya we will do as all the other nations do and only look out for our interests and region. Sure Russia wants to "work" with us? fine. We will be ready to go on another path if that doesn't work out.

    Coming from trust and honor based society it has taken Eritreans a LONG time to play the modern day warfare. Where trickery and posturing for cameras is as much warfare as shooting an ak47.

  21. True, it's all about business. But, what does refugee producing country have to offer in the deal? May be Kidneys?

    No, no I didn't mean red kidney beans. That is for agricultural productive countries like Ethiopia. Human kidney, like what the Bedewins export.

  22. Man get out of hear and continue your slavery piece of shit ass mother fucker bitch ass agame virus of africa!!

  23. Here* this bitch ass mother fucker missed up even my spelling a game virus of africa

  24. US President Barack Obama says sanctions imposed on Cuba will not be lifted soon after the Caribbean country’s parliament unanimously ratifies a bill to normalize US relations.

  25. hahahahaha. No one is interested in PFDJ. Thank you . next complain please haahhaha

  26. እንታይ፡ኢካ፡ትብል፡ዘለካ፡ቂሩብ፡ዶብ፡አይጠአስካን)))





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