September 10, 2006 ☼ Foreign Affairs
This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Brazil and Cuba is being projected as ‘a showpiece of an independent foreign policy’. A showpiece it most certainly is. While the India-Brazil-South Africa partnership is a useful platform for the three countries to pursue their interests at global economic fora, like the WTO for example, the second leg of the trip—the Non-aligned movement summit at Havana—is just political superstition.
At the best of times, Indian leaders find it hard to avoid attending NAM summits, reckoning that the domestic political cost of breaking with a bankrupt tradition outweighs the benefits of non-attendance. But after having defended an unprecedented transformation of relations with the United States, attending the America-bashing NAM summit provides Dr Manmohan Singh with something to show his anti-American critics. Like usual, assorted dictators and kleptocrats will make lofty speeches, harangue the United States and sing paeans to the United Nations. Never mind that NAM refused to commit its members to stop supporting the Taliban.
Dr Singh will do his part and verbally flog the dead horse.
The Indian effort at Havana would be to help the non-aligned movement “revitalise itself so as to pursue the shared interests of the member states in a transformed world,” as Dr. Singh put it in his departure remarks. [The Hindu]
What a wonderful time they’ll have in Havana! Enough to make Fidel Castro step out of convalescence to deliver one of his marathon speeches. He’d step back from the grave for this one.
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