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Luxury Living Special Section INSIDE Luxury Living

A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat


June 2018

JUNE 2018



South Korea’s Moon Takes Big Gamble On Trump, Kim

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ith almost 16,000 competitive muscles. For many, residential units under that means offering fi tness faconstruction in the cilities that go above nation’s capital as of and beyond August 2017, the traditionally according to the Washington cramped room DC stocked with a treadmill Economic Partnership’s and a 2017-18 few weights. DC Development Report, develCondos, particularly opers are looking to fl new conex their struction, are touting onsite gyms


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| JUNE 2018 | 29

As President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un wrangle back and forth over a historic détente, behind the scenes stands South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the son of refugees who fled the North and the lowkey mediator who has hitched his reputation on bringing the two wildly unpredictable leaders together. / PAGE 4

United States

The State of U.S. Immigration Under President Trump One of the issues that catapulted President Donald Trump into office was immigration. Simply put, he wants less of it, both the illegal and legal kinds, and he has not let up on the issue since assuming the presidency. / PAGE 8

PORTUGAL’S TURNAROUND During the eurocrisis, the Portuguese found themselves lumped in together with the PIIGS, a derogatory moniker for the debt-saddled economies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. Fast-forward eight years and Portugal has shed its economic ignominy, earning praise for a recovery that Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital says the Portuguese people, not politicians, made a reality. / PAGE 13

Smashing Success: White House Partygoers ‘Come Together’ at Britain Presented by Kiddar Capital and produced by CRAFT and The Washington Diplomat At the “Come Together” White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Party, over 700 guests did just that as they celebrated bipartisanship and the Fourth Estate at the British Ambassador’s Residence on April 27. MORE PHOTOS / PAGE 16


Volume 25


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June 2018

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THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community for more than a decade with regular columns and features focusing on international news and events. 2 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018

ON THE COVER Photo taken at the Embassy of Portugal by Lawrence Ruggeri of





38 12


Portugal’s Belém Tower is one of the most-visited sites in Lisbon.



24 NORDIC VANTAGE POINT Op-Ed: Humanitarian aid needs to be principled but smart.


A troubling rise is being seen in U.S. teenagers attempting suicide.

MOON IN THE SHADOWS South Korea’s president is in the crosshairs of the Trump-Kim showdown.

President Trump makes strides on his ambitious immigration agenda, for better or worse.

12 UNDER LOCKDOWN China’s Uyghurs, facing repression and detention, protest at the Chinese Embassy.

13 COVER PROFILE: PORTUGAL Bucking German-led austerity, Portugal brings its economy back from the brink. 16




Despite a diplomatic freeze with the U.S., Cuban culture sizzles at the Kennedy Center.



The Organization of Women of the Americas leaves its mark on Washington and the world.




“Girlfriend” at Signature Theatre is a wistful gay coming-of-age story.


Upscale D.C. properties flex their muscle with top-notch fitness facilities.



‘COME TOGETHER’ Over 700 guests came together for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Party.

Two contemporary artists recast the white male-dominated world of portraiture.



BOOK REVIEW Ben Steil’s “The Marshall Plan” rediscovers a forgotten era of American greatness.



Greta Mulhall, wife of the Irish ambassador, embodies 21st-century multiculturalism.





WD | Asia

Moon in the Shadows Behind Roller-Coaster Trump-Kim Ride Is South Korea’s Quiet Activist President BY ANNA GAWEL AND RYAN R. MIGEED


ours before we were about to go to press, The Diplomat — like many news outlets — assumed that the widely anticipated summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s young dictator Kim Jong-un, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, would go ahead, despite recent grumblings from the North. But as the old adage goes, you know what happens when you assume — especially with these two leaders. On May 24, Trump sent Kim a letter announcing he was pulling out of the summit, citing Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent statements. Later, he even hinted at the possibility of a pre-emptive U.S. military strike, despite the fact that hours earlier, North Korea had invited foreign journalists to witness the destruction of an underground nuclear test site. But Trump — ever the dealmaker — also left open the possibility of a future meeting, writing, “I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you.” The official response from North Korea was remarkably restrained, saying that Trump’s move goes against the “world’s wishes” and that it will give the president “time and opportunity” to reconsider. Meanwhile, South Korea was blindsighted. President Moon Jae-in — who had just met with Trump less than 24 hours before his announcement — said he was “very perplexed and sorry” about the abrupt cancellation. That’s putting it mildly for a man who has spent a lifetime in pursuit of peace on the Korean Peninsula — and who has essentially hinged his reputation on bringing two wildly unpredictable leaders together in an effort to avert a catastrophic nuclear confrontation.

MOON’S WILD RIDE Raised as the son of refugees who had fled North Korea during the Korean War, Moon entered office with the goal of signing a peace agreement with the North during his term. That possibility, unthinkable less than a year ago, seemed tantalizing close in recent months. While all eyes are glued on the blinking contest between Trump and Kim, behind the scenes is Moon, a former human rights activist who is often described as a practical — and low-key — mediator. Those skills will be put to the test as he undoubtedly tries to salvage his détente. Trump’s bellicose threats that the U.S. was “ready if necessary” to strike the North if it engages in a “foolish or reckless act” seem to have brought the war of words back to square one. Just several months ago, the U.S. president engaged in a juvenile game of name-calling with Kim, 4 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018


President Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on May 22. Two days later, Trump announced — without informing South Korea — that he was pulling out of a widely anticipated summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, blind-sighting Moon.

I think even if he can’t salvage it, [South Korean President Moon Jae-in] will have demonstrated that he did make progress and is seeking to produce a compromise … rather than confrontation.

because both Trump and Kim will be seen as taking maximalist, extreme positions. “Unfortunately, we have something approaching an all-or-nothing position on both sides, and we may end up with an alland-nothing result.”


Cordesman said he was not surprised by Trump’s about-face. “It was clear from the start that North Korea is going to be extremely reluctant to really give up its nuclear capabilities and that the U.S. was taking a very hard line in demanding how much it would have to give up to get any kind of concessions,” he said. “I think this was not inevitable by any means,” he added, “but the moment that the U.S. really laid out its position and did so without much concern for diplomatic tact, it was almost inevitable that the North Koreans would react.” They did just that. On May 15, Kim, angered by joint air force drills between South Korea and the U.S., threatened to pull out of the summit altogether. He even backtracked on the central premise of the talks: abandoning his nuclear program, saying he would not agree to “one-sided” demands. But the North directed much of its ire at John Bolton. Earlier, Trump’s hawkish national security advisor — who had worked to scuttle previous nuclear negotiations during the George W. Bush

Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

mocking him as “Little Rocket Man” and threatening to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea. Those taunts, along with talk of a U.S. “bloody nose” strike on the North, likely prompted Moon to reach out to Kim in a bid to cool tensions and stave off a devastating war. He invited North Korea to participate in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games in February. Officials from the North and South then held a series of secret meetings before dramatically announcing that Kim was willing to meet with Trump — and that Trump had accepted. And in April, Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot inside the South when he met with Moon along the two countries’ tense border, where they agreed to take steps toward formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and denuclearizing the peninsula. Moon then went out of his way to credit Trump for the stunning turn of events, even suggesting that the U.S. president

should get a Nobel Peace Prize. Ed Griffith, course leader in Asia-Pacific studies at the University of Central Lancashire in England, said it was Moon who deserves the praise. While Moon’s efforts have stalled, the South Korean president “deserves enormous credit for what he’s achieved so far,” Griffith told The Diplomat prior to Trump’s announcement. Shihoko Goto, the senior Northeast Asia associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Asia Program, agrees. “If anyone deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s Moon Jae-in,” she told us in early May. Speaking to us hours after Trump backed out of the summit, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said this latest twist won’t necessarily hurt Moon’s reputation. “I think even if he can’t salvage it, he will have demonstrated that he did make progress and is seeking to produce a compromise … rather than confrontation,” he said, adding that Moon stands to benefit



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have remained had the summit gone ahead. The central question is whether the U.S. is willing to accept a diplomatic outcome short of total North Korean denuclearization,” he added. “All-or-nothing foreign policy will lead either to failed diplomatic gambits, like this one, or, worse yet, conflict.”


administration — made the provocative suggestion that North Korea follow the example of Libya, which shipped out its entire nuclear arsenal in 2003. But it’s not exactly a model the North would like to emulate. In 2011, just as Kim was taking power, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was brutally killed during the Arab Spring uprisings. Vice President Mike Pence repeated the example of Libya in an interview, prompting a furious response from the North, which called Pence a “political dummy.” Despite the heated rhetoric, many analysts speculated that Kim could have been bluffing to gain leverage ahead of the talks or to bolster his image back home. The summit, after all, was his idea. At the same time, though, the North has a history of vacillating between hostility and outreach and reneging on high-profile deals at the last minute. But in the end it was Trump — having initially brushed off the North’s diatribe — who walked away. Trump was reportedly put off not only by Kim’s blustering, but also by the failure of North Korean representatives to show up for a prep meeting ahead of the June 12 summit. “[A]larm bells for were going off for Trump, who has often said that a negotiator must be willing to walk away to avoid looking desperate for a deal,” Brian Bennett wrote in May 24 article for Time. The president may have also realized that getting North Korea to give up its nukes was far more complicated than the “dealmaker” had originally bargained for. Trump often appeared to be making up his strategy as he went along, and analysts feared that in his eagerness to declare victory, Trump would offer Kim concessions without anything tangible in return. The summit itself could have been interpreted as a validation of the North as an established nuclear power — a win for Kim. “It was obvious from the president’s tweets that he had not studied the prior negotiations with North Korea,” Michael J. Green, a former Asia adviser to President George W. Bush, told Mark Landler and Eileen Sullivan for a May 24 New York Times article. “If he had spent time with anyone who had done this before, it was clear that North Korea was going for sanctions relief and de facto recognition as a nuclear weapons state.” Many experts warned that Trump —who has sought steep cuts to the State Department and generally disdains policy advice — was woefully unprepared for a face-to-face meeting with Kim. “It’s a complete gamble, and that’s the problem. We are flying blind, because that meeting is not embedded in any kind of expertise or strategy. So it could pay off or we could get played terribly,” Ronan Farrow, a Pulitzer-winning reporter and former government aide, told Tommy Vietor in a podcast interview weeks before Trump scrapped the summit. “This is one of the wiliest diplomatic opponents in the world,” he added. “They have lied to us before



North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, left, shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the inter-Korean summit on April 27, when both leaders pledged to work toward formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and denuclearizing the peninsula.

about these very same points that they’re making sunny promises about now.”

DEVIL IN THE DETAILS Those sunny promises have bedeviled three past administrations. Since the 1990s, Pyongyang has repeatedly broken promises to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for aid and security assurances. Another phased, synchronized approach — the kind Kim wants — could allow the North to drag out talks again, benefiting from sanctions relief while clinging to its nukes. Trump, along with his North Korea point person, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, insisted that the U.S. would not seek regime change and was prepared to offer the North trade and significant capital investment if Kim fully relinquished his nukes. But that gets to the thorny question at the heart of the current standoff: the definition of denuclearization. To the U.S., it means “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization,” a high bar. To the North, it likely means something entirely different, as evidenced by Kim’s recent warnings that his country would not unilaterally give up its weapons program, signaling that he wanted to talk about security and economic guarantees first and disarmament second. Notably, the April summit between Kim and Moon was vague on disarmament details. A statement declared that “South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula” — but it avoided the phrase “nuclear-free North Korea.” The implication is that the North wants the U.S. pull to its 28,000 troops out of South Korea and remove Japan and South Korea from America’s nuclear umbrella. Even if Trump were to offer such unprecedented security guarantees and an ironclad commitment that Kim’s dynastic rule would be secured, many experts doubt Kim would ever give up a nuclear deterrent that took decades to build and that he sees as existential to his regime’s survival. Cordesman said the prospects for finding common ground depend on



South Korean President celebrates his inauguration on May 10, 2017, following a traumatic national trial that ended in the impeachment of his disgraced predecessor, Park Geun-hye.

two long-shot factors: “One is just how much the leader of North Korea feels he really has to make concessions to get economic assistance and cooperation. And it also depends on whether the U.S. is willing to make compromises about its requirements for dismantling the nuclear program, and willing to accept phased, tit-for-tat negotiations,” he told us. “And I think that given the history of the way the U.S. effectively killed its membership in the JCPOA [Iran nuclear agreement], it just is not clear the U.S. is prepared to do that. And in the past, North Korea has basically been willing to reduce part of its population to starvation rather than make concessions on its side.” Even if Kim were to somehow agree to dismantle his weapons arsenal, verifying the North’s compliance — given how advanced and concealed its nuclear program is — could make the Iran nuclear deal look like a cakewalk by comparison. Regardless, Griffith argues that it is not feasible to completely reverse Pyongyang’s nuclear program. We “can’t get to a place where North Korea can’t make a nuclear weapon again,” he said. North Korea already has the know-how to build a nuclear weapon, he pointed out, having spent decades investing in nuclear research. This knowledge cannot be unlearned.

