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A World of News and Perspective



■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

■ June 2014

Sp ec ia l Mission



After 25 Years, China Still Mum On Tiananmen Protests Twenty-five years after Chinese troops opened fire on protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds and shutting the door on political reforms in China, the brutal military crackdown remains a taboo subject in the communist country. PAGE 10


PEOPLE OF WORLD INFLUENCE The British Residence in Washington is hidden from passers-by on the street if one of many interesting titbits they do not step outside into in a new book on the building the garden, written by British historian Anthony Seldon and Daniel Collings.

World Cup ViCtory? When the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 12, the eyes of the world will be glued to Brazil, but will the country score in its audacious bid to host mega sporting events, or will it be left holding the ball — in this case, billions of dollars that many Brazilians say could’ve been better spent elsewhere? PAGE 13


One Year Later, Snowden’s NSA Leaks Still Making Waves Since Edward Snowden blew the lid off thousands of sensitive and controversial NSA intelligence-gathering programs exactly one year ago, the world has been consumed by the debate over the appropriate boundaries of spying in the digital age. PAGE 12

New Book Chronicles Illustrious British Residence by Anna Gawel

t seems almost blasphemous to compare the British residence, whose stately halls have welcomed everyone from royalty to rock stars, to a workhorse. But Sir Peter Westmacott, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., says this haven of refinement on Massachusetts avenue was “built to do a job” — elevating anglo-american relations — and it has done that job admirably.

OSCE Tries To Defuse Ukrainian Tinderbox Continued on next page

June 2014


The Washington Diplomat

Page 21

As world leaders anxiously monitor the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine, Lamberto Zannier, secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, says the OSCE is quietly but effectively laying the groundwork for a possible resolution. PAGE 4


Lithuanian Wife Trades Scrubs For Diplomacy


‘Disaster’ Prepares For the Worst “Designing for Disaster” is a timely new exhibit that looks at how people can safeguard themselves against Mother Nature. PAGE 28

■ JUNE 2014


She was trained in Lithuania as a doctor — just like her mother, grandparents and aunts were. “It’s a real dynasty,” says Lina Pavilioniene, wife of Lithuanian Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis. And while she’s on a break from medicine, she still gets plenty of practice with minor cuts and bruises as the mother of four boys. PAGE 29


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The Washington Diplomat

June 2014


June 2014


17 Sahara stalemate

[ news ] 4

STabiliTy vS. DEmOCraCy



Edward Snowden’s nSa leaks sparked a worldwide debate on spying in the digital age — a debate that’s still raging one year after his explosive revelations.


COvEr PrOFilE: brazil on June 12, Brazil toasts the start of the 2014 World cup, but not everyone is celebrating the billions of dollars spent on soccer — instead of on improving the country’s stagnant economy, violent crime and inadequate public services.


[ luxury living ] 21



PrimE rEal ESTaTE

COvEr: Taken at the Brazilian Residence by Lawrence Ruggeri of Soccer ball provided by Rockville Soccer of Rockville, Maryland.


“designing for disaster” comes on the heels of a major national report confirming what many americans already know: climate-related disasters are becoming a fact of life.


Film rEviEWS in the autobiographical “the dance of reality,” renowned director alejandro Jodorowsky revisits his chilean roots and his troubled childhood.


DiSaSTrOuS DiSPlay

‘ShakESPEarE’S ThE ThiNG’

Jeff Black has a knack for knowing his audience. his newest restaurant, republic in takoma Park, Md., is no exception.

Film FESTivalS this month, aFi docs returns to Washington for its 12th year as one of the most prominent documentary film festivals on the international circuit.

the canadian Embassy, which occupies a prime perch on Pennsylvania avenue between the capitol and White house, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer.



on his 450th birthday, Shakespeare continues to be celebrated throughout the world, as seen in a simple but eclectic exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library.


[ culture ]


if two is company and three is a crowd, what are three men and a dog in a small boat, in the rain, with only one umbrella? a hilarious combination at Synetic theater.

the British residence in Washington, which is the subject of an elaborate new coffee-table book, was built as a testament to Britain’s special relationship with america.

ThE rOTuNDa the clash over agricultural export subsidies among republican stalwarts shows that not all of Washington’s battles are drawn along partisan lines.


Shafik Gabr, one of Egypt’s richest industrialists, says stability and security must come before his fragile homeland can embrace democracy.

hospice care is a subject that’s widely misunderstood and largely avoided, but it’s a valuable resource that has provided dignified care for millions of americans.

Photo: Johnny ShryocK

Medicine runs in the family for Lina Pavilioniene, the wife of the Lithuanian ambassador and a doctor, just like her mother and grandmother.






as the world marks the 25th anniversary of the tiananmen Square protests, china is still doing everything it can to sweep the massacre under the rug.


Sahara STalEmaTE

Synetic Theater’s “Three Men in a Boat”

Morocco’s high-powered lobbying machine goes into overdrive when it comes to the Western Sahara, a nearly 40-year territorial conflict between rabat and the Polisario independence movement.

PErENNial CONFliCT after more than six decades of on-and-off negotiations, there is still no end in sight to the israeli-Palestinian conflict — or to the core issues that divide the two sides.



PEOPlE OF WOrlD iNFluENCE Lamberto Zannier, secretary-general of the organization for Security and cooperation in Europe, explains how the oScE is playing a crucial mediating role in the Ukrainian political crisis.


Photo: © Eric SandEr

British residence in Washington



CiNEma liSTiNG






WOrlD hOliDayS





P.O. Box 1345 • Silver Spring, MD 20915-1345 • Phone: (301) 933-3552 • Fax: (301) 949-0065 • E-mail: • Web: Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Victor Shiblie Director of Operations Fuad Shiblie managing Editor anna Gawel News Editor Larry Luxner Contributing Writers Sarah alaoui, Martin austermuhle, Michael coleman, rachel hunt, Stephanie Kanowitz, Eliza Krigman, Luke Jerod Kummer, Ky n. nguyen, Gail Scott, dave Seminara, Gina Shaw, Gary tischler, Lisa troshinsky, Karin Zeitvogel Photographers Jessica Latos, Lawrence ruggeri account managers rod carrasco, chris Smith Graphic Designer cari henderson The Washington Diplomat is published monthly by the Washington diplomat, inc. the newspaper is distributed free of charge at several locations throughout the Washington, d.c. area. We do offer subscriptions for home delivery. Subscription rates are $25 for 12 issues and $45 for 24 issues. call Fuad Shiblie for past issues. if your organization employs many people from the international community you may qualify for free bulk delivery. to see if you qualify you must contact Fuad Shiblie. The Washington Diplomat assumes no responsibility for the safe keeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material. the information contained in this publication is in no way to be construed as a recommendation by the Publisher of any kind or nature whatsoever, nor as a recommendation of any industry standard, nor as an endorsement of any product or service, nor as an opinion or certification regarding the accuracy of any such information.

June 2014

The Washington Diplomat Page 3


Lamberto Zannier

OSCE Secretary-General Seeks Middle Ground in Ukraine Crisis by Michael Coleman


s world leaders anxiously monitor the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Coop­ eration in Europe (OSCE) is quietly but effectively laying the groundwork for a possible resolution. The trans-Atlantic security and rights group, which comprises 57 states in North America, Europe and Asia (including Russia), has been deeply involved in mediating the crisis for months and, as of press time, plans to send as many as 1,000 observers to monitor the country’s May 25 election. It is one of the few international bodies trusted by both the West and Russia to play a major role in trying to defuse the tensions that are threatening to tear Ukraine apart. The OSCE’s overall mandate includes issues such as arms control, conflict prevention, and the promotion of human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections. It has 550 staff at its headquarters in Vienna and 2,300 field staff. The OSCE originated in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975 and had a budget of 144 million euro last year. Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE’s secretary-general and a career Italian diplomat, recently sat down with The Washington Diplomat at a Foggy Bottom hotel to discuss the crisis and the group’s increasingly visible mediation role. To say he knows a few things about conflict prevention is an understatement. From 2008 to 2011, he was the U.N. special representative for Kosovo and head of the U.N. mission there. From 2002 to 2006, he was director of the OSCE’s Conflict Prevention Centre, and in the 1990s, he was head of disarmament, arms control and cooperative security at NATO. “We offer a very unique approach to security — we call it a comprehensive approach,” Zannier said. “We do the political and military side, but we also work on economic security, human rights and strengthening democratic institutions, all of them being components of a broader approach to security. “We are inclusive,” Zannier added. “Our approach is based on dialogue and engagement — soft security. And while we are a security organization, we are not a defense organization. We are very different than NATO.” That’s a good thing, because NATO is lightening rod for controversy in Russia, whose president, Vladimir Putin, accuses the military bloc of encircling his country and steadily chipping away at its influence. That longstanding resentment boiled over when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power in February after he spurned a deal to establish closer relations with the European Union in favor of $15 billion in aid from Russia, sparking massive protests in Kiev. Many experts say the thought of losing Ukraine, a key buffer state with deep economic and historical ties to Russia, was a red line for Putin, who has seen the once vast Soviet empire shrink dramatically since the fall of communism. Russia quickly responded to the political jockeying in Kiev, annexing the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea via a referendum that played on the pro-Russian sentiment in eastern and southern Ukraine. Since then, pro-Russian separatists in the east have tried to declare independence from Kiev, although so far Moscow has not moved to absorb

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Lamberto Zannier, secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, speaks at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna in April 2014.

Photo: OSCE

Dialogue is probably the best way for us to try to have the Ukrainians to engage in an agenda that will be defined by them and not imposed by the international community. — Lamberto Zannier

secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

those regions — which would surely trigger full-blown civil war. One of the few neutral actors in this imbroglio has been the OSCE, whose officials have engaged in high-level diplomacy with all sides while aiming to address concerns about fundamental freedoms and human rights, as well as election monitoring, fact-finding and military visits. Some of those visits, however, haven’t exactly received a warm welcome. In late April, separatists in eastern Ukraine detained a group of OSCE military monitors for more than a week before the EU negotiated their release. Zannier says the dangerous conditions won’t keep the OSCE from its mission to resolve the conflict, which represents the worst flare-up of hostilities between the West and Russia since the Cold War. “We seek an open and inclusive national dialogue in Ukraine,” he told us.“Dialogue is probably the best way for us to try to have the Ukrainians to engage in an agenda that will be defined by them and not imposed by the international community. “We’re addressing the idea of constitutional reform, local government, fighting against corruption and other reforms, including justice and rule of law,” he added. “We hope

through this to create a political space to bring the political discourse back from the streets and back to the parliament and the political environment where it belongs.” As part of that effort, the OSCE in early May proposed a so-called “road map” to peace and stability that Russia and Ukraine could follow. The proposal focuses on four elements: nonviolence, disarmament, dialogue and elections. “The road map recognizes we need to de-escalate and bring the political process back to where it belongs so we don’t see weapons around and so we can create the conditions for disarmament,” Zannier explained. “For all this we need the process of dialogue to start. We need to have proper investigation and where there have been crimes committed, the perpetrators must be brought to justice. It is basically a plan of de-escalation with a number of steps. One of the things we are doing is discussing with the Ukrainians now the sequencing of these steps. One of the other things we are dealing with is the fact that some of the counter-terror operations started by the Ukrainian government are still ongoing.” Dozens, in fact, have died in clashes between pro-government troops and separatist forces. The interim government in Kiev has said it is open to granting parts of the country broad autonomy but refuses to negotiate with separatists until they lay down their arms. Likewise, the pro-Russian militants won’t talk until the government ends its counterterrorism offensive. “When there is still a use of force it is difficult to begin a dialogue, and some of these militias that have appeared in the east of the country are in fact a barrier to dialogue,” Zannier said.“I think we need to isolate them and encourage people not to get caught in this potential spiral of violence.That’s where we need to engage and to appeal.” Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed prime minister, told reporters at a news conference in Brussels on May 13 that while Ukraine appreciated the OSCE’s proposals, Kiev would provide its own plan.

The Washington Diplomat

See Zannier, page 6 June 2014




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Zannier “The Ukrainian government is promoting its own roadmap,” Yatsenyuk said.“It has some things in common with the OSCE roadmap but the settlement process should be Ukrainian. “We are doing our best to stabilize the situation in the country. We have initiated a dialogue with eastern and western regions of the country,” he added, noting that officials visited the region to discuss divisive issues such as the decentralization of power, protection of the Russian language and anti-corruption measures. (Those unity talks, held under the auspices of the OSCE, included moderate easterners but not any armed rebels.) Another Ukrainian official called the OSCE an “auxiliary instrument.” Zannier said the issue of who gets credit for coming up with a settlement isn’t important, so long as stability returns. “I don’t think that the term auxiliary instrument diminishes in any way the importance of the road map,” Zannier said. “What it means is they want to have strong ownership of this process.They welcome the efforts of the international community to assist them and point to some areas where we need to move, but on the other hand the Ukrainians want to make sure they are in the driver’s seat of this process.” He added: “They agree with most of what is there, but they are saying this has to be driven by them and I think that’s good. They are the ones who have to solve the problem.” That can’t happen without the good-faith efforts of Russia, Zannier also pointed out. “We want more engagement. I expected Russia to play a stronger role,” Zannier said. “I also see the role of media to be potentially destabilizing. It’s very polarized. I hear different stories if I watch Western or Russian media, which reaches most of the population of the east…. The interpretation is very different and that affects the population.” Zannier said it remains to be seen how the May 25 presidential election will play out across Ukraine and in Russia, whose presi-

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier visits Kiev in December 2013 during the Euromaidan protests.

dent seems to have toned down his earlier confrontational rhetoric. Putin also recently said he had ordered troops deployed near Ukraine to return to their home bases, although NATO says it has not yet seen a significant shift in the 40,000 Russian troops amassed at the border. Still, the apparent softening of Putin’s position is seen as a hopeful sign that elections might begin to heal the fractured country.The New York Times speculated that Putin’s turnaround might have something to do with the apparent frontrunner in those elections: Petro Poroshenko, a confection magnate who may have enough votes to avoid a possible June 15 runoff with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko — and who “has presented the Kremlin with the prospect of a clear negotiating partner,” wrote David M. Herszenhorn. But Putin may have already let the nationalistic genie out of the bottle. Some pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern part of Ukraine have suggested they will not allow the May 25 ballot to proceed. “Those who are saying those things are these self-appointed

leaders who represent themselves, but of course they influence the communities,” Zannier said.“In some areas we see also members of the electoral commission start to be somehow threatened. There is an atmosphere of intimidation for those who engage in preparation for the election and potentially voters.” Russia could help tamp down that anxiety, he suggested. “That’s where Russia can help,” Zannier said.“It is good to have statements from Moscow saying these elections are important and they should be supported.” But he conceded that election irregularities are possible. “There may be pockets here and there where it will be very problematic, in places where there are armed militias in control of the town or the environment,” Zannier said.“It may even be difficult for us to send observers to some of these places. Hopefully these will be the exceptions.” Asked about Russia’s previous efforts to dilute OSCE meddling in its own elections, Zannier, ever the diplomat, Photo: OSCE demurred. “Election monitoring is a difficult job smile,” he said with a smile. Zannier said Russia appears to be acting in good faith, but he could not rule out Western fears of further Russian aggression, especially if the election ushers in a fervently pro-EU administration. “I can’t speculate on what Moscow’s plans are,” Zannier said. “After Crimea there are obviously concerns. But at this point, these are speculations. I don’t think it is in Russia’s interest to have an open crisis or even a civil war right at its doorstep; it might create instability even inside Russia. “I think we need to build on this and keep insisting that Russia is engaged and cooperate in this de-escalation process before this situation gets out of control for everybody,” Zannier added. “If this spreads and gets out of control even Moscow at some point could have trouble influencing processes, and this could turn into a nightmare for everybody. That should be a good basis for everybody, including Moscow, to try to address this particular juncture. It’s a key moment.”

Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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June 2014


Middle East

Israeli-Palestinian Blame Game Obscures Crux of the Conflict by Dave Seminara and Anna Gawel


ore than 46 years after Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following the Six-Day War, and after more than six decades of on-and-off negotiations, there is still no end in sight to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict.

Israel’s occupation is the longest-running military occupation in modern history, and a succession of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators over the years, not to mention a string of U.S. presidents, have failed to clinch a peace deal. When Secretary of State John Kerry launched a new round of negotiations last July, the announcement was greeted with skepticism but also hope that perhaps Kerry, who seemed personally vested in the legacy-making issue, and Obama, who will never face re-election and could theoretically push Israel without fear of electoral consequences, could prod the two sides toward a final-status agreement. That ambitious goal was later downgraded to a “framework of principles,” but regardless, the talks broke down in April just before their nine-month deadline amid tit-for-tat recriminations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reneged on a pledge to release the last tranche of 104 long-held Palestinian political prisoners and his government approved plans for 700 new housing units in East Jerusalem, prompting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to submit applications to join 15 United Nations agencies. Desperate to salvage the talks, at one point the United States even flirted with the idea of releasing Jonathan Pollard, a former Naval intelligence analyst who was given a life sentence after he was caught passing the equivalent of a room full of classified documents to Israel. The controversial proposal fizzed out and shortly afterward, Abbas announced that his West Bank-based Fatah party struck a reconciliation accord with its rival Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, in a bid to end seven years of division. Similar deals have foundered before, but Netanyahu seized on the declaration to suspend further negotiations, saying he could not work with a militant faction that had sworn itself to Israel’s destruction. Likewise, the United States, which views Hamas as a terrorist organization, denounced the move and June 2014

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Golasso

Palestinians are exercising what they believe is a diplomatic option in the same unilateral way they accuse Israel of exercising an option on the ground in building settlements.

— Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt and Israel suggested it might threaten the $500 million in annual aid that it gives to the Palestinians.

Core of the Conflict Yet all of these contentious issues — Pollard, Palestinian unity, prisoner releases — are in a sense window dressing to the real deal. The “core” of the conflict has always boiled down to borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem (and to an extent the more recent demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state). The Palestinians want a sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along the June 6, 1967, lines prior to the Six-Day War, with Jerusalem as their capital. Israel considers Jerusalem “indivisible” and won’t revert to the pre-1967 borders but is prepared to swap land, pulling out of some settlement blocs in the West Bank while annexing the larger ones. Israel also insists on a demilitarized Palestinian state with control over its airspace and borders. Other

thorny areas include the status of millions of Palestinian refugees, water rights and freedom of movement. It’s not known if Kerry’s diplomatic gambit made any headway on these touchstone issues. Some say the negotiations got bogged down by peripheral details, including talks to establish the preconditions for talking.And according to a New York Times autopsy of the breakdown,“both Israeli and Palestinian negotiators failed to budge from their opening, maximalist positions” during the first 20 bilateral meetings. Clearly, though, there were hopeful signs that kept U.S. negotiators pushing so hard to keep the marathon talks alive. Martin Indyk, America’s special envoy for the negotiations, told a recent conference that he still believes a breakthrough is possible. “Because over the last nine months, behind the closed doors of the negotiating rooms, I’ve witnessed Israelis and Palestinians engaging in serious and intensive negotiations,” he said. “In 20 rounds over the first six months, we man-

Jews pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, which is holy to all three Abrahamic faiths and is one of several intractable “core issues” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming the city as their capital.

aged to define clearly the gaps that separate the parties on all the core issues. And since then we have conducted intensive negotiations with the leaders and their teams to try to bridge those gaps.” The negotiations were shrouded in secrecy, so we don’t know how accurate Indyk’s assessment is. In the end, though, no amount of cajoling from Kerry could gloss over these serious gaps on the core issues. Even Kerry seemed worn down by his herculean effort. In early April, he warned that, “There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward.” At a subsequent closed-door meeting, a recording of which was leaked by the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin, Kerry said that Israel risked becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t adopt a two-state solution, provoking a diplomatic furor and even calls for his resignation. While Kerry quickly issued a release outlining his unwavering commitment to Israel, the damage was done. The loaded “A-bomb” term touches a nerve in

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 7

Continued from previous page part because of fears that the demise of a two-state solution will indeed leave Israel with two stark choices: absorb 4 million Palestinians and give them full rights, preserving Israel’s democracy but diluting its Jewish character, or force them to live as second-class citizens. Analysts, and even President Obama, also believe that Mahmoud Abbas, now 79, is the most moderate Palestinian leader that Israel and Washington could hope for. “Abbas has been a real partner for peace,” said Daniel Kurtzer, a retired diplomat who served as the U.S. ambassador to Egypt and Israel.“It’s never a last chance but it would seem to be in everyone’s interests to do this while you still have a Palestinian leader who has that credibility as one of the last founding members of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization].” However, Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, a conservative think tank in Washington, says Abbas doesn’t have the credibility or the mandate to make peace. “Compared to [Yasser] Arafat, who indirectly acknowledged that Israel was a Jewish state, something that Abbas refuses to do,Abbas is less charismatic, equally corrupt, less personable and someone who presides over a divided Palestinian Authority in which Hamas controls a third of the land mass,” Berman said.“The Israelis are trying to get Washington to understand that they don’t have a partner for peace on the other side of the table.”

Devil in the Details Both sides would have to make politically painful compromises to resolve the four central issues on the table: settlements/borders, the legal status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees/right of return, and ensuring Israel’s security, along with the question of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Many analysts agree that a final-status agreement is likely to look similar to the so-called “Clinton parameters”

Smithsonian Institution Page 8

Photo: U.S. State Department

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before they celebrate Iftar, the breaking of the Ramadan fast, during a meeting in Jordan last year.

proposed during the Camp David talks in 2000. But the devil is in the details and some believe that the Palestinians are being offered less now than what was on the table more than a decade ago. Clayton Swisher is the manager of investigative journalism at Al Jazeera and the author of “The Truth about Camp David,” which challenges the notion that the Palestinians rejected a “generous” offer. Speaking personally, not on behalf of his network, Swisher argues that the Israelis have steadily moved the goalposts so that the Palestinians are haggling over an increasingly smaller piece of the pie. “Al Jazeera’s 2011 release of ‘The Palestine Papers’ — over 1,600 files detailing a decade of diplomatic records from 2001 to 2010 — is clear evidence not only of Israel’s hardening of its bargaining position but also the steady erosion of Palestinian bargaining positions on all core issues,” he said in an e-mail.

“There is less land available for a Palestinian state owing to Israel’s incredible rate of illegal settlement building since Camp David 2000, so a return to the 1967 lines is even more difficult to imagine,” he added. In fact, some say the settlements, built on shrinking patches of land that Palestinians hope to make their own, are the primary obstacle to peace. According to an analysis of Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics performed by the Israeli nonprofit Peace Now, there was a 123 percent surge in West Bank settlement construction in 2013 compared to 2012; nearly 14,000 new units alone were approved during the nine-month negotiations. While settlement buildings actually take up less than 2 percent of the West Bank, some 40 percent of the West Bank is under the administrative control of settlers. In adding more and more “facts on the ground,” which includes not only buildings but roads and checkpoints, it becomes harder to cobble together a contiguous Palestinian state that is anything more than a series of disconnected Bantustans. The Palestinians formally ceded claims to present-day Israel, which represents 78 percent of historic Palestine, in the Oslo process, so even if Israel evacuated all of its settlements (the United Nations estimated the settler population at 520,000 in 2011), a highly unlikely prospect, that would leave the Palestinians with 22 percent of the land. They may not even get that. “Areas the Palestinians entertained for swaps with Israel under the Olmert-Abbas-Bush years will almost certainly be pocketed by Israel, particularly in East Jerusalem,” Swisher said, referring to a 2008 proposal under former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. On the flashpoint issue of Jerusalem, Swisher said that while there’s been better cooperation on holy sites such as the Temple Mount, “it is still highfalutin to believe Israel will allow a capital in East Jerusalem as it continues to gobble up Arab neighborhoods with evictions, home demolitions and the construction of Jewish-only colonies,” he charged. “I do not believe the Netanyahu government intends to offer anything on these core issues that will come anywhere close to satisfying minimal Palestinian demands, much less international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions.” The Israelis feel much the same way when it comes to Palestinian assurances on their security. They question what the peace dividend would be if they relinquished settlement blocs and buffer zones, pointing to sporadic rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip despite the fact that Israel evacuated its Gaza settlements in 2005 (although Gazans remain under an Israeli blockade). In his memoirs, Olmert, who’s since been convicted for taking bribes in a local development deal, said that Abbas had agreed to a demilitarized Palestinian state. During the more recent talks, Abbas reportedly hinted that the Israeli military could remain in the West Bank for five years and then be replaced by either NATO or U.S. troops. Israel, though, is wary of relying on foreign forces

to keep terrorists out. In a Feb. 24 brief, Michael Eisenstadt and Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argue that U.N. patrols in Lebanon and the Golan Heights haven’t exactly inspired confidence among Israelis. “While Israel welcomes cooperative security arrangements with Jordan and the Palestinians in this effort, it looks around at the ineffectual third-party forces on its other borders … and rejects the idea that international forces, even from NATO, could replace its own troops,” the experts write, noting that the media often distorts the size of Israel’s presence in the Jordan Valley, where it has several hundred troops, not thousands. The refugee issue is also a dicey game of numbers. Swisher says “The Palestinian Papers” reveals that the highest number of Palestinian refugees Israel agreed to allow back into the country was just 5,000 from an estimated refugee population that exceeds 5 million. “It is hard to see Israel under Netanyahu reversing that downward trend of eradicating refugee rights,” he said. However, the Palestinians have insisted on the “principle” of the right of return for these refugees, knowing full well they couldn’t all be allowed back into Israel.The bigger dilemma will be establishing a compensation fund for displaced Palestinians and settling claims for confiscated property. Berman concedes that what Israel is currently offering the Palestinians might be less than what was offered at Camp David, thanks to “realities on the ground,” but he thinks the real problem is that Abbas can’t make the concessions necessary to seal a deal. “The talks are held in secret, so we don’t know what’s on the table, but there is a perception that it’s not going well in large part because of the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state,” he told The Diplomat shortly before the negotiations collapsed.

Competing Narratives The insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state emerged as a full-throated demand only after the Annapolis peace talks in 2007 (the Palestinians had already recognized Israel as an independent state years earlier). Critics say it is merely a stalling tactic by Netanyahu to avoid core issues like borders and that defining Israel as a Jewish state would undermine the rights of the country’s sizeable Arab minority. They also say it would wipe out the Palestinian historical narrative of being expelled from their homes during Israel’s founding in 1948. Swisher called it “a euphemism not only to erase the bloody history of Israel’s expulsion of its native population but also a way to close the possibility of Palestinians returning there to live.” These complexities may explain why an increasing number of Palestinians, particularly younger ones, including Abbas’s own son Tareq, support a one-state solution whereby both peoples live in one democratic state and enjoy equal rights. The appeal of this idea is that there would be no borders to redraw and no settlements to evacuate. Many of the proponents of the one-state solution argue that negotiations will always fail because of the uneven power dynamic and lopsided U.S. support for Israel.They also believe that Israelis don’t have a strong incentive to create a Palestinian state, because they’ve already got a thriving, prosperous nation of their own. Israelis, of course, have a very different narrative, one that includes centuries of persecution and the determination to offer Jews a safe haven after the horrors of the Holocaust. Many argue that the Middle East has just one Jewish state but plenty of Arab states where Palestinian refugees are free to live. Israelis fear that an influx of Palestinian refugees, whose birth rates are far higher than theirs, would obliterate the Jewish nature of their state. Despite the renaissance of a one-state solution in foreign policy circles, polls consistently show that a majority of both Palestinians and Israelis still favor a two-state solution (even if they doubt it can actually be achieved), and most mainstream groups in the United States support the goal of

The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

two states for two peoples. “Both parties are going to want to avoid failure,” said David Halperin, executive director of the Israel Policy Forum, a nonprofit group. “We are committed to a two-state solution because we believe in Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. We don’t think the one-state solution is a solution at all,” he said. “This generational divide among Palestinians [who support the one-state solution] is concerning,” he added.“It should provide some urgency for leaders on both sides to move forward.”

