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A selection of op-eds and editorials from the U.S. and around the world. Sign up for the email alert or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Obama and Cuba, Somali Piracy, and Crisis in Fiji

April 14, 2009



Effective April 20, CFR.org will no longer produce the Daily Opinion Roundup. We will continue to offer updates on news around the world through the Daily News Brief newsletter. CFR's latest analysis is also available via RSS feed.

Age (Australia)

  • Fiji and Democracy: An editorial in the Age considers the political situation in Fiji. The newspaper says that another recent coup poses a serious threat to democracy on the island, and calls on Australia and New Zealand to lead a coordinated regional response to the crisis.

Arab News

  • Russia and Chechnya: An editorial asks whether Moscow is about to abandon Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman it installed as Chechen president two years ago. The paper says that his growing independent attitude is proving a problem for the Kremlin, which could step in to oust him.

 Business Day (South Africa)

  • G-20 and Change: Adekeye Adebajo of the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town picks up on Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva's comment at the recent G-20 summit that most of the world's economic woes have been caused by 'blue-eyed blond white men.' The writer concludes that to judge by performances at the summit, the predominance of these people in world affairs is still very marked.

 Dar al Hayat (Lebanon)

  • Obama and Islam: Commentator Ghassan Charbel considers the Arab world's response to President Obama's regional initiative. The writer says that Arab leaders must rise to the challenge, and join the new U.S. president in tackling the region's problems.

Dawn (Pakistan)

  • March of the Taliban: Columnist Kamran Shafi looks at the threat posed by the Taliban. He takes Pakistan's politicians to task for their weak attitude towards what he considers as a growing danger for Pakistan and the region.

 Financial Times

  • Lessons from the Crisis: An editorial looks at what can be learned from the current global economic crisis. The newspaper recommends tighter controls, more cooperation between nations, and the inclusion of emerging powers into the global financial system, but says that the crisis should not mean any backtracking on globalization.

Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • Somali Piracy: In an editorial, it says that both force and law should be employed to end piracy off the coast of Somalia. The newspaper says that the pirates should be pursued to their home bases on land, and the culprits taken to face trial in neutral countries.

Guardian (UK)

  • Britain and Iraq: An editorial does not hesitate to call Britain's military operations in Iraq an 'avoidable disaster.' The newspaper argues that Britain's reputation for knowing how to deal with counter-insurgencies proved false, and that the lessons from Iraq need to be urgently learned if there is not to be a similar disaster in Afghanistan.

 Jerusalem Post

  • Helping U.S. Jews: In an editorial, the Jerusalem Post looks at the ways in which the current financial crisis has affected the Jewish community in the United States. The newspaper calls on philanthropists and donors to keep the needs of the broader community in mind, and to establish a clear list of priorities.

 Los Angeles Times

  • Somali Pirates: Columnist Jonah Goldberg advocates a tough stance with regard to Somali pirates. The author would like to see more resolve from President Obama to ensure that nothing similar to the recent incident involving Captain Phillips ever happens again.
  • Obama and Mexico: John M. Ackerman, a professor at the Institute for Legal Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, looks at President Obama's forthcoming visit to Mexico. The writer urges the U.S. president to look beyond the current problem caused by drugs violence and says more help is needed for institution building in Mexico.

Miami Herald

  • Obama and Cuba: An editorial comments on President Obama's decision to relax travel restrictions to Cuba for Cuban-Americans. The newspaper says that this is not a radical shift in policy, but a first step designed to see if the regime in Havana reciprocates.

National (UAE)

  • Somali Pirates: In an editorial, it says that a solution to the problem requires force on the one hand and an attempt to bring stability to Somalia on the other. Only if both of these are put in place can the desperation driving the pirates be dealt with.

Times of India

  • Sri Lanka: An editorial considers the two-day truce offered by the Colombo government to allow civilians to escape from the battle-ridden areas. The newspaper concludes that military victory will not be enough, and that a political solution that recognizes the demands of the Tamil minority is also required.

Times of London

  • Obama and Cuba: Commentator David Aaronovitch asks whether President Obama's small policy shift towards Cuba will help those living under the Castro regime. The writer argues that it might have the opposite effect, giving the Castro brothers another lifeline and help them avoid bringing any real change to the lives of ordinary Cubans.

Wall Street Journal

  • Hungary: Alex Bandy, a retired AP correspondent who covered Hungary between 1989 and 2002, blames Hungary's political class for much of the country's current economic woes. According to the writer, the politicians have put populism before economic good sense, but he has hopes that the new prime minister-designate will be bold enough to introduce tough measures.

Washington Post

  • Somali Piracy: An editorial addresses the Somali piracy question. The paper suggests that an international effort to build up the Somali government and security forces, while being extremely expensive, could be the only way to provide a lasting solution to the problem.
  • Cuba: Op-ed Columnist Eugene Robinson maintains that President Obama should go further than the recently announced measures on Cuba. He argues that the trade embargo should be dropped entirely to see how Cuba would react to an influx of people, money, and goods from the United States. Robinson counsels against wishful thinking, arguing that black people in Cuba still face many problems.