BLESSING IN DISGUISE? Experts say the cancellation of the summit has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it could’ve been an embarrassment for Trump and a vindication for Kim. On the other, the possibility of a direct conflict is now back in play. “Indeed, if the cancellation now leads to working-level talks between American and North Korean officials, that would be progress,” wrote Nicholas Kristof in a May 24 New York Times op-ed. “The risk, though, is that we’re back to confrontation.” Trump’s decision to call off the summit “does not change the fundamental dynamics between the U.S. and North Korea: There was no way the summit could have succeeded so long as the Trump administration defined success as a North Korean agreement to total denuclearization,” Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, told Axios shortly after the announcement. “Better that the summit was postponed than to have ended up in dramatic failure, which would have led some to conclude (incorrectly) that diplomacy had been tried and failed, leaving a dangerous and costly war as the only U.S. alternative. “North Korea-U.S. relations now remain where they have long been, and where they most likely would

Trump says that for now, he will continue his campaign of “maximum pressure” on the North. As part of that campaign, the administration galvanized international support to slap some of the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea — an economic squeeze that may have coerced Kim to the negotiating table. Close advisers to Moon believe that Kim puts a much higher priority on growing the economy than his father did, according to a report by Jonathan Swan for Axios. This may be why U.S. sanctions played a key role in Kim’s outreach. In February, the U.S. dramatically ramped up sanctions targeting the regime, curtailing its ability to smuggle oil and sell coal. The U.S. also aggressively pursued outside entities that were providing energy resources to the North, including shipping and energy firms in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. “We cannot underestimate the impact of sanctions on this,” Griffith said. The sanctions had “begun to bite.” There were small but sure signs that Kim wanted to shed his pariah status and end the North’s economic isolation. One such symbolic gesture was syncing North Korea back to the same time zone as the South, which Griffith said could be in “preparation for greater levels of economic engagement.” He noted that Seoul’s robust economy — once labeled one of the “Asian tigers” — is just miles from the North Korean border. A peace deal that would boost trade and integration with Seoul could transform Pyongyang’s ossified economy. That very much fits with Kim’s philosophy that the country’s pursuit of a nuclear deterrent should go hand in hand with its economic development. Indeed, a May 6 report by Tara Francis Chan for Business Insider points to the theory that economics drove the surprise momentum for a peace deal. South Korean news outlets reported that at their April summit, Moon gave Kim a USB drive containing an e-book and “a blueprint for economic cooperation between North Korea and South Korea,” according to Chan. The blueprint touted billions of dollars in potential trade and investment in areas such as railways and energy. While there is a yearning among many Koreans for a deal that ultimately heals the division of their two states, “reunification is not on the immediate horizon at all,” Goto predicted. “There is a lot of anxiety within South Korea about what peace with North Korea would mean,” she told us. SEE MOON • PAGE 45



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WD | United States

State of U.S. Immigration Trump Makes Strides on Ambitious Immigration Agenda, for Better or Worse BY AILEEN TORRES-BENNETT


ne of the issues that catapulted President Donald Trump into office was immigration. Simply put, he wants less of it, both the illegal and legal kinds, and he has not let up on the issue since assuming the presidency. Trump hit the ground running soon after his inauguration. Just days after being sworn in, he issued an executive order that temporarily halted refugee admissions and banned U.S.-bound travelers from seven countries with a notably Muslim-majority population. The administration said the suspension was necessary to give the government time to add extra layers of scrutiny for national security purposes. Lower courts have struck down three iterations of the travel ban and the case is now under review by the Supreme Court. Later in 2017, Trump turned to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, another key piece of immigration policy. Former President Barack Obama instituted DACA to protect people whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally as minors. In September 2017, Trump moved to end DACA, pushing the burden to Congress to find a permanent solution for the roughly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants affected by the program. Earlier this year, however, Congress and the White House failed to strike a deal that would’ve shielded so-called Dreamers and tackled other contentious issues such as border funding. More recently, some Republicans are trying to override the wishes of their leadership and force a vote on immigration legislation, but other GOP lawmakers are pushing back, reluctant to revive such a politically charged issue ahead of the midterms elections. So for now, DACA, like the travel ban, is winding its way through the court system. Trump has also ended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 Salvadorans, Hondurans, Haitians and others who will eventually have to pack up and return home. In addition, he has called for tripling the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to beef up the workforce and crack down on illegal immigration, moving away from the narrower focus under the Obama administration that prioritized the pursuit of high-threat criminals given the agency’s limited resources. So far, though, Congress has not provided the funding for the extra ICE agents. But the hardest note that Trump hit during his campaign was the wall along the border with Mexico. He claimed



There’s no question he has shifted the direction of U.S. immigration policy toward a much harder line. EDWARD ALDEN senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations

he would build a “big, beautiful” wall along the entire 2,000-mile boundary, a feat that would cost billions of dollars. But Congress has balked at the price tag — as has Mexico, which has no intentions of paying for the wall, despite Trump’s repeated pronouncements that it would. Trump is “making his mark on immigration, but not getting the big victories he wanted,” wrote Doris Meissner, a former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service who is now the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program, in an email. Trump’s actions show he is aggressively pursuing his immigration policies, with the goal of decreasing total immigration, and on that front, he has notched up several notable successes. The definition of “success,” of course, depends on one’s viewpoint. In terms of numbers alone, refugee admissions are down, arrests of illegal immigrants are up and illegal border crossings dropped last year (although they’ve ticked back up this year). Trump has also endorsed cutting legal immigration by half by reducing the number

of green cards issued annually from 1 million to 500,000 as part of a broader effort to limit the number of extended relatives able to come to the U.S. in favor of immigrants with certain job skills. On the whole, immigration, both legal and illegal, is down, although this is due to a variety of factors, some of which pre-date Trump, such as the 2008 economic recession. While Trump appears to be making his base happy by sticking to his immigration pledges, the president himself reportedly railed against his secretary of homeland security, Kirstjen Nielsen, for failing to secure the border. Trump’s immigration agenda has been hindered by various forces, including a huge backlog in immigration courts and Congress and the courts stepping in to check some of his policies. And to Trump’s critics who decry his attacks on immigrants as wrong-headed, his “successes” constitute a failure because they hurt America’s economic competitiveness and its global standing as a nation built on the backs of immigrants. Here’s a look at five areas where the

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrest over 270 illegal immigrants during a recent sweep in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under President Trump, arrests of illegal immigrants are up, although illegal border crossings, which had decreased during Trump’s first year in office, have since gone back up to Obama-era levels.

president is leaving his mark, for better or worse.

RESTRICTING REFUGEES The Refugee Act of 1980 established the program to help refugees come to the U.S. and achieve economic selfsufficiency here. Every year since the start of the program, the president sets the annual limit on refugee admissions, supposedly with consultation from Congress. Historically, there was a sharp increase in refugee admissions to the U.S. in 1980 to more than 200,000, compared to the 20,000 admissions in the late 1970s, according to the State Department. The admissions rate has declined steeply since the 1980 high and has varied over the years since. The rates under the Obama administration were on the low end, with a relative high of more than 80,000 at the tail end of his presidency. The actual number of refugees admitted can be lower than the cap set by the president, which represents the maximum limit of refugees allowed that year. In fiscal 2017, the Obama administration set the cap at 110,000. New into office, the Trump administration cut the SEE IMMIGR AT ION • PAGE 10

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Immigration CONTINUED • PAGE 8

2017 cap to 50,000. For fiscal 2018, Trump set a slightly lower cap of 45,000. But if current trends continue this year, refugee admissions are poised to hit the lowest ceiling in the program’s history. Halfway through this fiscal year, just over 10,000 refugees have been admitted, making it likely that only about 20,000 refugees will be admitted in fiscal 2018, far short of the 45,000 max. Trump has repeatedly sought to restrict refugee admissions, first through the January 2017 suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days and later through an executive order that banned refugees from 11 countries. Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) resumed refugee processing but instituted “extreme vetting” that has slowed admissions to a crawl. White House officials say the vetting procedures are necessary to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the country, particularly from high-risk countries. Critics say refugees already undergo multiple layers of extensive vetting by agencies such as the FBI and DHS — and that refugees have not been implicated in major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The White House has also closed over 20 refugee resettlement offices in the U.S. and is considering shifting the refugee portfolio — along with its $3.4 billion budget — from the State Department to USAID in an effort to streamline relief efforts. Proponents of stricter immigration policy support the new restrictions. “I’m for it for a variety of reasons,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “Just in a practical sense, they’re reassessing the way they do refugee vetting, but also the reduction in numbers enables them to reorient staff toward working down the asylum backlog. These are related things. There’s no reason refugees brought here should get preference over people applying for asylum because it’s essentially the same status.” The cost of resettling a refugee in the U.S. is practically 12 times higher than the U.N. refugee agency’s (UNHCR) estimate, said Krikorian. He suggests that funds would do the most good directed toward helping refugees in countries of first asylum, such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, which are burdened with refugees from Syria’s civil war. Since 2011, more than 5.6 million people have fled Syria, according to UNHCR. But critics say that puts an unfair onus on nations already buckling under the weight of the refugee influx. It also sends the wrong message at a time when a record 65 million people around the world are displaced because of war, famine and other disasters. “War, persecution, and terrorism will continue to drive people from their homes. It is in our national security interest to be equipped to manage and respond to international migration flows; not pretend they do not exist,” said a May 1 letter written by several Democratic senators


President Trump signs an executive order at the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 25, 2017, shortly after taking office, to enhance border security. Trump has made curbing immigration, both legal and illegal, a priority of his administration.

to Trump denouncing his decision to appoint Andrew Veprek, a noted refugee skeptic, as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The letter said slashing resettlement programs will damage relations with countries such as Kenya and Jordan, where U.S. refugee policy is often used as diplomatic leverage to address other issues such as peace settlements. “A lack of understanding of how to utilize resettlement as a tool to advance U.S. foreign policy interests will undo decades of progress on refugee protections, shake critical alliances, and ultimately lead to further abdication of U.S. leadership,” the senators wrote. Aid groups say that leadership is more important than ever. “For decades we’ve put pressure on countries to have a greater human rights track record,” said John Sandweg, former acting director of ICE and acting general counsel at DHS who is now at the firm Frontier Solutions. “When we take an anti-migration stance, limit refugees, it destroys our moral authority when using it internationally for other countries to respect human rights.”

THE TRAVEL BAN The first travel ban issued in January 2017 affected foreign nationals seeking entry to the U.S. from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, issuing a 90-day visa suspension for them. After the confusion and controversy that the initial ban sparked, an updated version was rolled out in March 2017 that kept the 90-day visa suspension but took Iraq — a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State — off the list. Now in its third iteration, the latest travel ban suspends entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. These countries were singled out because of “inadequate” protocols for identity management and information-sharing and other national security-related issues. (Chad was later removed


from the list.) Arguments for and against the ban essentially come down to security versus discrimination (also see “Foreigners Wonder How Extreme Trump’s Extreme Vetting Will Be” in the August 2017 issue). Critics say the ban disproportionately targets Muslims and, despite some cosmetic changes, essentially fulfills Trump’s campaign promise to slap a ban on all Muslims coming to the U.S. Supporters say the ban is necessary to beef up security screenings for travelers with potential terrorist ties, especially because commercial flights remain a prime target (although the ban notably excluded high-risk nations such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). There has already been a lengthy legal battle challenging the ban. In December 2017, the Supreme Court allowed implementation of the third version of the travel ban until it can make a final ruling. In April 2018, the court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit that seeks to strike down the latest travel ban on the basis that it overreaches presidential authority and violates the Constitution. The arguments seemed to tilt in Trump’s favor, with Chief Justice John Roberts suggesting that the president has the authority to enact executive orders based on classified security intelligence to which he is privy. Justices also noted that many other Muslim-majority nations are not included in the ban, and they questioned whether campaign rhetoric — such as Trump’s denouncements of Muslims — can be used against a candidate once in office. And given that the majority of Supreme Court justices are conservative, the court seems likely to lean in favor of upholding the travel ban. A final decision is expected late June.

DACA DELAYS Trump has expressed sympathy for those affected by DACA, but his administration has not done much to help them. Trump wants to end the program, and he passed the buck to Congress to create a permanent solution to replace DACA, a stopgap pro-

gram that gives Dreamers a chance to register for renewable two-year work permits but does not offer a pathway to legal status. Roughly 700,000 Dreamers have registered under the program (a total of 1.8 million people are estimated to have been brought to the country illegally as children). The name Dreamers comes from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in 2001 that has repeatedly failed to pass. Trump tried to make a deal with Congress on DACA that was contingent on getting the wall along the Mexico border built. It’s possible Trump believed he could get Congress to support the wall if he used DACA as a bargaining chip, but it’s also possible Trump knew he was never going to get congressional backing for the wall, so he punted DACA to Congress to put the blame on lawmakers for not passing a permanent solution. And that’s precisely what happened. Despite two brief federal shutdowns and weeks of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats in Congress failed to produce a compromise to save the Dreamers. Some blame the deep ideological rifts not only between both parties but within the GOP itself. Others point the finger at Trump, accusing him of scuttling a bipartisan Senate plan that would’ve protected 1.8 million undocumented Dreamers from deportation while providing $25 billion for border security. While the deal satisfied two of Trump’s top demands, it fell short on curbing family chain migration and the diversity visa lottery, both of which Republicans want to phase out in favor of a more limited, meritbased immigration system. Even some Republicans in Congress thought the administration was deliberately putting up obstacles. Some called out presidential advisor and immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller as the culprit who supposedly sabotaged the Senate bill because he didn’t want any kind of deal. Like the travel ban, DACA has been winding it way through the court system, leaving Dreamers in

legal limbo. The Trump administration wanted to end DACA on the grounds that it is “unlawful,” but a D.C. Federal Court ruled that the administration’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious” because it did not provide sufficient basis for the illegality of the program. The ruling came late April 2018, with the judge staying the decision for 90 days to give DHS time to better explain its reasoning. If the department is not able to do so, then it will have to continue the program, allowing both renewals and new applications. At the moment, DHS is accepting only renewal requests. The legal back and forth continues most recently with Texas, joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, coming forward with a lawsuit alleging that DACA is unconstitutional. Sandweg, one of the original architects of DACA, argues that the program’s legality was scrutinized heavily in the Obama administration, with the conclusion that “there was little to no doubt that DACA was well within the president’s authority.” He emphasized that DACA “wasn’t a permanent fix,” but it offered some protection for those brought illegally to the U.S. as minors who have no criminal background and satisfy other requirements, including educational ones. Ending DACA would pull the rug out beneath these people. “Suddenly they’re at risk of getting deported, but more immediately, more importantly, you lose a job. No employer is going to want someone who can’t work legally in the U.S. They’re going to lose their driver’s license. It’s just cruel,” he believes. A CBS News poll earlier this year showed that 87 percent of Americans favor DACA. There is also strong bipartisan support for DACA in Congress, yet comprehensive immigration reform remains elusive.