‘Diplomatic Intifada’ Others are less sanguine about the prospect of moving forward. “I doubt very much if anything would come out of this,” said Ilan Pappé, an Israeli historian at the University of Exeter who is the author of several books on the conflict.“Somewhere along the road the ‘peace charade’ will stop being effective.” President Obama professes to still believe in a two-state solution, but even he sounded notes of caution in a recent interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was critical of Obama’s remarks and believes the administration was preparing to blame Israel for the talks’ eminent failure. “It is clear that the Palestinians have a readymade policy to pursue should the current talks break down,” he wrote in a piece that called Abbas’s move to join 15 U.N. agencies a “snub.” “Unlike in 2000, when the collapse in diplomacy prompted a violent intifada, this failure will yield a diplomatic intifada, whereby the Palestinians pressure Israel using their leverage with the international community. It’s nonviolent, but it’s war by other means.And it is equally clear that the administration will be a willing partner in assigning blame to Israel.” As a non-member state at the United Nations since November 2012, Palestine is eligible to join 63 international agencies and accords, but they have only sought to join accords involving social and human rights.Their trump card would be joining the International Criminal Court, which would surely trigger U.S. and Israeli sanctions over fears that Palestinians might legally challenge Israel’s occupation. Former U.S. Ambassador Kurtzer doesn’t like the term “diplomatic intifada,” but he agrees that Palestinians will attempt to achieve statehood by gaining access to various international institutions and bodies. “Palestinians are exercising what they believe is a diplomatic option in the same unilateral way they accuse Israel of exercising an option on the ground in building settlements,” he said. “If the Palestinians join the International Criminal Court or International Court of Justice, it would be problematic because it would pit these two states in what some are calling ‘lawfare’ — they’ll be going at each other on legal grounds. That will get us even further away from reaching an agreement.” Berman agrees that the Palestinians will seek diplomatic recognition, which he sees as a departure from the peace process started in Oslo more than two decades ago. “The Palestinians will try to work around Oslo, where we initiated this idea that statehood is earned,” he lamented.“For the Israelis, that’s a huge red flag because the Palestinians agreed not to do this in the Oslo process.” Of course, the Oslo accords also envisioned resolving the remaining issues of borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem within five years, but that never happened either. June 2014

Photo: U.S. State Department

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are all smiles during a December 2013 meeting in Jerusalem. Five months later, however, U.S.-mediated talks between the Israelis and Palestinians broke down amid mutual recriminations.

The American Alternative A common refrain of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Washington cannot impose a solution on two parties who are unwilling to make peace. But some experts say the United States should take the initiative and put out its own parameters for a deal. Kerry himself, in the leaked comments reported by the Daily Beast, said he might unveil his own peace plan as a last-ditch effort and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.” That gets into the perennial debate over whether the United States is an honest broker in the dispute. Alison Weir, the founder of If Americans Knew, a nonprofit that seeks to inform Americans on the costs of providing aid to Israel, points to the fact that Washington provides more than $8 million to Israel each day, more than any other country, despite the fact that it is a prosperous nation in its own right.And Weir cites the makeup of Kerry’s negotiating team, as well as previous teams, as examples that undermine the notion of the United States as an honest broker. She said that a number of individuals on Kerry’s team of negotiators have close ties to influential pro-Israeli groups, including former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, a well-known scholar who once worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), founded in part by Indyk and AIPAC. “The elephant in the room for all of this is the Israel lobby,”Weir charged.“They are a very powerful special-interest group that essentially drives U.S. policy toward the Israel-Palestine issue.” She added: “Israeli leaders aren’t motivated to compromise because they have the U.S. in their back pocket.” Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council takes a very different view, asserting that the $3 billion in aid that the U.S. gives Israel each year also gives it leverage to pressure Israel into making concessions. “When you take in $3 billion in aid there is a level of responsibility that comes with that; you can’t just be unresponsive,” he said. “So there are more ways the U.S. can pressure Israel.The administration is leaning the shoulder in and pressuring them and it’s willing to do things like cross-link issues, like the Iran issue, to get the Israelis to move in the direction they want.” But Aaron David Miller, a former diplomat who was involved in previous peace negotiations and is now a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, argues that this kind of pressure tends to backfire. “First, Israelis and Palestinians can’t be scared into submission — certainly not by an American secretary of state’s warning of the future,” he wrote in an April 29 piece for Foreign Policy. He points out that Kerry’s dire predictions that time is running out for a two-state solution have largely fallen on deaf ears. “In the past year or so, Kerry has prophesied about the dangers of violence, demography, and boycott. Nobody doubts

the grim future awaiting the Middle East if no resolution is found, though precisely when and under which circumstances it may arrive is totally unclear and uncertain,” he wrote. Indeed, the perpetuation of peace talks has become a cottage industry of sorts (churning out experts like Miller and countless others), so negotiations could very well ramp up again in the near future. Both the Israelis and Palestinians receive significant financial assistance from Washington and therefore have a vested interest in keeping the talks plodding along, at least for the sake of appearances. Michael Singh of WINEP says too much is made of talking. Quiet, on-the-ground engagement should be the focus. “Realistically, emphasizing direct dialogue means lowering the talks’ profile and accepting that progress will initially come on less divisive issues like economics and security,” he wrote in an April 15 policy analysis.“It also means

dispensing with overly ambitious deadlines, and accepting that merely handing off a healthy process to President Obama’s successor in 2017 would be a worthwhile accomplishment.” Alon Ben-Meir of New York University said that’s exactly the kind of small-bore approach neither side can afford to take. Besides the demographic time bomb and international isolation Israel faces if talks go nowhere, Ben-Meir says there is a moral imperative to consider as well. “Continued occupation of Palestinian land slowly consumes Israel’s moral standing and physical well-being, inching it ever closer to selfdestruction. Though the Palestinians are not innocent bystanders, Israel and Israel alone must now bear the burden because it is the undisputed power that can change the course of events and prevent the looming disaster,” he wrote in the April 23 article “Forfeiting Israel’s Reason to Exist.” “No one knows the history of the Jews better than the Jews themselves. Persecution, segregation, expulsion and death unmatched in human history were their lot nearly everywhere.But such unspeakable historic misfortune offers no license to inflict pain, suffering and indignity onto others.” Ambassador Kurtzer fears that extremists on both sides will benefit from the inevitable failure of talks — and both will suffer as a result. “Only bad things happen,”he said.“[Palestinians] pursue their diplomacy in the United Nations, Israel continues to build more settlements on the ground, the bad guys do bad things, rockets get fired from Gaza, the hilltop youth destroy orchards on the West Bank. There will be a deterioration of events on the ground as the two societies head off in different directions. I don’t think there is a strong possibility of another intifada, but one can’t rule out the possibility that the cumulative effect of bad things will ultimately end up in serious violence.”

Dave Seminara is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Diplomat, contributed to this report.


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International Affairs


After 25 Years, China Still Silent on Tiananmen Massacre by Karin Zeitvogel


n June 5, 1989, a man who has come to be known only as Tank Man stepped into history. Clad in a white tailored shirt and black trousers, two plastic shopping bags in hand, he stepped out onto a broad boulevard in Beijing as a phalanx of Chinese tanks lumbered toward him. He brought the lead tank to a stop and gestured to the line of tanks stretching down the tree-lined avenue to turn around and go back. Shots were fired. But the man persisted and, after climbing onto one of the tanks and appearing to talk to the soldiers inside, he clambered back down and was whisked away by two men who came from nowhere. The scene of a solitary, defenseless figure standing up to a mighty army became a powerful symbol of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.Today, 25 years after troops opened fire on civilians to squelch those protests, killing hundreds or possibly thousands and shutting the door on political reforms in China, the brutal military crackdown remains taboo in the communist country. The images of Tank Man were smuggled out of China, which had been under martial law for several weeks by then. In the West, Tank Man became one of the greatest icons of the struggle for democracy and human rights in the late 20th century, but censorship inside China ensured that no one saw the image. One report says Chinese state television did broadcast Tank Man’s standoff on the news, but said that it showed how restrained the army had been, not how brave an ordinary Chinese man was. Tank Man’s standoff with the military came as the tanks were leaving the square by China’s Forbidden City and trundling down the Avenue of Eternal Peace. A day earlier, those same tanks had crushed — sometimes literally, sometimes with bullets — the massive demonstration by students, workers and others who had set up shop in the square to demand an end to corruption and profiteering by politicians, and to enjoy the rights enshrined in the Chinese constitution. No one knows what happened to many of the thousands of protesters in Tiananmen Square during what the West still refers to as a massacre. The Chinese authorities have called events that day “much ado about nothing” and are still trying to sweep them under the carpet. When PBS producer Antony Thomas showed the iconic Tank Man picture to a group of students at Beijing University on the 20th anniversary of the massacre, none of the students knew what the photo was. In an article in Slate, also five years ago, journalist Christopher Beam noted that there is no mention of the weeks of protests or the slaughter in Tiananmen Square in Chinese textbooks. He says that, “For the most part, the government avoids discussing the issue at all.” “The government does acknowledge that the People’s Liberation Army intervened after seven weeks of demonstrations and that people were killed. But the official line is that, rather than crushing a peaceful protest, the military simply defended itself — and the country — against violent counterrevolutionary elements,” Beam wrote. On the 25th anniversary of the massacre, the govern-

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Photo: Ann Starbuck

It is the lack of progress on [human rights] and Beijing’s ongoing and largely successful efforts to squelch free discussion and analysis of 1989 that account for the continued international attention to Tiananmen Square. — Robert Daly

director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center

ment is still tight-lipped about what happened in Tiananmen, a historical turning point that the younger generation scarcely knows about. American actress Ann Starbuck, who was doing her junior year abroad at a university in Beijing when the protests began, thinks that’s why the rest of the world still talks about the events of June 4, 1989. “I believe that if the Chinese government had come clean, nobody would’ve cared at this point,” Starbuck told The Washington Diplomat. “If five or 10 years later, they had truth and reconciliation hearings like they had in South Africa after apartheid, if they said, ‘This is what happened, this is how many people died’ … if they had been brave enough like the Tank Man who stepped in front of the line of fire and said what happened, would we be having this conversation? Probably not. It would be just another page in the history books,” Starbuck said. Starbuck has written a one-woman play aboutTiananmen Square that will open on June 2 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. She says the play is her own

In 1989, protesters spent several weeks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square calling for greater democracy and human rights. On June 4, Chinese troops opened fire on civilians to squelch the mass demonstrations, killing hundreds or possibly thousands and shutting the door on further political reforms in China.

coming-of-age story but also evokes memories of Chinese friends who took part in the 1989 protests and muchpublicized hunger strikes. Speaking about a scene in which she plays one of the hunger strikers, Starbuck broke down. “It’s crazy to think that I was so affected by this as an American, but I was,” she said, her voice going quiet as she apologized for her tears.“Sorry … but I was. “Beijing had been, up to that point, a very utopian place to me. It seemed so idyllic and the threat never seemed real,” Starbuck said. “A lot of the Chinese students I was friends with, they didn’t want to renounce communism; they were just saying,‘We could make it better.’ “They wanted to live with the rights written in the Chinese constitution, which is very much like the American constitution,” Starbuck added. “The Chinese have a bill of rights and it says there’s freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and the press. This is what the students were trying to get through — they just wanted to have the rights the constitution says they have.” Because the crackdown instilled fear in many Chinese to even talk about the protests, Starbuck said she has lost contact with all of her friends in China. “When I came back to the States [in 1989], I wrote to my best friend in China and I got a letter from her that said, ‘Please don’t write me. It’s too dangerous. I’ll write you when I can.’ And I never heard from her again,” Starbuck told us. “It is pretty well known that every student that was involved with the protests was at one point rounded up and questioned and either jailed or sent to camps — labor camps or reeducation camps,” she said. Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center in Washington,

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June 2014

When Welcoming the Diplomatic Community The Choices Are Clear

Photo: Ann Starbuck

agrees with Starbuck that the ongoing suppression of human rights in China is the reason why the West still talks about Tiananmen. To be sure, the nation of 1.3 billion has experienced stunning positive changes in the last quarter-century, with the average Chinese enjoying better health — in spite of horrific pollution problems in cities and food scares -— more wealth following the country’s dizzying economic rise, and, somewhat incredibly, more rights than they had in 1989. Still,“Chinese who run afoul of their government have about the same degree of recourse today that they did in the early 1990s,” Daly said. No Chinese leader in the past 25 years has “shown interest in guaranteeing that Chinese enjoy the human rights enshrined in their own constitution,” he added. “It is the lack of progress on these fronts and Beijing’s ongoing and largely successful efforts to squelch free discussion and analysis of 1989 that account for the continued international attention to Tiananmen Square,” Daly said. In the run-up to the infamous anniversary that China wants the world to ignore, Beijing has been shooting itself in the foot and stoking interest in Tiananmen Square by doing things like arresting human rights activists. Scores of lawyers, activists, artists and intellectuals have been detained by the authorities as the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre draws near. Many of the arrests reported in the Western media appear to be directly linked to the massacre. Among others who have been detained are an activist who planned a hunger strike to remember the massacre; an author who wrote an online essay that was critical of the government; and an artist who staged a performance to commemorate the crackdown. The artist was an 18-year-old soldier at the time of the 1989 protests and had been dispatched to break them up. Last month, a well-known human rights lawyer who took part in the protests, Pu Zhiqiang, was arrested in Beijing along with four others after attending a seminar on the topic. State-run news agency Xinhua also announced that journalist Gao Yu had been arrested and charged with leaking a government document to a foreign website. A lawyer for Gao said the document could have contained details on how the government plans to forge ahead with economic reforms while keeping the lid on the spread of democracy. The government’s attempts to keep a tight lid on Tiananmen Square also extend to the country’s burgeoning microblogs, which have exposed the very graft and greed at the top echelons of power that drew legions of students to the streets 25 years ago. Last year, for example, around the time of the anniversary, certain terms were blocked on popular Chinese search engine Sina Weibo. They included “June 4th,” “student movement,” “special day” and “take to the streets,” along with more than 100 other terms. Starbuck said she’s saddened by the fact that “it’s still such a threatening thing to talk about June 2014

American actress Ann Starbuck, who spent her junior year studying abroad at a Beijing university, stands in front of Tiananmen Square in 1988. Starbuck, who witnessed the pro-democracy protests in the square a year later, wrote a one-woman play (poster below) about the events that will open June 2 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood to mark the 25th anniversary of the massacre.

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Tiananmen Square in China.” “It’s crazy. And it’s sad to me that a whole generation of Chinese people — it’s like they think, well, the country made it through that and now we all have big houses with nice things so it doesn’t matter,” Starbuck said. “That’s a reason to talk about it in my play.” Many Chinese sources, especially those who have family in China, refused to talk to The Washington Diplomat for this story. One of them, a student in the United States, said she was too young to remember the events of June 4, 1989, and her parents, who live in China, could not risk talking. “It’s a sensitive subject and there’s potential risk of getting tracked, if not worse,” she said, adding that even after 25 years, “You can never be paranoid enough when it comes to the Chinese government.”

Karin Zeitvogel is a freelance writer who traveled to China in 1991, on the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre — not to report on the event but to run a race on the Great Wall. She was initially denied a visa to travel to China and thinks to this day that her application was rejected because she listed journal­ ism as her profession. She walked out of the visa office, counted to 10 and then walked back in to fill out another application, this time saying she was a teacher. The visa was granted.

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International Relations

United States

One Year Later, World Takes Stock Of Snowden’s Explosive Spy Leaks by Eliza Krigman


ince Edward Snowden blew the lid off a number of sensitive and controversial NSA intelligence-gathering programs exactly one year ago, the world has been con­ sumed by the debate over the appropriate bound­ aries of spying in the digital age.

Revelation after revelation shocked and angered American citizens and foreigners alike. At certain points the scandal sent diplomatic relations into a tailspin, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanding a personal explanation from President Obama for allegedly tapping her cellphone and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceling a state visit to Washington. She wasn’t the only one putting the kibosh on diplomatic meetings. In protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to offer Snowden temporary asylum, Obama canceled a high-profile trip to Moscow. And a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to stop in Vienna amid concerns that Snowden was being smuggled out of Russia.These are just the highlights, of course. The outrage over American spying activities reverberated around the world as an almost continuous flow of new disclosures hit the newsstands. Where to direct the anger grew more complicated when it came to light that some of the countries most upset by American eavesdropping behaved similarly (France) or operated in cahoots with the National Security Agency (Britain). After a while, it became difficult to keep up with the media frenzy over government spying and just as hard to make sense of it all. But now that the shock and indignation have begun to subside, and the courts and legislative branches are working to modify laws and programs to restrain mass surveillance, it’s worth pausing to take stock of what it all means. For those monitoring the situation closeEdward Snowden ly, the takeaway one year out is less about specific changes to intelligence gathering than the longoverdue conversation it has started. “There is now a historic global debate about whether surveillance technologies have outpaced democratic controls,” said Ben Wizner, a lawyer for the ACLU who also represents Snowden.“This is a debate that we should have had before this architecture was deployed, but it’s good that we are having it now.” In other words, Snowden drew attention to the fact that modern technology has enabled governments to undertake the type of dragnet surveillance that used to be the stuff of Hollywood lore. For the most part, lay people have been stunned to learn what kind of snooping is possible and in fact happening. Snowden, a 30-year-old NSA contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, disclosed thousands of classified documents in one of the biggest security leaks in modern U.S. history. The spying scandal began in earnest when The Guardian newspaper revealed in June 2013 that the NSA was collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon’s American customers.The agency was not privy to the contents of the conversations themselves, but rather what’s known as meta-

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Photo: Mike Herbst (

There is now a historic global debate about whether surveillance technologies have outpaced democratic controls…. This is a debate that we should have had before this architecture was deployed, but it’s good that we are having it now. — Ben Wizner

director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project

data: the location of the call, time, duration and other unique identifiers.That same week,The Washington Post ran a story about an NSA program popularly known as PRISM, which collects data such as emails, photos and video chats from the servers of major tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple and Yahoo.The tech executives lashed out at the government claiming it was happening without their knowledge, a fact that the NSA disputes. More bombshells followed with articles alleging that the NSA and even the FBI routinely spied on local embassies in Washington (though spying on embassies, where agents often pose as diplomats, is a time-honored tradition around the world), and that the United States and Britain kept tabs on foreign leaders and diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit. Within the month Snowden made himself known as the source of the leaks, proclaiming himself to be a whistleblower for government surveillance powers that had gotten out of hand. Many more disclosures ensued — a few of the most contentious ones include reports that the NSA wages a multipronged campaign to break or skirt encrypted content on

Germans protest the PRISM mass surveillance data-mining program during President Obama’s visit to Berlin in June 2013, the month former NSA contractor Edward Snowden divulged thousands of documents on America’s secret spying programs.

the web and runs a program known as XKeyscore that collects virtually all Internet user activity. The resulting furor breaks down along separate lines domestically and internationally.While NSA programs ostensibly target foreigners, the indiscriminate bulk collection of data regularly ensnares millions of U.S. citizens. The lack of legal oversight — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court has been described as little more than a rubberstamp — has also sparked a domestic uproar. Overseas, nations have begun to chafe at America’s dominance over the Internet and its expansive infrastructure that has made the NSA’s sweeping dragnets possible. But whether at home or abroad, at the heart of the controversy is the tension between meeting national security needs and maintaining the right to privacy. The brouhaha made clear that finding a balance between the two in a digital age is a daunting task. “Now that people are aware of these practices, there is a much better chance, going forward, that there will be more effective checks and balances both internally and externally imposed,” said Edward Black, president and CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association. Just how much intelligence-gathering practices will change or stay the course depends on a number of legal proceedings and efforts to pass new laws that will play out over the next couple of years (most notably with regards to the Patriot Act, which expires June 2015). But there have been some definitive changes already. The most important of these is President Obama’s directive to significantly narrow the scope of the NSA program that collects domestic phone records. Under proposed reforms now being debated by Congress, private phone

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See snowden, page 47 June 2014


Ambassador Mauro Vieira

Brazil Hopes to Score Win In Its World Cup Gamble by Larry Luxner


hen the 2014 FIFA World Cup offi­ cially kicks off June 12 at São Paulo’s futuristic Corinthians Arena, the eyes and TV screens of the world will be glued to Brazil, whose national soccer team plays Croatia in the opening match.

It’s a moment Brazil’s top envoy in Washington, Mauro Vieira, has been eagerly awaiting for years. “This is the largest sporting event we have ever hosted,” said the ambassador, estimating that 1 million tourists, including nearly 150,000 Americans, will flock to Brazil for the World Cup. “We’ve been playing soccer for at least a century, and ever since Pelé in the 1950s, our players have become national heroes. Over 2.5 billion people follow soccer. The World Cup now attracts even more attention than the Olympics” — whose 2016 Summer Games Brazil will be hosting as well. The month-long World Cup tournament — which consists of 64 matches to be played across a dozen cities from Rio de Janeiro to Recife — marks the second time Brazil has hosted the World Cup. The only other time was in 1950, and Uruguay won (though Brazil did snare the championship on five other occasions). “This will allow us to showcase all the diversity Brazil has to offer,” Vieira told The Washington Diplomat in an hour-long interview at his residence on Massachusetts Avenue.“Brazil is a melting pot.We are very happy people. Sports and music are part of our identity, and I think it’s the right moment and the right occasion to celebrate.” Yet millions of Brazilians won’t be celebrating. The estimated $11.5 billon Brazil is spending on the games has infuriated people throughout a country that’s struggling with a stagnant economy, violent crime, high taxes and inadequate public services. Widespread media reports of fraudulent billing, kickbacks and outright bribery bring to mind the Russian corruption scandals associated with the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year (also see “Russia Puts Its Olympic Dreams, Reputation on the Line at Sochi” in the February 2014 issue of The Diplomat). FIFA, i.e. the Fédération Internationale de Football Association — itself a frequent target of critics who say many of its officials are deeply corrupt — has made no secret of its view that Brazil could have done a better job preALSO SEE: paring for the games, which return to Brazil Beefs Up South America for the first time since Security Ahead 1978. Of World Cup Jérôme Valcke, secretary-general of FIFA, told reporters the angry protests PAGE 14 that sent hundreds of thousands of Brazilians into the streets last June during the Confederations Cup qualifier would likely return for the World Cup, even though political demonstrations and banners won’t be allowed inside the stadiums. “Reasons for being in the streets in 2013 have not changed,” the French official said at a May 9 press briefing, referring to protester complaints such as dismal public transportation services. “There are social problems in Brazil. It will take time.” São Paulo’s Corinthians Arena, which has been expanded to accommodate 65,000 spectators (including 14,000 June 2014

Photo: Kate Oczypok

This is the largest sporting event we have ever hosted…. Over 2.5 billion people follow soccer. The World Cup now attracts even more attention than the Olympics. — Mauro Vieira

ambassador of Brazil to the United States

heads of state, dignitaries, journalists and other invited guests), is emblematic of such criticism. The $425 million stadium is expensive, late and within sight of a makeshift tent city set up by protesters who claim they’ve been made homeless by the neighborhood’s rising rents. Even worse is the Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasília, whose construction cost has nearly tripled to $900 million in public funds, making it the world’s second-most expensive soccer arena — even though the capital city has no major professional team. Auditors allege that as much as one-third of that $900 million consists of fraudulent billing. An Associated Press analysis of data published in mid-May revealed “skyrocketing campaign contributions by the very companies involved in the most Cup projects.” “These donations are making corruption in this country … increasingly difficult to fight.These politicians are working for those who financed campaigns,” Renato Rainha, an arbiter at Brasília’s Audit Court, told AP. Added Gil Castelo Branco, founder of the watchdog group Open Accounts:“Is there corruption in the Cup? Of course, without a doubt. Corruption goes where the money is, and in Brazil today, the big money is tied up in the Cup.” Complicating matters, eight workers have so far died in accidents during the building of Brazil’s 12 World Cup

Ambassador of Brazil Mauro Vieira poses with Fuleco the Armadillo, the official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, at a reception held at his residence to celebrate the World Cup.

arenas.And this is nothing compared to the chaotic efforts being expended to ready Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will cost untold tens of billions of dollars. In late April, International Olympics Committee Vice President John Coates raised eyebrows when — following six official visits to Rio — he said that preparations for the 2016 Games were “the worst I have ever experienced.” He added that Rio was even more unprepared than Athens, where strikes and infrastructure delays nearly cost the Greek capital the 2004 Olympics. “There’s a sense that the World Cup is a major test for Brazil,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank.“Under normal circumstances, this would be a time of great joy and celebration. Instead, there’s a sour mood, because the country is facing lots of economic problems, corruption and concerns about the quality of public services. There seems to be a perception among many Brazilians that the government’s priorities are misplaced. They wonder why so much money is being spent on these Potemkin villages when basic needs are not being met.” The barrage of negative headlines is a stark reversal of fortune for Brazil, an emerging nation of 200 million whose economy blossomed under former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — lifting tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty — but has since cooled under Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff. “After a spate of economic growth that peaked in 2010 at 7.5 percent, Brazil’s economy slowed to 2.7 percent in 2011 and 1 percent in 2012. The growth rate for 2013 is expected to be about 2.5 percent,” wrote Tim Ridout of

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 13

Continued from previous page the German Marshall Fund in a Feb. 19 analysis. “These disappointing numbers can be attributed partly to the drop in global commodity prices, but also to Brazil’s protectionist policies, poor infrastructure, unwieldy bureaucratic red tape, and its statist approach to investment. The Brazilian economy has not proven nimble enough to adjust to changing global realities, especially as investment flows back to the United States,” the scholar argued. Brazilians initially basked in the glow of securing the rights to host both the World Cup and Olympics as a sign of their growing international clout, but now both events are exposing the structural weaknesses of the country’s twodecade-long economic boom. “For a long time, Brazil had a wave of extraordinarily positive press, and now the coverage has changed dramatically,” Shifter told us. “Brazil has swung from one point to the other. Its economy grew over 7 percent in 2010, and the last couple of years have been very sluggish. President Rousseff looked like she was in a very strong position to be re-elected in October. She’s still the favorite to win, but this is by no means assured.” Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, told us that “in the end, they’ll pull off” the World Cup, despite the setbacks that have plagued it ever since Lula, the country’s immensely popular, charismatic former president, announced triumphantly on Oct. 30, 2007, that FIFA had officially awarded Brazil the 2014 games. “The real question is, will this be Brazil’s moment to shine as Lula promoted it? Even a relatively smooth World Cup will not bring enough benefits and may actually bring frustrations,” Sabatini warned. “It’s coming at a time when the bloom is beginning to fade on Brazil’s economic success story.” Of course, Vieira doesn’t see things that way — at least not publicly. “The economy has not slowed down. It’s just


not growing at the rates we had until 2010. This was two years after the financial crisis of Brazil,” he said. “Brazil had 7.5 percent GDP growth when most countries around the world had negative rates. We never had a crisis or depression. One year, we grew just 0.1 percent, but we never receded.” The ambassador reeled off statistics to back up his claim. Unemployment is only 4.9 percent, he pointed out. The United States is still the largest single foreign investor in Brazil ($14 billion out of a total $62 billion in FDI last year), and Brazil today accounts for 3.4 percent of the world economy, up from 1.4 percent in 2000. Moreover, he points out that over the last decade, Brazil’s innovative social policies helped lift 31 million people into the middle class and almost eradicate extreme poverty. Today, more than 100 million Brazilians are middle-income earners. However, this unbridled optimism doesn’t always square with reality — and the reality for

