The Barack Obama Administration was throughout its tenure thoroughly and completely America Last. Not only were our national interests at home and abroad not advanced – they were often actively subjugated.
This absolutely pertained to our nation’s businesses – and their investments and operations overseas.
To wit: The Administration didn’t like intellectual property – so it drafted and filed the blueprint lawsuit other nations subsequently used to globally undermine (and wrongfully rob of hundreds of billions of dollars) American innovation company Qualcomm.
Well, we are now very thankfully no longer subjected to the Obama Administration. And instead, we are enjoying the very America First Donald Trump Administration. Which is working very diligently to undo so much of Obama’s America Last inanity.
We humbly submit another undoing for the Administration’s consideration: To what the U.S. company Tahoe Resources is being subjected in Guatemala regarding its Escobal silver mining operation.
Mining ain’t cheap. Tahoe Resources has invested $1 billion in the Escobal mine – and thereby in the Guatemalan economy. Which is quite good news for a Guatemalan economy that doesn’t get enough good economic news.
More gigs – means less gangs. And Guatemala has a fairly huge gang problem. Which means – due to our decades-long, titanically stupid immigration policy – we have a fairly huge Guatemalan gang problem.
And while we have been importing Guatemalan gangs, we were apparently exporting them environmentalist radicals. A gaggle of which filed a lawsuit to stop the Escobal mining project.
In July, the Guatemalan Supreme Court issued the freaks’ requested injunction. Thankfully, in September the Court reinstated the Escobal license – which allows business to be resumed. Pending a decision by Guatemala’s highest court – the Constitutional Court. (Apparently, the word “supreme” doesn’t translate quite so cleanly between English and Spanish.)
Mining will continue? That is something for which the environmentalist radicals will not stand. Having lost the legal – they go extra-legal. They have set up road blocks to prevent the Guatemalan mine workers from getting to work.
Which is – besides the violation of the Guatemalan court system – a violation of the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights:
“Article 23: (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment….”
Guatemala’s environmental freaks – are preventing gainfully employed Guatemalans from engaging in their gainful employment.
And this is where America First absolutely needs to enter the equation.
The Donald Trump Administration needs to get more actively involved in ensuring that American businesses investing overseas – aren’t at risk of losing said investments due to ridiculous impediments and actions by overseas’ interests. Including in this instance in Guatemala.
“The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.”
Far better to enter – with cash, rather than weapons, in hand. Don’t invade – invest. The native people will be much more amenable.
But don’t just take my word for it. Meet J. Michael Waller, PhD:
“J. Michael Waller is an independent scholar-practitioner who specializes in strategic influence, strategic communication, international political organization and communication, political and psychological warfare, and related fields. He holds a PhD in international security affairs from Boston University (1993)….Dr. Waller is a founding editorial board member of NATO’s scholarly journal Defence Strategic Communications, published by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence….”
Dr. Waller has just penned a paper: “Making the World Safe for Prosperity: State Department needs an overhaul to become more business friendly.” In which he chronicles the Obama Administration’s America Last approach abroad:
“The State Department’s shift toward building ‘civil society’ abroad has clashed with the mission to promote traditional US national interests. Occasionally it has harmed legitimate American business interests abroad.…
“In some countries, the US Embassy has worked in partnership with international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) with a history of suspicion of, or hostility toward, US national interest and free enterprise. State Department cooperation with non-US groups against US companies has cost billions of dollars in revenue and market capitalization. If left unchecked, State Department behavior will continue to damage American-based companies that do not have influential lobbies in Washington….
“To illustrate the problem, this paper describes how international NGOs operated in a single country to target and shut down a billion-dollar US-based business operation and deprive the company of billions of dollars in capitalization. The beneficiary was not the American people, but political activists, international NGOs, and radical groups in the foreign country. This case study illustrates the problem….”
And what case study is that? Guatemala – and Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine:
“Tahoe Resources invested more than $1 billion in Guatemala to open one of the world’s largest and most modern silver mines in 2014. International NGOs had the mine shut down in 2017. The US Embassy pressured the Guatemalan Congress to appoint a radical NGO activist lawyer as the de facto leader of the country’s highest court, which will hear Tahoe Resource’s final legal appeal, effectively dooming the company.
“The case shows how US Ambassador to Guatemala Todd Robinson used the might of the American Embassy to promote the anti-mining NGOs’ themes, and compel Guatemalan lawmakers to make a radical change in the nation’s judiciary to suit the interests of the anti-mining movement.”
Get all that? Obama’s Ambassador to Guatemala – was actively working with Guatemala’s environmental freaks. And thereby actively working against – a US company the Obama Ambassador is allegedly there to represent and assist.
And America Last Ambassador Robinson – ain’t anywhere near an aberration:
“Robinson is not an anomaly. He is a distinguished career foreign service officer who has held senior diplomatic posts. He is representative of a new, mature generation of the United States Foreign Service who believes that the State Department’s role is to follow the lead of international NGOs for the benefit of the ‘international community.’”
US foreign service – inherently, intrinsically working against American interests. As institutional policy.
Donald Trump’s State Department – needs desperately to address this. And (re)install the America First approach:
“Knowledge of the case can aid the State Department leadership in devising ways and means of reforming the Foreign Service, and the Department as a whole to serve the interests of Americans first.”
This first appeared in Red State.