ENDING TPS Trump has ended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for roughly 60,000 Haitians, nearly 200,000 Salvadorans, 2,500 Nicaraguans, 9,000 Nepalis and, most recently, over 50,000 Hondurans. The termination means that these immigrants, some of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, have up to 20 months to leave or face deportation. TPS protection is given to migrants if they come from countries with ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, epidemic or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. The administration stresses that TPS was meant to be just that — temporary — and that the original conditions that forced migrants to come to the U.S. have long since been addressed. For instance, tens of thousands of Hondurans were granted TPS in 1999 after the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, the aftereffects of which have long since subsided. But critics of the decision say conditions in many of these countries remain dire. Honduras is plagued by gang violence, for example, while Haiti is still wracked by poverty years after the 2010 earthquake that killed up to 300,000 people. “We understand that the admin-

istration — rather than looking at the actual conditions — was trying to make a political statement by ending TPS. This decision was not based on reality,” Haitian Ambassador Paul Altidor told us in a March 2018 cover profile. He added: “There are specific reasons under the law why TPS was granted to a country like Haiti. Most of these folks do not constitute a national security threat to the United States. Those who are here are contributing to the U.S. economy, they send millions of dollars every year to Haiti and they’re not a burden to the Haitian economy.” That’s why immigration advocates say ending TPS is a cruel decision that will uproot hundreds of thousands of law-abiding immigrants who have established lives in the U.S., forcing them back to countries that are ill-equipped to take them. That’s also why many TPS recipients may refuse to leave and choose to stay here in the shadows, adding to the estimated 11 million people already living in the U.S. illegally.

IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT It’s very unlikely Trump will ever get the border wall he envisioned, but he’s been able to erect barriers in other ways. A January 2017 executive order ordered 10,000 additional ICE agents for immigration law enforcement, roughly tripling the number of agents. Trump also wants 5,000 more Border Patrol agents. But so far, Congress has refused to fund the president’s hiring surge. Despite the lack of funding, ICE and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency are looking to private contractors to hire additional staff. In fiscal 2017, under Trump, administrative arrests increased 42 percent and deportations jumped by 37 percent, according to ICE. At the end of last year, DHS noted that the number of


The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR assists displaced children from Afrin in Syria, where 6.6 million people have been internally displaced and 5.6 million have fled the country. President Trump has cracked down on the number of refugees allowed into the U.S., and if current trends continue this year, refugee admissions are poised to hit the lowest ceiling since the program began in 1980.

people caught trying to sneak over the border from Mexico plummeted to the lowest level in 46 years. The drop in apprehensions began shortly after Trump’s election, perhaps a sign that his tough rhetoric was already dissuading immigrants from making the trek. But this year, border crossings have begun climbing back up to Obama-era levels. There are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Given the limited resources to deport this large population, Obama’s strategy was to prioritize going after convicted criminals instead of what could be considered lowthreat people such as those eligible for DACA.

Sandweg, who worked under Obama, disagrees with the Trump administration’s catchall strategy that seems to no longer prioritize high-threat criminals but instead spreads ICE’s resources thin by trying to catch anyone in violation of immigration law. High-threat “criminals are hard to find,” so ICE should focus its resources on them, Sandweg said. But because criminals are harder to find, it’s easier to track down immigrants who are out in the open, which in turn makes it easier for ICE to meet the president’s deportation quotas. So ICE agents have shifted gears to target lowhanging fruit, such as immigrants with minor

infractions like traffic stops who have been living in the U.S. for years. But that strategy has also generated blowback and bad press, such as the arrest of a prominent 43-year-old Polishborn doctor in Michigan who came to the U.S. at age 5 but committed minor offenses in his 20s. White House officials counter that they are simply allowing immigration agents to do their jobs, which has boosted agency morale, and that previous administrations had gone soft on enforcement. “The president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies and say, ‘You have a mission, there are laws that need to be followed,’” former White House spokesman Sean Spicer said last year. Regardless, it will be years before the new agents ordered by Trump come on board, not to mention the enormous costs associated with recruiting, training and making physical space for them. This will inevitably balloon the bureaucracy. “The actual problem is the back-end of the system,” Sandweg pointed out. As arrests increase, the immigration courts get further backlogged. At the end of April 2017, close to 600,000 cases were awaiting decision, an all-time high, according to the data group TRAC. The backlog is a source of frustration for both immigration advocates and opponents. While most immigrants caught at the border are detained and deported, groups such as minors, families and those fleeing persecution can go into federal custody. Immigrant advocates point out that individuals applying for legal status typically wait years for hearings. Those favoring stricter immigration controls bemoan the same fact, directing their ire on the policy of “catch and release,” whereby imSEE IMMIGR AT ION • PAGE 25

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Overlooked Repression Uyghur Muslims, Demanding Autonomy, Stage Protest at Chinese Embassy BY LARRY LUXNER


n a rainy April morning in Washington, about 150 protestors gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy, waving light-blue flags and shouting slogans on behalf of an ethnic group few Americans have ever heard of. The Uyghurs (pronounced WEE-gurs) — an ancient people spread across much of East and Central Asia — mainly practice Islam, speak Turkic and live primarily in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Beijing government officially puts their number at 1.2 million, although Uyghur activists say China is actually home to 15 million Uyghurs. And they’re treated horribly, say protesters who accuse President Xi Jinping’s government of “brutal oppression and covert genocide” against Xinjiang’s Uyghur minority. “Between 800,000 and 1 million Uyghurs are incarcerated in China right now. This is human rights abuse on a massive scale,” said Katrina Swett Lantos, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. “It is particularly insidious because they are going out of their way to target Uyghurs who have relatives in the United States.” The activist, who is the daughter of Holocaust survivor and lawmaker Tom Lantos — a California Democrat who chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee until his death in 2008 — helped organize the impromptu April 19 demonstration at the Chinese Embassy on International Drive. The group also attempted to deliver a box full of protest letters to China’s ambassador, but embassy guards refused to accept the package — and D.C. police eventually asked the group to leave the premises. “Our job is to shine the spotlight and energize Congress,” she told The Washington Diplomat as protesters gathered across the entrance to the embassy, waving hand-painted signs all around her. “China is a dangerous goliath aiming to intimidate all of Asia. We cannot give it a free pass just because it’s an economic power.” The issue may be gaining some traction. A day before the D.C. protest, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Stone said the U.S. could sanction Chinese officials and other human rights offenders for the detention of at least “tens of thousands” of ethnic Uyghurs, according to the AP’s Gerry Shih. Shih noted that Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Chris Smith, Republican co-chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, asked the U.S. ambassador to China to visit and report on conditions in the region, calling the camp network in Xinjiang “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.” China’s economic heft and closed-off communist system have allowed it to shield the region from outside scrutiny. But for years, tensions have flared between the Uyghurs and China’s predominantly ethnic Hans, whose mass migration to Xinjiang in recent decades turned the Uyghurs into a minority. The Uyghurs briefly attained independence in the early 20th century, but the region fell to communist Chinese rule in 1949. Since then, Beijing has capitalized on a spate of violent attacks to launch a sweeping crackdown on the region in the name of preventing religious extremism and separatism while promoting eth-



In April, about 150 protesters gathered at the Chinese Embassy in D.C. to denounce Beijing’s repression of the country’s Uyghurs, an ancient ethnic group that mainly practices Islam, speaks Turkic and lives primarily in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Between 800,000 and 1 million Uyghurs are incarcerated in China right now. This is human rights abuse on a massive scale. KATRINA SWETT LANTOS president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice

nic unity. Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs have been arbitrarily detained or forced to undergo “political re-education,” including “home stays” with over 1 million Chinese officials who learn about the Uyghurs’ personal lives and subject them to political indoctrination. “Muslim families across Xinjiang are now literally eating and sleeping under the watchful eye of the state in their own homes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a May 13 report. “The latest drive adds to a whole host of pervasive — and perverse — controls on everyday life in Xinjiang.” Beijing has also sought to repress the Uyghurs’ religious and cultural freedoms, shutting down mosques, banning long beards and curbing the use of the Uyghur language in schools. Uyghurs also complain of persistent discrimination at the hands of the Han majority in education, housing and jobs. At the D.C. protest, Salih Hudayar, wearing a traditional four-pointed Uyghur cap known as a “doppa,” was one of the young demonstrators chanting anti-China slogans. “China occupied East Turkestan in September 1949 and officially abolished our state on Dec. 20, 1949, when we officially lost our independence,” said Hudayar, a 24-year-old consultant who recently moved to the D.C. area from Oklahoma. “Since

then, we have never stopped our protest.” The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which the Uyghur people themselves refer to as “East Turkestan,” is a vast, resource-rich area of western China covering nearly 643,000 square miles — nearly four times the size of California. In an open letter to the Chinese Embassy, Rebiya Kadeer — the self-described “spiritual mother of the Uyghur Nation” and the exiled leader of the World Uyghur Congress — called on Beijing to essentially let her people go. “Since Chen Quanguo, the former secretary of Tibet, took office as party secretary of the Uyghur Autonomous Region in August 2016, he has been imposing unprecedented ferocious and inhumane policies in the region,” wrote Kadeer, claiming that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs have been arrested simply because of their ethnic identity, or for having traveled overseas or having relatives living abroad. She said China has sent at least 1.5 million Uyghurs to so-called “political re-education centers” to become indoctrinated with Chinese nationalist and communist ideology, forcing them to recite anthems, slogans and other diktats if they want to eat or sleep. SEE U YGHU R S • PAGE 26

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Portugal’s Turnaround Bucking Austerity, Socialists Bring Economy Back from Brink in Delicate Balancing Act BY ANNA GAWEL


n 2010, the eurocrisis shook Europe and the Portuguese found themselves lumped in together with the PIIGS, a derogatory moniker for the debt-saddled economies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. The nation of 10 million was forced to swallow painful austerity measures that slashed spending and hiked taxes in exchange for a multibillion-dollar bailout. Fast-forward eight years and Portugal has shed its economic ignominy, earning praise for an impressive recovery that bucked the German-led prescription of tough austerity while at the same time registering growth, regaining investor confidence and defying doomsday predictions. And unlike many of its European neighbors, Portuguese politics has steadily moved leftward, not to the populist far right. In fact, its leftist finance minister, Mário Centeno, was recently chosen to serve as head of the Eurogroup, the 19-member body of euro finance ministers — a clear vindication of Portugal’s unorthodox road to economic recovery. Domingos Fezas Vital, Portugal’s soft-spoken, affable ambassador to the U.S., served as permanent representative to the European Union at the height of the crisis before coming to Washington in 2015. He is more circumspect about his country’s turnaround, although he’s not shy about crediting the Portuguese people themselves for making the recovery a reality. “What always struck me during the crisis was the attitude of the Portuguese people,” he told us during a recent hour-long interview, praising his countrymen for confronting the problem head on. Regardless if the recovery was due “to past policies, to present policies, to a mix of both of them — we ultimately owe it to the Portuguese people. This is very, very important because it’s not easy to implement any policy, no matter which policy, if you don’t have a people that are ready to accept the challenges and to face the challenges.” Those challenges largely stemmed from Portugal’s adoption of the euro, which gave it easy access to credit but curtailed the government’s ability to devalue its currency as a way of boosting exports. When the global economy tanked in 2008, Portugal eventually collapsed under the weight of its debt burden and mismanaged, bloated public spending. “Our economy was based on

cheap labor and so we had to shift to an economy based on skills and quality. So that was the first challenge. And the second one was of course the financial crisis in 2008,” the ambassador told us. He said the implosion forced Portugal to rejigger its economy. It increased exports such as car parts, attracted more tourists, created a more investment-friendly environment and, above all, got its fiscal house in order. “People took the task in their hands and this is why I would say that what we have today is a sustainable recovery because it is based on more exports and on strong fiscal consolidation in the country,” he said. “We owe the present recovery first of all to this attitude: ‘We have to overcome this crisis, and so let’s not lose too much time blaming A or B — let’s start doing our job.’” But there was plenty of fingerpointing along Portugal’s bumpy path to economic solvency. After the credit bubble burst, the troika — made up of the European Central Bank, European Commission and IMF — offered Portugal a $90 billion rescue package in 2011. But the bailout came with harsh austerity strings, which the conservative government at the time implemented.