The Brazilian government has built six new stadiums and renovated six others, including Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, above, to prepare for the 2014 World Cup, but some Brazilians say the estimated $11.5 billion cost of the games could’ve been better spent shoring up the country’s cooling economy.

millions of ordinary Brazilians is that the country simply cannot afford one, let alone two, worldclass sporting events when their own economic house is not in order. Tom Vogel, a former Wall Street Journal bureau chief in South America, has written about the region for more than 20 years. “A growing number of Brazilian politicians have pivoted from unreserved chest-thumping pride about the country hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics to a more cautious, even critical, stance,” said Vogel, who now runs Rachlan, a New York-based strategic communications firm.“One can track the start of

this shift to nationwide protests last year against the rising cost of public transportation. These demonstrations grew and quickly tapped into a vein of discontent among Brazilians, particularly those from the lower middle class and below, about their country’s socioeconomic policies, corruption and the spending of billions of dollars to create facilities and other infrastructure” to host the 2014 and 2016 events. One high-profile example of this “pivoting,” Vogel told The Diplomat, is Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro. “In February 2012, he quoted President Barack Obama in a TED talk about Rio winning the 2016 Olympic bid, saying, ‘We really showed that, yes, we can,’” said Vogel. “However, just 18 months later — and less than two months after the June 2013 protest, Paes told ESPN Brasil that it was a ‘vergonha’ [Portuguese meaning shame or embarrassment] that his city was hosting the Olympics, and he blamed the Brazilian federal government for the slowness in preparing for them.” But if Ambassador Vieira feels any vergonha, he certainly didn’t share it with us. “There were some protests last year which were not connected with the World Cup — different groups protesting for better infrastructure — but I think this World Cup will produce huge benefits for Brazil.The government has partnered with the local sector to build six new stadiums and to renovate six others, including Maracanã [in Rio de Janeiro].This is a legacy that will stay.” So is the new 47-acre passenger terminal at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport, which opened May 11 — with only 32 days to spare before the World Cup itself. Overhauls at other major Brazilian airports are running way behind schedule, though Vieira pointed with pride to 45 new urban transport projects in the 12 World Cup host cities as well as “a huge new expressway being built from the airport in Rio to the place where the Olympic villa is being built” for the 2016 Summer Games. “One lesson we can learn from previous World Cups is that you must work hard in organization


Brazil Beefs Up Security Ahead of World Cup With the 2014 FIFA World Cup only weeks away, police and military officials throughout Brazil are rushing to make sure all security measures are in place by the time the month-long soccer competition kicks off June 12. In early April, about 2,000 soldiers raided the Rio de Janeiro shantytown of Mare using helicopters and armored personnel carriers. The favela — considered one of Rio’s most dangerous — is controlled by two rival drug gangs and is home to about 130,000 people. Authorities have created dozens of Police Pacification Units (UPP in Portuguese) since 2008 as part of a bid to quell violence in the sprawling favelas that cling to Brazil’s urban hillsides ahead of the World Cup. Eduarda La Rocque, head of Rio’s municipal planning agency, said the UPPs will help keep the city safe for both residents and the tens of thousands of tourists who will flock to Brazil for the international soccer extravaganza. “In order to ensure security during the World Cup, we have entered into many alliances,” said La Rocque, speaking at a recent conference at Washington’s Wilson Center. La Rocque said municipal officials have invested $7.8 billion in transportation projects and enhancement of existing infrastructure with an eye toward not only the upcoming World Cup but also the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, to be hosted by Rio de Janeiro. It also helps, she said, that Rio de Janeiro’s debt has been upgraded three times by all the major international ratings agencies even though Brazil’s debt as a whole was recently downgraded. “The World Cup is right around the corner, but our focus is sustaining a permanent legacy for the citizens,” she said. Rio de Janeiro has 6.32 million inhabitants, of whom nearly 1.39 million — or 22 percent of the population — live in favelas. “From 1991 to 2010, the city’s population grew 0.4 percent a year, but the favelas grew

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by 2.4 percent,” La Rocque pointed out. “We need social policies that are specifically geared to favelas that will reduce crime and promote social development.” But critics of the military campaign say violence has spiked in favelas that authorities claim have already been pacified, raising concerns that crime could be a problem during the games. They also say the mega sporting events are being used as an excuse to “socially cleanse” poorer neighborhoods, forcibly relocating thousands of slum dwellers to make way for new roads, stadiums and a larger gentrification push to modernize the country. But La Rocque insisted the effort will have long-term benefits for all residents. “We don’t just want to inaugurate things. I’m certain that by 2020, when we look back at the data, we’ll find that living conditions are substantially better. We must continue to attack inequality and stimulate investment. We already have the information. We know what needs to be done.” Col. Robson Rodrigues, a senior consultant at Rio de Janeiro’s Igarapé Institute, is a former police commander who helped to structure and deploy UPPs throughout the state. Rodrigues said the success of the UPPs has as much to do with a change in the general mindset of police authorities as with strategies in the favelas. “Our police officers used to be repressive, enforcing rules the hard way. We never really utilized softer, more refined ways such as intelligence gathering, public relations or community development,” he said, noting that police effectiveness should not only be measured by statistics but thought of in cultural terms. “We have made considerable strides. All the stakeholders in the community — not only police officers but also community leaders — have learned a great deal,” said Rodrigues, noting that some 200 areas throughout Rio are now occupied by UPP troops. “It is up to law enforcement agencies to show that they understand the needs of society, and this has to be reflected in their behavior.” This will especially be true during the World Cup, he said.

Photo: Wilson Dias / Agência Brasil

Brazilian troops patrol a favela in Rio de Janeiro in 2008. More recently, the government has established Police Pacification Units (UPPs) to maintain order in the favelas. “We are going to see a large number of boots on the ground. As a result, we will be able to avert most kinds of insecurity and criminal action,” said the former cop. “It’s possible we will see some turbulence. However, it is essential that we continue with this pacification process.” Brazilian economist and social scientist Mauricio Moura, a visiting scholar at the George Washington University, agrees. “For the first time, we’re openly discussing something that’s been done, and not something that should be done,” he said. “This is ultimately the greatest legacy of the project. If you walk through a community that’s been pacified, you clearly feel more secure. But we need to see if this is a lasting benefit or a passing fad. As to whether the program will ultimately blossom into a long-term project, we’re unable to answer that at this time.”

The Washington Diplomat

— Larry Luxner

June 2014

and good security to promote a joyful event,” the affable diplomat said. “I was posted in France when Paris hosted the World Cup in 1998, and it was a huge celebration.” Vieira insisted he has absolutely no concerns about large-scale violence or terrorism during the World Cup. “The government is well prepared.We have 14 new integrated control-and-command centers — two are national and 12 are local — in each city hosting events,” he said, noting that 170,000 police officers will be on hand to ensure security for the duration of the event. “Brazil is a very open and transparent country.We have never had any kind of terrorism in Brazil and we love to receive foreigners.” Yet violent crime in the country’s largest cities has reached critical levels. During the first three months of 2014, Rio alone reported 1,459 homicides — a 22 percent increase compared to January-March 2013. The incidence of street robberies jumped even higher, by 46.2 percent. Asked about Brazil’s crime problem — it recorded more than 51,000 homicides in 2011, more than any country on Earth — Vieira seemed rather defensive. “Violence is not a characteristic of any country, but a result of poverty, unequal income distribution and access to markets. The government has a number of policies in place to fight violence, transnational crime and drug trafficking,” he said. “This is not only a Brazilian disease; it’s all over the world.” Vieira, 61, has been Brazil’s ambassador in Washington for more than four years and has made a career out of achieving consensus and avoiding controversies. “I consider myself a discreet person. A diplomat has to be discreet, and that’s also a reflection of my personality,” he told The Diplomat back in September 2010, when we first interviewed him. “I’m not very effusive. I’m not a pop star.” Born in the city of Niteroi, across the bay from Rio de Janeiro,Vieira began his diplomatic career in 1975 and landed his first overseas posting

Brazil at a Glance Independence: Sept. 7, 1822 (from Portugal) Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean Capital: Brasilia Population: 202.6 million (July 2014 estimate) Life expectancy: 73.2 years Religions: Roman Catholic 64.6 percent, other Catholic 0.4 percent, Protestant 22.2 percent, other Christian 0.7 percent, Spiritist 2.2 percent, none 8 percent, unspecified 0.4 percent (2010 estimate) GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.4 trillion (2013 estimate) GDP per-capita: $12,100 (2013 estimate) GDP growth: 2.5 percent (2013 estimate) Unemployment: 5.7 percent (2013 estimate) Population below poverty line: 21.4 percent Exports: Transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos Imports: Machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics

Source: CIA World Factbook

three years later at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington. He was next assigned to the Latin American Integration Association in Montevideo, Uruguay, and served at Brazilian embassies in Mexico City (1990-92) and Paris (1995-99). Vieira also held senior positions within the Brazilian Foreign Ministry and various government agencies, including the Itaipú Binacional hydroelectric power plant jointly owned by Brazil and Paraguay. In 2004, he was appointed Brazil’s envoy to Argentina, where he remained until his return to Washington in 2010. In an analysis published by Inter-American Dialogue, researcher Matthew Schewel described Vieira as “an expert at resolving conflicts and

building alliances” with Brazil’s immediate neighbors. Vieira’s tendency to put a diplomatic face on difficult situations was evident during our most recent interview. He said Brazil’s ties with Washington are “excellent” and have been ever since the United States became the first country to recognize Brazilian independence in 1822. “We have always worked together because we have very similar values,” he said, noting that Brazil has received 14 visits from U.S. presidents — beginning with Herbert Hoover in 1928 — while 17 Brazilian heads of state have visited the United States since 1876. Yet“excellent”hardly seems the way to describe

the current state of bilateral affairs. Last September, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of a secret surveillance program in which the National Security Agency monitored Rousseff’s phone calls and emails, wiretapped communications by her aides, and spied on Petrobras, the state-run oil and gas conglomerate. Outraged, Rousseff canceled her long-planned October state visit to Washington and used the U.N. General Assembly meeting to lash out at the Obama administration. “What we have before us, Mr. President, is a serious case of violation of human rights and civil liberties; a case of invasion and capture of secret information pertaining to business activities, and above all, a case of disrespect to national sovereignty of my country,” Rousseff said, moments before Obama took the podium. Vice President Joe Biden announced in early May that he plans to attend the June 16 soccer match in Natal between the United States and Ghana, then meet with Rousseff in Brasília, in an effort to patch things up. Even so, said Shifter, relations are “strained and distant” at best — and Washington is now in damage-control mode. “After Rousseff was elected, Obama went to Brazil and tried to build confidence. But the Snowden issue created a major strain between the two countries,” he said. “The U.S. is doing what it can to keep good relations going, but there won’t be any major progress until at least after the Brazilian elections in October. Right now, the United States is trying to make sure things don’t get worse.” Vieira, though, says things aren’t that bad: “What happened last year is that President Rousseff postponed her state visit to the U.S,” he explained. “The moment was very bad. Together with President Obama, they decided to postpone it to a better moment, after everything had calmed down, so that the focus of public attention would not be on the spying issue. The [NSA

See Brazil, page 20

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June 2014

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The Rotunda

Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

Debate Over Exports Exposes Rift on Hill by Luke Jerod Kummer

The Agriculture Department’s Market Access Program, which provides money to American industries and trade groups to promote their agricultural products overseas, has come under fire as a waste of taxpayer money.


s the clash over agricultural export subsidies among Republican stalwarts shows, not all of Wash­ington’s battles are drawn along partisan lines. In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the funding levels for its Market Access Program (MAP), which provides money to American industries and trade groups to promote their agricultural products overseas. “Now that Congress has passed the Farm Bill, USDA is moving quickly to implement our trade promotion programs to help open and expand opportunities for farmers, ranchers and small businesses and build on the past five years of record agricultural exports,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These programs are an important investment in rural America.” In total, the USDA awarded $171.8 million to 62 different groups, ranging from $45,759 for the Mohair Council of America to $14,073,511 for the U.S. Meat Export Federation. With roots extending back decades, the cost-sharing program supports such activities as advertising in potential export markets, flying foreign distributors to the United States to attend promotional events and sending American industry execs abroad to make inroads there. Not everyone in Washington approves, however, of using taxpayer money to help “big ag” market itself overseas. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the GOP’s most outspoken and unyielding fiscal conservatives in the Senate, has long railed against MAP. “Many Americans might respond with disbelief that we are paying for private companies to market their products in the first place.That we are doing so overseas is even more troubling,” he wrote in a letter to taxpayers a couple of years ago, calling MAP “a permanent subsidy to some of the nation’s most prominent agricultural companies and trade associations.” While other Republicans on Capitol Hill, including heavies such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and members of the influential Republican Study Committee, have also voiced this view, Coburn hardly speaks for his party as a whole. One of MAP’s champions is in fact another Republican who hails from the Sooner State: Rep. Frank Lucas, chair of the

Page 16

Photo: Maksymowicz / iStock

House Agriculture Committee. “Over the last 25 years, MAP has boosted agricultural exports. It has increased American jobs. It has added to rural income,” Lucas (R-Okla.) touted in 2011 as he sought to block an amendment that could have reduced MAP’s money. “We have a lot of discussion these days on the creation of jobs and rightly so, but exports are one of the most surefire ways to increase American jobs.”

as a possible contender for Coburn’s Senate seat. While both men claim a background in farming, Lucas receives a much larger share of campaign funding from agricultural interests, which could either explain their differences or be an outcome of them. According to Open Secrets, the top two industries contributing to Lucas’s campaign committee and leadership PAC in the previous election cycle were crop produc-

Many Americans might respond with disbelief that we are paying for private companies to market their products in the first place. That we are doing so overseas is even more troubling. — Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla.) Coburn again heaped scorn on MAP just before the long-delayed 2014 Farm Bill that authorizes the program was signed this February, deriding what he called “a little $200 million program that everybody in organized agriculture gets to take advantage of — get a couple of trips every year on the federal taxpayer,” Coburn said. In the same Senate-floor speech, Coburn singled out the authors of the final version of the bill, including Lucas, for killing a provision that would have capped payouts for crop insurance. A few weeks earlier, Coburn announced he would retire this year for health reasons and The Washington Post mentioned Lucas

tion and processing industries as well as agricultural services and products. Agriculture did not rank among the top donors to Coburn’s campaign committee and leadership PAC from 2007 to 2012. “We wink and nod and do the parochial vote even though in the best long-term interest of our country we’re doing the wrong thing,” Coburn lamented,“but it sure sells well at home.” More broadly, the issue of whether or not the federal government should make outlays to support these groups’ export campaigns touches a fundamental debate in American politics and society — and between the Republican Party’s fiscal-disci-

pline and business-first wings: How much should taxpayer money be used to boost American businesses? It’s a debate that’s also currently playing out among opponents and backers of the Export-Import Bank, which supports American exports by offering financing to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods and services. These programs’ supporters say it’s not just the businesses involved that get a lift, but the country’s GDP and trade balance are shored up, there are benefits up and down the supply chain, jobs are added and local communities across the country reap rewards. “Every dollar we invest in trade promotion provides $35 in economic benefits,” Vilsack said in the recent MAP announcement. But the direct recipients of the MAP money clearly benefit in a way that is not shared by all American taxpayers equally. Citizens Against Government Waste, an advocacy organization that opposes what it considers pork-barrel spending, chided Lucas for maintaining the program, which it called “absurd,” adding that it “could more accurately go by the name Corporate Welfare Access Program.” The people who administer the programs point out, however, that they are not throwing cash around willy-nilly. Mark Slupek, a program director for the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, said that MAP and related programs are in place to offset the risks for American companies to do business overseas, such as fluctuations in

The Washington Diplomat

See USDA, page 46 June 2014

International Relations

North Africa

A Frozen Conflict in the Sahara Still Enflames Morocco, Polisario by Larry Luxner


ohamed Cherif was an idealistic, long-haired 14-year-old high school student back in the mid 1970s, when in a burst of patrio­ tism he decided to enlist in the Polisario Front, a rebel movement fighting Morocco for the independence of Western Sahara.

“I joined without telling my parents, because they wouldn’t have let me go,” said Cherif. The teenage hippie — born and raised in the desert town of Dakhla — was filled with admiration for Che Guevara, but he was also a fan of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Cherif said he had no idea what he was getting into. “The Polisario destroyed all my cassette tapes and threw them all in the garbage. They said it was Western contamination,” Cherif recalled. He said he was immediately sent to boot camp, then to three years of training at a military academy in Libya, whose leader at the time, Col. Muammar Qaddafi, was one of the Polisario’s strongest supporters. “We had to memorize Qaddafi’s Green Book. When training was finished, they sent me to the front lines,” Cherif told us. “In the beginning, I thought I was joining a revolution and that we were going to liberate the Sahara. But over time I discovered that it’s a communism system adapted for Muslims. They control everything — your work, your family life. Men had to belong to a cell of five people, and women had to belong to cells of 11. If you weren’t married, you were obliged to get married.” Cherif, now 54, took that advice to heart, tying the knot five times (he has a 21-year-old daughter back in Dakhla, as well as a 14-year-old daughter in the Netherlands). Yet the one-time revolutionary ultimately rebelled against the Polisario itself, and for that he says he was sentenced to five years in prison, spending most of that time in an underground cell less than six feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide. After escaping under circumstances that are less than clear, Cherif became a global spokesman for the anti-Polisario movement, regularly testifying in London, Amsterdam and elsewhere before organizations such as Amnesty International.That cause has since become his life’s mission.

Lobby Tug of War His plight has also become a handy cause célèbre for Morocco’s high-powered lobbying machine, which goes into overdrive when it comes to the Western Sahara — a nearly 40-year territorial dispute that’s been forgotten by much of the June 2014

world but consumes Moroccan foreign policymakers. The Moroccan American Center for Policy, a registered agent of the Moroccan government, recently brought Cherif to town and made him available for an interview. The government routinely courts journalists, members of Congress and other officials to make its case against the Polisario, highlighting the stories of exrebels and sending Americans on tightly choreographed trips to the region (The Diplomat went on such a trip in 2009; for coverage, see the September 2009 issue). According to a Feb. 25 Foreign Policy article,“since 2007 the kingdom has spent roughly $20 million lobbying policymakers and soliciting sympathetic coverage from journalists in the United States on all issues, including Western Sahara.” In 2013, Morocco was the sixth-biggest spender when it came to foreign government lobbying, shelling out $4 million to make its case in Washington. The Polisario, a liberation movement backed by Algeria, represents the indigenous Sahrawis, an Arab-Berber nomad group whose lobby might pales in comparison to that of Morocco. Nevertheless, the Polisario maintains a Washington liai-

A man walks in a dusty refugee camp near Tindouf, Algeria, which is home to an estimated 90,000 Saharawis, the indigenous people battling Morocco for control of the disputed Western Sahara.

credit: U.N. Photo / Martine Perret

“All the officials at [the Moroccan American Center] are former U.S. diplomats who served in Morocco, and I find this very strange because America is the only country that allows its former diplomats to be recruited by foreign countries,” he added, referring in part to former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Edward Gabriel, whose company has made millions over the years advocating on behalf of the kingdom.“This could not happen in the U.K., France or Germany.” Beissat, reached on his mobile phone from the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, has represented the Polisario in Washington for one year. Before that, he directed the

The Polisario remains committed to an eventual referendum with self-determination and independence as options, with Morocco pushing for autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. — Freedom House son office on the fourth floor of an office building at 12th and Massachusetts — by coincidence (or not) less than a block from the Moroccan American Center. Its director, Mohamed Beissat, said that even though Morocco is one of the biggest image spenders in the Middle East and North Africa, this money is largely wasted. “We don’t think they’re effective.” he told us.“PR buys you space in the newspaper, time on TV and appointments with policymakers, but it does not make your cause a just cause. Morocco will not be able to change the reality on the ground.

front’s diplomatic efforts in Latin America, where sympathy for the self-styled Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic runs high due to its former status as a colony of Spain. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which claims sovereignty over the Western Sahara, has been recognized by 80 countries from Cuba to Zimbabwe. It maintains its exile headquarters in Tindouf, a dusty Algerian border city that’s now home to roughly 90,000 Sahrawis, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (though Polisario estimates put the figure at around 150,000).

Morocco has plowed money to build up the town of Dakhla in the Western Sahara, which could see a surge in tourism if the nearly 40-year territorial conflict with the Polisario could be resolved.

Yet it’s against Moroccan law to refer to the Sahrawi people in Tindouf as refugees, because that contradicts the official Moroccan line that they are prisoners of the Polisario, as Cherif suggests. Beissat said he met Cherif in the Netherlands in 1996 “while he was running away from Morocco,” but surprisingly declined to “confirm or deny” the accuracy of his numerous allegations.

The Sahara Stalemate Both sides regularly trade murky accusations against the other, poisoning the prospects for a breakthrough in the longrunning conflict. The Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony sandwiched among Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Atlantic Ocean, has been in legal limbo since 1976, when Morocco took over most of the territory. With nearly 400,000 people inhabiting an area roughly the size of Colorado, the

See Polisario, page 45 The Washington Diplomat Page 17


Arab Spring

For Egyptian Entrepreneur, Stability Comes Before Democracy by Martin Austermuhle


n the year since Mohamed Morsi was unseated as Egypt’s demo­ cratically elected but increasingly unpopular president, the linchpin Arab nation of nearly 90 million sitting on Africa’s northeastern coast has been roiled by political turmoil. As a military-backed government has tried to re-establish a sense of normalcy while moving toward a nominally democratic system, supporters of Morsi and his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood have been ostracized or persecuted, with an estimated 1,000 supporters killed and thousands more thrown behind bars, including Morsi himself.All the while, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the leader of the country’s powerful military and by all indications the next president, is seen as a beacon of stability and secularism by some Egyptians, and a reincarnation of the autocratic government of Hosni Mubarak to others, including many of the young, liberal activists who overthrew the longtime dictator in 2011. But for Shafik Gabr, the apparent narrowing of democratic space in his homeland isn’t something he’s worried about — rather, he says, it’s part and parcel of a slow political evolution in Egypt.“The fact is, the first thing has to be stability and security. Without stability and security you can’t have anything,” he said, holding forth in the living room of his elegant mansion — his home away from home — located between Embassy Row and Woodley Park in Northwest Washington. Gabr is one of Egypt’s richest industrialists, with an estimated net worth of $450 million. He’s chairman and managing director of the ARTOC Group, an investment and holding company headquartered in Cairo that works in areas ranging from aerospace, real estate and infrastructure to media, steel fabrication and logistical services for oil and gas companies. He speaks about his country in a manner befitting his education, which included stints at the American University of Cairo and University of London. His accent is almost undetectable, and he sounds calm, collected and confident when asked about the fate of a country that has been riven by uncertainty since the start of the Arab Spring. That uncertainty has hurt Gabr’s business, according to Forbes, with revenues declining 20 percent in 2012. Nevertheless, he’s adamant that Egypt will overcome what he calls a “period of transition” and

Page 18

Photo: Meridian International Center

The good news is that Egypt will never go back to an autocratic rule. But at the very same time, you cannot build a democratic rule on instability and insecurity. That doesn’t work. — Shafik Gabr, Egyptian industrialist

that its future lies in engaging with the West. To that end, he’s established the Shafik Gabr Foundation to improve East-West relations and promote education and entrepreneurship. Last year, he launched a fellowship program for young Egyptian and American professionals, and this June, he’ll be honored by the Meridian International Center at its Global Leadership Awards ceremony at the Four Seasons, alongside Sean O’Keefe, former head of EADS North America. An avid collector of Orientalist art, Gabr may be exactly what cash-strapped Egypt needs right now — a practical businessman, not an idealistic politician. (On the other hand, to some jobless Egyptians, Gabr also represents the entrenched interests that flourished under the old guard and its shadowy system of crony capitalism.) Regardless, the country is in desperate need of investment and innovation. Three years of upheaval have pummeled Egypt’s sclerotic economy, whose stagnation drove millions of protesters to Tahrir Square in the first place. Nearly half of all Egyptians live on less than $2 a day. Inflation, public debt and unemployment are high, while tourism

revenue and remittances have been slashed. “Despite some positive trends and heavy cash infusions from the Gulf states, Egypt’s economic outlook remains bleak,” wrote Eric Trager and Gilad Wenig in the Foreign Affairs article “Sisi the Invincible,” which predicts that Sisi’s strong military backing makes another coup less likely, although continued economic woes could erode that support. “The International Monetary Fund projects a growth rate of 2.8 percent in 2014, which is short of the five percent needed to cut rampant youth unemployment. The interim government’s stimulus policy, as well as the lack of revenue from tourism, will further drain Egypt’s cash reserves … and further dips over time could complicate the government’s ability to buy the fuel that it sells to the public at heavily subsidized rates.” That, the authors warn, could spark another revolution. “The long gas lines and constant electricity cuts that occurred under Morsi could return under Sisi, enraging the public and broadening support for

Shafik Gabr, chairman and managing director of the ARTOC Group, an investment and holding company headquartered in Cairo, speaks at Egypt’s International Economic Forum.

protests.” But unlike many other businessmen, Gabr doesn’t fret over that possibility. The self-described “optimistic realist” says the ongoing political and social convulsions in his country are steps — albeit small ones — toward a system that is stable and open. “Any change goes through either one of two ways. Either it goes through evolutionary change where the impact is usually measured and consistent and you have a change that is totally positive. But when it’s a revolutionary change, there are many unpredictable factors that therefore have a cost.And you go through labor pains … and you find yourself always fixing and coming back on a trial-and-error basis,” he argues. “This is what we’ve been going through.” For many human rights activists, those “labor pains” have included the arrest and prosecution of journalists on flimsy charges, a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that has left it further outside the political system than it was under Mubarak, and a new anti-terrorism law that Amnesty International called “deeply flawed” for its vague provisions that could turn legitimate political activity into prohibited crimes against the state. Gabr does not seem to be concerned by

The Washington Diplomat

See Egypt, page 20 June 2014



Hospice: Better Care, Lower Costs at End of Life by Gina Shaw


y father spent most of his adult life fighting to live as indepen­ dently as possible. Diagnosed with polio when he was 20 years old, he went from running touchdowns for his undefeated high school football team to strug­ gling for every step, walking with a brace on one leg for decades until he finally had to con­ sent to a wheelchair in his 60s. The blows continued: a congestive heart failure diagnosis at 65; my mother’s diagnosis with dementia at 70. Despite it all, Dad was determined to live the rest of his days in the house that he and Mom had bought three years after they were married and cherished for more than 40 years. He did it, too, concocting Rube Goldberg contraptions to get his wheelchair into and out of his car without help, and doggedly tending his more than 150 rose bushes every summer. But then a procedure to replace his implantable defibrillator weakened him and sent him to the hospital for a week. After more than a decade with congestive heart failure, his heart was badly weakened. It was clear he didn’t have long to live, although the doctors disagreed about just how long “not long” was. He couldn’t live independently at home anymore, even with a home health aide. Their recommendation: transfer him to a nursing home to receive skilled care for the rest of his life. We said no. Dad wanted to die at home. His primary care physician argued against hospice care, saying that he wasn’t sure Dad had less than six months to live (generally considered the criterion to qualify for hospice care at home). We pushed back. Finally the doctor agreed to recommend hospice. Dad went home on a Monday, with the help of expert hospice nurses. He died that Wednesday, in his own bedroom, surrounded by the memories of a lifetime instead of the strange smells and sounds of a nursing home or a hospital. Would he have lived longer in one of those settings? Maybe. But it would have been contrary to everything he wanted. And it would have cost thousands of dollars a month, for however long he was there, just for him to be miserable and wait to die. Hospice care is a subject that’s widely misunderstood and largely avoided until it’s too late. But it’s a valuable resource that has provided dignified care for millions of Americans. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, an estimated 1.5 million to 1.6 million patients received hospice care in 2012. Hospice services are often covered by insurance and can be given in a patient’s home or a separate facility (such as nursing homes). Yet a National Hospice Foundation survey found that 75 percent of Americans don’t know that hospice care can be provided at home, and 90 percent don’t realize that Medicare pays for it. Support for hospice care is also coming from an

June 2014

Photo: Dieter Hawlan / iStock

Most people prefer to spend their last days of life at home with family and friends rather than in a hospital, but we still see high rates of hospital utilization in the last month of life. — Dr. Thomas Smith director of palliative care for Johns Hopkins Medicine

unlikely quarter: hospitals, which are often inadvertently relied on for end-of-life care better suited to hospices. A new study from Johns Hopkins underscores the price of avoiding hospice and choosing hospitalization at the end of life. This study, published in February in Lancet Oncology, focused on metastatic cancer patients rather than people with heart failure, but the lessons are similar. The Johns Hopkins team says studies show that hospice care improves symptoms, helps caregivers and costs less, with equal or better survival for patients. Yet many cancer patients fail to take advantage of this option. They note that Medicare data show that 60 percent of poor-prognosis cancer patients are admitted to a hospital in the last month of their lives, and 30 percent of these patients die there — with only about half using hospice care. “Most people prefer to spend their last days of life at home with family and friends rather than in a hospital, but we still see high rates of hospital utilization in the last month of life,” said lead author Dr.

