Obama and the “special relationship”

A report of a phone link with US citizens in UK spoke of the “special relationship”, beloved by Blair with Bush and continued by Brown despite protestations that things needed to change. Evidently Obama thinks (like we all do) that Britain got little change out of supporting the US in Iraq. Blair wanted UK to be a bridge between Europe and US. The trouble with that, someone observed, is that “bridges are walked over”.

It certainly would be an advance if we could start asserting a more progressive foreign policy ensuring that the poor in countries of Latin America, the Caribbean etc. were able to determine a future based on equality. Policies like the blockade on Cuba seem to serve little purpose other than securing the US Cuban vote, so the sooner that country is able to develop its own economy and continue to expand its health care services, which have brought huge benefits to poor people at home and abroad, the better. The retention of the Cuban Five in prisons across the US also serves no ones interests and needs immediate resolution.
Foreign ministers are talking in Rome about how to solve the world food crisis, a product of the capitalist system of economics. Countries like Cuba have different priorities where the well being its people takes precedence over commercial interests. “The Rome summit is the first of a series of high-level meetings aimed at tackling what many leaders now see as a much bigger threat to international stability than terrorism.” (Source Guardian 27/5/2008). Time to learn.

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