We faced a very difficult situation and we’ve made it. DOMINGOS FEZAS VITAL

ambassador of Portugal to the United States

Education spending alone was cut by over 20 percent. Pensions, unemployment benefits and salaries for public servants were gutted. Utilities were privatized. Sales and income taxes jumped. Working hours were extended and four public holidays were scrapped. The result was depressed spending and job growth — and general misery all around as poverty spiked, bankruptcies soared and frustrations mounted. Not surprisingly, in the 2015 elections, the center-right government was unable to hold onto power and the Socialist Party — led by former Lisbon Mayor António Costa and backed by several smaller leftist parties — was voted in on a pledge to “turn the page on austerity.” “The economic rationale of the

new Portuguese government was clear. Cuts suppressed demand: for a genuine recovery, demand had to be boosted,” wrote Owen Jones in an August 2017 article for The Guardian. “The government pledged to increase the minimum wage, reverse regressive tax increases, return public sector wages and pensions to their pre-crisis levels — the salaries of many had plummeted by 30% — and reintroduce four cancelled public holidays. Social security for poorer families was increased, while a luxury charge was imposed on homes worth over €600,000.” Costa’s government was able to increase job growth by kick-starting demand. But in a delicate balancing act, the prime minister also managed to satisfy the troika’s fiscal demands, slashing the budget deficit

to its lowest point since 1974. The country formally exited the bailout program in 2014. In the process, Costa flipped the script on the German-dictated philosophy of adopting fiscal reforms before addressing growth — instead stimulating the economy before tackling reforms. The ambassador demurred on who deserves credit for the transformation — the conservative government that enacted tough reforms or the current government that loosened the belt-tightening. He said what’s important is the final outcome — and by most measures, that outcome has been dramatic. At its peak, Fezas Vital said unemployment “went beyond 18 percent. It is now below the European Union’s average. It’s at 7.8 percent. The country is growing — the growth rate is now very close to 3 percent.” In fact, the economy has grown consecutively for the last three years, and its investment credit rating was recently upgraded. SEE PORT U GAL • PAGE 14 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018 | 13


Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visits the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, in April 2016. After the economic crash in Portugal in 2010, the country was forced to accept a bailout package that came with harsh austerity conditions.

Portugal CONTINUED • PAGE 13

That in turn has sparked a virtuous cycle of renewed confidence, “which is very important for consumers, for businessmen, for investment,” Fezas Vital said. “So there is a sense of confidence that comes not only from the results achieved, but as well from this feeling of ‘we’ve made it.’ We faced a very difficult situation and we’ve made it.” But Fezas Vital cautioned that there are still “lessons to be learned. As this government is the very first to say, we have to be very careful … to make sure that we will never, ever find ourselves in the same situation. And … I think that this is a sort of a revolution in our mindset. Everybody will tell you these days in Portugal that fiscal consolidation is absolutely essential.” On that note, he says the country still has to tackle the national debt, which remains high at over 120 percent of GDP, while further strengthening a fragile banking sector vulnerable to external shocks. But Fezas Vital points out that many critics of the leftist Socialist government’s economic policies were proven wrong, and “the success of the Portuguese story is very well illustrated by the fact that the president of the Eurogroup [Mário Centeno] is our finance minister, which tells you a lot about the credibility of our recovery.” In fact, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble was one of the Socialists’ loudest critics, warning just less than two years ago that their “voodoo economics” would lead to another bailout. Today, the fiscal hawk has heaped praise on Centeno. But Fezas Vital, a career diplomat, discounts the notion that Centeno’s appointment means that the euro-

zone will radically change course and abandon German-led austerity. “He’s a bridge-builder. And we like to see ourselves as bridge-builders,” Fezas Vital said, citing other prominent Portuguese such as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. As such, Fezas Vital said Centeno’s role will be to find consensus among the disparate eurozone members. But he adds that with pro-EU governments now in power in France and Germany and the bloc’s economies stabilizing, Centeno has suggested this is a good time to “discuss trickier issues,” such as easing the debt burden of southern countries such as Greece. Prime Minister Costa’s successes have inspired other leftist parties in Europe hoping to blunt the momentum of far-right, populist movements in countries such as Austria, Hungary and Poland. But the ambassador — like Costa — is wary of touting the Portuguese example as a model that can be replicated, saying that “circumstances vary” in different nations. Some critics also argue that Costa’s leftist coalition may eventually become too unwieldy to govern. The prime minister cobbled together a coalition of far-left communists, greens and Marxists that is often locally referred to as “geringonça,” or an unstable contraption. The government has come under pressure by teachers’ and labor unions to further roll back austerity measures, putting Costa in the difficult position of appeasing both his base and foreign creditors. But Costa enjoys high approval ratings, and Fezas Vital dismisses concerns of future political upheaval, pointing out that “it was possible during the crisis to implement very harsh measures without major social conflict.” “It’s a small country. Everybody knows everybody. And so there is this compromise



The Rua Augusta Arch (Triumphal Arch), a popular visitor attraction, is the focal point of an aerial view of downtown Lisbon.


Diners fill a market hall in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. In 2010, the country was hit with a massive recession but today, the government has been able to slash unemployment from nearly 18 percent to less than 8 percent by increasing exports and tourism, creating a more investor-friendly environment and tackling the country’s fiscal mismanagement.

mindset,” he told us. “We will have elections in 2019 in Portugal. Let’s see. We are a mature democracy,” he said. “We are not black and white. We know that there is a gray area, that there is always room for compromise … that the best tool is dialogue, so I wouldn’t be too concerned.” Likewise, Portugal has not had to worry as much about the rise of anti-immigrant, xenophobic parties that have gained traction in other European countries. Fezas Vital owes this to Portugal’s legacy of exploration that forged a global colonial empire in the 15th and 16th centuries, leaving behind a footprint of some 300 million Portuguese speakers around the world. “It’s a very diverse and global culture,” Fezas Vital said. Over the years, “we had millions of Portuguese looking for better opportunities in other countries. After democracy in Portugal [in 1974], we got hundreds of thousands of people coming to Portugal looking for


Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, who is widely credited with turning the country’s economy around, speaks outside a European Council meeting on June 28, 2016.

better opportunities. And when these people came to Portugal, we were happy … to do for them what other countries have done for Portuguese people in third countries, including the United States,” the ambassador said, noting that about 1.5 million Portuguese natives live in the U.S., roughly split between

the East and West Coasts. Portugal’s progressive policies extend not only to the economy, but also to other areas such as drugs. In 2001, the country decriminalized the personal use and possession of all illicit drugs, including marijuana and heroin. More recently in February, Portugal’s main opposition party

endorsed the legalization of marijuana, a move that, if adopted into law, would make Portugal the first European country to regulate cannabis. “I think that we realized some years ago that policies we had were not working, and so we had to change,” Fezas Vital said. “And it’s true that what we did at the time was seen by other countries as revolutionary, because we decided to no longer criminalize the use of recreational drugs,” although he stressed that strict punishments are still in effect for drug traffickers. But the government decided to treat drug consumption as a health problem, not a criminal one. “And it’s true that it worked,” he said, citing less crowding in prison systems, a decrease in consumption and drug-related deaths and a different mindset that removed the stigma surrounding drug use. Portugal has also seen tangible results in its pioneering environmental investments. In April, it crossed an important threshold by producing enough renewable energy to meet the country’s entire electrical needs (although for now it still partly relies on fossil fuels). Fezas Vital says the achievement was a matter of necessity. “We have wind, we have solar, we have water, but we don’t have fossil fuels. So it became very clear to us some years ago that to address our deficit in the energy sector, we had to bet on renewables, and this is a policy that has been pursued by Portugal for a long, long time now. “Our biggest investment in the United States is in the renewable sector — in wind

farms,” the ambassador added. “Energy has a geostrategic value these days, and Americans maybe do not know that 30 percent of the American LNG [liquefied natural gas] exported to Europe goes through Portugal.” That in turn helps Europe become less reliant on energy from “other sources,” he said in a veiled reference to Russia. Portugal’s focus on clean energy contrasts sharply with President Trump’s embrace of coal and his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. Fezas Vital did not criticize the administration’s decision to pull out of the landmark pact, saying “it is up to each country to decide its policy,” but he said he hopes the U.S. might one day rejoin the agreement. In the meantime, “Portugal is very much committed to the objectives of the Paris agreement” because climate change is a global problem, “and it’s not possible to address this challenge on a national basis.” Given the stark differences with Trump on the environment, drugs and other issues, we asked how Lisbon’s relations with Washington have fared under the new administration. “No complaints whatsoever,” Fezas Vital replied. “Portugal was one of the very first countries to have an ambassador appointed to Lisbon, and we see this as a gesture that was highly appreciated. I had my minister of foreign affairs [and] my minister of defense come to the United States, and they had meetings with their counterparts, and every time I have a message to convey, I have an ear ready to listen to me. “We are an Atlantic country,” he added, “and this is why I would say that relations with the United States have always been one of the pillars of our external policy no matter the government in place, in Portugal or in the United States.”

Portugal at a Glance National Day June 10 (1580) Location Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain

Flag of Portugal

Capital Lisbon Population 10.8 million (July 2017 estimate) Ethnic groups homogeneous Mediterranean population; citizens of black African descent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization number less than 100,000; since 1990, East Europeans have entered Portugal GDP (purchasing power parity) $311 billion (2017 estimate)

GDP per-capita (PPP) $30,300 (2017 estimate) GDP growth 2.5 percent (2017 estimate) Population below poverty line 19 percent (2015 estimate)


The picturesque region of Algarve has helped Portugal boost its tourism revenues. Unemployment 9.7 percent (2017 estimate) Industries Textiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper and pulp, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, automobiles and auto parts, base metals, minerals, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; dairy products, wine, other foodstuffs; ship construction and refurbishment; tourism, plastics, financial services, optics SOURCE: CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

Portugal is set to showcase that relationship this June with an ambitious series of programs throughout the U.S. to coincide with Prime Minister Costa and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s visit. The ambassador said that two years ago, Costa and Sousa “decided to start celebrating the national day of Portugal on June 10 with our communities abroad. Two years ago they went to France, last year they went to Brazil and this year they decided to come to the United States.” “Month of Portugal in the U.S.” will include events focused on culture, economics, politics


PURPOSE Advance your globally focused career at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) through graduate programs in international relations, economics, languages, development, security issues, energy and environment, and more.

and science, taking place not only in Washington, D.C., but also in California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. Local highlights include: the exhibition “Sustainable Azores – Commitment Toward the Future” at the Portuguese Embassy until June 30; “On View: Maria Helena Vieira da Silva” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts; a display of contemporary Portuguese art at the Kreeger Museum; forums and workshops on education, science and energy at the embassy on June 1, 14 and 25; and various concerts of Portuguese singers at the Ken-

nedy Center. The series is capped off by the “Toast to America” reception at the residence on June 27. “Portugal was the third country to recognize the independence of the United States,” Fezas Vital said, noting that the Founding Fathers toasted America’s independence with a glass of Madeira wine. “It started on a very good note with Portuguese wine, so let’s celebrate that in June.” He added that the motto for the program is “neighbors across the ocean [to promote] this idea of proximity, how close we are to each other.” Fezas Vital said he hopes that this concept of closeness is appreciated in Washington, regardless of who’s in charge. “I think that when you realize that we are a credible and reliable friend and ally in an unpredictable world, the predictability of friendship is a value to be treasured.” WD Anna Gawel (@diplomatnews) is the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.

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‘COME TOGETHER’ WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER EVENT AT BRITISH RESIDENCE Presented by Kiddar Capital and produced by CRAFT and The Washington Diplomat Ambassador’s Residence on April 27. A t t h e “ C o m e T o g e t h e r ” W h it e H o u s e C o r r e s p o n n t s ’ A s s o c ia t io n D in n e r P a r t y , o v e r 7 0 0 g u e s t s d id s t t h a t a s t h e y c e le b r a t e d b ip a r t is a n s h ip a n d t h e u r t h E s t a t e a t t h e B r it is h A m b a s s a d o r ’s R e s id e n c e A p r il 2 7 . T h e la v is h e v e n t — h o s t e d b y B r it is h A m b a s s a d o r S ir K im D a r r o c h a n d L a d y D a r r o c h — w a s p r e s e n t e d b y K id d a r C a p it a l a n d p r o d u c e d b y C R A F T M e d ia / D ig it a l a n d T h e W a s h in g t o n D ip lo m a t . A n a r r a y o f W a s h in g t o n n o t a b le s m in g le d o n t h e r e s id e n c e ’s s t r ik in g g a r d e n t e r r a c e a n d in t e r io r b a llr o o m , in c lu d in g : m e m b e r s o f t h e T r u m p a d m in is t r a t io n s u c h a s K e lly a n n e C o n w a y , S a r a h H u c k a b e e S a n d e r s a n d S e a n S p ic e r ; “ R e a l H o u s e w iv e s ” C y n t h ia B a ile y a n d K a r e n H u g e r ; M is s U n iv e r s e 2 0 1 8 D e m iL e ig h N e l- P e t e r s ; W a s h in g t o n K a s t le s o w n e r M a r k E in ; Playboy Chief Creative Officer Cooper Hefner; restaur a t e u r M a r ia T r a b o c c h i; p r o m in e n t b r o a d c a s t a n d p r in t jo u r n a lis t s fr o m N B C , F o x , C N N , A B C , P o lit ic o a n d T h e H ill; a s w e ll a s a m b a s s a d o r s fr o m A fg h a n is t a n , A r g e n t in a , D e n m a r k , I n d ia , P e r u , S t . K it t s a n d N e v is , a lo n g w it h m a n y o t h e r s . A h ig h lig h t w a s a p e r f o r m a n c e b y G r a m m y - n o m in a t e d D J P a u l O a k e n fo ld , w h o r e c e iv e d a H u m a n it a r ia n C u lt u r a l A m b a s s a d o r A w a r d fo r h is w o r k o n t h e S o u n d t r e k E v e r e s t c o n c e r t a d v e n t u r e s e r ie s , w h ic h is d e d ic a t e d t o e n v ir o n m e n t a l is s u e s a n d s h o w c a s in g t h e w o r ld ’s m o s t a w e - in s p ir in g m u s ic a l c u lt u r e s a n d lo c a t io n s . SEE W H CD • PAGE 18 d e ju F o o n


DJ Paul Oakenfold accepts the Humanitarian Cultural Ambassador Award.