Thomas Smith, from Hopkins’ Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Hospice isn’t perfect. A Washington Post investigation last year found that private, for-profit hospices make it a practice to maximize their bottom line by recruiting patients who aren’t actually “dying” — which may explain why my father’s doctor was initially reluctant to certify him for hospice. Nonetheless, overall studies have shown that hospice care offers patients better care at significantly lower costs, helping them avoid unneeded and expensive treatments and tests. In fact, Johns Hopkins researchers say the biggest opportunities for safe and ethical cost-cutting solutions lie in caring for patients with metastatic cancer, not on new surgical or radiation treatments, clinical trials, curative care or pediatric care. They note that 25 percent of total Medicare costs are spent in the last year of life, with 40 percent of that spent in the last month of life. In a paper that appeared in Health Affairs in March 2013, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that increased enrollment in hospice could save Medicare as much as $6.4 million annually if 1,000 additional Medicare beneficiaries chose to enroll in hospice shortly before death — with higher quality care for patients and their families. “We know that hospice care addresses so many critical issues involving quality of care at the end of life and that hospice brings dignity and compassion when they are needed most,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, in response to the Mount Sinai study. “This study reaffirms other reasons why hospice is the best solution for caring for the dying in a way that provides patient-centered care and is cost effective for the Medicare system.”

Gina Shaw is the medical writer for The Washington Diplomat.

The Washington Diplomat Page 19

from page 15

brazil spying] revelation had a big impact in Brazil, but this doesn’t mean we’re not on speaking terms.” Shifter says the ambassador is trying to manage the situation as best he can. “U.S.-Brazilian relations have enormous potential, but they can only be realized if both governments are really committed to it. Right now, I think that commitment is not clear.” But Sabatini of the Americas Council says bilateral tensions run deeper than the NSA fracas. “At the practical, day-to-day level, relations are actually quite strong. Educational and commercial exchanges continue as before, along with diplomatic coordination regarding the worsening situation in Venezuela,” he said. “The larger issue is Brazil’s voting pattern in the U.N., where it has consistently abstained in the cases of Libya, Syria, Iran and Russia.That is a point of friction, in that it’s a prickly partnership.” Brazil’s increasing ties with Cuba have also irked U.S. officials, yet relations with Washington are not the 66-year-old president’s biggest concern at the moment. Rousseff — a one-time Marxist revolutionary who served as Lula’s chief of staff from 2005 to 2010 and then succeeded him as Brazil’s first woman president — has seen her popularity fall from 55 percent in February to around 48 percent today. Her two younger rivals for the presidency are Aécio Neves, a 54-year-old senator who heads the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy, and Eduardo Campos, 48, leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party. Both men are trained economists who later became congressmen and then governors, dramatically reducing poverty while boosting tax revenues in their respective states despite fierce opposition from labor unions — and both were re-elected by wide margins. Even so, few pundits

the statue of christ the redeemer looks out over rio de Janeiro, which will host the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.

Photo: WiKiMEdia coMMonS / artyoMinc

expect Rousseff’s center-left Workers’ Party to be kicked out after 12 years in office. “Ms. Rousseff remains the favorite to win,”The Economist reported May 10. “Unemployment is at historic lows and disposable incomes are unlikely to slide between now and October (although the possibility of protests at the World Cup may provide a focus for discontent). She will enjoy more free TV time than Messrs. Neves and Campos put together. But she is in a fight.” Back in Washington, Vieira has kept himself busy raising Brazil’s profile across the United States. He said the United States remains the top foreign investor in Brazil, which ranked as its ninth-largest trading partner in 2013 (with $72 billion in two-way goods trade). As ambassador, Vieira has visited 22 states; his most recent trip took him to Texas and New Mexico. “I meet with governors, mayors, chamber of commerce people. I also reach out to the universities,” he said. “Our goal is to send 100,000 Brazilian students abroad at government expense.

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The Washington Diplomat

call (301) 933-3552.

So far, we’ve sent over 10,000 students to the United States alone.” The ambassador doesn’t plan on visiting Brazil during the World Cup; instead, he’ll probably be hosting parties here in Washington. He’s already thrown several parties at the embassy residence, most recently in April, when nearly 400 people

from page 18

Egypt those steps, and he says that most Egyptians — tired of perpetual chaos — aren’t either. “When you talk to the average Egyptian today, one of his key criticisms is that the government is not hard enough against those that are doing this [terrorism] to Egypt. They want to have the stability and security and build on the economic prosperity and the political transformation. The good news is that Egypt will never go back to an autocratic rule. But at the very same time, you cannot build a democratic rule on instability and insecurity.That doesn’t work,” he says. The tension between stability and democracy isn’t new to Egypt, nor is Gabr the first to take a side in that debate.The way he tells it, Sisi and the military are the only actors that can create the space needed for democracy to flourish.Without them, he argues, democracy will continue to be a battle of ideas and visions — albeit one without rules and institutions to moderate them and protect the rights of minority groups. Dictatorship is relatively easy, Gabr says. Democracy is hard and takes time. “I do not believe democracy is instant coffee. It does not turn like that,” he said, loudly snapping his fingers for emphasis. “Democracy is institutions, democracy is knowledge by the people of the responsibilities, obligations and their rights. It’s not just their rights. Some people, when I used to go talk to people in our factories in small provincial towns, their thinking is,‘Democracy is freedom, I can do whatever I want.’That’s not what it really is.” Gabr’s assessment echoes the views of Sisi, according to Cairo-based journalist Gregg Carlstrom, who in an article for Politico Magazine argued that “Egypt’s new dictator” revealed some of his thoughts about democracy while training with the American military at the U.S. Army War College. “[He] was very cynical about the whole push for democracy and did not like a lot of the oversimplified comments of classmates,” Sherifa Zuhur, el-Sisi’s former professor, told Carlstrom. “He thought that poverty and poor education are impediments to democracy, and so was the longstanding winner-take-all mentality in regional politics.” While many experts agree that democracy is a long process and not a magic bullet for endemic social problems, they also argue that military leaders have a poor track record of establishing democracy and letting it take hold. Seen as saviors and protectors, these leaders rarely know when to give up power. “If the Middle East is ever to emerge from the dark ages of dictatorship, there must be a transi-

came for a reception to view the FIFA trophy, which had already visited 88 countries on a ninemonth, 93,000-mile world tour before stopping at the embassy on its way back to Rio. Vieira, ever the optimist, says he’s confident that whatever issues divide Brazil and the United States can and will be resolved — and that both nations will eventually come out looking like champions. “I only see a very bright future for us,” he said. “A country the size of Brazil has a number of interests. Some are convergent with U.S. interests, some are not. The important thing is that even if we disagree, our final goal is the same. We are both huge democracies and multiethnic societies, and we both fight for human rights. It’s just that sometimes we have different ways to get to the final goal.”

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

tion — a first step away from the kings, ayatollahs, emirs and presidents-for-life that have tyrannized hundreds of millions of Arabs and Persians,” argued Danielle Pletka, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in a New York Times op-ed published in January. Gabr largely rejects this criticism, because he sees el-Sisi and the current government — as well as the Egyptian people — as being different. “My deep conviction is that Egyptians will not allow military rule. In the entire cabinet, there is only one minister who is from the military, and that’s the minister of defense. It’s not like the old days of [Gamal Abdel] Nasr where the cabinet was ex-military officials. I don’t see that happening or coming,” he insists. Gabr is particularly critical of Western media, which he says misunderstands what the Egyptian people want. But instead of simply hoping his criticisms find an audience, he launched an exchange program that he says allows U.S.-based artists, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs and journalists to see the situation for themselves. “My program comes from the fact that in today’s world we’re all connected. We have a great technological revolution, which gets us connected 24/7. But do we really know what’s going on?” he said, speaking of the program,“EastWest: The Art of Dialogue,” which he started last year as part of his charitable foundation. In 2013, the program took 12 young Americans to Egypt, where they met with politicians, artists and business owners.After that trip, 10 Egyptians visited the United States on a five-city tour. Gabr says that he hopes that dialogue and direct experiences will broaden the understanding of his country, and the debate over what’s happening in it. “They key element in this whole program is that their perceptions should not just be the media or the sound bites, but rather a true experience of the other. It’s amazing when you talk to these young people before this experience and after this experience,” he said. Another group of Americans will travel to Egypt in June, and the Egyptians will come to the United States in October. Though the groups are small and the program is young, Gabr says such exchanges are vital to increase the kind of crosscultural understanding that can head off conflict. “In this very fast-paced world, you’re not going to understand each other just by reports and communicating in our technological world,” he argues. “We have to invest time sitting together, having food, traveling, exchanging concerns, and having an open dialogue, face to face. That will always make a difference.”

Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. June 2014


■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

■ June 2014

Special Mission

Photo: © Eric SandEr

The British Residence in Washington is hidden from passers-by on the street if they do not step outside into the garden, one of many interesting titbits in a new book on the building written by British historian Anthony Seldon and Daniel Collings.

New Book Chronicles Illustrious British Residence by Anna Gawel

t seems almost blasphemous to compare the British residence, whose stately halls have welcomed everyone from royalty to rock stars, to a workhorse. But Sir Peter Westmacot Westmacott, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., says this haven of refinement on Massachusetts avenue was “built to do a job” — elevating anglo-american relations — and it has done that job admirably. Continued on next page


The Washington Diplomat Page 21

Continued from previous page “Here we are are in a house that is built for purpose. It’s not like most of the other great embassies, of which there are a number in the city, which were houses that were built by somebody else … for their own purposes and then bought by governments. This was built to do the job,” Westmacott told a group of journalists May 6 at the unveiling of “The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador’s Residence in Washington,” a new coffee-table book chronicling the mission’s history and design. “This is a house … which is a rather wonderful place in which to entertain friends and throw parties,” said Westmacott. Past visitors, for example, include dignitaries such as Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, President Obama and Hillary Clinton, who held her last dinner as secretary of state at the residence, as well as celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Douglas and the cast of “Downton Abbey.” “But it is also a place which earns its keep by doing an awful lot of things … to promote relations between Britain and the United States,” the ambassador added, standing in the drawing room adorned with carved giltwood console tables and sumptuous gold-and-red sash window draping. “We do stuff around Shakespeare, we do it about the Beatles, we celebrate royal babies, we did the Olympics,” Westmacott said of the various events held at the residence. “And we will continue to do that because to be honest, given the complexity and the cost of the upkeep of a place like this, if you don’t have an ambassador who’s prepared to make the house earn its keep and use it to promote the relationship and our interests, be they academic or cultural or business or political, then people are going to start saying well what’s the point of it.And the point of it I think is very, very clear. We try to bring it out in this well-written book.”

“When I came here, I did not realize there had never been a full-length volume on this residence and realized immediately that it was crying out for one.” — LAdy WesTmAcoTT wife of British ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott

The tome, written by British historian Anthony Seldon and Daniel Collings and beautifully illustrated by Eric Sander, is the first to explore the history of the residence, which was originally built as an embassy in the 1920s. Proceeds from the book go to Help for Heroes, which supports wounded British soldiers. The ambassador’s wife, Lady Westmacott, spear- every effort is made to assure your ad is free of mistakes in spelling and NOTE: Although headed the project, having coordinated a similar volcontent it is ultimately up to the customer to make the final proof. ume on the British Residence in Paris, where the couple was posted before coming to Washington. An expert on art history, Lady Westmacott The first told twoThe faxed changes will be made at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent change Washington Diplomat that she was surprised nothing will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved had been written on the subject before. “When I came here, I did not realize there had never been a full-length volume on this residence and real-Please check this ad carefully. Mark any changes to your ad. ized immediately that it was crying out for one,” she said, noting that “the marriage of the architecture and If the ad is correct sign and fax to: (301) 949-0065Photo: © harriS & EWingneeds changes / LiBrary of congrESS; thE croWLEy coMPany the diplomacy is a rather interesting way of looking extension of the embassy, hosting some 15,000 visitors things.” The British Residence a year for functions (301) ranging 933-3552 from small power breakThe home and its elaborate The gardens were designedDiplomat Washington on Massachusetts avenue by pre-eminent British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the fasts to glittering soirees. was originally built as an That functionality doesn’t diminish the home’s elemaster planner behind the city of New Delhi, and they Approved __________________________________________________________ embassy in the 1920s gant grandeur. Designed in the style of a neoclassical are the only example of his work in North America. and was designed by English country house with elements of American The ambassador’s living quarters and eight bedrooms Changes ___________________________________________________________ renowned architect are upstairs, while downstairs the ballroom and other colonialism, the residence features ornate fireplaces, Sir Edwin Lutyens winding staircases, paintings of monarchs and modern spaces are used for events. ___________________________________________________________________ to symbolize Britain’s In 1960, a chancery was added next door to make art, imposing columns and eight acres of meticulously growing relations with room for Britain’s growing diplomatic presence in manicured gardens. “I particularly enjoy the fact that it’s such a light the United States. Washington, but the residence remains an important

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house — light and bright,” said Lady Westmacott, reflecting on her favorite aspects of the residence. “It is incredibly well designed to catch as much light on both sides of the house as possible, so even on a dark day here it’s never dismal.” The ambassador said he also enjoys the way the residence captures the natural splendor outside. When hosting an intimate breakfast or lunch, “I love putting a table on the terrace and just looking out the garden at spring or fall,” he said. That same terrace, incidentally, is where King George VI talked with American banker J.P. Morgan over a spot of tea in 1939. Inside, the ambassador’s favorite room is the clubby library, “which has got wonderful wood-paneled walls and a tremendous sense of proportion…. It’s just a rather inspiring place to sit and work,” he said, citing a portrait of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who reportedly relished visiting the home, that hangs over the fireplace (on a nearby coffee table sits a toy Rolls Royce that belongs to Westmacott). Of course, the British Residence isn’t the only storied mission in Washington that boasts priceless art and artifacts — and Seldon’s book isn’t the only game in town. As the Washington Post recently noted, embassy coffee-table books seem to be all the rage. Italy, Turkey and France have all had books written on their historic missions, while the 2003 “Embassy Residences of Washington, D.C.” provides a stunning overview of more than 40 missions (co-author Jane C. Loeffler also wrote “The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America’s Embassies” in 1998). But the United States and United Kingdom are bound by a shared history unlike any other, reminders of which are peppered throughout the residence located a stone’s throw from the U.S. vice president’s home. In the library, for instance, there’s a painting by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower of Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, who was Eisenhower’s deputy during the 1944 invasion of Normandy. “Given that Gen. Eisenhower and Gen. Montgomery didn’t get on,” Westmacott pointed out, “it’s rather extraordinary to have a painting done by the president while he was president

The British Residence’s drawing room features carved giltwood console tables and sumptuous gold-and-red sash window draping.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. And like today, even the finest embassies cannot escape fiscal realities. “Some things never change,” the ambassador observed, recalling the various hiccups during the building’s construction. “The accountants looked at the bill and said,‘Oh my God, it’s going to be over-budget,’ so the instruction arrived to lop 10 percent off the cost of it.” As a result, cheaper materials were brought in to Photo: © Eric Sander replace the pricey marble intended for the columns … which hangs on my wall as a reminder of the special rela- and floor tiles. Knock on those “fake” marble columns in the sweeping ballroom and you’ll still hear a distinct echo. tionship from the Second World War.” “So that’s really a rather wonderful reminder that public The visual emphasis on that special relationship isn’t surprising considering that the residence was designed to sym- finances have always been difficult,”Westmacott said. Builders may have cut a few corners, but the result was still bolize Britain’s evolving ties with the United States. “The British government decided that it needed to make a hailed as “the finest embassy in the world” by the Washington bold statement about the importance of Washington and its Post, and it continues to exude a rarified luster that transcends relationship with America, recruiting probably the best-known its workman-like purpose. Yet there’s also plenty of quirky charm hidden among these British architect at the time,” the ambassador said. “We had grand embassies in Paris and Germany and so on hallowed halls. Amanda Downes, the British Embassy’s longtime social but this was something that was a coming of age in the relationship and an indication of just how much we had in com- secretary, took reporters on a tour of the hidden gems in the mon, which has been carried through to the present day,” house, including a door that leads to nowhere, opening onto a Westmacott added, noting that America is far and away blank wall lined with hooks. “It’s the most useless cupboard,” Downes said, praising Lutyens’ subtle penchant for humor. Britain’s most important commercial partner. Nearby is an alcove punctuated by a dramatic circular stairOver the years, though, that special relationship has endured its share of ups and downs, a past that is inextricably case and Nigel Hall’s sculpture “Intension Extension.” Downes linked to the residence. When its doors opened in 1930, for said most visitors head directly toward the ballroom and zip example, the embassy may have been fêted as a sign of U.S.- by this little treasure tucked away off the main corridor. Asked to name her favorite space, Downes diplomatically U.K. friendship, but behind the scenes, the State Department was busy drawing up plans for a hypothetical war with Great demurred.“I just love the house,” she said.“It’s got a great feeling. It’s a very friendly house.” Britain and its Empire. From that low point came a long period of close ties that peaked in the early 1960s and were resurrected under Anna Gawel is managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.

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[ embassies ]

Prime Perch Canadian Embassy Marks 25 Years of Being at Center of U.S. Relations by Sarah Alaoui


entrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the Capitol, and only a stone’s throw away from the National Gallery of Art and Newseum, the Embassy of Canada in D.C. has seen its fair share of serious business and glitzy fun. The grand property that once contained a Ford dealership and public library now houses the diplomatic mission of America’s crucial northern ally. The embassy, so far the only foreign mission to be so close to the U.S. Capitol powerhouse, is gearing up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its building this summer. “There is an urban myth that Canada was given our prime location at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue for our help in the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 hostage crisis,” said Christine Constantin, the embassy’s spokeswoman. “As you can see from the dates, this was not in fact the case.” So how did the Canadians get their hands on such coveted real estate? To recognize the increasingly close relationship between Canada and the United States, it was decided in 1972 that embassy staff had outgrown the chancery they’d been working in until that point. After some discussion, the Pennsylvania Avenue locale was purchased for $5 million, the old Embassy Row location was packed up, and the mission’s doors opened in 1989. It was a mutually beneficial deal because at the time the city was trying to revitalize the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor. The architect for the new building was award-winning Canadian Arthur Erickson, who chose to blend in specific elements — such as open spaces, greenery and water — that he felt would reflect Canada. The Vancouver-born urban planner is known as a modernist for his distinct use of sharp, crisp contemporary lines and angles, all of which are prominent in the embassy. “It’s very big and it’s very odd and in many ways, very powerful and very beautiful,” said Washington Post architecture critic Benjamin Forgey in a 1989 interview with C-SPAN, describing the building. Following the embassy’s opening, the New York Times described its architecture as “an odd mix of the grandiose and the graceful, the pompous and the inviting, the awkward and the appropriate.” In the center of a waterfall representing Niagara Falls — a key feature of the U.S.-Canada border — is a rotunda that includes 12 pillars to represent Canada’s 10 provinces and two territories that existed during the time of construction. (Belt out a song in the cavernous rotunda and you’ll hear a distinct, booming echo.). While the infamous “Canadian Caper” rescue mission in Iran may not have earned the embassy its location, this detail did not stop it from hosting a bash to toast the release of the 2012 Ben Affleck-directed film “Argo,” a dramatized account of the covert operation. Hosted by Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer, the rooftop reception, with its prime perch overlooking

Page 24

Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer, left, talks with actor-director Ben Affleck at a high-profile reception in 2012 atop the Canadian Embassy to celebrate Affleck’s film “Argo.” Below, the embassy is lit up for a star-studded reception celebrating this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Photo: Keegan Bursaw / Embassy of Canada

Photo: Embassy of Canada

the Capitol dome, was attended by Hollywood stars and Washington politicos, including Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman from the film; Ken Taylor, who was Canada’s ambassador to Iran during the hostage crisis; CIA agent Tony Mendez; former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus (only a month before he was forced to resign following his sex scandal); and some of the escaped hostages themselves. “Canada and the United States have always had each other’s backs,” Doer told the high-powered gathering. “That’s an important message that’s as important today.” In fact, Canada and the United States exchange an astonishing $1.4 million in goods and services every single minute.The two countries are the world’s largest trading partners, with $710 billion in goods and

services recorded in 2012, and more than 8 million American jobs depend on this vital commercial relationship. And while Washington’s relations with Ottawa rarely generate the kind of headlines that its ties with prickly allies like, say, Brazil or Saudi Arabia do, plenty of policymaking goes on between the two neighbors, including the hot-button issue of the proposed Keystone pipeline, which Doer himself has spent the last few years pushing for. But it’s not all politics and business. The embassy has set the stage for an array of events, from inauguration viewing parties to star-studded affairs. Most recently, on May 2, the embassy hosted an exclusive pre-White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner party organized in conjunction with the Hill newspaper and Entertainment Tonight that attracted over 830 movers and shakers from the media, business and Hollywood. The guests — including Dos Equis beer’s “Most Interesting Man in the World” Jonathan Goldsmith — mingled in three different locations on the embassy grounds: the Echo Chamber Bar, located outside around the rotunda; the Canada Room; and the Ambassador’s Terrace, which many would argue offers the best view of Capitol Hill in town. The embassy even has a Twitter hashtag purely dedicated to its rooftop: #viewfrom501. The event would not have been complete without Canadian-born, D.C.-based celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn serving up specialty cocktails and DJ

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June 2014



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Connor Cruise (Tom Cruise’s son) providing live entertainment. Watch out U Street — the Canadian Embassy may just be the city’s newest hipster destination. Because the embassy is not allowed to charge a fee to prospective users of the space, renting the venue is a steal (an honor that usually goes to charitable or other groups that have some connection to Canada or diplomacy). Hosts pay for food, drinks, entertainment and whatever else they wish to have at their festivities and then the fun begins. To commemorate some of those memories, the embassy is putting together a book featuring past Canadian ambassadors to the U.S. reflecting on their time in the D.C. embassy. Former Ambassador Derek Burney was the envoy when the mission opened 25 years ago. “If an embassy reflects the spirit and will of the country it represents,” he said during that opening, “I think you will agree that this building reflects the strength and confidence of Canada today.”