Guests entered the British Residence’s expansive ballroom flanked by giant colonnades.


Ambassador of Argentina Fernando Oris de Roa and his wife Mercedes de Campos.


CRAFT Media/Digital Founder and CEO Brian Donahue, The Washington Diplomat Sales Manager Rod Carrasco and Kiddar Capital CEO Todd Hitt.

British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch, Lady Vanessa Darroch, Rebecca Claire Miller and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.


Angel Newsom Carrasco; The Washington Diplomat Sales Manager Rod Carrasco; White House Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway; DJ Paul Oakenfold; actor Patrick Kilpatrick; and Cassandra Campbell of Progress Humanity, which seeks to prevent violent conflict and encourage inclusive economic development.





White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to guests. PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT

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Cynthia Bailey of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” takes a selfie with Miss Universe 2018 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.

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Approved __________________________________________________________ PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT Changes PHOTO: CRAFT NBC News___________________________________________________________ White House CorPHOTOS: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT respondent Peter Alexander Kiddar Capital CEO Todd Hitt; former White House Commu- ___________________________________________________________________ nications Director Anthony Scaramucci; Washington Kastles and Washington City Paper owner Mark Ein; Ursula McNamara of Kimpton Hotels; and Miss Iraq 2017 Sarah Idan.

and ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega. Lyndon Boozer of AT&T; Francesca Craig of the Motion Picture Association of America; photographer and partner of the French ambassador Pascal Blondeau; and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

Consuelo SalinasPareja, Ambassador of Peru Carlos Pareja and The Washington Diplomat Publisher Victor Shiblie. PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT


Aston Martins and Bentleys were showcased at the residence.






Avina Sarna of the Population Council, Kathryn Hogg and Ambassador of India Navtej Sarna. NBC Washington Assistant News Director Matt Glassman, CNN Senior Photojournalist Peter Morris and NBC Washington News Anchor Jim Handly.

Gareth Morgan, head of the Welsh Government Office at the British Embassy; Deputy Chief of Mission of the Irish Embassy Michael Lonergan; Deputy Chief of Mission of the British Embassy Michael Tatham; and Norman Houston of the Northern Ireland Bureau North America. Nicole DiCocco of the H.O.P.E. Foundation for a Better Tomorrow and Rita Cosby of CBS’s “Inside Edition.”



Ambassador of Denmark Lars Gert Lose and his wife Ulla Rønberg.




CRAFT Media/Digital Founder and CEO Brian Donahue.



“ T h r o u g h e le c t r o n ic m u s ic , I ’v e b e e n f o r t u n a t e t o t r a v e l t h e w o r ld a n d b e a b le t o p r o v id e m u s ic lo v e r s w it h u n fo r g e t t a b le e x p e r ie n c e s so that they may find themselves in a moment w h e r e t h e y h a v e n o p r o b le m s ,” O a k e n f o ld said, citing influences such as singer Bono, w r it e r H u n t e r S . T h o m p s o n , in d u s t r y e x e c u t iv e s G u y O s e a r y a n d A r t h u r F o g e l a n d D a v id S o lo m o n o f G o ld m a n S a c h s , w h o d a b b le s in E D M D J in g o n t h e s id e . Kiddar Capital is an international financial management firm launched by Todd Hitt that m a n a g e s $ 1 . 2 5 b illio n a c r o s s e s t a b lis h e d a n d e m e r g in g a s s e t c la s s e s . T h e W a s h in g t o n D ip lo m a t is a m e d ia c o m p a n y t h a t p u b lis h e s t h e flagship newspaper for the diplomatic commun it y in D . C . C R A F T M e d ia / D ig it a l is a n e w t y p e o f a g e n c y fo r a n e w e r a o f m a r k e t in g , a d v e r t is in g a n d a d v o c a c y t h a t w a s b o r n o u t o f t h e political campaign battlefield. T h e e v e n in g ’s s p o n s o r s in c lu d e d C h ild r e n ’s N a t io n a l H e a lt h S y s t e m , c o n s is t e n t ly r a n k e d a m o n g t h e t o p 1 0 c h ild r e n ’s h o s p it a ls in t h e c o u n t r y ; C h r is t ie ’s | L o n g & F o s t e r lu x u r y r e a l e s t a t e ; W a s h in g t o n L ife M a g a z in e ; a n d P r o g r e s s H u m a n it y . A p t ly t it le d “ C o m e T o g e t h e r,” t h e n a m e o f t h e e v e n t w a s a n o d t o t h e B e a t le s ’ s o n g o f t h e s a m e n a m e a n d a d e s ir e fo r p o lit ic ia n s o n b o t h s id e s o f t h e a is le t o d o ju s t t h a t . T h e t h e m e o f t h e e v e n in g w a s t h e s w in g in g ’6 0 s , a n h o m a g e t o t h e c u lt u r a l r e v o lu t io n t h a t u s h e r e d in a n e x p lo s io n o f a r t , m u s ic a n d fa s h io n in G r e a t B r it a in . G u e s t s w e r e s u r r o u n d e d b y t h e b e s t in B r it is h c u lt u r a l e x p o r t s , in c lu d in g v in t a g e a u t o m o b ile s fr o m A s t o n M a r t in a n d Bentley and, of course, fish and chips!


DJ Skribble, formerly of MTV and now with the Las Vegas MGM Grand.


Garrick Davis of the National Endowment for the Arts; a guest; White House Correspondent for The Daily Caller Saagar Enjeti; Kathryn Watson of CBSPolitics; and White House Correspondent for One America News Network Emerald Robinson.


Scott Wapner, host of CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report.” Restaurateur Maria Trabocchi and Dale Hipsh, senior vice president of hotels for Hard Rock International.

Fish and chips. PHOTO: CRAFT


— Anna Gawel


Nyanya Browne, Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis Thelma Phillip-Browne and The Washington Diplomat Publisher Victor Shiblie.


Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček, his wife Indira Gumarova and Washington Bureau Chief of Al Sharq Al-Awsat Heba El Koudsy.

Thomas Coleman of the Department of Homeland Security and his wife The Washington Diplomat Managing Editor Anna Gawel.


Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle.

Director of The Hill Latino Diana Marrero; CRAFT Vice President of Digital John Randall; CRAFT Political and Advocacy Manager Leif Larson; Advertising Director for The Hill Katy McKegney; and President of The Hill Richard Beckman.


Ryan J.C. Hamilos of 1 Big Idea, Ben Robboy, Fuad Sahouri Jr. of Sahouri Insurance, The Washington Diplomat Operations Director Fuad Shiblie and Michael Sahouri.



DJ Paul Oakenfold.


Stephanie Watson and Steve Chenevey of Fox 5 DC.




Jeffrey Ballou of Al Jazeera English, center, listens to the speeches.

Realtor Nickie Jordan, Reza Jahanbani of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty and his wife Cartier Regional Director Fariba Jahanbani.


James Barbour of the European Union Delegation to the U.S., Ariel Gold and The Washington Diplomat Managing Editor Anna Gawel.



Representatives from Children’s National Health System pose for a photo: Kolaleh Eskandanian, vice president/chief innovation officer and executive director of the Sheikh Zayed Institute; Pradnya Haldipur, foundation associate vice president; Mary Lynn Elsmo, senior human resources business partner; DeAnn Marshall; Dr. Gerard Martin, foundation president, cardiologist and medical director of global services; Margarita Arroyave-Wessel; Shadi Sadeghi of foundation international advancement; and Dr. David Wessel, executive vice president and chief medical officer.

Miss Universe 2018 DemiLeigh Nel-Peters and The Washington Diplomat News Editor Larry Luxner.



Former Chief of Staff to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Josh Holmes, Blair Latoff Holmes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Rebecca Bowles and Cory Bowles.


David G. Bradley of Atlantic Media and Steve Clemons of The Atlantic.

Executive Director of the National Press Club William McCarren and his wife Andrea McCarren of WUSA 9.


“The Real Housewives of Potomac” Karen Huger and her husband Ray Huger.

Kiddar Capital CEO Todd Hitt, Michelle Dolansky and Mona Hamdy, managing director of Jeddah-based Al Baydha Development Corporation.


Anastasia Dellaccio of WeWork and Founder of Chief Social Architects Frances Holuba.


Tina Lundgren, former Macy’s Chairman Terri Lundgren and President of The Hill Richard Beckman. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018 | 19



White House Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway, second from right, poses with guests, including Jayne Visser, second from left, and Amanda Polk, right.


Fouad Talout, Therese Talout, Lynda O’Dea and John Coplen, all from Christie’s | Long & Foster luxury real estate.

Elena Solovyov and Christopher Hoey from Christie’s | Long & Foster luxury real estate. PHOTO: CRAFT


Harris Faulkner of Fox News poses for a photo and dances.




Meridian International Center Chief Operating Officer Lee Satterfield, Washington Life Editor-in-Chief Nancy Reynolds Bagley, Politico CEO Patrick Steel and Evan Ryan of Axios.


Carol Schwartz and DC Councilmember Jack Evans.


Lauren Cardenas and Juan Patron of 2020Effect.

Guests enjoyed Macallan scotch whiskies.


Jayne Visser and philanthropist Annie Totah share a laugh.


C-SPAN’s Finley Lewis, his wife Willee Lewis, Kiddar Capital CEO Todd Hitt and D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans.




Chief of Staff for Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) Yebbie Watkins, a guest, Larry Duncan of Lockheed Martin, Janell Duncan and a guest.


Wes Battle of CRAFT and Kathryn Battle, right, pose with guests.


Lynn Woodrick and Todd Woodrick, chief technology officer of White Mountain Research.


Above, Robert Danegger of Shelter Cover Advisory Services, Washington Life Executive Editor Virginia Coyne and Meredith Casey McPhillips of Politico.


DHL Express National Accounts Manager Greg Shields, The Washington Diplomat Publisher Victor Shiblie, Jill Kelley and Head of International Trade Affairs for DHL Express Eugene Laney.




Sheila Conlin, producer at NBC News, and Tom Fahy.

Katherine Bradley poses with a guest.

Journalist Carol Joynt talks to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.


Michael Coleman of The Washington Diplomat; Co-Founder of SchoolForward Starlee Coleman; and Darrell Thompson, former deputy chief of staff to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).



British Embassy Social Secretary Amanda Downes and Meridian International Center Chief Operating Officer Lee Satterfield.


Edgard Izaguirre of the Washington City Paper.


Tracy Gharbo and Asal Sayas of AMFAR.