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Sarah Alaoui is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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The Washington Diplomat Page 25




comes to America

songs of the

Eternal Steppe

Astonishing Music Legendary Artists New York CitY June 30 | 8 pm | Carnegie Hall Perelman Stage | Stern Auditorium

tickets: $30 - $7 | Carnegie Hall Box Office | (212) 247-7800

wASHiNgtoN, D.C. July 3 | 8 pm | the John F. kennedy Center for the Performing Arts | Concert Hall tickets: $20 | Kennedy Center Box Office (202) 467-4600

FeAturiNg •

kazakh National kurmangazy orchestra of Folk instruments

kazakh National Baikadamov Choir

kazakh renowed Vocalists

Presented by the Ministry of Culture of Kazakhstan and the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United States

Page 26

The Washington Diplomat

SuPPorteD BY:

June 2014




In Sickness and Health Trained in Lithuania as a doctor, Lina Pavilioniene is on a break from medicine, though she still gets plenty of practice with cuts and bruises as the mother of four boys. PAGE 29

Boatload Of Mayhem



■ JUNE 2014


recipe for Disaster

As hurricane season officially begins June 1, media reports reminding residents along the Eastern Seaboard to stock up on water and duct tape start trickling in. But the National Building Museum — in a timely new exhibit called “Designing for Disaster” — wants people to be way more ready than that. PAGE 28

Synetic Theater’s newest creation, “Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog),” proves once again that the eclectic company can reinvent itself, while staying true to its original mission. PAGE 30


Shakespeare Strong Through artifacts, programs, playbills, books, folios and forgeries, “Shakespeare’s the Thing” at the Folger Library shows how even after four centuries, the Bard still holds his own today. PAGE 31

As a result of research conducted after the 1988 Yellowstone Fires, a new fire management plan outlined strict guidelines for managing natural fires and allocated greater funding for fire management. Photo: James Woodcock / Billings gazette



Jeff Black’s newest restaurant, Republic, pays homage to Takoma Park’s quirky charm. PAGE 32

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “The Dance of Reality” is a surreal trip back to the director’s childhood. PAGE 34

[ exhibits ]

Preparing for the Worst ‘Designing for Disaster’ Shows How People Can Protect Themselves by Stephanie Kanowitz


[ Page 28

s hurricane season officially begins June 1, media reports reminding residents of the Eastern Seaboard to stock up on water and duct tape start to appear. The National Building Museum wants people to be ready with more than that. “Designing for Disaster” is a new exhibit that looks at past natural disasters for lessons learned and showcases new innovations that could help keep people safer in the future. The target audience includes building planners, government officials, homeowners, renters and kids — everyone who would play a role in building a disaster mitigation plan from the ground up, both figuratively and literally. “Statistics show that civilians are generally the first to respond in emergencies, so the more each of us knows about what to do, the better off we’ll all be,” said Chrysanthe Broikos, exhibit curator. The exhibit comes on the heels of a major national climate report that confirms what many Photo: aP Photo / PRess-RegisteR / mike kittRell Americans suspected: Climate change is already affecting the entire United States, with costly results that range Above, after a 2007 tornado destroyed the high school in from rising sea levels, flooding and heat waves to droughts, enterprise, ala., killing eight students, state officials signed wildfires and hurricanes. Hundreds of experts argue that clia law requiring safe rooms in new k-12 schools. at left, mate-related disasters are becoming a fact of American life. floodwaters in new orleans were slow to dissipate after The National Building Museum brings these disasters into levees failed during hurricane katrina, causing billions in sharp relief.The multimedia display, which focuses on earth, air, damages. at bottom, severe rain, hailstorms, category 3 fire and water, includes objects that survived disasters such as hurricanes and even wildfires can be simulated on fullHurricane Katrina and the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that scale test structures at the insurance institute for Business struck the Washington region in 2011. and home safety Research center in south carolina. A few must-see features include a partially deconstructed Federal Emergency Management Agency-specified safe room about circumscribing the subject — including showing how it’s built to withstand tornado-force winds and which disasters tend to have less of an impact flying debris. A “wall of wind” lets visitors test roof shapes on the built environment. For example, that against simulated hurricane-force winds to determine which is influenced our decision to forgo including best.Additionally, a button-activated set of moving stairs shows Photo: noaa Photo liBRaRy, national WeatheR seRvice collection, lt. cmdR. mike moRan volcanoes.” how the expansion of joints in the seating area at California Although Washington is not in a high-risk zone Memorial Stadium would perform in an for natural disasters, it has seen its fair share earthquake.The exhibition also includes Designing for Disaster recently: Hurricane Sandy and a derecho in 2012, images and stories of everyday people through aug. 2 “Snowmageddon” in 2010, and Hurricane Isabel in who have taken steps, both large and 2003. In 2012, the financial toll of 112 natural disassmall, to safeguard their homes and National Building Museum ters in 32 states was more than $100 billion, families from Mother Nature. 401 F st., nW according to the exhibit’s website. “One of the primary reasons we For more information, please call (202) 272-2448 Having an emergency plan, a preparedness kit decided to construct a FEMA-specified Photo: insuRance institute FoR Business & home saFety or visit and a “go bag” are crucial in any emergency, safe room in the galleries is to drive home the fact that we really can do something Broikos said, adding that taking a Community Emergency Response Team training to mitigate the risk we face from tornadoes and extreme winds,” Broikos said. “For course would be especially helpful. Other lessons learned and shared in the exhibit include making sure you’re propyears, people thought there was nothing you could do to protect yourself from a tornado, but that isn’t the case anymore. FEMA-specified safe rooms provide near erly insured. For example, people may want flood insurance because nearly a quarter of those who experience severe flooding live outside a floodplain, Broikos noted. absolute protection.” “Natural disasters don’t respect boundaries, especially artificial ones we create,” she In addition to the exhibit, the museum is hosting programs such as “Rebuild by Design” on June 24. It will feature representatives from two winning design teams said. The ultimate goal of the exhibit is to show the public they’re not as vulnerable and tasked with envisioning solutions that increase resilience in the regions affected by helpless in a natural disaster as they think — or as they once were. Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “We hope visitors come away with more information about the built environment, The idea for the exhibition took shape in 2008, as Hurricane Katrina coverage was and that they can use that knowledge to make more informed decisions,” Broikos said. beginning to fade, Broikos said. “We really felt compelled to take on the subject of building smarter and safer, espe- “We hope visitors understand that we can actually do a lot more to plan and build for cially with respect to natural disasters,” she explained.“Determining how to limit the disasters, and that communities and individuals all across the country are beginning scope was difficult, but from the outset, natural disasters were the focus. We created to do just that.” an advisory council composed of experts in a variety of related fields for the exhibition, and in our very first meeting, they actually recommended ways for us to think Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

The Washington Diplomat


June 2014

[ diplomatic spouses ]

‘Dynasty’ of Doctors Medicine Runs in Family for Lithuanian Mother of Four by Gail Scott


he was trained in Lithuania as a doctor — just like her mother, grandmother, grandfather and aunts were.“It’s a real dynasty,” said Lina Pavilioniene, wife of Lithuanian Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis. Although she has taken a break from medicine while in Washington, Pavilioniene still gets plenty of practice with minor cuts and bruises as the mother of four boys. In fact, Pavilioniene is busy rearing two different “batches” of boys. “Our youngest is 5, the next is 9, and the two older boys at McLean High School are 18-year-old Augustas and 16-year-old Dominykas.” But when it comes to parenting, this diplomatic posting is nothing compared to a stint the couple did in the beginning of her husband’s career. “When we went to Brussels, it turned our lives upside down.At the time, we had a 2- and a 4-year-old. It was our first time abroad, we didn’t speak French, had no help, and my husband’s position was not high,” Pavilioniene recalled. Although having four sons of such varied ages seems “normal” now, she notes that, “In Soviet times, we were not used to large families. Four kids were not usual.” In fact, the former Soviet Republic has a fairly progressive reputation when it comes to women occupying top positions of power.“Our president is a woman, so is the speaker of the parliament, many members of parliament, and cabinet members and even the minister of defense,” Pavilioniene said. “My mother is still working as a doctor in internal medicine.” But Pavilioniene says she needed to take a break from practicing medicine.“My kids are still too small for me to start my own life. I’ve had to compromise now.” With four boys in different grades going to all kinds of different events, she doesn’t have much time to herself and usually can’t leave the children in the evenings to attend diplomatic receptions. “I don’t have very much time to be involved with organizations either,” she admitted,“but I love my International Club. My time is always limited.” On the weekends, she and her husband go to the C&O Canal, Great Falls or to Vienna, Va., for some Nordic walking.“That’s walking with poles,” Pavilioniene said.“Round trip on the Old Dominion Trail gives us three to four hours outside.” For vacations, they enjoy long car trips to experience America. “We love your national parks,” she said, noting that the older boys are tremendously helpful with their younger brothers.“They are really friends.” She and her husband, in fact, belonged to the same group of friends as teenagers growing up in their hometown of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.Their friendship matured our president is a woman, by the time they were in Vilnius University, where she studied medicine while he purso is the speaker of the sued his master’s degree in philosophy and studies in international relations. parliament, many members of doctoral According to Pavilioniene, her husband’s rise in the Foreign Service is emblemparliament, and cabinet members fast atic of their young country’s rapid evolusince it broke away from the Soviet and even the minister of defense. tion Union in March 1990, a year before the formy mother is still working as a mal collapse of the Iron Curtain. Three years after Lithuania’s independence, her husband joined the Foreign Service and doctor in internal medicine. was instrumental in securing the country’s eventual membership into NATO and the — LiNA PAviLioNieNee European Union. Pavilionis later served as wife of lithuanian ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; coordinator for the Lithuanian presidency of the Community of Democracies; and ambassador-at-large for the Transatlantic Cooperation and Security Policy Department. Pavilioniene is proud that her Baltic country, in the same neighborhood as Latvia and Estonia, was the first Soviet Republic to break free from Moscow. Given the Baltics’ tortured history with their powerful neighbor and one-time occupier, Pavilioniene said she is concerned about the creeping Russian takeover of Ukraine. “Personally, we don’t have any friends in the Ukraine,” she said,“but we are very worried. Ukrainians are our neighbors.They have always been very good in relationships of understanding.” Lithuania, the southern most of the three Baltics, is also the largest and the most populated. With a population of 3.5 million and per-capita income of $22,600, the country

June 2014

Lina Pavilioniene and her husband, lithuanian ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis, and their four sons visit the grand canyon.

enjoyed 3.4 percent economic growth last year as it steadily recovers from the 2008-08 financial slump. Besides these statistics, it is interesting to note that the Lithuanian language is the oldest surviving Indo-European language in the world — one that 4 million people speak around the globe. A wave of Lithuanians left the country starting in 1940, when it was occupied first by the Soviet Union, then Nazi Germany, and then again by the Soviets. Many fled to the United States, where Pavilioniene says the Lithuanian community is strong and vibrant. She notes that Lithuanians, wherever they live in the world, try to enroll their children in “Lithuanian school” on Saturdays.That way, the younger generation learns the language, geography, native songs, dances and stories of their homeland. Here, the Lithuania school is located in Rockville, Md. In Lithuania, as in much of Europe, university is free or not expensive. As for boarding fees, Lithuanian university students usually live at home with their parents, grandparents and sometimes even their great grandparents. “The family builds the house and they live in it for three to four generations,” Pavilioniene said, noting that she was shocked to learn how pricey school is in the United States, especially in comparison to home. “Here, preschool can be like the price of college,” she said, adding that working women in Lithuania also enjoy much longer maternity leaves than American women do. Despite the cultural differences, Pavilioniene said the bonds between Lithuania and the United States run deep. One point of pride is how Washington continued to diplomatically recognize Lithuania’s embassy long after the Soviets took control of the country. “From 1940 until 1990 it was like ‘ghost embassy,’” Pavilioniene said. Nevertheless, it remained a symbol of Lithuania’s longstanding aspirations for freedom — supported by the United States.“We celebrate this year 90 years of our embassy’s work,” Pavilioniene said with obvious pride. Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

The Washington Diplomat Page 29

[ theater ]

All Aboard! Droll ‘Three Men in a Boat,’ and Their Dog, is Synetic’s Latest Success by Lisa Troshinsky


[ Page 30

f two is company and three is a crowd, what are three men and a dog in a small boat, in the rain, with only one umbrella? Synetic Theater’s newest creation,“Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog),” proves once again that the eclectic company can reinvent itself, while staying true to its original mission. Known for its wordless, heavy-handed adaptations and intense modern choreography, Synetic pulls a 180 with “Three Men” and conquers the world of Victorian idleness with wordy, intricate dialogue. And of course it wouldn’t be Synetic without its signature prodigious physicality. “Synetic takes its name from ‘synthesis,’ the coming together of distinct elements to form a whole, and ‘kinetic,’ pertaining to or imparting motion,” pontificates the production’s playwright and director, Derek Goldman. The company’s current production does just that. Goldman’s premiere is a cleverly entertaining theatrical rendition of Jerome K. Jerome’s 1889 whimsical novella. It chronicles three upper-crust men of leisure and their faithful canine on what they perceive to be a muchneeded diversion from their hypochondria and aversion to work. They depart on an unlikely boating excursion down the Thames River and hilarity unravels. Goldman, who returns to Synetic after directing his successful adaptations of “Lysistrata” and Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” brings with him the highly talented Tom Story, who portrays Jerome, the play’s narrator. Although the compact cast is strong, Story indisputably carries the play. His character is delightful and perfectly cast. Obtuse in his ability to view his own life objectively, he expends endless energy making uproarious commentary about his partners-in-crime, George (Tim Getman) and Harris (Rob Jansen). Both actors were also pulled into the production by Goldman and suitably round out what amounts to a British version of “The Three Stooges.” Contrary to the play’s title, something must be said about the dog. W.C. Fields once said,“Never work with children or animals … they always upstage their adult-human co-stars.”This is true of Montmorency, the animated small fox terrier played by the versatile and limber Synetic veteran Alex Mills. It’s a credit to Three Men in a Boat Mills’s acting chops that he can upstage his fellow actors by playing a dog. (To Say Nothing of the Dog) Somehow when a human in a dog costhrough June 8 tume tears up a pillow with his teeth, it’s Synetic Theater funnier than when a real dog does it. At one point, Story gives Mills a run for 1800 s. Bell st., arlington, va. his money when he transforms himself Tickets start at $35. For more information, please call into a feisty, old, deformed cat that scares (866) 811-4111 or visit off Montmorency, whose overly confident sense of adventure and fortitude both parallel and mock his owners. The play, a one-act that’s a little under two hours, opens in Jerome’s Victorian study, complete with a fainting couch (that someone inevitably faints on), a settee, a bookcase and chandelier. But, where is the boat? After a rib-tickling bit where Jerome recalls a trip to the British museum to read up on ailments he and his buddies might have (including giddiness), he misdiagnoses himself with a litany of diseases (he doesn’t have housemaid’s knee) and he and his friends conclude that a peaceful journey down the river on a private boat is just the ticket out of their stressful existence. Many pages of script ensue, taken up with the arduous task of deciding what clothes to pack, where to sleep, and what food to bring.


The Washington Diplomat

Photos: koko lanham

Above from left, Rob Jansen as harris, tom story as Jerome, alex mills as montmorency and tim getman as george star in synetic theater’s “three men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog).”

“No cheese! Cheese, like oil, makes too much of itself. It wants the whole boat to itself…. There is too much odor about cheese,” ponders Jerome emphatically. The rest of the artistic ensemble does a great job showcasing the characters and the narrative with finesse and humor. Set designer Lisi Stoessel turns the study into a boat, a fitting choice because the men never rid themselves of their desire for creature comforts. Even the pampered dog hates the water and prefers a warm bed. To prove it, an entire mini-scene has the men feign gagging because they forgot to pack the mustard for their cold meat. Tongue-in-cheek asides are illuminated by quick and effective lighting by Brittany Diliberto, while costume designer Ivania Stack makes sure the boys are done up in colorfully garish blazers, slacks and scarves, with the dog in an attractive floppy-eared onesie. Calling the plot “elegant satire,” Synetic’s artistic director and CEO, Paata Tsikurishvili, wrote that, “Jerome’s travelogue was received poorly at the time of its release — derided as shallow, silly, pointless and perhaps most frequently, as vulgar.” To modern audiences, especially residents of the Washington area, where highpressure jobs and traffic gridlock are none too humorous, the play’s silliness is its beauty. Good comedies, this one included, are rarely pointless.The sophisticated use of musicality and wit in “Three Men,” as well as its numerous soliloquies on self-reflection, make it anything but pointless. Only harm that’s done is you might want to cancel your trip down the Thames. Lisa Troshinsky is the theater reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

June 2014

[ history ]

Bard’s 450th B-Day Shakespeare’s Still ‘The Thing’ at Folger Library by Gary Tischler


his past April marked Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, so the Folger Shakespeare Library, the fountain of all we know about the Bard in Washington, D.C., put on a simple but eclectic exhibition aptly titled “Shakespeare’s the Thing,” highlighting “some of our favorite things” from the library’s collections. Through artifacts, programs, playbills, books, folios and forgeries, the exhibition attempts to show how the iconic English playwright touched the full cultural spectrum and why, after four centuries, Shakespeare still holds his own today. Even though the debate about who actually wrote some of Shakespeare’s works still pops up periodically like a bad penny, this is not an exhibition that delves into any controversial aspect of his life or legacy.This is an exhibition about why we continue to love this writer so much. In other words, like the ghost of Hamlet’s father, why does he haunt us still? Even if you’ve only seen one or two Shakespeare plays, looking at the content in this display invariably makes you think about Photos: FolgeR shakesPeaRe liBRaRy your own experiences with the Bard. My first encounter was “Hamlet,” as a Classics “Shakespeare’s the Thing” highlights items from the Illustrated comic book, a series of comics that surfaced in the 1940s to entice Folger collection that show the Bard’s enduring influyoungsters into reading classics works of literature, from “Faust” to “Moby Dick.” ence, such as, from top: William heath’s 1814 etching “Hamlet,” along with “Macbeth,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Midsummer Night’s “the Rival Richards or sheakspear [sic] in danger”; Dream” and the like, were all translated as action-packed, brightly illustrated Pinckney marcius-simons’s 1908 watercolor illustracomic adaptions. Hamlet’s soliloquy occupied a whole page, with the words tions for “a midsummer night dream; and salvador stuffed into a huge balloon above a tiny drawing of the Prince of Denmark. I dali’s 1948 “William shakespeare: come vi piace.” went straight to the sword fights. Still, Classics Illustrated is a part of the contemporary lore of Shakespeare, one of the many ways (arguably an old-fashioned way compared to the Internet in his life, though no evidence has surera) that folks learned about Shakespeare. That learning process is a journey faced to support that contention. mimicked among the items in “Shakespeare’s The Thing,” from a 1623 The Folger examines the impact Shakespeare First Folio and a modern digital app to a board game and a Sanskrit Shakespeare had on various other figtranslation of a comic-free “Hamlet.” ures long after his death, such as David “My idea was that it ought to be fun,” said curator Georgianna Ziegler. “It’s Garrick, the great 18th-century actor, like opening up the Folger vault — all of the weird, funny, wonderful stuff as to producer and agent of theatrical change. how people related to Shakespeare. You can open it like opening a birthday At the end of the 1769 Shakespeare present. What’s inside?” Jubilee, he pointed to a bust of the Bard A whole lot of illuminating stuff is what’s inside, divided into four sections: and shouted, “Tis he! Tis he! The god of “Fixating on Shakespeare,”“Printing Shakespeare,” our idolatry!” “Performing Shakespeare” and “Depicting That idolatry and worship continued throughout the Shakespeare’s the Thing Shakespeare.” centuries, influencing artists such as Salvador Dali and through June 15 If you’re a stickler for the nitty-gritty details actor-director Kenneth Branagh. with which the Folger Library is so adept, you While Shakespeare has been a constant presence on Folger Shakespeare Library might want to examine the famed 1623 First Folio the screen (thanks in no small part to Branagh), the 201 east capitol st., se. containing 36 plays and the ever-changing portrait sweetest and saddest thing about Shakespeare is that For more information, please call (202) 544-4600 of Shakespeare from the early editions that probably the best way to “get” him completely is to see or visit appeared through 1685. Or you could take a closhis work played out on the stage. These performances, er look at the Bard’s first forger, William Henry while fleeting and rarely recorded for posterity, remain with us as memories for Ireland, who faked a love letter to Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway in the guise as long as we live. We remember the beautiful words (the rest is never silence) of her husband. and we think of all the characters who remain vividly real in our imaginations Perhaps a declaration of love, even if it was ultimately from another man, — the queens, the kings, the ass, our garrulous uncommon common man needed to exist considering the speculation over whether Shakespeare really Falstaff. loved Hathaway or was forced to marry her because she was pregnant at the And, of course, we remember the main man, that master wordsmith, the irretime.Though they wed when he was 18 and remained together for the rest of his pressible “thing” who brought them all to life, cementing his own immortality in life, in his will, Shakespeare left his “second-best bed with the furniture” to his the process. wife, leaving the rest to his children. This bequest has often been interpreted as a slight, implying that Hathaway was in some sense only the “second-best” person Gary Tischler is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.


June 2014


The Washington Diplomat Page 31

[ dining ]

Personalized Republic Jeff Black’s Latest Restaurant Pays Homage to Quirky Takoma Park by Rachel G. Hunt


eff Black, cofounder and chief of Black Restaurant Group (roles he shares with his wife Barbara Black), has a genius for knowing his audience. One after another, he has opened (and reopened in some cases) restaurants carefully tailored to the local population of each new neighborhood. His newest location, Republic in downtown Takoma Park, Md., is no exception. The restaurant is designed with the city’s nonconformist eccentricities in mind, from the name Republic — an allusion (perhaps tongue-incheek, perhaps sincere) to the little village’s fierce independent streak — to the funky décor, to the menu that offers sustainably sourced fish, local produce and a bigger selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes than his other locations. Black’s uncanny ability to capture just the right tone to reflect and reinforce the character of his location has produced a place that is as interesting and appealing as Takoma Park itself. The opening of Republic last December came on the heels of the closing of Black’s first, and much beloved restaurant,Addie’s in Rockville, Md. Republic is in some ways is more of an heir to Black’s original concept than his other restaurants, such as Black’s Bar and Kitchen and Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. Eighteen years ago, in a charming little yellow house set back off Rockville Pike in an area where there were very few if any good restaurants at the time, Black began to grow his distinct brand at Addie’s, bringing in aspiring young chefs and training them in their culinary approach. That cooking style defies easy characterization. It was at the vanguard of the slow-food movement, emphasizing sustainably sourced ingredients, and borrows techniques and ingredients from across the traditional spectrum to produce dishes that are creative, sometimes complex and sometimes simple, but always fresh. To develop Republic, Black invited Danny Wells, a longtime Black Restaurant Group employee, to take an equity stake in the restaurant. A Takoma Park native who got his start in the business at the age of 13 busing tables in a local restaurant,Wells thoroughly understands his community and is developing an experience that the area has been missing for a while. After looking at a number of locations in Takoma Park, the partners settled on the old Video America building at the corner of Carroll and Laurel Avenues and set about transforming the space with a hodgepodge of design elements Republic that mirror the village’s eclectic nature. 6939 laurel ave., Victorian-era red velvet sofas are pieced takoma Park, md. together to form the seating banquette (301) 270-3000 while period wallpaper covers one wall. Fixtures made of jet engine parts and decorated with beads from the store around the corner light the Lunch: mon. - Fri., 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. long zinc-topped bar, while mug shots of Johnny Cash stare down from the restroom walls as his Brunch: sat., 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.; music plays in the background. Altogether, it’s a sun., 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. fascinating space with enough interesting details Dinner: mon. - thu., 5 - 9:30 p.m.; Fri., to occupy your attention as you wait (unusually sat., 5 - 10 p.m.; sun., 5 - 8:30 p.m. not too long) for your food to arrive, snacking on the excellent white bean paste — in lieu of butBar: mon. - thu., 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.; ter or olive oil — and fresh breads that keep Fri., sat., 11 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.; coming as long as you ask. sun., 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Republic’s menu is as varied as its surroundAppetizers: $6 - $12 entrées: $13 - $24 ings and changes regularly based on availability, but it bears the unmistakable stamp of a Black Sides: $6 - $8 Desserts: $9 restaurant (including the mussels from Addie’s). Reservations: not accepted Though not large, the menu is well balanced with good fish, meat and veggie choices. On a recent visit, the braised lamb-and-spinach empanada starters — little packets enlivened with Salva Cremasco cheese and served with horseradish aioli — were a hit, particularly with the younger guests. And since this is a Black’s restaurant, you can expect great things from the seafood. A small plate of wood-grilled sardines or oysters is sure to whet your appetite for one

[ ] want to


Page 32

The Washington Diplomat

Photos: scott suchman

The recently opened Republic offers sustainably sourced fish and local produce in dishes such as the wood-grilled sardines, top, and ancient grains with a hint of the mediterranean.

of the main seafood entrées. The featured fish changes daily (on a recent night it was an excellent skate wing), or you can choose from one of the menu items. The Albacore tuna, crusted in fennel and served over garbanzo beans with a charred onion chimichurri is a bold dish, but it is the Atlantic flounder that is a total showstopper. Pan-seared and served with for cauliflower puree, Maitake mushrooms, crushed hazelnuts and vincotto, it is hard to imagine a more prefect combination of tastes and textures. Chef Wells also offers a burger on the dinner menu that rivals any in D.C.Two patties of Smith Meadows Farm beef are topped with mustard-ale cheese and aioli and sandwiched between a thick, fragrant pretzel bun.Add in some house-smoked bacon and a side of the excellent skinny fries and you have a divine burger. Given the somewhat bohemian location, it is not surprising Republic sports a number of good vegetarian and some vegan options. These are not just afterthoughts thrown in to appease diners.They are inventive dishes developed with the same careful hand as all the others.A recent menu item, for instance, featured asparagus with pea tendrils, pine nuts, hard-cooked egg and red onion crema. The generous side dishes also provide a meatless alternative. Ancient grains with a hint of the Mediterranean are prepared with pomegranate, pickled shallots, pistachios

June 2014

and mint, while the curried cauliflower with saffron, Marcona almonds and basil is an amalgamation of flavors from across cuisines. Another winner is the kale and garbanzo beans sautéed with oregano and a Virginia prosciutto that can be left out with only a little diminution of the excellent flavor. Some people claim to be growing tired of Brussels sprouts, which in recent years have jumped in popularity, but chef Wells’s version — deep fried with parmesan, lemon zest and smoked paprika — might make you rethink this humble vegetable. Salty and greasy, these Brussels sprouts put even the best potato chips to shame. There is also a vegan main course option that changes nightly, as well as a red and white quinoa risotto, a unusual concoction of quinoa, cremini mushrooms, English peas, mascarpone and a carrotsaffron puree. Rich but subtle, it has more texture than a traditional risotto. Like the rest of the menu, desserts change frequently at Republic, but if the chocolate hazelnut truffle cake is on the menu, it’s a must for chocolate lovers. Calling it a cake is somewhat misleading because it really consists of two dense-as-candy bars highlighted by salted caramel sauce, hazelnut brittle and whipped cream. The menu usually offers a fruit alternative, including a homey apple pie and a lemon tart with strawberry sauce. One can only imagine what the coming strawberry season will bring. The bar side at Republic is smallish but comfortable. Bar manager Brett Robison has developed a cocktail menu that matches the menu well and also features an interesting array of local beers on tap (she started out working in a local brewery and has an excellent grasp of the local marketplace). Potent cocktails such as the Fascist Killer feature names that give a shoutout to Takoma Park’s left-leaning politics and history. As Addie’s did, Republic emphasizes the casual over the formal. And while the caliber of the food is on par with all of Black’s restaurants,

A Legendary Hotel Located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Nation’s Capital… Truly Inspirational

Photo: scott suchman

Jeff Black, cofounder and chief of Black Restaurant group, continues to add to his local culinary empire with Republic in takoma Park, md.

the vibe is more relaxed and comfortable. Black is also trying something a little different at Republic by offering live music several nights a week. With weekly blues and open-mic nights, Republic is quickly developing into more than just a good local eatery. Its later evening hours and late-night menus make it an attractive destination almost any time. People in Takoma Park and beyond have figured this out, and Republic almost always has a good crowd (and with that crowd comes noise, perhaps the only downside of Republic). Because the restaurant does not take reservations, it is wise to plan a visit accordingly and be prepared to wait for a table at peak hours. Now that the weather has finally improved, however, the wait offers a nice chance to stroll around Takoma Park and get an idea of what inspired Black to create the newest, and perhaps most appealing restaurant in his local culinary empire.