WD | Book Review

Marshalling Our Best Steil’s ‘Marshall Plan’ Details Forgotten Era of American Greatness BY JOHN SHAW


n the current political climate, it’s often difficult to recall that there was a time, not so many decades ago, when American political leaders were respected around the world as strategic and competent, as kind-hearted and tough-minded. Few initiatives better exemplified American effectiveness and excellence than the Marshall Plan, the economic assistance program designed to help rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War II. “The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War” by Benn Steil impressively describes the complex history of this initiative. Steil is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations with an expertise in international economics. Steil persuasively argues that the Marshall Plan, while imperfect, was smart, effective and generous. After the plan was approved by Congress, The Economist magazine declared “there is no record of a comparable act of inspired and generous diplomacy.” British Prime Minister Clement Attlee called it “an act of unparalleled generosity and statesmanship.” Steil shares this assessment. “The Marshall Plan is remembered as one of the great achievements of American foreign policy not merely because it was visionary but because it worked,” he writes. “It worked because the United States aligned its actions with its interests and capacities in Europe, accepting the reality of a Russian sphere of interest into which it could not penetrate without sacrificing credibility and public support. Great acts of statesmanship are grounded in realism no less than idealism. It is a lesson we need to relearn.” “The Marshall Plan” describes how the U.S. — faced with Red Army soldiers stationed throughout Eastern Europe and a post-war continent in tatters — invested more than $13 billion ($130 billion in today’s dollars) to build up democracies and market economies in Western Europe as a bulwark against communism. Part of that investment went toward reviving German industry, a prospect that alarmed Europeans traumatized by Nazi atrocities. As a result, the U.S. established a troop presence in Europe to reassure nervous allies. Steil posits that the Marshall Plan, in fact, triggered the Cold War, as Joseph Stalin viewed the endeavor — and the subsequent creation of NATO — as a vehicle for expanding American power on the continent, forcing the Soviets to dig in and fortify their own spheres of influence. “The Marshall Plan” describes how an impressive group of leaders sized up Europe’s dire predicament after World War II and assembled a bold response. The key actors in this sprawling saga are Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, George Kennan and Arthur Vandenberg. We also encounter important international figures such as Stalin, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Josip






The Marshall Plan is remembered as one of the great achievements of American foreign policy not merely because it was visionary but because it worked. BENN STEIL

author of ‘The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War’

Tito, Konrad Adenauer, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman. Steil argues that following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1945 and the conclusion of World War II several months later, the new president, Harry Truman, faced a series of daunting decisions. Truman shared little of FDR’s optimism that the United States and the Soviet Union could enjoy an amicable relationship or that the United States could trust Stalin to be a restrained and co-

operative ally. With the United Kingdom pulling out of important global positions and the Soviet Union eager to take advantage of this retreat and mounting chaos in Europe, Truman initially requested $400 million to help stabilize Greece and Turkey. It was now American policy, he declared, to “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” This speech enunciating the Truman Doctrine was very consequential, marking “a radical break from FDR’s vision of a United States acting on the world stage through the new United Nations,” Steil writes. “It would instead mark the first time a U.S. administration would justify a muscular course of unilateral action outside the U.N., even though it would claim to do so in support of the organization’s ends.” George Marshall, Truman’s secretary of state, is a towering leader in this book as he oversees the forceful American response to Europe’s woes, builds support for the plan within the United States and defends it to the outside world. Marshall became convinced that the Soviet Union’s vision of a post-World War II world was far different than the U.S.’s. Marshall decided a vigorous American response to European disarray and Soviet adventurism was essential. He outlined his ideas during a commencement address at Harvard on June 5, 1947. “Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos,” he declared. “The program should be a joint one, agreed to by a number, if not all European nations,” he added. Marshall also signaled American resolve to Europe and to the Soviet Union. “Any government which maneuvers to block the recovery of other countries cannot expect help from us,” he said with firm understatement that now seems refreshing. Marshall, according to Steil, had only the “haziest of templates” of the plan he would offer and relied on accomplished aides such as Dean Acheson and George Kennan to flesh it out. Republican Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged Marshall to frame the plan as a means to combat Soviet communism’s threat to Western Europe and the American way of life. The administration initially sought a $17 billion aid package over four years for Europe. However, responding to political realities, Vandenberg insisted that it be pared back and phased in gradually, beginning with $5 billion for the first year. He also pushed for an independent agency outside the State Department to run the program. “It is a plan for peace, stability and freedom,” Vandenberg said of the redrafted package during the Senate debate. “As such, it involves the clear

self-interest of the United States. It the Marshall Plan. The structure of can be the turning point in history a new North Atlantic Treaty Orgafor 100 years to come. If it fails, we nization was assembled by Europewill have done our final best. It if an and U.S. officials and the NATO succeeds, our children and our chilfounding agreement was signed on dren’s children will call us blessed.” April 4, 1949. “The Marshall Plan In “The Marshall Plan,” Vandenneeded a martial plan,” Steil writes. berg is depicted as a statesman will“The Marshall Plan” is a very ing to set aside his ambitions for the good book, driven by a compelling presidency to advance the national narrative with excellent profiles of good and to save Europe. Marshall complicated, impressive people and later said that the plan named after institutions. The story is a complex him would not have been approved one and the reader must be willing without Vandenberg. “I felt that he to wade through accounts of intrinever received full credit for his cate European politics, byzantine monumental efforts on behalf of American bureaucratic infighting the European Recovery Program, and arcane economics. and that his name should have been This is not a book for the beach PHOTO: BY E. SPRECKMEESTER / ECONOMIC COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION associated with it,” Marshall said. or a quick flight. But it’s rewarding Vandenberg played a central role and instructive. And it’s impossible At left, construction begins in 1948 in in assembling the plan and moving for the modern reader to study the post-World War II West Berlin with the help of the Marshall Plan, a plaque for it through a Republican-controlled Marshall Plan and not lament the which is seen in the background. Above, Congress. “At home in the United current state of our affairs. But it a poster promotes the Marshall Plan, States, the Marshall Plan became is also encouraging to remember which in today’s dollars invested over legislation against all odds,” Steil that this nation once produced $130 billion to build up democracies and writes. “By contemporary stanstatesmen of the caliber of Truman, market economies in Western Europe. dards of cross-party cooperation Marshall and Vandenberg — and PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION / ST. KREKELER / DE.WIKIPEDIA Steil contends that the most im- presumably can do so again. Their and public support, it was a remarkable triumph. The Republican 80th could have derailed the Marshall ing that Acheson observed that the portant feature of the Marshall Plan competence and vision commandCongress had been in no mood to Plan had it allowed Eastern Euro- United States was “fortunate in our was that it worked. Between 1948 ed the world’s confidence and perand 1951, the U.S. transferred more suaded Americans to accept shortdevote vast new funds to foreign pean countries to join the negotia- enemies.” than billion to the and then sabotage them. e aid. But the political packaging of tions NOTE: Although every effort is made to assure your ad“Th is free ofTh mistakes in spelling and was content it $13 is ultimately up 16 to Marshall the customer make e book shows the plan termtosacrifi cesthe forfinal the proof. long-term the program was masterful. It ap- Soviets and their satellites could assembled on the fly but became aid nations and during this time, good. Today, the United States and The first two to faxed changes will be made at no cost to the off advertiser, changes will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved. bled Marshall’s er to deathsubsequent pealed internationalists as well as have one of the crown jewels among the their investment surged and their the world badly need to see conindustrial outputad. grew by 60 per- temporary examples of America’s with demands Please and grievances over anticommunists.” programs and institutions check this ad carefully. Mark that anybolchanges to your The Soviets, suspicious of the terms. Instead, Stalin allowed him- stered the West after World War II, cent. past excellence. WD By the end of 1948, American to be goaded into rejecting it, such as the World Bank, the Interplan, prevented its and Eastern EuroIf the ad is correct sign fax to: (301)self 949-0065 needs changes pean allies from participating in casting the Soviet Union as an en- national Monetary Fund, the Euro- leaders decided that a North Atlan- John Shaw is a contributing writer The Washington Diplomat (301) 933-3552 tic security pact should supplement for The Washington Diplomat. emy of recovery,” SteilApproved writes, not-__________________________________________________ it. Steil believes the Soviet Union pean Union and NATO. Changes ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

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WD | Nordic Vantage Point

Dire Times Op-Ed: Humanitarian Aid Needs to Be Principled and Smart BY NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR KÅRE R. AAS


ccording to the United Nations, there has never been a greater need for humanitarian assistance in the world than there is today. More than 136 million people from 26 different countries are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance. A record-high 65 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes because of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. I am proud to see that my own country is stepping up to the plate and responding to these growing needs. Since 2013, the share of humanitarian assistance in Norway’s overall aid budget has increased by more than 50 percent. Norway is among the world leaders in humanitarian spending per capita. In recent years, Norway’s humanitarian role has been particularly visible in Syria and Iraq. Since 2014, Norway has contributed around $1.25 billion to Syria and neighboring countries, making Norway the fifth-largest donor country to the Syria crisis. Of this assistance, almost 90 percent is humanitarian, with priorities including education, health care, nutrition, emergency support, water, sanitation and health, and protection. A young boy stands in the Zaatari And Norway has taken particular responsibilRefugee Camp in Jordan, which has ity in Iraq. The brutal rise of the Islamic State and struggled to absorb over 660,000 the ensuing conflict have caused millions of Iraqis refugees from Syria’s civil war. to flee their homes. The Islamic State’s deliberate strategy of leaving behind mines and explosives to target the local population has led to a despairingly high number of civilian victims. For lives and limbs to be saved, for stabilization and for normal life to return, it is imperative that these areas be cleared. That’s why Norway’s top priority in Iraq is mine clearance. Activities supported by Norway include identifying hazardous areas, training the local population in risk management, and clearing mines and explosive remnants of war to make it possible for inter- supported by Norway must not take sides in hostilities. Aid must be carried out on the basis of need nally displaced people to return. Mine clearance in Syria and Iraq is extremely alone and independent of surrounding political, challenging and entails many risks, not least due economic, military or other conditions. There are many examples of the damage that to the highly complex and sensitive natures of the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts. Humanitarian demining can occur when aid that claims to be humanitarian partners are therefore dependent on a long-term deviates from these core principles. It can endancommitment on the part of their donors and close ger access by humanitarian groups to populations in need, and it can put the humanitarians coordination of international efforts. themselves at risk. Afghanistan, where I I am particularly proud of how the served as ambassador, is one of the most United States and Norway are joining dangerous places for aid workers worldforces in the Middle East and elsewide. I can hardly imagine anything more where on these issues. Both countries appalling than targeted attacks on huare among the world’s five largest manitarian convoys and workers. contributors to mine clearance efforts Another important rule of thumb for worldwide. One example of our close Norway is that humanitarian intervencooperation is the U.S.-Norwegian Detions should contribute to sustainable demining Initiative, which was launched velopment in the long term. For instance, in 2016 with the aim of making Co- KÅRE R. AAS Norway has a strong focus on the education lombia mine-free by 2021. ambassador of Norway of children in conflict situations and helped It entails great responsibility to be to the United States initiate the Education Cannot Wait Fund. a humanitarian donor. A key requirement for all humanitarian efforts supported by Education is a life-saving intervention during a criNorway is that they should be based on the human- sis that also contributes to long-term development itarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartial- after the crisis is over. As pointed out by Norwegian Prime Minister ity and independence. This means that humanitarian organizations Erna Solberg, “It is difficult to think of any other cir-


Since 2013, the share of humanitarian assistance in Norway’s overall aid budget has increased by more than 50 percent.


cumstances where education is more important than in creating the basis for conflict resolution, reconciliation and rebuilding of societies.” This August, Norway’s foreign minister and development minister will present a new humanitarian strategy for our country that takes into consideration the changing global landscape. While Norway’s goal is to be a principled and smart humanitarian donor, our overarching aim must always be to make humanitarian assistance unnecessary. That’s why Norway will also continue to support crisis prevention and conflict resolution efforts. Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide gave a crystal-clear message to the U.N. General Assembly last month: “We must shift away from today’s focus on managing and responding to crisis, and instead move toward preventing conflicts from breaking out in the first place.” The 65 million people who have been displaced must surely agree. WD Nordic Vantage Point is a series of columns written by Kåre R. Aas, who has served as Norway’s ambassador to the U.S. since September 2013, prior to which he was political director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo.

agreement about whether reducing legal immigration is a good idea or not,” Alden said. Trump was elected in large part because he promised a tough stance on immigration, but his critics say he is undermining what has made America “great” — its ability to attract industrious and smart people from abroad. “All of this messaging does work,” said Sandweg of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration. “All of this messaging is: You’re not welcome. It works if your goal is to reduce migration.” He added, “I do think long term, and even near term, it’s going to be harmful to the U.S. economy.” Many of Trump’s supporters disagree, accusing immigrants of failing to assimilate into American society, draining social services, increasing crime and costing Americans jobs. Proponents say there is no proof that immigrants use federal benefits or commit crime any more than U.S. citizens do. Moreover, they argue that immigrants have given the U.S. a leg up in today’s globalized economy, complementing — not competing with — the U.S. workforce. For every argument, however, each side is able to cherry-pick studies and statistics that bolster their case. But the immigration divide is about more than numbers. Issues such as separating parents from children, deporting immigrants who have lived in the country for decades and welcoming foreigners who endanger job prospects for struggling Americans strike deeply emotional — and polarizing — chords. Given these obstacles, it’s difficult to see any type of immigration consensus emerging any time soon, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. WD