The Melrose Hotel Ms. Ella Savon, Diplomatic Relations 202.463.2391

2430 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington DC 20037 202.955.6400

Rachel G. Hunt is the restaurant reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

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June 2014

call (301) 933-3552. The Washington Diplomat Page 33

[ film reviews ]

Surreal ‘Reality’ Jodorowsky Makes Triumphant Return to the Silver Screen


by Ky N. Nguyen



Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema


s renowned Chilean-French writer-director Alejandro Jodorow­ ★★★★★ sky’s first film since 1990’s “The Rainbow Thief,” unreleased in born in Poland, makes a film set in his native counthe United States, the American try for the first time with “Ida,” a startling work premiere of “The Dance of that is one of the finest films of the year. Reality” was one of the most In 1962, 18-year-old novice Anna (newcomer eagerly anticipated screenings at the Agata Trzebuchowska in an amazing introduction 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film to the silver screen) has led a sheltered existence Festival. in an isolated Polish convent that is the only home Jodorowsky — whose reputation was she’s ever known after being orphaned as an built by surrealist cult classics such as “El infant. Before she takes her vows to become a Topo” and “The Holy Mountain” — is nun, her superiors tell her that she must visit her one of those directors with an outsize only living relative, her late mother’s sister Wanda reputation despite having made very (veteran Agata Kulesza), who’s refused contact few films;“The Dance of Reality” is only with her niece. Reluctantly, Anna travels to the his seventh completed feature. He’s also town where Aunt Wanda lives. famous for films he didn’t make, such as Wanda, who’s quite worldly, reveals that she his failed attempt in the 1970s at adaptand Anna, whose birth name is Ida, are Jewish. Photo: Pascale Montandon-Jodorosky ing Frank Herbert’s epic “Dune,” the Wanda is amused by the notion of her Jewish top-selling science-fiction novel of all Chilean-French writer-director Alejandro Jodorowsky examines his troubled but colorful childhood in niece as a Catholic nun. At first dismissive of her time, as chronicled in the recently “The Dance of Reality.” niece, Wanda eventually agrees to help her naïve, released documentary inexperienced niece find her parents’ gravesite. “Jodorowsky’s Dune.” Going Though not easy, the quest is aided by Wanda’s background as a famously tough prosecubeyond the tradition of Latin tor, known for her success obtaining death sentences for convicted enemies of the comAmerican magic realism, munist state, including Catholic priests.The journey transforms both family members as Jodorowsky’s work is frequently they get to know each other, dig deep into their pasts, and confront their identities, compared to that of the Italian affecting the path each takes forever. auteur Federico Fellini, especially “Ida” succeeds as a formally structured film in which Pawlikowski’s streamlined, prehis later, more surrealist films. cise direction moves the action along efficiently without the movie seeming too stagy. In the autobiographical “The Crisp black-and-white cinematography, crafted from carefully composed shots, create a Dance of Reality,” Jodorowsky, haunting, otherworldly mise-en-scène.The spare screenplay, well written by Pawlikowski now 85, delves into his Chilean and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, straightforwardly lays out the plot — brought to life by fine roots and the tough childhood performances from the two lead he suffered. Nominally, that is not actresses, Trzebuchowska and an uncommon storyline, but in Kulesza. Jodorowsky’s hands, the result is just as outrageously surrealist as Matter-of-Fact his legendary body of work. It’s sure to please his long-time fans. Prostitution Photo: Music box Films For viewers unaccustomed to At only 47 years old, prolific his work, Jodorowsky might Agata Trzebuchowska makes a powerful screen debut as a young French writer-director François Ozon admittedly be a bit of an acquired Polish woman discovering her roots in “Ida.” has developed a diverse body of taste. “The Dance of Reality” goes work spanning multiple genres beyond the norm with a palette of bright colors, crazy costumes, copious nudity, a dwarf and a (“Swimming Pool,” “8 Women,” “Potiche”). mother who only sings her lines in opera.Though certainly dark in subject matter, the film offers His latest feature to be released, “Young & idiosyncratic notes of positivity. Beautiful,” takes the viewpoint of a very “The Dance of Reality” is shot on location in Tocopilla, the small town on the coast of Chile attractive 17-year-old French girl, but this is where Jodorowsky was born to Ukrainian-Jewish not the usual coming-of-age story. In a conPhoto: The Independent Film Channel LLCs immigrants. Jodorowsky’s angry father Jaime troversial twist, our young heroine Isabelle The Dance of Reality (Brontis Jodorowsky), a former circus performer, delves into prostitution, for no particularly French model-turned-actress Marine Vacth casually becomes a call girl in François Ozon’s “Young & Beautiful.” is an idealistic if ineffective communist who apparent reason. (La Danza de la Realidad) attempts to assassinate a powerful, wealthy genComparisons are inevitable with Spanish (Spanish with subtitles; 129 min.) Young & Beautiful eral.To counter the anti-Semitism they face, Jaime auteur Luis Buñuel’s 1967 French classic,“Belle de Jour,” in Landmark’s E Street Cinema is domineering to his son, Alejandro (Jeremias which Catherine Deneuve, famous for her mysterious, disJeune & Jolie Herskovits playing the boy), in an attempt to tant characters, plays a young prostitute. Ozon’s seemingly (French and German ★★★★✩ make them both seem manlier. Jaime forces the effortless direction is unnoticeable, which means it does with subtitles; 94 min.) lad to cut his long blond hair and suffer through dental work without anesthesia. In contrast, his not get in the way of the story being told in a matter-of-fact Landmark’s E Street Cinema buxom mother Sara (Pamela Flores) dotes on her boy, whom she believes to be her late father’s manner, based on his intelligent screenplay. In actuality, the Opens Fri., June 20 reincarnation, to the point of being overly protective. director deserves much credit for extracting honest performances out of his cast, particularly the younger, less expe★★★★✩


Startling ‘Ida’

British writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski (“Last Resort,” “My Summer of Love”), who was

Page 34

Ida (Polish with subtitles; 80 min.)



See film reviews, page 37

The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

[ film festival ]

Docs Take 12 From Torture to Twain, AFI Documentary Fest Turns Camera on Real Life by Ky N. Nguyen


rom June 18 to 24, AFI Docs Documentary Festival (formerly Silverdocs) returns to the Washington area for its 12th year as one of the most prominent documentary film festivals on the international circuit. This year will also be the fest’s second year with its rebranded moniker and a pivot toward a specific policy focus and landmark venues in D.C. such as the National Archives, Newseum and National Portrait Gallery. The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md., will also screen most films. Highlights available at press time include the following special programs:

Opening Night On Wed., June 18, at the Newseum, acclaimed actor Hal Holbrook will present this year’s opening night film, the world premiere of director Scott Teems’s “Holbrook/ Twain: An American Odyssey.” It’s a behind-the-scenes look at “Mark Twain Tonight!” — Holbrook’s one-man show about the quintessential American author, Mark Twain, which has run for 60 straight years. The Tony and Emmy Award-winning play is considered to have the longest run of all time for a one-man show. “AFI Docs is the ideal festival to premiere our film, because both Twain’s writings and Holbrook’s one-man masterpiece remain strikingly relevant and timely observations of this wonderful and conflicted country of ours,” said Teems.

to learn

Guggenheim Symposium


On Fri., June 20, the 2014 AFI Docs Charles Guggenheim Symposium will honor filmmaker Alex Gibney, Oscar winner for 2007’s “Taxi to the Dark Side,” an in-depth look at American torture For more information, visit practices in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Clips from his Closing Night body of work will be screened, followed by a talk with Gibney. At the National Portrait Gallery on Sat., June 21, AFI “Alex Gibney’s personal drive to find and expose truth in film Photo: David Shankbone Docs will screen its closing night film,“Life Itself,” a documakes him one of the most important documentarians of this and mentary by filmmaker Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) any generation,” said Christine O’Malley, interim director of AFI Filmmaker Alex Gibney will be honored at this about recently deceased Chicago Sun-Times film critic Docs. “His films have etched a place in American history, both as year’s AFI Docs Documentary Festival. Roger Ebert, one of the most well-known film critics of all compelling independent storytelling and journalism, so it is particularly fitting that AFI pay tribute to him in Washington and at the National time thanks to the popularity of his television series with Chicago colleague Gene Siskel. Archives.” “Roger loved documentaries and, as a critic, had a profound impact on the success Accompanying the Guggenheim Symposium will be a retrospective of Gibney’s films, including: “The Armstrong Lie”; “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer”; of so many of them over the years,” said James.“To be honored at one of the very best “Gonzo:The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S.Thompson”;“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in festivals devoted to the art form would have greatly pleased him.” the House of God”; “Taxi to the Dark Side”; and “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

Repertory Notes

by Washington Diplomat film reviewer Ky N. Nguyen

Please see International Film Clips on next page for detailed listings available at press time.

EuroAsiaShorts The annual festival “EuroAsia Shorts 2014: Travel & Journeys” presents the following programs: “China-Germany” (Mon., June 2, 6:30 p.m.) at the Goethe-Institut; “Korea-Italy” (Tue., June 3, 6:30 p.m.) at the Korean Embassy’s KORUS House; “Japan-Spain” (Wed., June 4, 6:30 p.m.) at the Japan Information and Culture Center; “FranceVietnam” (Thu., June 5, 6:30 p.m.) at the Alliance Francaise; and “All Countries” (Fri., June 6, 6:30 p.m.) at the Italian Embassy.

Goethe-Institut The series “Film|Neu Presents” (through July 7) continues with the best of new films in the German language. (202) 289-1200,

Freer Gallery of Art The “Asia After Dark: Bollywood and Beyond” program screens Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bollywood musical “Ram-Leela” (Sun., June 8, 2 p.m.). In conjunction with the National Museum of African Art, the series “China and Kenya on Film” presents “Nairobi Half Life” (Fri., June 27,

7 p.m.) and “Beijing Bicycle” (Sun., June 29, 2 p.m.). The series “Here Comes the Night: Cinema Nocturnes” feature films exploring cities at night as part of the Sackler exhibitions “Kiyochika: Master of the Night” and “An American in London: Whistler and the Thames.” (202) 357-2700,

American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre The 2014 DC Labor FilmFest (through June 23) includes British director Julian Jarrold’s “Kinky Boots” (Mon., June 2, 7:30 p.m.) and British director Stephen Daldry’s “Billy Elliott” (Mon., June 16, 7:30 p.m.).

honors the American leading lady. (301) 495-6700,

“Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” Co-presented by the AFI Silver Theatre and the National Gallery of Art, “Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” continues through June 29, featuring newly restored prints of landmark Polish films. (301) 495-6700,

The retrospective “Independent Reality: The Films of Jan Němec” continues through June 29, reviewing work by the rarely seen Czech New Wave filmmaker.

(202) 842-6799,

The series “Studio Ghibli Encore” (through July 2) presents more classic anime films. The retrospective “Charlie Chaplin: The Tramp Turns 100” (through June 29) commemorates the 100th birthday of the beloved British filmmaker-actor. The series “Shakespeare Cinema, Part I” (through June 29) presents major cinematic adaptations from works by the most important English playwright.

National Gallery of Art

The retrospective “Action! The Films of Raoul Walsh, Part 2” (through July 2) continues reviewing the career of the American director. The retrospective “Burt Lancaster, Part 2” (through July 2) continues AFI Silver’s review of the career of the American movie star. The retrospective “Jane Fonda AFI Life Achievement Award Retrospective” (through June 25)

Produced in conjunction with the exhibition “Garry Winogrand,” the film series “On the Street” (through June 15) showcases cinéma vérite works about the streets of New York City.

June 2014

Presented with support from the embassies of Poland, Croatia and Serbia, the series “Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960-1990” (through June 14) looks at seldom-seen work by avant-garde filmmakers in the former Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

(202) 842-6799,

The Washington Diplomat Page 35

[ film ]

CINEMA LISTING *Unless specific times are listed, please check the theater for times. Theater locations are subject to change.

Cantonese In the Mood for Love (Fa yeung nin wa) Directed by Wong Kar-Wai (Hong Kong, 2001, 98 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre June 24 to 28

from her parents and stumbles into the spirit world and is conscripted into working in a fabulous bathhouse where all manner of magical creatures come to relax.

Howl’s Moving Castle

AFI Silver Theatre June 24 to July 2

Womanish Ways: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Bahamas 1948-1962

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 1, 11 a.m., Mon., June 2, 5:15 p.m.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 2004, 119 min.)

The Stuart Hall Project

Directed by Marion Bethel (Bahamas, 2012, 73 min.)

Come With It, Black Man: A Biography of Black Stalin’s Consciousness

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., June 13, 7 p.m.

This independent feature-length documentary digs deep into the consciousness of the Black Man himself, legendary calypsonian Dr. Leroy Calliste, better known as Black Stalin.

The New Rijksmuseum (Het nieuwe Rijksmuseum) Directed by Oeke Hoogendijk (The Netherlands, 2013, 228 min.)

This documentary follows the extensive and often contentious renovation of the fabled Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam — one of the world’s great art institutions — exploring the many issues that had to be resolved, including placating the well-organized lobby of Dutch bicyclists who saw the new entrance as a threat. National Gallery of Art Sat., June 21, 1 p.m.

Directed by Tamara Tam-Cruickshank (Trinidad and Tobago, 2012, 60 min.)

Directed by Jose Antonio Vargas (U.S./Philippines, 2013, 89 min.)

Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas travels around America, telling his story in solidarity with the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country, connecting with his subjects through the similarities of their journeys, particularly those who, like Vargas, came to the United States as children.

Drones Directed by Rick Rosenthal (U.S., 2013, 82 min.)

Eleven-year-old lad Billy Elliot blows off his boxing lessons to join the more fascinating ballet class down the hall, but when his hard-headed father and older brother find out about his new extracurricular activity, tensions rise in the already tense household.

Kingston Paradise Directed by Mary Wells (Jamaica, 2013, 83 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 14, 9:20 p.m.

Directed by Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1943, 80 min.)

Directed by Stephen Daldry (U.K./France, 2000, 110 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre June 26 to 29


Background to Danger

Billy Elliot

A teenager named Sophie has her life turned upside-down when she meets a dashing young wizard named Howl and becomes caught up in a magicians’ feud.

AFI Silver Theatre Fri., June 13, 9:30 p.m.

West End Cinema

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 14, 11:05 a.m., Mon., June 16, 9:45 p.m.

with Chaplin as a Jewish barber mistaken for the dictator of Tomania.

Life on the streets is about frantic survival for small-time hustler Rocksy, a taxi driver and part-time pimp, and Rosie, a prostitute, his roomie and business investment.


In World War II Turkey, an American undercover agent accidentally comes into possession of a packet of photos that a German spy ring wants to use as propaganda, claiming that Russia plans to invade neutral Turkey.

This taut military thriller explores the unique set of moral dilemmas that confront our military and our nation as the United States expands its use of robotic weapons to prosecute its wars.

The Lodger Directed by Alfred Hitchcock (U.K., 1926, 90 min.)

Based on a novel inspired by the exploits of Jack the Ripper, this thriller — which Alfred Hitchcock himself called “the first true ‘Hitchcock’ movie” — stars Ivor Novello as a mysterious stranger who takes a room in a London family’s house.

Teenagers didn’t always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape. Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Tula: The Revolt Directed by Jeroen Leinders (Netherland Antilles/Netherlands, 2013, 100 min.)

Uncertain Glory

This rousing documentary reveals an intimate portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning poet, playwright, painter and even filmmaker Derek Walcott, who has been hymning the Caribbean for more than 60 years.

Directed by Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1944, 102 min.)

Directed by Kent MacKenzie (U.S., 1961, 72 min.)

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)

This penultimate cinematic depiction of Los Angeles at night chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of the city.

In Occupied France, a career criminal and escaped convict volunteers for a suicide mission: He will turn himself in to the Nazi authorities and confess to a recent act of sabotage by the Resistance, in exchange for the freedom of 100 innocent men taken prisoner by the Nazis to force the saboteur’s surrender.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1992, 94 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre June 13 to 17

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., June 27

The Exiles

AFI Silver Theatre Fri., June 13, 7:15 p.m.

Black and Cuba

Directed by Bruce Paddington (Trinidad and Tobago/Grenada, 2013, 113 min.)

Resilient Hearts

Page 36

Directed by Matt Wolf (U.S./Germany, 2013, 77 min.)

Directed by Ida Does (The Netherlands, 2014, 80 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Mon., June 2, 2:45 p.m., Wed., June 4, 2:45 p.m.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 1986, 124 min.)


AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 14, 5 p.m.

Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution

Castle in the Sky (Tenkû no Shiro Rapyuta)

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 15, 2:45 p.m.

Poetry is an Island, Derek Walcott

AFI Silver Theatre Mon., June 16, 7:30 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 15, 9:40 p.m.

Born and raised in Kingston, Stuart Hall is one of the most influential and esteemed cultural theorists of his generation.

Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 15, 1 p.m.

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., June 6, 7 p.m.

This edgy and artful documentary follows a group of predominantly black, street-smart students at Yale, who feel like outcasts at the elite Ivy League university, as they band together and go to Cuba to see if revolution is truly possible.

Directed by John Akomfrah (U.K., 2013, 103 min.)

Based on the true story of the slave uprising in 18th-century Curacao, this epic drama follows the enslaved Tula, who led his colleagues in revolt (English and Dutch).

A swashbuckling tough guy aviator who just happens to be a pig battles pirates and other evildoers in this eccentric adventure set in 1920s Italy (Englishdubbed version).

Directed by Robin J. Hayes (U.S./Cuba, 2013, 83 min.)

June 2014

When a girl mysteriously falls from the sky and directly into his arms, a boy becomes involved in a wild adventure involving a secret floating city, pirates, giant robots and amazing flying contraptions (Englishdubbed version).

Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung star as neighbors who suspect their spouses of cheating and find themselves falling in love with one another in this sumptuous visual tour-de-force.



The invasion of Grenada by U.S. forces in 1983 echoed around the world and put an end to a unique experiment in Caribbean politics. This comprehensive, gripping and revealing documentary tells the story of the Grenada revolution as never before. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 15, 5 p.m.

The Great Dictator Directed by Charles Chaplin (U.S., 1940, 125 min.)

Charlie Chaplin’s first all-talking picture presents a biting satire on dictatorship,

Directed by Claudine Oriol (Haiti, 2013, 74 min.)

Directed by Haitian-American actress Claudine Oriol, this documentary unfolds through the eyes, lives and spirit of the Haitian people who were devastated by the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake that ravaged their country. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 15, 7:30 p.m.

Spirited Away Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 2002, 125 min.)

While out exploring, a young girl strays

Unknown Chaplin Directed by Kevin Brownlow (U.K., 1983, 156 min.)

Film archivists and historians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill take a fascinating look at Charlie Chaplin’s outtakes, revealing his meticulous working methods and working and re-working scenes and stunts to create the “effortless” magic on screen. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 15, 3:15 p.m.

Whisper of the Heart Directed by Yoshifumi Kondô (Japan, 1995, 111 min.)

Perusing the eclectic selection of books she has checked out from the library, a young girl notices the name Seiji before hers on the checkout card of each one. Through a series of curious and magical incidents, she meets and establishes a connection to Seiji, who dreams of becoming a famous violinmaker in Italy.

AFI Silver Theatre June 13 to 16

Exploring the riveting story of the women’s suffrage movement in the Bahamas, this documentary focuses on five of the central figures in the movement. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 15, 1:10 p.m.

Words and Pictures Directed by Fred Schepisi (U.S., 2014, 116 min.)

A stoic art instructor and a flamboyant English teacher form a rivalry that ends up with a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse Tue., June 3, 7 p.m.

Yurumein (Homeland) Directed by Andrea E. Leland (U.S./St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2014, 50 min.)

This powerful documentary recounts the painful past of the Caribs on St. Vincent and the extermination of scores of their ancestors at the hands of the British, while building an intimate portrait of Garifuna culture in-transition today. AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 14, 2 p.m.

French Two Men in Manhattan (Deux homes dans Manhattan) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (France, 1959, 84 min.)

A reporter is sent by a French press agency on a discreet mission to find the French delegate to the U.N., a known womanizer who has gone missing in the New York night (French and English). Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 1, 1 p.m.

German Break Up Man (Schlussmacher) Directed by Matthias Schweighöfer (Germany, 2013, 110 min.)

Paul, a professional “separator” who works for an agency in Berlin assisting couples in breaking up, encounters the extremely clingy Toto who, in one fell swoop, turns Paul’s career plans and life upside down. Goethe-Institut Mon., June 23, 6:30 p.m.

Kokowääh 2 Directed by Til Schweiger (Germany, 2013, 123 min.)

In this sequel to the 2011 film “Kokowääh,” two years have passed since Henry, Katharina, Tristan and Magdalena became a family. Just when it seems everything has become routine, chaos breaks loose. Goethe-Institut Mon., June 30, 6:30 p.m.

The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

Rhymers and Rivals (Dichter und Kämpfer: Das Leben als Poetry Slammer in Deutschland) Directed by Marion Hütter (Germany, 2011, 88 min.)

This film follows four of Germany’s leading slam poets — Julius Fischer, Theresa Hahl, Sebastian23 and Philipp Scharrenberg — during the course of a year as they participate in two German Slam Poetry Championships. Goethe-Institut Mon., June 16, 6 p.m.

Hindi Ram-Leela Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (India, 2013, 155 min.)

In this lush, visually stunning Bollywood rendering of “Romeo and Juliet,” charming vagabond Ram meets and instantly falls for the passionate Leela during a village Holi celebration. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 8, 2 p.m.

Italian Il Sorpasso

editor of the high school newspaper.

(Only You)

AFI Silver Theatre June 6 to 11

Directed by Juan Francisco Pardo (Aruba, 2013, 72 min.)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Japan, 2013, 126 min.)

The swan song of animation master Hayao Miyazaki, this animated film is a fictionalized biographical portrait of Jiro Horikoshi, a gifted Japanese engineer whose greatest achievement was designing the Zero fighter planes used by Japan during World War II. AFI Silver Theatre Fri., June 27, 7:30 p.m., Sun., June 29, 9:15 p.m.

Directed by Hong Sang-soo (South Korea, 2011, 79 min.)

National Gallery of Art Sun., June 8, 4:30 p.m.

Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 1, 3 p.m.

Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland, 1977, 100 min.)

Directed by Wang Xiaoshuai (China, 2001, 113 min.)

Directed by Gorō Miyazaki (Japan, 2011, 91 min.)

In 1963, the sunny seaside town of Yokohama, a 16-year-old gril begins a budding romance with fellow student and

Blind Chance (Przypadek)

The nighttime streets of Seoul become conduits for nostalgia, painful reunions, and fortuitous chance encounters when a lapsed filmmaker returns from the countryside for a brief visit.

Roberto, a shy law student in Rome, meets Bruno, a 40-year-old exuberant, capricious man who takes him for a drive through the Roman and Tuscany countrysides in the summer of 1962.

From Up On Poppy Hill


A trilogy of stories follows three possible life paths for its main character: In the first he becomes a Communist Party member, in the second he joins a dissident movement, and in the third he decides not to be involved in either.

The Day He Arrives (Book chon bang hyang)



AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 14, 3:15 p.m.

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski (Poland, 1987, 120 min.)


Directed by Dino Risi (Italy, 1962, 105 min.)

National Gallery of Art Sun., June 22, 4:30 p.m.

In this musical, Tatiana, an intelligent, conservative young woman, meets a quirky young man of Latin origin who can’t take Tatiana’s diva attitude.

The Wind Rises

The shallowness and cynicism of the academic milieu becomes apparent through the relationship between a young linguistics professor and his diabolical senior colleague.

Beijing Bicycle In this portrait of emerging class divisions in China, a teenager moves to Beijing from the countryside and finds work as a bicycle messenger, but his bike is stolen and winds up in the hands of a schoolboy who steals money to buy it secondhand so he can impress a girl. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 29, 2 p.m.

Papiamento Abo So

Camouflage (Barwy ochronne)

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 1, 8:45 p.m., Mon., June 2, 9:30 p.m.

The Constant Factor (Constans) Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland, 1980, 98 min.)

A naïve and sincere young man must come to terms with the reality of the world. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 8, 6 p.m.

The Illumination (Iluminacja) Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland, 1973, 92 min.)

In this classic “bildungsroman,” a young man from a provincial town comes to the capital to study physics, hoping that science can answer his questions as he explores the boundaries of knowledge while tackling universal life experiences — love, death, friendship, fatherhood and work. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 8, 8 p.m., Tue., June 10, 9:15 p.m.

To Kill This Love (Trzeba zabić tę miłość) Directed by Janusz Morgenstern (Poland, 1972, 92 min.)

What was it like to be young at the turn of the 1970s in communist Poland? While Neil Armstrong lands on the moon, Magda and Andrzej discover love and life but have no means of reaching their goals without entering the mean, conformist reality surrounding them. AFI Silver Theatre Tue., June 17, 9:20 p.m., Mon., June 30, 7:30 p.m.

(Poland, 1975, 179 min.)

Three friends — a Polish nobleman, a German and a Jew — shrink from nothing, including treachery and fraud to build their business empire (Polish, German, Yiddish and Russian). AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 29, 6 p.m.

Silent Crossroads Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa (Japan, 1928, 80 min.)

Set in Edo-period Japan, this story of sexual obsession takes place in the decadent milieu of the Yoshiwara pleasure district, where a young man makes the mistake of becoming smitten with a woman tied to several ruthless, powerful men. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 15, 3:30 p.m.

Spanish Cristo Rey Directed by Leticia Tonos (Dominican Republic/Haiti/France, 2013, 96 min.)

Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza)

The universal legend of Romeo and Juliet provides a compelling framework for Dominican director Leticia Tonos to explore the recent escalation in historic tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Directed by Andrzej Wajda (Poland, 1981, 153 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 14, 7:15 p.m.

A masterful story about the limitations of the press, coupled with real footage of the Solidarity movement strikes, Andrzej Wajda’s film examines the events leading to one of the most crucial historical events of the 20th century. AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 14, 7:30 p.m., Sun., June 15, 6:15 p.m.

The Promised Land (Ziemia Obiecana) Directed by Andrzej Wajda

Swahili Nairobi Half Life Directed by David “Tosh” Gitonga (Kenya, 2012, 96 min.)

A young man who leaves his village with the dream of pursuing an acting career in bustling Nairobi finds city life harsher than he imagined and becomes ensnared by a gang of thieves (Swahili and Kikuyu). Freer Gallery of Art Fri., June 27, 7 p.m.

does not pass judgment, leaving that up to other characters and the viewers.

from page 34

Film Reviews

Predictable ‘Seduction’

With “The Grand Seduction,” Canadian director Don McKellar rienced actors. (“Last Night,” “Blindness”) finally succeeds in completing a longLuminous French model-turned-actress Marine Vacth, who was running project and delivers a gentle, crowd-pleasing comedy. nominated for a French César Award for Most Promising Actress, The plot is rather predictable and relies on a bunch of stock charhas a star-making turn in her first lead role as aloof Isabelle. The acters. Nonetheless, the movie succeeds in giving audiences what camera loves Vacth, which is a very good thing since she is on they want, which is a bunch of laughs, even if they know they are screen in nearly the entire film. For playing Isabelle’s mother Sylvie, being manipulated as bluntly as Dr. Paul Lewis, the target of “The Géraldine Pailhas was also nominated for a César Award for Most Grand Seduction” on screen. Promising Actress. The rest of the cast provides solid supporting Canadian heartthrob Taylor Kitsch is expectedly appealing as Dr. performances. Lewis, while Irish star Brendan Gleeson “Young & Beautiful” is structured into four parts, with dominates the proceedings as Murray The Grand Seduction a soundtrack of a different pop song following a season French, a regular guy determined to (English; 115 min.) of the year in the life of Isabelle, beginning with her save his hometown from extinction. 17th birthday when she is on summer holiday with her Kitsch and Gleeson are backed by a Theater TBA family, including her mother, stepfather Patrick (Frédéric strong ensemble cast that brings to life Opens Fri., June 13 Pierrot) and younger brother Victor (Fantin Ravat), with the multiple characters, including lov★★★✩✩ whom she shares an unusually open relationship. She able eccentrics, inhabiting the story’s chooses to let a handsome German boy take her virginworld. Liane Balaban shines in the small ity, but does not really have any interest in him after the deed is done. role of a postmistress who acts as a love interest for the visiting Back in the city, we see Isabelle resume her life as a high school doctor. student. The plot starts out in a dark and despondent place.Tickle Cove is Outside of academics, she picks up an extracurricular activity as a tiny harbor in rural Canada long past its prime. Nearly everybody an online call girl, which has its ups and downs while she figures out is unemployed, the community survives on the dole, and town meetthe ropes. Why? That’s the million-dollar question. She doesn’t do it ings are scarcely attended. Murray’s wife moves to the mainland to because she needs the money or affection, as her family provides take a job. Even the mayor gives up and skips town with his family, ample support in both categories. It seems to be a part of her sexual under the cover of darkness in the middle of the night. awakening and exploration, certainly an unusual choice, but Ozon Out of desperation, Murray takes over as acting mayor and exe-



June 2014

Photo: Duncan de Young / Max Films

Canadian heartthrob Taylor Kitsch plays a doctor who becomes a small town’s last hope for survival in “The Great Seduction.”

cutes a long-shot plan to lure a factory to Tickle Cove, the dying town’s last hope. The international petrochemical corporation looking to place the factory requires the presence of a resident town doctor. Unusual circumstances compel Dr. Lewis, a plastic surgeon, to come to town on a temporary tour of duty. Murray and his fellow citizens in Tickle Cove scheme to trick Dr. Lewis into making his stay permanent so the town can land the factory contract, bringing the saving grace of plentiful jobs to revitalize Tickle Cove’s economy. Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

The Washington Diplomat Page 37

[ around town ]

EVENTS LISTING **Admission is free unless otherwise noted. All information on event venues can be found on The Diplomat Web site at www.washdiplomat. com. Times and locations are subject to change. Unless listed, please call venue for specific event times and hours of operation.