Immigration CONTINUED • PAGE 11

migrants are detained but then released pending their court date because they cannot be jailed indefinitely. Congress, in the fiscal 2017 omnibus spending bill, allowed for 10 new judges to add to the approximately 350 immigration judges in the U.S., but TRAC reports this will be insufficient to handle the massive backlog of cases. Earlier this year, the Justice Department set annual quotas of at least 700 cases per judge to address this problem. DOJ also requested $75 million for fiscal 2018 to hire 75 new immigration judges and support staff. Adding to the backlog is a new trend along the Mexico border. Whileeffort arrestsisare downto—assure your ad is free of mistakes in spelling and NOTE: Although every made the U.S. Border Patrol reports a total of PHOTO: U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT content it is ultimately310,531 up to the customer to make the final proof. arrests in fiscal 2017 at the border, a record low Former President Obama’s immigration strategy prioritized targeting convicted criminals such as gang since the Obama and George W. Bush adminundocumentedsubsequent immigrants, givenchanges the limited resources of U.S. authorities to deport all The first two made at members no costover to other the advertiser, istrations — faxed asylumchanges seekers arewill up be as Central 11 million illegal immigrants estimated to live in the U.S. But President Trump has ordered agents to go after will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved. Americans have been coming to the Mexico anyone in the country illegally, even “low-threat” individuals who have been here for years. border to try to escape violence in their native Please this American ad carefully. For Mark any changes your ad. backs senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relacountries. Trump sees check the Central instance, Trump, liketoDemocrats, migrants as a threat to national security, mobi- protection for Dreamers, at least in theory, tions. National Guard the to: southern If thelizing ad isthe correct sign andtofax (301)bor949-0065 needs changes “I think it’s fair to say that pretty much every but he’s relentlessly pushed to limit other der to make his point, but he can’t stop them types of immigration. In addition to deport- previous administration — at least going back from applying for asylum under U.S. law. As ing as many illegal immigrants as possible, he to the Reagan administration — I think every The Washington the number ofDiplomat asylum petitions goes(301) up, so933-3552 too also advocates shrinking the pool of visas for administration has had roughly the same set does the backlog clogging the court system. legal immigrants, limiting chain migration of goals, which is to reduce and control illegal Approved __________________________________________________________ for extended family members and nixing the immigration and facilitate legal immigration,” diversity visa lottery in favor of a more merit- he said. Changes ___________________________________________________________ GAUGING SUCCESS “This administration has a different set of based system. The debate over the diversity ___________________________________________________________________ Immigration, always a hot-button issue in lottery, in fact, led to Trump’s infamous com- goals. They want to reduce illegal immigraU.S. politics, has become even more heated ment that he doesn’t see the point of taking in tion, but they also want to reduce legal im- Aileen Torres-Bennett is a contributing writer under Trump. people from “shithole” countries like Haiti or migration. Obviously there’s a lot of dis- for The Washington Diplomat. “I’d give him a B- because there’s real im- African nations. provements in the administrative areas where The uproar that ensued exposed the xenothe president has direct authority,” said Kriko- phobic undertones and outright racism that rian. “ICE has had the handcuffs removed. drive the immigration views of some Trump They’re able to do their jobs. We’re seeing the supporters. At the same time, there are legitistatutory and regulatory standards get en- mate questions and gripes about the role imforced now. There’s a higher bar rather than migrants play in the U.S. economy. Do they the deliberate laxity of the previous adminis- take on menial jobs that Americans don’t tration.” want or has this claim been exaggerated? Are Krikorian thinks the Trump administra- they filling a much-needed skill gap, such tion has not done such a good job handling as H-1B visa holders with STEM skills that relations with Congress, though. * “The White Americans supposedly lack? Has this foreign House really did a terrible job of working with talent helped America’s tech sector become Congress in trying to get some of their agenda the most innovative in the world, or have tech items funded or approved,” said Krikorian. companies abused the H-1B program to bring Repeated attempts over the last decade at in cheap labor at the cost of U.S. jobs? comprehensive immigration reform have Regardless of how one views these tricky isfailed to pass muster in Congress. The ongoing sues, immigration experts agree that the presistalemate has allowed politicians of all stripes dent has moved forward with putting his polito avoid debate on thorny issues such as who cies into place. deserves to stay or come to the United States Serving DCA, IAD, BWI, Union Staion and More! “There’s no question he has shifted the diand who doesn’t. The lines are not black and rection of U.S. immigration policy toward white for either party. a much harder line,” said Edward Alden, a

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and reporting.


“Cities and towns across the Uyghur homeland have become deserted and almost all rural areas have been isolated from neighboring regions and blocked from visitors,” Kadeer said. Among her demands to the Chinese government: • Shut down all such “re-education centers” and release all detainees. • Release all Uyghur political prisoners, including those of other ethnic groups in the region. • Account for everyone who was forcefully “disappeared” — including their children — and disclose their whereabouts. • Restore all communication rights for the region’s people, including phone service, freedom of movement and the right to contact relatives abroad. • Allow foreign journalists and investigators access to the region to conduct independent research

• Release Kadeer’s five children and 15 grandchildren, as well as her husband’s extended relatives. • Release the family members of Gulchehra Hoja and other journalists working for Radio Free Asia. Tayir Imim, 37, said the protest had been organized with only three days’ notice. “If we had informed the people a week earlier, maybe there would have been more than 1,000 people here,” he said. Imim, who studied at Israel’s University of Haifa for five months last year, volunteers for the Uyghur human rights movement. We asked him why the Chinese government is doing this. “Because China wants to wipe us out, so there won’t be any nation that claims ownership of the land,” he responded. “The Uyghur people claim ownership of the region. They want to assimilate our people into the Han Chinese majority by forcing us to abandon our national culture and identity. Their ultimate goal is to assimilate us and wipe out an entire nation, so there will be nobody any more who can claim ownership.”



He added: “Maybe it won’t make a big difference or have a big impact on Chinese policy, but we just began our movement. The U.S. government says the world is aware of what the Chinese government is do-

ing against a peace-loving, civilized people — and the world will not be silent on the issue forever.” WD Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

A mosque is seen in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, home to 11 million or possibly more Uyghurs, who primarily practice Islam.

Medical | WD

Troubling Trend Big Rise Seen in U.S. Kids, Teens Attempting Suicide BY ALAN MOZES


n a troubling sign that anxiety and depression are taking hold of America’s youth, new research shows a doubling since 2008 in the number of kids and teens who’ve been hospitalized for attempted suicide or suicidal thoughts. Study author Dr. Gregory Plemmons said the findings “are not surprising,” and that “colleges have also reported a dramatic increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression among students and in the use of counseling services.” But is the risk for teen suicide actually growing, or are more vulnerable teens going to hospitals than in the past? Plemmons said it’s hard to tell. “We still know from other studies out there that less than half of young people with mental disorders seek treatment, and only a minority of teens with depression actually seek care,” he said. “In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines this past February to encourage primary care doctors to begin depression screening.” Plemmons is an associate professor of pediatrics with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among American adolescents, the study authors noted. To get a handle on the issue, the researchers used federal pediatric hospital data. The findings showed that in 2008 through 2015, nearly 116,000 children aged 5 to 17 were seen at 31 hospitals, either for having suicidal thoughts or for attempted suicide. Two-thirds were girls. More than half were hospitalized, and more than 13 percent needed intensive care. The rest were treated in an emergency setting or held for observation. Overall, suicide-related teen hospitalizations accounted for 0.66 percent of all hospitalizations at the children’s hospitals in 2008. But by 2015, that figure had more than doubled, to almost 2 percent, according to the report. Increases were seen across all ages, but differed across certain groups. For example, the rise in suicide-related hospitalizations was particularly high among teens ages 15 to 17, who accounted for more than half of all the cases. The second highest rise was seen among teens ages 12 to 14, who accounted for 37 percent of all cases. The increase was most acute among white children, with an annual increase of 0.18 percent. By comparison, risk rose by 0.09 percent among black children, and by 0.05 percent among Hispanic children, the researchers said. Plemmons pointed to a number of possible reasons. “Puberty is a risk factor for suicide, which could partially explain the dramatic rise in 15- to 17-yearolds,” he said. In addition, a “lack of access and cultural stigmatization in seeking care for mental health issues may play a role” in differing vulnerabilities by race, he noted. Girls, Plemmons added, appeared to be more avid users of social media, “so cyberbullying and other factors may also be playing a role” in their much greater risk. As for what families can do, he acknowledged that “it can be very challenging for parents to distinguish what is normal moody adolescent behavior from


New research shows a doubling since 2008 in the number of kids and teens who’ve been hospitalized for attempted suicide or suicidal thoughts — two-thirds of whom were girls.

We still know from other studies out there that less than half of young people with mental disorders seek treatment, and only a minority of teens with depression actually seek care. DR. GREGORY PLEMMONS

associate professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

LEARN MORE: Visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health at health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml/ index.shtml. someone who may be experiencing a true mental health crisis or a clinical depression.” Plemmons added: “Signs to consider would include increasing withdrawal and isolation from peers or family, which could manifest as increased electronic time; changes in sleep or appetite; decline in school performance; or lack of interest in things which previously provided enjoyment.” He encouraged parents to reach out to their children if necessary, saying that “talking about it has never been shown to increase the risk. Talking actually helps. Having a conversation with your pediatrician or family doctor or school counselor can also

hopefully provide support.” The report was published online May 16 in Pediatrics. Kimberly McManama O’Brien is a clinical researcher in psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She said the findings “make a lot of sense.” “Even a decade ago, people didn’t really know what to do if a teen was suicidal. Now there are many resources and places to go, which may relate to the increase in hospital visits,” she said. “My biggest piece of advice to parents would be to learn to get comfortable asking your teen about suicide,” O’Brien said. In fact, she stressed that “having a supportive and validating parent who asks openly and directly about suicide is one of the most important protective factors against teen suicide.” WD Alan Mozes is a HealthDay reporter. Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


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Luxury Living A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

June 2018

Sweat Equity


The Watergate features a pool and fitness center.

Upscale D.C. Properties Flex Their Muscle with High-End Fitness Facilities •


ith almost 16,000 residential units under construction in the nation’s capital as of August 2017, according to the Washington DC Economic Partnership’s 2017-18 DC Development Report, developers are looking to flex their

competitive muscles. For many, that means offering fitness facilities that go above and beyond the traditionally cramped room stocked with a treadmill and a few weights. Condos, particularly new construction, are touting onsite gyms


with top-of-the-line equipment such as Peloton bikes, yoga and spin studios, lap pools and group exercise classes to attract well-heeled residents with high expectations. SEE FITNESS • PAGE 30



What’s more, gone are the days of relegating exercise areas to a building’s basement. These amenities are front and center, with plenty of windows offering natural light and great views of the city. Several factors are driving this trend. For one, the nation’s capital ranks high — even claiming the top spot several times — on the American College of Sports Medicine’s list of the fittest U.S. cities. At the same time, the area’s population has grown to more than 680,000, according to 2016 Census Bureau estimates — the highest in 40 years. For the real estate market, these two characteristics have led to a healthy infusion of development and competition. “D.C. in general has more people moving into it than out than anywhere in the country,” said Samer Kuraishi, president of One Real Estate in D.C. and a premier agent at Zillow, an online marketplace. “We have great schools, the government’s here and the job market is strong. Consumer confidence is super high.” Additionally, rental properties tend to offer more amenities, including pumped-up fitPHOTO: HOLLI BECKMAN / APARTMINTY ness facilities, so when many rentals went condo in recent The fitness amenities at Agora, part of The Collective apartment complex at the Navy Yard, include a Peloton cycle room. years, they were already outfitted for such spaces, said Clint Mann, president of Urban Pace, a Long & Foster company that provides marketing, sale and advisory services to real estate developers specializing in condominium and multifamily developments. “Ten, 12 years ago, you saw this huge PHOTO: HOLLI BECKMAN / APARTMINTY conversion of rental products into condoAgora, which opened minium products in the height of the market, MEI-MEI VENNERS, director of sales for the Westlight last year, features a virtual when the D.C. market was on fire,” Mann said. “They were golf simulator. already programmed with apartment-style amenities,” such as movie “There are gym rats that are not rooms, fitness rooms and even golf going to give up their Equinox and simulators. their fitness club because they like As a result, new construction has had to keep up. the classes,” Venners said. “But if Still, not all condo buyers are looking for onsite fityou’re looking for your serious ness facilities — or more specifically, the higher condo workout and you’re a gym buff, fees that accompany them. Instead, buyers want to inyou’re going to work out where vest in unit finishings, products and services, such as a you can walk downstairs after front desk and onsite property management. work or before work and you get “Most condo buildings now are under 100 units,” your full workout in.” Mann said. “Conversely, apartment buildings are She sees two extremes in the much larger. You see those 200, 300, 400 residences, D.C. condo market. “You can be a and when you have that number of units to share in the building that offers nothing — no cost, the cost per door goes down dramatically and the services and no amenities — or need for a larger facility goes up.” you can go five star … and you can One way that developers are addressing the divide is offer everything,” Venners said. by building large apartment buildings with top-notch We take a look at the latter. PHOTO: JBG SMITH amenities near smaller condo properties and selling Westlight’s 2,400memberships to owners who want to use the facili- square-foot fitness 880 P AT CITY MARKET AT O ties at the former. An example is Atlantic Plumbing center is open round in Shaw, which has two buildings situated across the the clock. 800 P St., NW street from each other. One is a 300-plus-unit rental This is a two-block mixed-use project that’s taking advantage of giving conapartment property and the other a 62-unit condo do owners access to the rental building’s amenities. These include an almost property. The smaller one has a small fitness facility on 7,000-square-foot health club with yoga, aerobics and cycling studios, cardio mathe roof with treadmills, a set of free weights and some bikes, while the apartment chines, free weights, kettlebells and TRX straps for body-weight exercises. building offers a fitness center with spin and yoga studios and a rooftop pool. “I think a small college football team would be envious,” said Richard Lake, Additionally, many condo buyers are content with the gym memberships a founding partner of Roadside Development, which develthey already have. “For our new-construcoped City Market at O. tion condominium buyers that are paying a Additionally, cycling, yoga, tai chi and other classes are ofpremium to live there and best-in-class new fered at least once a day for free. (Really, the costs are built construction product in the city, they generinto leases and condo owners’ membership fees.) ally have a membership to a fitness facility, There’s also a lap pool on the roof that ties to another and they’re not usually willing to give that building with sunken fire pits and fireplaces, which connects up,” Mann said. to a third building that has a 16-foot-by-30-foot waterfall One exception is that if you’re in a condo that people can sit under. in an emerging area with no gym nearby, “It really is geared to those who really focus on fitness,” you might invest more in that feature. Also Lake said. “You have no excuse not to work out.” consider your demographic, Mann added. That’s intentional, he added. “When we first designed the “The empty nester, I think, is interested in a project, this was before Shaw really took off and there really larger fitness facility and more willing to give wasn’t any kind of fitness offerings to the public in this entire up their gym memberships, but the younger submarket,” Lake said. “You had to go all the way over to 14th buyers — the millennials — are still more foPHOTO: MAXWELL MACKENZIE and U Streets to find the closest gym. We thought it was recused on having an outside membership,” he A rooftop lap pool at 880 P connects to a fire pit ally important to make that an offering. In addition, we liked said and waterfall. the idea to really gear the community toward health.” Mei-Mei Venners, director of sales for the And residents are taking advantage of it. “Our spin classes are always full,” Lake Westlight, a luxury condo building that opened in October 2017, says that workout space is “an extension of the level of service that we give” as part of condo fees said. “It’s a very active community.” For anyone who needs some R&R, though, a massage therapist is at the ready that range from about $650 to more than $3,000 for the units, which sell for $1 should residents want to schedule a treatment in the onsite massage therapy million to $4.5 million. room.