ART June 4 to Aug. 29

Investing in Women and Girls: A Photography exhibit of winners of the Colors of Life photo contest

This exhibition of winning entries of the Colors of Life International Photo Contest, organized in conjunction with the World Bank Art Program, features international documentary and street photographers tackling issues such as women’s rights and the international movement toward a more just and humane world.

June 10 to July 31

Octavio Paz: De La Palabra a la Miranda

This display brings together Octavio Paz’s artist books, capturing the Nobel Laureate’s indelible word through the illustration of renowned artists from Mexico and abroad, including Rufino Tamayo, Juan Soriano, Vicente Rojo, Marcel Duchamp, Antoni Tàpies, Robert Motherwell, Balthus and Cy Twombly. Mexican Cultural Institute Thu., June 12, 6 p.m.

They Never Update the Lists

This solo photography show by Pragueborn, Bethesda-based artist Michael Borek addresses themes of alienation and absurdity as it commemorates the 90th anniversary of death of Franz Kafka. To RSVP, visit

Art Museum of the Americas F Street Gallery

Embassy of the Czech Republic

Through June 6

Continental Drift


Six Australian contemporary artists working out of New York City and London were selected based on an empirical set of rules. In an act of sequestering the artists, each has adopted a system of constraint to structure their experiments, elucidating the vast complexities of lived experience with a remarkable economy of means. Embassy of Australia Art Gallery June 6 to Oct. 12

Total Art: Contemporary Video

The first museum exhibition to focus on women’s impact on the field of video art highlights the inventive processes and compelling subjects that sustain women artists’ position at the forefront of video. National Museum of Women in the Arts June 7 to Dec. 31

Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems

One of Cartier’s most important and enduring clients, Marjorie Merriweather Post commissioned some of the most exquisite jewelry sets, fashionable accessories and finely crafted jeweled frames of any American collector.

June 14 to Aug. 17

This survey of Washington artist Judy Byron invites the viewer to consider the visual and auditory environment that informs identity, acknowledging the artist’s drifting of visual influences among three specific countries: Brazil, China and Ghana. American University Katzen Arts Center June 14 to Aug. 17

Passionate Collectors: The Washington Print Club at 50

With almost 150 prints selected from Washington collections, this exhibit reveals a diversity of techniques — from relief printing by celebrated masters Durer, van Dyck, Carracci, Pissarro, Picasso and Chuck Close to monoprints by contemporaries Richard Estes, Ventura Salimbeni, Thomas Frye, Adolphe Appian, Reinhard Hilker and Keiko Hara. American University Katzen Arts Center Through June 15

Gravity’s Edge

One of a series of exhibitions drawn from the collection of the Hirshhorn in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary, “Gravity’s Edge” offers an expanded view of Color Field painting, which spanned from 1959 to 1978.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through June 8

Through June 15

Garry Winogrand

A renowned photographer of New York City and American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s, Garry Winogrand worked with dazzling energy and a voracious appetite. In the first retrospective of his work in 25 years, some 180 photographs in the exhibition and more than 350 in the accompanying catalogue will reveal for the first time the full breadth of Winogrand’s art. National Gallery of Art Through June 8, 2014

Perspectives: Rina Banerjee

Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant in her richly textured works that complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Page 38

Rineke Dijkstra: The Krazyhouse

“The Krazyhouse” is a four-channel video installation by Rineke Dijkstra created in 2009 at a popular dance club in Liverpool that presents a group of five young people in their teens and early 20s dancing and singing. Corcoran Gallery of Art Through June 15

Shakespeare’s the Thing

Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this exhibition presents a miscellany of treasures in the Folger collection from Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio to modern fine art prints, revealing the Bard’s influence on performance, adaptation, scholarship, printing, fine art and even in mild obsession. Folger Shakespeare Library Through June 20

A Vintage Tour of Italy

This exhibit details the history of Italy’s

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT travel posters from the beginning of the 1900s to their peak in the 1960s, considered the golden age of poster art (viewing appointments must be made by emailing Embassy of Italy Through June 21

Light Touch

The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France, in partnership with Maryland Art Place (MAP), features the work of five artists who explore aspects of the physical world through the lens of light as both a medium and a resource of value to our natural environment. BWI Airport June 23 to July 3

Lily Garafulic: Centenary Celebration

Selected prints, drawings, watercolors, sculptures and a documentary examine the work of Lily Garafulic Yankovic (1914-2012), a Chilean sculptor who was among the 40 Generation artists who drew heavily from impressionism and Fauvism and remained largely removed from the more overtly political work being made at the time.

June 2014

anniversary in 2014. Its roots lie in Berlin, where two teenagers, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, discovered a passion for swing music and a strong friendship. They both moved to New York in the 1930s, where Blue Note Records was born in 1939. Goethe-Institut Through July 7

Territories and Subjectivities: Contemporary Art from Argentina

This exhibition featuring 33 innovative artists presents a vigorous panorama of fresh trends from various regions of the country, examining the very notion of territory not as an inherent condition of the world that we share, but as something that humans define for themselves through subjective means. OAS Art Museum of the Americas Through July 13

Dancing the Dream

From the late 19th century to today, dance has captured this nation’s culture in motion, as seen in photos that showcase generations of performers, choreographers and impresarios.

Robert Duncan, merged their personal and artistic lives by exploring their mutual interest in cultural mythologies, transformative narrative and the appropriation of images. American University Katzen Arts Center Through Aug. 17

Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone

The exhibition features some 70 artworks from the collection of William Siegmann (1943–2011) — a former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum who lived and worked in Liberia for more than two decades — that survey the traditional arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone. National Museum of African Art Through Aug. 24

Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon

“Africa ReViewed” showcases the African photography of celebrated Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon and explores the intricate relationships between his photographic archives and art collection at the National Museum of African Art. Elisofon’s images had a huge impact in framing America’s perceptions of Africa and its diverse cultures during the 20th century.

Art Museum of the Americas

National Portrait Gallery

June 28 to Sept. 28

Through July 27

American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley

Chigusa and the Art of Tea

Through Aug. 31

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Following an acclaimed four-year world tour, the Phillips’s renowned collection of American masterworks returns to the museum to tell the story of American art from the late 19th-century to the mid20th century, when it became a significant global force after World War II.

Spanning a remarkable 50-year career, this first-ever retrospective surveys the art of Albert Paley, one of the world’s most distinguished metalsmiths. Corcoran Gallery of Art Through June 29

Marimekko: 50 Years of Unikko

Marimekko, a Finnish textile and clothing design company renowned for its original prints and colors, and the Finnish Embassy celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world-famous Unikko (poppy) pattern, which, since its introduction in 1964, has been seen in a huge range of different colorways and on a large variety of products, from tableware and bags to sneakers and the livery of a Finnair airplane. Embassy of Finland Through June 29

Modern German Prints and Drawings from the Kainen Collection

Ruth Kainen’s love of German expressionism, first displayed at the gallery in the 1985 exhibition “German Expressionist Prints from the Collection of Ruth and Jacob Kainen,” will be celebrated with 123 works recently donated to the gallery through her bequest, as well as with a few of her earlier gifts. National Gallery of Art

“Chigusa” tells the story of a 700-year-old ordinary tea jar that rose to become one of the most famous and revered objects in the Japanese “art of tea” — so much so that it was granted a name, luxurious accessories and a devoted following. Through July 27

Kiyochika: Master of the Night

On Sept. 3, 1868, the city called Edo ceased to exist. Renamed Tokyo by Japan’s new rulers, the city became the primary experiment in a national drive toward modernization. Kobayashi Kiyochika, a self-trained artist, set out to record his views of Tokyo in an ambitious and auspicious series of 100 prints. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Through Aug. 1

American States in Yuan Xikun’s Eyes: Preservation and Transformation

National Museum of African Art

Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1850–1970

The Phillips Collection Through Sept. 2

Peruvian Gold: Ancient Treasures Unearthed

This exhibition journeys through civilizations from 1250 B.C. to 1450, learning through the ceremonial gold, silver, ceramics and textiles created by the complex Andean civilizations in ancient Peru that rival anything made by the ancient Egyptians. National Geographic Museum

In this collaboration between China and OAS member countries, Yuan Xikun uses cross-disciplinary art and modern context to energize trans-Pacific dialogue.

Through Sept. 7

Organization of American States Sculpture Garden

This selection from Alejandro Cartagena’s “Mexicana Suburbia” series considers the interdependence of humans and landscape in the face of urban expansion.

Through Aug. 17

An American in London: Whistler and the Thames

Small Guide to Homeownership: Photography by Alejandro Cartagena of Mexico

Art Museum of the Americas

American artist James McNeill Whistler arrived in London in 1859 and discovered in its neighborhoods and inhabitants an inexhaustible source of aesthetic inspiration. His images of the city created over the next two decades represent one of his most successful assaults on the contemporary art establishment.

Through Sept. 14


Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Freer Gallery of Art

Through July 3

Through Aug. 17

Through July 3

AppArtAward App goes art // Art goes app

Artists have been quick to recognize the creative potential of apps, particularly as a new form of communication and participation in contemporary art.

Search for a New Sound. The Blue Note Photographs of Francis Wolff Blue Note Records celebrates its 75th

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle Jess Collins and his partner, the poet

Bountiful Waters: Aquatic Life in Japanese Art

This exhibition features a selection of prints, paintings, illustrated books and ceramics that depict the Japanese appreciation for the beauty and variety of fish and other species. Through Sept. 14

Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships

More than 20 artworks and archival papers

The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

by Swiss surrealist Meret Oppenheim (1913-85) explore friendship as a source of support and inspiration, as seen through two 18th-century poets, Bettina von Brentano and Karoline von Günderode. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Sept. 21

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

A community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has developed a new form of bead art — using black fabric as a canvas and different colored Czech glass beads as the medium of expression — to empower local women. The Anacostia Community Museum Through Sept. 30

Marco Paoli Photography

Marco Paoli presents large black-andwhite photographs from his collection “Silenzio (Silence)” and from his forthcoming monograph on Ethiopia, using his travels as metaphors for an artistic exploration around the concepts of silence, memory, emotion and inner journey (viewing appointments must be made by emailing Embassy of Italy Through Oct. 5


Although Edgar Degas’s influence upon Mary Cassatt has long been acknowledged, the extent to which Cassatt shaped Degas’s artistic production and prepared the way for his warm reception by American audiences is fully examined in this exhibition for the first time. National Gallery of Art Through Nov. 14

The First Woman Graphic Novelist: Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová

Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894– 1980) was a Czech graphic artist whose 1929 novel “Zmého dětství (From My Childhood)” is widely acknowledged to be the first wordless novel created by a woman. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Jan. 4

One Nation With News for All

Ethnic newspapers, radio, television and online publications have helped millions of immigrants to America become part of their new country while preserving their ties to their native lands. This exhibit tells the dramatic story of how immigrants and minorities used the power of the press to fight for their rights and shape the American experience. Newseum

DANCE June 5 to 22

Puro Tango 2

This dazzling musical revue featuring singers and dancers from Argentina and Uruguay, the birthplace of tango, is an homage to the creators and key figures of tango and to the groundbreaking role of women in tango music. Tickets are $38 or $42. GALA Hispanic Theatre Tue., June 10, 7:30 p.m.

La Verbena de la Paloma

“La Verbena de la Paloma (The Festivity of the Virgin of the Dove)” is one of the most popular zarzuelas (Spanish operetta) of all times. Set in Madrid in the late 19th century, the story focuses on sweethearts Julian and Susana, whose love endures the amusing meddling of an old bachelor

season. Admission is free but reservations are limited; for information, visit

Events Highlight

Embassy of Austria

Scandinavians Make Jazz Cool The Nordic embassies in D.C., along with Twins Jazz Club, present the eighth annual Nordic Jazz Festival from June 24 to 29, featuring internationally acclaimed performers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The artists will present their modern take on Nordic jazz over the course of six concerts to be held at the Finnish Embassy and House of Sweden, as well as Twins Jazz Club. Nordic jazz emphasizes the natural elements of Scandinavian countries with a modern interpretation that is characterized by improvisation. While the music

suitor. Tickets are $40 to $60. GALA Hispanic Theatre Sat., June 28, 5:30 p.m.

The XVI Saya Caporal Dance Competition

This year, the Pro Bolivia Committee presents the XVI Caporales Dance Competition celebrating this traditional Bolivian folkloric dance from La Paz that is very popular in national festivities, particularly during Carnival. Tickets are $20. George Mason University Center for the Arts

DISCUSSIONS Tue., June 3, 6:45 p.m.

Louisa Lim: Remembering the Legacy of Tiananmen Square

The image of the solitary figure facing down a column of tanks rolling through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square has lost none of its power 25 years after the People’s Army crushed unarmed protesters on June 4, 1989. Louisa Lim, NPR’s China correspondent, offers an insider’s account of this defining event of China’s modern history, from the widespread official hypocrisy and obsession with silence to its impact on the nation’s society and culture. Tickets are $25; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center Wed., June 4, 6:30 p.m.

‘Carabanchel’ Book Talk

This reception and artist talk marks the release of a new book with photographs and text by artist Mark Parascandola about the Carabanchel prison in Madrid, Spain. For information, visit Studio 1469 Sat., June 14, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Europe 1900: The Golden Ages of Vienna, Paris, and London

The year 1900 found three of Europe’s greatest cities entering defining eras in their historical and cultural development. In a richly illustrated series of talks, Smithsonian lecturer George Scheper explores how the alignment of creative forces shaped three highly distinctive urban milieus. Tickets are $130; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center Mon., June 16, 6:45 p.m.

A Tale of a City: A Bloomsday Celebration of James Joyce’s Dublin

June 16 is the day on which the action of James Joyce’s epic 1922 novel “Ulysses”

to learn


For more information, visit nordicjazz2014.

tends to be experimental, the sound is melodically strong and spacious, with open song structures.

unfolds, as well as the anniversary of Joyce’s first date with his wife, Nora Barnacle. Coilin Owens of George Mason University offers insights into how the once-controversial novel offers rich and fascinating perspectives on Joyce, his writing and the city he loved. Tickets are $45; for information, visit

June 14 to 28

Verdi’s La Traviata

The In Series closes its season by paying homage to the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth in producing one of his most beloved and most performed operas, “La Traviata,” which recounts the tragic love story of the frail demimondaine Violetta and the well-born Alfredo. Tickets are $44 (a Directors Salon will be held June 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Casa Italiana). GALA Hispanic Theatre Through June 15

Jazz Samba Project

The Jazz Samba Project, a celebration of over 50 years of bossa nova in the United States, was inspired by the landmark 1962 Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd “Jazz Samba” album that led to the proliferation and popularization of this Brazilian sound in America, creating an indelible cultural shift in jazz and popular music. The festival includes more than 20 concerts, events, exhibitions, lectures and family activities that coincide with the World Cup in Brazil. Music Center at Strathmore

S. Dillon Ripley Center

Fri., June 20, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., June 21, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Embassy Series presents a musical evening at the recently renovated South African Residence to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela. Tickets are $150 including buffet dinner; for information, visit

Glittering in the Sun: Sicily’s Historic Treasures

At the crossroads of Mediterranean empires since antiquity, Sicily boasts a rich cultural heritage visible in its art and architecture. Tickets are $130; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center

MUSIC Thu., June 5, 6:30 p.m.

Aca Seca Trio

With songs written by Juan Quintero and esteemed composers from Uruguay, Brazil and their native Argentina, the Aca Seca Trio’s vocals blend and glide over Latin rhythms to create a thoroughly modern sound that echoes the spirit of their continent’s rich heritage. Inter-American Development Bank Enrique V. Iglesias Auditorium Fri., June 6, 7:30 p.m.

Bergthor Pálsson, Baritone

Since 1991, baritone Bergthor Pálsson has sung at the Icelandic Opera and also appeared as a soloist with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Reykjavik. Tickets are $100 including buffet; for information, visit www.

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

South African Residence

RECEPTIONS Sat., June 21, 7:30 p.m.

Tango a la Turca Benefit

Michael Kahn and starring Stacy Keach. Tickets start at $20. Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall June 7 to June 29

Healing Wars

Liz Lerman’s newest theatrical piece, featuring Bill Pullman, combines dance and narrative to explore the healers tasked with treating the physical and psychic wounds of battle and how we as individuals and a community experience and recover from war. Please call for ticket information. Arena Stage Through June 8

Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

Stuffed with nearly 40 popular hits from the golden age of rock, rhythm and blues, this longest-running musical revue in Broadway history will prove that Smokey Joe’s Café is the place to be. Please call for ticket information. Arena Stage Through June 8

Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the dog)

Still fresh and witty after more than a century, Jerome K. Jerome’s delightful travelogue tells the story of three young men suffering from a severe case of “overwork” who take a boating holiday through the English countryside, getting into one satirically hilarious predicament after another. Tickets start at $35. Synetic Theater June 10 to 29


When a hotshot fighter pilot’s unexpected pregnancy grounds her, she’s reassigned to fly drones in Afghanistan from a trailer outside Las Vegas in this gripping solo show from London’s Gate Theatre. Tickets are $39 to $49 Studio Theatre

Guests can experience world-renowned Turkish tango instructor Metin Yazir and the Tangueros of the Greater Washington area, dance to the strings of the tango, and taste the delicacies of Turkish cuisine in this benefit for HasNa Inc., which for 15 years has been fostering peace by providing people with the tools to cross physical and psychological boundaries while promoting economic empowerment and sustained cooperation among culturally divided communities in Cyprus, Turkey and Armenia. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased at

June 14 to July 5

Embassy of Turkey

Kennedy Center Opera House

Happy Days

Scena Theater presents the absurdist classic “Happy Days” by the esteemed Irish playwright Samuel Beckett and directed by local acting veteran Nancy Robinette. Tickets are $20 to $40. Atlas Performing Arts Center June 17 to Aug. 17

Disney’s The Lion King

Winner of six Tonys including Best Musical, “Disney’s The Lion King” returns with direction and costumes by Julie Taymor and a score by Elton John and Tim Rice that brings the African Pridelands to life. Tickets are $40 to $190.


Through June 22

Icelandic Residence

Mon., June 2, 6:15 p.m.

Thu., June 12, 7:30 p.m.

In this special presentation at the elegant former residence of the Spanish ambassador, Calderón de la Barca’s immortal philosophical masterpiece comes to life in this one-night-only staged reading. When a prophecy toys with the freedom of a Polish prince, and a princess takes on a disguise to find her true love, they begin to question the nature of reality itself. Tickets are $10; for information, visit

John breaks up with his long-term boyfriend. Two weeks later, he’s grateful to be accepted back — and haunted by a passionate and unshakable encounter with a woman that detonates a love triangle of attraction, ambivalence and commitment. Please call for ticket information.

Avguste Antonov, Piano

Avguste Antonov has presented recitals in Bordeaux, France, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee, and he has performed extensively with the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and the Texas Christian University Wind Symphony. Tickets are $100 including buffet; for information, visit Bulgarian Residence Thu., June 12, 7:30 p.m.

Kevin Deas CD Launch Party

Bass baritone Kevin Deas joins PostClassical Ensemble’s Joseph Horowitz on piano for the launch of his CD and the ensemble’s announcement of its 2014-15

Life is a Dream (La Vida es Sueño)

Spanish Cultural Center Through June 7

Henry IV, Part 1

A young prince must decide between tavern roughhousing and the burden of his father’s legacy in the coming-of-age story of heroism, corruption and war, directed by Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director

June 2014


Studio Theatre Through July 15

Noël Coward’s Private Lives

Noël Coward’s quick-witted comedy opens in a blissful hotel in France where divorcées Elyot and Amanda are on a honeymoon with their new spouses. When the ex-couple discover each other on neighboring balconies, they try to maintain a veneer of etiquette and respectability, but old feelings make matters complicated. Tickets are $40 to $100. Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre

The Washington Diplomat Page 39


The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

10th Annual Embassy Golf Tournament

INTEREST To mark the 10th year of its Embassy Golf Tournament, The Washington Diplomat took the popular annual event to 12 Months a new E AS CASH!venue: Worthington Manor Golf Club in Maryland, a U.S. Open Qualifying site with accolades ranging from

“Best Courses You Can Play” by Golfweek to “Middle Atlantic’s 50 Best Courses” by GolfStyles. The approved credit nimum purchase of participated in the tournament called the course challenging but rewarding. ers who 00 APR 23.97%

nearly 150 golf-

This year’s Embassy Golf Tournament, held May 2, was hosted under the diplomatic patronage of Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri. Past diplomatic hosts include ambassadors from India, Canada, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, South Africa and Morocco. This is the only golf tournament designed especially for the city’s diplomatic corps, as well as top officials from the U.S. government, multilateral agencies and the corporate world. A lunch kicked off the tournament, which was followed by a dinner awards reception, with raffle prizes that included a JVC 48-inch flat-screen TV; wine donated by the Embassy of Australia; rum from the Embassy of Barbados; an American Harvest Vodka gift basket; and stays at the Willard InterContinental Washington, Loews Annapolis Hotel, Melrose Georgetown To view all Hotel, State Plaza Hotel and Fairfax at Embassy Row. the photos Sponsors included Obsidian Men’s Health, the George Washington from the tournament, University Hospital, Coca-Cola, Omega, DHL Express, Volvo-EuroMotorcars, be sure to like Mandarin Oriental, Sahouri Insurance, MillerMusmar CPAs and many others. The Washington Diplomat on Facebook. — Photos by Jessica Latos of Paired Images —




Don Pruett of Quinn Evans Architects, Ambassador of Laos Seng Soukhathivong, Jordy Coho of Don Beyer Volvo and Brian Brown of the Embassy of the Bahamas make a putt.

Hairul Al Rashid of the Embassy of Malaysia, center, makes his putt as his colleague Ahmad Ramdzan Daud, left, and Barbara McMahon of Loews Annapolis Hotel look on.

Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri welcomes golfers before the start of the tournament.

Raymond Wong Heng Tem, Nicholas Phan Choon Chieh, Tania Koh and Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri represent the Singaporean Embassy.

Former Ambassador of Libya Ali Aujali surveys the scene.

Ambassador of Barbados John Beale, Dr. Qais Musmar, Joey Musmar of MillerMusmar CPAs, and Ameen Estaiteyeh of Investology Inc. 3Dr. Daniel Parks of Partner MD and Dr. Shane Geib and Dr. Marc Richman of Obsidian Men’s Health in Northern Virginia.

Volvo Cars of North America donated a Volvo S60 to a hole-in-a-one contest.

Dr. Michael Seneff of the George Washington University Hospital, Thomas Seneca of T.M. Wealth Management, former Rep. Don Bonker (D-Wash.) of APCO Worldwide, and Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri.

Page 40

Ambassador of Cambodia Heng Hem, Kerry Murray of Worldwide Insight LLC, Don Anderson, general manager of the Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, and Benjamin Hur of the Fairfax at Embassy Row.

Whatmore Goora of the Embassy of Zimbabwe.

4Chief Financial Officer of CTI Bragi Valgeirsson, Steen Johansson of the Embassy of Iceland, Ambassador of Iceland Gudmundur Arni Stefansson, and GlobeScope President Stefan Gudjohnsen.

Oleksandr Pakhil of the Embassy of Ukraine, Leo Lee of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Patrick Birchall, general manager of the Willard InterContinental Washington, and Richard C. Brown of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Nicholas Phan Choon Chieh of the Embassy of Singapore, Ryan Perkins and Christian Martin, both of DHL Express, came in first place.

The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

Andrew Kelly, Peter Johnson, Jason McPhee and Graham Lintott represent the Embassy of New Zealand.

Ambassador of Nigeria to Cuba Laraba Bhutto high-fives her teammate.

Golfers practice their swings.

3Raymond Wong Heng Tem of the Embassy of Singapore, Fuad Sahouri Jr. of Sahouri Insurance, Mauro Kolobaric of the Embassy of Australia and Greg Illingworth of the Embassy of Australia.

The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel was among the hole sponsors.

4William Neal, Cornelia Neal, Rob Anderson, Angelique Rutledge, Roger Kleinenberg and Chris van der Merwe represent the Embassy of the Netherlands, a tournament regular.

John Chocolate and Ghazal Yazdan­ parast of the Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C., which sponsored the JVC 48-inch flat-screen TV raffle prize.

3Luis McSween of WMATA and his wife Monique McSween of the Meridian International Center enjoy dinner.

Ken Trice of Canon, Nate Langley of the Maryland Department of Education, Eugene Laney of DHL Express, and Deric Wymes of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association hold their goodie bags.

Oleksandr Pakhil of the Embassy of Ukraine and Steve French of Marriott International. 4Representatives of Hotel Lombardy and State Plaza Hotel.

Repeimau Takesy of the Embassy of Micronesia, Ambassador of Micronesia Asterio Takesy, Bianca Hutton, international relationship manager with Johns Hopkins Medicine, and John Uvalu of the Embassy of Micronesia each won a two-night stay at the Loews Annapolis Hotel by the Chesapeake Bay.

3Serge Khoury and Michael Sahouri congratulate their teammate Roland Joun.

3Pete Kesterson talks to Gil Hofhelmer of EuroMotorcars Volvo.

4Travis Evans, Zach Packard, Bob Garber of Cato Institute and John Klaffky of Klaffky LLC.

Physicians are not employees or agents of this hospital.

American Harvest organic vodka sponsored a hole.

4Chris van der Merwe of the Netherlands Embassy makes his shot.

Jake Jones of Daimler, William Craven of Daimler, Kimberly Morgan of the Faith & Politics Institute, and Jeff Werner of Daimler.

Appointment scheduling • Interpretation Package/Cost estimates 202-715-5100 •

June 2014

The Washington Diplomat Page 41


The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

Corcoran Ball WHCAD Parties Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer, left, and Dos Equis beer’s “The Most Interesting Man in the World” Jonathan Goldsmith attend a pre-White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner party at the Canadian Embassy organized in conjunction with the Hill newspaper and Entertainment Tonight. Former U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall, left, and her friend Ivy Howells, a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, chair the 59th annual Corcoran Ball to benefit the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Actress Katharine McPhee attends a pre-party for the White House Correspondents Association Dinner held at the Canadian Embassy.

Amy and Bret Baier of Fox News pose with a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at a pre-party for the White House Correspondents Association Dinner held at the Canadian Embassy.

For its 2014 ball, the Corcoran Gallery of Art was transformed into a lush springtime garden, with cherry blossom centerpieces and ivy-covered walls courtesy of Occasions Caterers, Jack H. Lucky Floral Designs and Perfect Settings.

From left, Andrew Smullian; Interim Director and President of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design Peggy Loar; Corcoran Chief Counsel David Julyan; and architect Bartholomew Voorsanger attend the VIP reception of the Corcoran Ball.

Laura Denise Bisogniero, wife of the Italian ambassador, left, brought her daughter Serena and son-in-law to the 59th annual Corcoran Ball, whose funds go to benefit a multiyear project that will make the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s renowned collection digitally accessible worldwide.

From left, Elizabeth Lewis, President and CEO of Fight for Children Michela English, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock attend the VIP reception of the Corcoran Ball.

From left, composer Jerzy Sapieyevski of NewCenturyMusic and Anadel Rich join Kim and Patrick Nettles, executive chairman of the Ciena Board of directors, at the 59th annual Corcoran Ball.

Photo: Larry French/Getty

From left, CNN’s Rene Marsh; Fortune Magazine’s Leigh Gallagher; Rock The Vote President Ashley Spillane; LMT Inc. CEO and President Lani Hay; and singer Michelle Branch attend the 7th Annual Rock The Vote “OFF THE RECORD” party at Hay’s residence ahead of the White House Correspondents Association Dinner.

Photo: Yulia Mikhalchuk

From left, WUSA 9’s Andrea Roane, LMT Inc. CEO Lani Hay and WJLA’s Rebecca Cooper attend a pre-party hosted by Hay for the White House Cor­ respondents Association Dinner.

Tracy Bernstein, a former senior advisor to the U.S. protocol chief, left, and Michelle Pablo attend the 59th annual Corcoran Ball hosted by the Corcoran Women’s Committee.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans and his wife, decorator Michele Price, attend the 59th annual Corcoran Ball.

From left, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Deborah Morren, Mary Murphy and Bill Lynn attend the 59th annual Corcoran Ball.

photos: embassy of canada

DJ Connor Cruise (Tom Cruise’s son) provides live entertainment at a pre-party for the White House Correspondents Association Dinner held at the Canadian Embassy that attracted over 830 movers and shakers from the media, business and Hollywood.

Page 42

Nancy O’Dell, host of Entertainment Tonight, attends a White House Correspondents Association Dinner pre-party hosted by ET, the Hill and the Canadian Embassy.

Artist William Dunlap, whose work has been exhibited at the Corcoran before, left, and Deborah Ziska, press chief for the National Gallery of Art, attend the Corcoran Ball celebrating the 140-year-old museum, which recently announced a major collaboration with the National Gallery of Art and the George Washington University.

From left, Julie Jensen, Molly Rolandi and Melissa Keshishian attend the annual Corcoran Ball, which has netted millions of dollars for the Corcoran Gallery of Art since its inaugural event in 1956.

The Washington Diplomat

Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, left, and D.C. Councilmember David Catania, who is running for D.C. mayor this fall, attend the 59th annual Corcoran Ball.

June 2014

WPAS Gala & Auction

Diplomatic Ball

From left, Hallie Friedman; her mother Jenny Bilfield, president of the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS); Ambassador of South Africa Ebrahim Rasool and his wife Roshieda Shabodien, diplomatic chairs of the gala; and their deputy chief of mission, Nowetu Luti, attend the WPAS Gala, which took place on the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s president.

Photo: Chris Burch Photography

South African singer Vusi Mahlasela, whose songs themed around the struggle for freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation inspired many in the anti-apartheid movement, flew in to perform at the WPAS Gala and Auction.

From left, Dr. Michael Olding of the George Washington University Cosmetic Surgery Center, Ambassador of Liechtenstein Claudia Fritsche, Veronica Valencia Sarukhan and former Ambassador of Mexico Arturo Sarukhan, now with the Podesta Group, attend the WPAS Gala and Auction. Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson, left, and Dr. Frank Lowe attend Georgetown University’s 89th annual Diplomatic Ball at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Ambassador of Sri Lanka Jaliya Wickramasuriya took his daughter Sarindee to Georgetown Univer­ sity’s 89th annual Diplomatic Ball.

Photo: Chris Burch Photography

Siblings Maxence Mouries, 11, and Stella Mouries, 7, winners of the Joseph and Goldie Feder Memorial String Competition, perform at the WPAS Gala. Dynamic education programs in public schools are hallmarks of WPAS, as are the group’s Embassy Adoption Program and two resident gospel choirs.

Ambassador of Barbados John Beale and his wife Leila Beale attend the Washington Performing Arts Society 2014 Gala and Auction.

Photo: Chris Burch Photography

Chair of the Washington Performing Arts Society Board of Directors Reginald Van Lee of Booz Allen Hamilton pulls the names of raffle ticket winners at the WPAS Gala and Auction.

From left, Ambassador of Oman Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy, Kate McNamee, coordinator of the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Embassy Adoption Program, and Jackson Ireland attend the WPAS Gala and Auction at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Photos: Misato Nakayama

Photo: Chris Burch Photography

photo: gail scott

Annie Totah dances at the WPAS Gala, which featured performances by Step Afrika! and the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir.

Ambassador of South Africa and the evening’s diplomatic chair Ebrahim Rasool joins children from Barnard Elementary School, who participate in the Washington Performing Arts Embassy Adoption Program and were dressed in Swahili tribal costumes.

photo: gail scott

Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero and his wife Laura Denise attend the Washington Performing Arts Society 2014 Gala and Auction held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Hector Torres, left, and Jay Haddock of Capital Hotels & Suites, which owns the Beacon Hotel and St. Gregory, attend the Washington Performing Arts Society 2014 Gala and Auction.

Ambassador of Barbados John Beale and his wife Leila Beale attend Georgetown University’s 89th annual Diplomatic Ball.

Ambassador of the Bahamas and Mrs. Eugene Newry were among the many ambassadors who attended Georgetown University’s 89th annual Diplomatic Ball.

Ambassador of Fiji Winston Thomp­son and his wife Queenie Thompson attend Georgetown University’s 89th annual Diplomatic Ball.

Georgetown University professor Andrew Steigman attends the 89th annual Diplomatic Ball at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

From left, Peter Shields, Isobel Hickey, Ace Werner and Tom Hickey attend the Washington Performing Arts Society 2014 Gala and Auction, which raised more $250,000 with auction items such as a dinner for 20 with the South African ambassador at his residence.

From left, Robin and Tom Portman join Dave and Marilyn Aldrich at the annual gala and auction to benefit the Washington Performing Arts Society, which since 1965 has presented a broad spectrum of performing arts, including classical music, jazz, gospel, contemporary dance and international music.

Sahouri Insurance From left, Vice President of Operations of Sahouri Insurance Michael Sahouri, CEO of Sahouri Insurance Fuad Sahouri, and Ambassador of Bulgaria Elena Popto­ dorova celebrate the new office of Sahouri Insur­ ance, which has provided an array of insurance products and services for more than 40 years.

From left, Patricia Couzi of AVP Personal Lines, Taweel Tawil of AVP Employee Benefits, Vice President of Operations of Sahouri Insurance Michael Sahouri, Ambassador of Bulgaria Elena Poptodorova, CEO of Sahouri Insurance Fuad Sahouri, and CFO of Sahouri Insurance Mary Sahouri cut the ribbon on the insurance company’s new office in Tysons Corner, Va.

photo: misato nakayama

Student jazz musicians perform at the 89th Diplomatic Ball at the Corcoran Gallery of Art hosted by Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, which unites the local diplomatic corps with international affairs students.

June 2014

The Washington Diplomat Page 43


The Washington Diplomat

June 2014

Embassy Series

EU Day

Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S.

Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S.

European Union Ambassador João Vale de Almeida welcomes guests to his residence for the annual EU Day reception.

European Union Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, left, welcomes philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, who funded the Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council, to the annual EU Day reception.

Ambassador of Sweden Björn Lyrvall, left, and Deborah Nga, who specializes in international relations policy and government affairs for Google, attend the annual EU Day reception.

From left, pianist George Peachey, Embassy Series founder and director Jerome Berry, Austrian tenor Michael Heim, Hungarian soprano Krisztina David, and Hungarian Ambassador Gyorgy Szapary attend an “Operetta Evening” concert hosted by the Embassy Series at the Austrian Embassy, where Jerome Barry was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit of Hungary.

Ambassador of Portugal Nuno Brito, left, and Ambassador of Lithuania Zygimantas Pavilionis attend the annual EU Day reception.

From left, Chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Judith Terra, Austrian tenor Michael Heim and PR expert Jan Du Plain attend an “Operetta Evening” concert hosted by the Embassy Series at the Austrian Embassy.

Cornelius Adebahr of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Europe Program, left, and Minister-Counselor in the Political Department of the German Embassy Gesa Bräutigam attend the annual EU Day reception.

Photos: morris simon / the simon firm for the embassy series

Ella Savon, director of diplomatic and government sales for the Melrose Georgetown Hotel, left, joins Ambassador of Estonia Marina Kaljurand at the EU Day reception held at the European Union Residence.

From left, Gunter Hoermandimger, Ambassador of Austria Hans Peter Manz and Miodrag Soric, bureau chief of Deutsche Welle TV-DW Radio, attend the annual EU Day reception.

Embassy Open Houses 3Children listen to stories and had their faces painted at the Embassy of France as part of the family-friendly European Union embassies’ open-house day. Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S. / Yuri Gripas

photo: gail scott Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S. / Yuri Gripas

Visitors learn about the European Union at the EU Delegation to the U.S. as part of the annual “Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House,” in which thousands of people visit the embassies of the EU’s 28 member states for a day of food, culture and family fun.

4Ambassador of Finland directs guests around her embassy, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, during the eighth annual “Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House.” Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S. / Yuri Gripas

Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S. / Yuri Gripas

Defense and Air Attaché at the Danish Embassy Brig. Gen. Jøergen Jacobsen, center, welcomes Bari Berger, left, and Jesse Morrow of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office to the Danish Chancery, one of 28 EU member states that opened their doors for the annual European Union Embassies’ Open House day.

Over 6,000 visitors visited the Embassy of Italy to experience “An Italian Journey - How Italians Discovered the World,” with information on figures such as Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci and a performance by the stilt walkers of Teatro Tascabile of Bergamo dancing to the music of Puccini and Bellini.

3Visitors line up to see the Embassy of Austria, which featured a live preparation of apple strudel, wine-tasting seminars with Austrian wines, and performances by alpine dancers as part of the annual European Union embassies’ open-house day. photo: gail scott

The nations of the League of Arab States participate in Passport DC’s “Around the World Embassy Tour,” which lets visitors experience more than 50 nations’ food, art, dance and music, with activities ranging from Capoeira demonstrations and Tango lessons to henna applications and Ceylong tea tastings.

Page 44

Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S. / Yuri Gripas

4Ambassador of Fiji Winston Thompson showcases the giant vegetables native to his country at his embassy’s open house during Passport DC, a month-long international showcase hosted by Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit that highlights the city’s heritage, international exchange and humanities. photo: gail scott

photo: gail scott

Photo: EU Delegation in the U.S. / Yuri Gripas

Queenie Thompson, wife of the Fiji ambassador, second from left, hand-made coconut custard for over 1,000 visitors as part of Passport DC, a month-long celebration of international culture in May that includes the “Around the World Embassy Tour,” with more than 50 missions opening their doors to the public.

Visitors pose with a cutout of Queen Elizabeth II outside the British Residence. Other highlights included the British Army’s 1st Battalion Scots Guards Pipes and Drums, demonstrations by the U.K. defense industry, a fleet of luxury British vehicles and traditional food from Union Jack’s Pub.

photo: gail scott

Danish Embassy interns Carina Selling Damin, left, and Mette Dalgaard Nielsen guide visitors up the street to see the Danish Chancery.

The Washington Diplomat

June 2014


HOLIDAYS ALGERIA June 19: National Youth Day

BARBADOS June 9: Whit Monday BELGIUM June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday

ANDORRA June 8: Pentecost

BENIN June 9: Whit Monday

ANGOLA June 1: International Children’s Day

CAMBODIA June 1: International Children’s Day June 18: Birthday of HM the Queen Mother

ANTIGUA and BARBUDA June 9: Whit Monday ARGENTINA June 21: Flag Day AUSTRALIA June 9: Queen’s Birthday AUSTRIA June 9: Whit Monday AZERBAIJAN June 15: National Salvation Day June 26: National Army Day BAHAMAS June 1: Labor Day June 9: Whit Monday

CÔTE D’IVOIRE June 9: Whit Monday

DENMARK June 5: Constitution Day June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday DJIBOUTI June 27: Independence Day DOMINICA June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday

CAPE VERDE June 1: International Children’s Day

EQUATORIAL GUINEA June 5: President’s Birthday

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC June 9: Pentecost Monday June 30: National Prayer Day

ERITREA June 20: Martyrs Day

COLOMBIA June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul Day CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF June 30: Independence

from page 17

Polisario West­­ern Sahara is the biggest of the 16 countries — both in size and population — on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories. The vast expanse of picturesque desert is rich in phosphates and is believed to hold offshore oil deposits. In October 1975, the International Court of Justice formally rejected both Moroccan and Mauritanian claims on the territory, recognizing the Sahrawis’ right to self-determination. The following month, Spain partitioned its former colony between Mauritania and Morocco, with the latter annexing the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara in 1976. Mauritania received the southern third but renounced that claim a few years later. Morocco filled the vacuum by annexing that territory as well, and in the 1980s built a 1,600-milelong sand wall that still divides Moroccancontrolled territory in the west from a much smaller region in the east controlled by the Polisario. The local Sahrawis fought Moroccan troops until the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire in 1991, with the promise that a referendum would be held the following year on independence. Yet that referendum never happened because of a dispute over voter eligibility. A 2001 framework agreement that provided autonomy for Sahrawis under Moroccan sovereignty was rejected by the Polisario and Algeria. A subsequent compromise deal to hold a referendum in five years that would include the option of integration with Morocco, semi-autonomy or independence was rejected by Morocco, fearing it could lead to independence. “The Polisario remains committed to an eventual referendum with self-determination and independence as options, with Morocco pushing for autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty,” said Freedom House, a watchdog group. In the meantime, Morocco has plowed money June 2014

CROATIA June 22: Anti-Fascism Day June 25: Statehood Day (National Day)

ESTONIA June 4: National Flag Day June 8: Pentecost June 14: Day of Mourning and Commemoration June 21: St. John’s Day/ Midsummer’s Day June 23: Victory Day

FINLAND June 21: Midsummer’s Day FRANCE June 9: Pentecost June 9: Pentecost Monday GABON June 9: Pentecost Monday GERMANY June 9: Whit Monday GRENADA June 9: Whit Monday GUATEMALA June 30: Army Day HUNGARY June 9: Whit Monday ICELAND June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday June 17: National Day IRELAND June 2: Bank Holiday ISRAEL June 3-5: Shavuot ITALY June 2: Foundation of the Italian Republic KENYA June 1: Madaraka Day

and people into the territory to shore up its claim. Freedom House, in its latest report on the conflict, pulls no punches over what it calls Morocco’s blatant restrictions on human rights. It gives Western Sahara its worst possible score in both civil liberties and political rights. “Morocco has tried to bolster its claim to Western Sahara over the years by offering financial incentives for Moroccans to move to Western Sahara, and for Sahrawis to move to Morocco. Morocco has also used coercive measures, engaging in forced resettlements of Sahrawis and longterm detention and ‘disappearances’ of pro-independence activists,” the report said. Human Rights Watch, in a 2008 report, said Morocco has improved its track record.“Morocco has made steady gains in its human rights performance in the past 15 years. It has allowed greater freedom of expression and independent human rights monitoring, and has established a truth commission that investigated and acknowledged past abuses and compensated victims,” it said. “However, the limits to Morocco’s progress on human rights are apparent in the way authorities suppress opposition to the officially held position that Western Sahara is part of Morocco. The government bans peaceful demonstrations and refuses legal recognition to human rights organizations; the security forces arbitrarily arrest demonstrators and suspected Sahrawi activists, beat them and subject them to torture … and the courts convict and imprison them after unfair trials.”

Mutual Recriminations For his part, Cherif says the only abuse he suffered was at the hands of the Polisario. “These people put me in jail for five years for nothing,” he angrily told us in Spanish, pointing to a chart depicting the Polisario’s leadership. “It’s just like Cuba. If you don’t agree with Fidel or Raúl [Castro], you’re a traitor. The Polisario isn’t interested in any solution. What they want is to fill their pockets with money donated by the international community. They’re a puppet controlled by Algeria, which always had a leadership


KOSOVO June 15: Constitution Day

MOZAMBIQUE June 25: National Day

LATVIA June 21: Midsummer Celebrations

NETHERLANDS June 9: Whit Monday

LIECHTENSTEIN June 9: Pentecost Monday LITHUANIA June 24: St. John’s Day LUXEMBOURG June 9: Whit Monday June 23: National Day MADAGASCAR June 9: Pentecost Monday June 26: National Day MALAWI June 14: Freedom Day MALAYSIA June 4: Birthday of HM the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong MALTA June 7: Sette Giugno Commemoration Day June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul Day MONGOLIA June 1: International Children’s Day

NEW ZEALAND June 2: Queen’s Birthday NORWAY June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday PALAU June 1: President’s Day PAPUA NEW GUINEA June 9: The Queen’s Birthday PARAGUAY June 12: Chaco Armistice PERU June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul Day PHILIPPINES June 12: Philippine Independence Day PORTUGAL June 10: Portugal Day QATAR June 27: Anniversary of the Amir’s Succession ROMANIA June 1: International

rivalry with Morocco over the Maghreb. So the easiest solution for them was to destabilize Morocco.” Cherif compared the Polisario to Colombia’s battle-hardened FARC rebels and even to Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge, which orchestrated a genocide in the 1970s that left an estimated 2 million people dead. “These last few years, since the fall of Qaddafi, many weapons have flowed into the area. The Sahel has been transformed into a zone of human trafficking and narcotics. These people are not free.They don’t have passports, they have no refugee status, they can’t form political parties, they can’t do business,” said Cherif, who also claims that Polisario officials are heavily involved in smuggling refugees from Niger and Mali to the Moroccan port of Tangier — often charging $4,000 to $5,000 per immigrant. Morocco’s various lobbying arms have also sounded the alarm about the growing presence of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, suggesting that Polisario camps had become breeding grounds for jihadists, terrorists, drug runners, and all manner of bad guys. Porous borders and a large disenchanted youth population mean infiltration is certainly possible, though Morocco has been making such claims, which fit neatly into Washington’s focus on counterterrorism, for years. The Diplomat heard hints during its 2009 trip that Algeria and the Polisario had links to alQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), though the charges were never substantiated (and Algeria for one has fought a long-running battle against Islamist militants). Morocco also says refugees in the camps are prevented from leaving, although Human Rights Watch offers a more nuanced characterization, saying the “Polisario effectively marginalizes those who directly challenge its leadership or general political orientation, but it does not imprison them.” It’s hard to discern the full truth because the camps are remote and isolated. Likewise, Western journalists are routinely forbidden from reporting

June 2014

Children’s Day June 26: Day of the National Flag RUSSIA June 12: National Day ST. KITTS and NEVIS June 9: Queen’s Birthday June 9: Whit Monday ST. VINCENT and THE GRENADINES June 9: Whit Monday SAMOA June 1: National Day

June 8: Whit Sunday June 21: Midsummer Day SWITZERLAND June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul Day TAJIKISTAN June 27: Unity Day TOGO June 8: Pentecost June 9: Pentecost Monday June 21: Martyrs’ Day

SENEGAL June 8: Whit Sunday June 9: Whit Monday

TONGA June 4: National Day

SEYCHELLES June 5: Liberation Day June 18: National Day June 29: Independence Day

UGANDA June 3: Uganda Martyrs’ Day June 9: National Heroes’ Day

SLOVENIA June 25: National Day

UKRAINE June 28: Constitution Day

SOLOMON ISLANDS June 9: Queen’s Birthday

URUGUAY June 19: Birthday of José G. Artigas

SOUTH AFRICA June 16: Youth Day SWEDEN June 6: National Day

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO June 19: Labor Day

VENEZUELA June 24: Battle of Carabobo

from the Western Sahara, except under very closely supervised conditions that highlight Morocco’s version of events. It’s clear, though, that dissent and support for the other side aren’t tolerated in either the Polisario camps or Moroccancontrolled towns in the Sahara. Néjib Ayachi heads the Washington-based Maghreb Center, a nonprofit group that encourages debate on issues related to North Africa. He calls the Western Sahara dispute “one of the more intractable legacies of European colonization” in Africa. But he declined to favor one position or the other. “I think there are exaggerations on both sides,” Ayachi told The Diplomat. “I don’t think the Moroccan government has a well thought-out policy to crack down on the Sahrawi people and infringe on their human rights. Things happen because of the nature of security forces in these countries; they’re not known to respect human rights.” Ayachi, a Tunisian, said he’s rather pessimistic about the conflict but hopes that the new cabinet in Algeria — named May 5 by longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was recently re-elected to five more years in power — will be more open to talking with its Moroccan counterparts. “Morocco has stopped negotiating with the Polisario. I think they should resume direct negotiations,” he said.“They say they want to grant the Sahrawi people autonomy, and that’s a good thing, but the Polisario wants a referendum so the people can decide freely whether to become Moroccans or not.” Ayachi added that the intractable conflict has sadly brought diplomatic and economic cooperation between Morocco and Algeria to a halt, costing the two North African neighbors between 2 percent to 3 percent of their annual GDP. “Times are very tough for everybody,” he said. “These countries should be cooperating with each other.”

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat. The Washington Diplomat Page 45

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uSDA exchange rates and political turmoil. There are also many safeguards in place to protect those investments, he said, such as a competitive review process, whereby the applicants are judged against one another. And every group that seeks funding has to reapply each year, a process that can amount to 500 pages of paperwork, Slupek noted, adding that the agency’s compliance staff visits each organization’s offices to inspect its accounting and verify receipts. Newer applicants tend to receive smaller allocations than ones that have a long track record of producing results with USDA funds, Slupek said. The agency monitors not just whether a group is successful in raising exports but also how it reacts when a product flounders in a particular market, he said. “Sometimes they’ll hit a home run and we’ll see an export market blossom quickly and there will be an immediate return that’s obvious. And sometimes the best thing a group can do is be in the market for a couple of years and realize that market isn’t working out. That’s one of the risks of getting into a market — it might not be a good match.What we pay attention for in situations like that is that they have a proper feedback loop and a good plan for measuring results,” Slupek

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explained. “If they see that a market isn’t a good fit, we appreciate if they leave that market,” he said. One of MAP’s success stories, according to Slupek, is the Brewers Association, a trade organization for beer-makers that’s based in Colorado and received a 37 percent increase in funding this year, from $439,424 to $600,895. Over time the Brewers Association has shown it knows how to spend the money wisely, Slupek said.“They’ve really broadened their export scope and we have determined as an agency that they’ve been a good investment for us.” Bob Pease, the Brewers Association’s chief operating officer, said that when he first began promoting American beer overseas more than a decade ago, it suffered from a reputation based on the mass-produced American lagers that had long been our primary export. But the USDA’s contributions helped Pease open up new markets abroad for America’s fast-growing craft beer industry, which tends to brew more complex styles. Now, the American industry’s standing has risen rapidly overseas and brewers all over the world are imitating our homegrown styles of beer, he said. The advantage of MAP for the Brewers Association’s members is that the group has been able to foster this new perception and expand export markets without a high price tag. “It doesn’t cost anything other than my time,

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sis for the "pita-consuming" region Body: PITAPOLICY focuses on international development; because we get reimbursed for all of these in their ranks. For instance, the Brewers Association research writing, as of small and mid-sized expenses,” Pease said. “I report to my members & is primarilysuch composed and say here’s what I found, here’s the status of breweries, but it also formulating policy papers; counts MillerCoors among the market and here’s some potential trading part- its ranks. program evaluation; and ners for you.” Still suffering from an ongoing perception that design. Issue areastoof Pease also pointed out that all of thesurvey promotion MAP is a giveaway vested interests, the White his organization does under MAP is offocus the generic House recommended the for the MENA region program take a 20 pervariety — marketing American craft beer as a cent cut in its 2011 budget, which Coburn repeatinclude: edly cited as proof that his view has bipartisan whole, rather than a single brand or variety. There were less limits on the program until the support. (MAP was authorized by Congress at its 1990s (then called the Market Promotion Program) historic level this year, but received 7.1 percent ~Human Development when it came under congressional scrutiny from less in funding because of the across-the-boards both sides of the aisle, with the likes of(Indicators, then Reps. budget known as sequestration.) SocialcutsEntrepreLeon Panetta (D-Calif.) and Dick Armey (R-Texas) “Our economy has stagnated precisely because neurship) ~ calling it corporate welfare. Reforms were put in programs like this tend to hurt markets and block place that were meant to bolster the program for access to capital. Washington simply is not capasmall businesses and forbid corporateInstitutional giants from bleDevelopment of picking winners and & losers.When it tries we using USDA funds to directly promote their all lose,” John Hart, Coburn’s communications Civil Society (Transparency) ~ brands. director, told The Diplomat. However, those lines still can get blurry, which Or not. The other possibility is that the governEconomic is one reason why Coburn and his allies continue ment can and does pick winners and losers all of their criticism. For example, Sunkist, one of the time. And MAP may demonstrate that it can America’s most recognizable citrus Development brands, and even (Resource be reasonably good at it, with real benefits Blue Diamond Growers, which is the Management) world’s top for the~economy overall. Political producer of almonds, received $2.3 million and The question, then, is should Washington be & Civic $4.7 million, respectively. Despite Participation their well- placing those bets — not based on its track record, known trade names, these are actually agricultural but as a matter of principle? That’s an ongoing cooperatives, which means they can participate in debate among lawmakers and the public. (Strategy, Orgathe branded portion of the program ifEngagement they want. Monitoring And the groups that promote their nizing, products Elections) in Luke Jerod~Kummer is the congressional a generic fashion often include big corporations correspondent for The Washington Diplomat. & Evaluation

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from page 12

Snowden companies, not the NSA, would be responsible for holding the bulk American phone records while the NSA would need court permission to access records up to two degrees, or “hops,” away from its inquiry target. Obama actually axed the metadata phone program as it existed but called for the agency to find a way to duplicate its capabilities in a more targeted manner. And in what appeared to be a nod to Merkel and other offended foreign dignitaries, Obama also made clear that top government officials from allies of the United States are almost always off limits. But reform advocates say the proposals — especially those making their way through the Hill, where key privacy safeguards have been watered down to achieve compromise — are riddled with loopholes that the NSA will exploit. June 2014

Intelligence officials such as former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden, however, argue just the opposite — that restrictions could put the United States at a serious disadvantage against other countries that regularly spy on us, both for security and economic reasons. They point out that even among friendly nations the United States doesn’t always see eye to eye on a broad range of issues. Allies such as Germany have also undoubtedly benefited from the security-related intelligence Washington has shared with them. In the eyes of the NSA, what happens next is less about the need to make substantive changes than helping Americans understand the nature of their work. Security versus privacy is the wrong way to look at it, Richard Ledgett, deputy director of the NSA, argued in a TED talk this past spring. It’s “about the balance between transparency and secrecy” and “I think that people have legitimate concerns” about that. Ledgett conceded that the NSA had done a

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poor job of explaining itself. “We need to be transparent about our authorities, our processes, our oversight [and] who we are,” Ledgett said.“We, NSA, have not done a good job of that, and I think that’s part of the reason that this has been so … sensational in the media.” But Ledgett argued against revealing the tools that help the NSA catch “the generally recognized bad guys” lest they become ineffective. Yet the NSA has never publically demonstrated that its spying has actually been effective in thwarting a major attack (and, in the catch-22 world of classified information, it may never be able to do so). That’s in part why privacy hawks call for much more stringent protections to guard against unnecessary intrusion. “We need secure end-to-end encrypted communications tools so that service providers and governments cannot read their messages,” Katitza Rodriguez, the international rights director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told The


Washington Diplomat. EFF along with hundreds of NGOs around the world have issued a doctrine of principles to provide states and legislative bodies “with a guiding framework of how to apply their existing international human rights obligations in the context of communication surveillance,” Rodriguez said. “It would be great to see a country lead by example and adopt these legal safeguards onto national surveillance law,” Rodriguez added. While American spying may have been at the center of the Snowden saga, the consensus is that mass surveillance is a universal issue, which must be addressed on the international stage. This is “a world in which all movements can be tracked and collected,”Wizner said.“I think that’s the debate that needs to be taking place at a global level.”

Eliza Krigman (@ekspectacular) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. The Washington Diplomat Page 47

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