[I]f you’re looking for your serious workout and you’re a gym buff, you’re going to work out where you can walk downstairs [to] get your full workout in.



Wardman Tower boasts a 2,000-square-foot fitness center with a yoga and stretching studio.

AGORA AT THE COLLECTIVE 880 New Jersey Ave., SE Agora, which opened this year, is part of three properties at The Collective, an apartment complex at the Navy Yard. Its amenities include a virtual golf simulator, Peloton cycle room, fitness room, stretch room, spa rooms and two private massage rooms with hydro massage beds. It also boasts a rooftop infinity pool and a dog park so Fido and Fifi can stay in shape, too.

THE HAVEN AT NATIONAL HARBOR 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md. National Harbor will have its first condos when this property opens in the summer. Amenities will include a resort-style pool with a sunning patio and private cabanas, year-round lawn games and a fitness center with a yoga studio that opens to the courtyard.

RESIDENCES ON THE AVENUE 2221 I St., NW Aktiv, the property’s fitness and wellness center, has a yoga studio in addition to standard gym equipment. There’s also Club Blu atop the West Tower, which has a rooftop pool where residents can get in some laps before toweling off to sights of the Washington Monument and Potomac River.

WARDMAN TOWER 2660 Connecticut Ave., NW Once home to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Herbert Hoover and actress Marlene Dietrich, this property was built in 1928 and joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. A two-year renovation that was completed in 2017 by JBG Smith, and North America Sekisui House added a 2,000-square-foot fitness center with a yoga and stretching studio to the Woodley Park building.


THE WATERGATE 2500 Virginia Ave., NW Live — and sweat — among history at this iconic building. OK, so it was Richard Nixon who made history at the hotel part of it, but you still have plenty of famous neighbors among the 600 modern-day condo units here. Amenities include a pool and fitness center. It was developed in the late 1960s by an Italian firm to be the first mixed-use property in the District, according to




The Argentta Spa at the Watergate includes the hotel’s original indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, state-ofthe-art gym, barre studio, a unisex steam room and nail salon.

West End, between 23rd and 24th at L Street, NW The fitness center here is open round the clock. Its 2,400 square feet is home to Technogym equipment manufactured in Italy. Machines include an overhead press, a core machine, two stationary bikes, three treadmills, three ellipticals, a medicine ball rack and a dumbbell rack with weights up to 50 pounds. There are also two Peloton bikes with unlimited complimentary online streaming classes. The space has a view of the mezzanine walkway with floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of natural light. A rubberized floor helps maximize exercisers’ performance and safety while also protecting equipment from damage. Lastly, the property has a 25-meter, heated rooftop lap pool. It opened May 1 and will close in October. WD

Top: 2845 McGill Terrace NW, Mass. Ave Heights An expansive 8,900 square foot colonial with a fabulous kitchen/ family room and master suite on over a quarter acre. Offered at $4,995,000 Middle: 2501 Pennsylvania Ave NW #PH2B, West End An impressive two-level 4,500 square foot Penthouse in a boutique building with three-car parking. Offered at $5,750,000 Bottom: 3911 Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase MD A sun-drenched historic 12,000+ square foot estate with rich architectural details throughout, beautifully sited on nearly 1.5 acres. Offered at $3,995,000

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Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018 | 31








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Cuba Connection Despite the diplomatic freeze between Cuba and the U.S. under President Trump, Cuban culture sizzled at the Kennedy Center with the two-week-long “Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World” festival. / PAGE 36


Women of the OAS From an annual festival celebrating culture and gastronomy to events raising funds for nations hit by hurricanes, the Organization of Women of the Americas (OWA) stays busy year-round to make an impact in D.C. and beyond. / PAGE 37

“Drawing the Blinds” by Titus Kaphar.


“UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar” illustrates in stark and painful detail how our collective history is seen through a distorted artistic prism that ignores people of color while glorifying the brutal and racist actions of white men./ PAGE 34 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018 | 33

WD | Culture | Art

‘UnSeen’ Faces Two Contemporary Artists Recast Distorted White Male-Dominated World of Portraiture •


UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar THROUGH JAN. 6, 2019 NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY 8TH AND F STREETS, NW (202) 633-8300 | WWW.NPG.SI.EDU


or centuries, portraiture has been dominated by the faces of rich white men who could afford to embellish their images in brushed paint or chiseled marble. The National Portrait Gallery, whose collection is chockablock with those portraits, now offers a challenging and long overdue counterpoint in “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar.” Featuring the work of the two contemporary artists, the exhibition illustrates in stark and painful detail how our collective history is seen through a distorted artistic prism that has ignored people of color while glorifying the brutal and racist actions of white men. PHOTO: NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION In his largest exhibition to “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, ” above, presents work by Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar that date, Titus Kaphar’s 17 paintchallenges historical portraits of white men in pieces such as Kaphar’s “Columbus Day Painting,” below, ings pack a devastating punch, and “Behind the Myth of Benevolence,” left, as well as Gonzales-Day’s “Erased Lynching Series: literally lifting the veil on the Disguised Bandit, Unknown Victim,” bottom. myths we tell ourselves about famous white men who have Railroad leader Harriet Tubman. been canonized in American In “Columbus Day Painting,” Kaphar history textbooks. In “Behind has bound Columbus’s landing party the Myth of Benevolence,” a from head to toe in raw canvas like facetraditional portrait of Thomas less mummies, focusing the viewer’s atJefferson has been pulled back tention on their spears and raised crossto reveal a painting of Sally es and the racist depiction of two small Hemings, an enslaved woman naked “natives” in the background. In who worked on Jefferson’s a charged reinterpretation of a famous plantation. Jefferson fathered 1846 painting by John Vanderlyn, at least six of her children, a Kaphar underscores how we have lionfact that Jefferson never deized a man who oversaw the genocide nied even though some of his and enslavement of indigenous people white descendants and other PHOTO: GUILLERMO NICOLAS in their first encounters with European AND JIM FOSTER / © TITUS KAPAR / supporters did so for centuinterlopers. COURTESY ARTIST AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NY PHOTO: DR. ROBERT B. FELDMAN / © TITUS KAPHAR / COURTESY ARTIST AND ries. In the dual exhibition organized JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NY In Kaphar’s painting, Hemings appears to be nude by National Portrait Gallery curawith only a bare leg and arm visible and a washbowl tors Taína Caragol and Asma Naeem, Ken Gonzales-Day contrasts photos of busts or at her feet. Her sad eyes stare directly at the viewer, sculptures of famous white men (Ben Franklin, George Washington and others) with challenging our distorted account of Jefferson, who a photo of a bust of an African woman and illustrations of American Indians. But his owned hundreds of slaves at the same time he wrote most powerful work by far is his “Erased Lynching” series featuring historic photos and the Declaration of Independence detailing “self-evpostcards of dozens of lynchings that were altered to remove the victims. The haunting ident” truths that “all men are created equal.” In anresult is a penetrating focus on the perpetrators and indifferent witnesses in the photos, other hypocritical turn, Jefferson included a passage as the murderers and crowds of white onlookers view the snuffing of innocent lives as a condemning King George for the “assemblage of hortourist attraction. The saddest aspect is the children standing in the front of some of the rors” of slavery that was deleted by Congress before crowds, ensuring that a legacy of brutality and racism was passed on to the next generathe historic document’s approval to appease Southern tion. That legacy continues today, but the lynchings have been replaced by the shooting slave owners like Jefferson. of unarmed black men by police who rarely face prosecution. The murderous legacy of President Andrew JackIn Montgomery, Ala., on the site of a former warehouse where black people were son is sliced to tatters in “Shred of Truth,” which deenslaved, the recently opened Legacy Museum also tells the shameful history of more picts a traditional portrait of Jackson cut into strips than 4,400 African American men, women and children who were lynched, burned PHOTO: COURTESY ARTIST AND of canvas that are flayed back and nailed to the wall. LUIS DE JESUS LOS ANGELES / © KEN GONZALES-DAY alive, shot, drowned or burned to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. The Reminiscent of leather fringe on traditional American Indian garments, the strips may memorial includes jars of soil from various lynching sites, offering a real physical rereference Jackson’s brutal actions as the “Indian Killer” who signed the Indian Removal minder of the atrocities that have occurred beneath our feet. In his famous 1937 poem Act, triggering the deaths of more than 4,000 Cherokee on the “Trail of Tears” as more “Strange Fruit,” poet Abel Meeropol described in sparse, shattering detail how “Souththan 60,000 American Indians were forced off their ancestral lands. Jackson was a slave ern trees bear strange fruit” with “blood on the leaves and blood at the root.” WD owner who said the Cherokee “must disappear” because they are “established in the midst of a superior race.” In a decision with racist echoes, President Trump may scrap Brendan L. Smith ( is a contributing writer a U.S. Treasury plan to replace Jackson on the front of the $20 bill with Underground for The Washington Diplomat and a mixed-media artist in Washington, D.C.


Diplomatic Spouses | Culture | WD

Down Under and Beyond Australian-Born Wife of Irish Ambassador Is Citizen of the World •



reta Mulhall, the wife of for the Mulhalls, and like many diplomatic Irish Ambassador Daniel spouses, Greta had to step back from work, Mulhall and a former dipalthough she continued to pursue her interlomat herself, embodies ests. multiculturalism in today’s globalized “At the end of my maternity leave in Inworld. dia, I resigned from the Australian Foreign “I was born in Perth, Western AusService. I would not have been forced to tralia; my mother’s family, the Henneleave, but I was required to return to Ausrys of County Armagh, left Ireland in tralia at the end of my posting, while my the 1870s to start a new life in Austrahusband was required to return to Ireland lia,” she told us. “I am Irish and Austraafter his. My priority was to keep our [famlian … it’s not a contradiction. I can be ily] unit together,” she said. Australian and Irish at the same time. This dilemma, she added, is a common I am part of two diasporas — equal one for working women, especially those in amounts of Irish and Australian in my a male-dominated Foreign Service. own head. I still have retained some of “What do you do as an ambassador’s my twang from Australia, but having wife?” she mused. “I have my own personalnow lived in 10 different countries, it ity, interests. We are absolutely a team but I has softened over the years. A lot of my also want to embrace my own life. You have adult life has been spent in the comto struggle to have your own identity.… Folpany of Irish people, so I am sure I use lowing someone else’s career and trying to a lot of English words that would be be independent is tricky. I reinvent myself more associated with Ireland and less every couple of years,” she said. “I am very of the Australian colloquialisms.” adaptable.” All of her young life, Mulhall The Mulhalls have lived in Australia, dreamed of traveling and embarkAustria, Belgium, Scotland, Malaysia (acing on a “walkabout,” the Australian credited simultaneously to Laos, Thailand colloquialism for indigenous youth and Vietnam), Britain, Germany and, of who undertake a journey to transition course, Ireland. Most recently, they lived in into adulthood. “It’s a rite of passage London where Daniel was Ireland’s ambasfor Australians,” she said, although sador to the U.K. Throughout these decades her “walkabout” didn’t involve a trek of nomadic life, Greta spent a number of through the Australian Outback. “The years working at the U.N. International Beatles and [London’s] Carnaby Street Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the Euwere the place to go in my day.” ropean Union in Brussels and the AustraInstead, Mulhall joined the Australian Embassy in Dublin. lian Foreign Service. On the way to Despite her global hopscotching, Greta her first foreign posting in India, she remains nostalgic about her Irish roots, and stopped in for three months in Sri Lanwants to convey an accurate picture of modka, the colorful island south of India. ern-day Ireland to her American friends. Shortly after she arrived in New “Ireland is beautiful. The golf courses are, Delhi, she met a young Irish Foreign too. The Irish are pure humanity and wonService officer who was also there for derfully warm people with family values his first international posting. and a sense of humor.” “I met Dan three days after I arrived The classic image of Irishmen imbibin a popular watering hole, an Austraing at local pubs is a bit outdated, though. PHOTO: GAIL SCOTT lian bar. I was not looking for anyone “Drinking has toned down because people but he asked me out,” she recalled. “So Greta Mulhall, the Australian-born wife of Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, was a former diplomat are much more conscious of their health in we had our entire posting to enjoy our herself who met her husband during their first international posting in India. general, the DUI laws are being enforced courtship. We were married 18 months and smoking is not allowed anymore in after we met. We decided to marry in pubs. We have ‘gourmet pubs’ now. Our India, as it was roughly halfway between food is good — fresh produce, great seafood and great Ireland and Australia. Four members of chefs.” each of our families attended the wedShe points out that Ireland has preserved its idending, along with 100 of our diplomatic tity and traditions, while adapting to changing norms colleagues and Indian friends. It was a and politics. magical event — fairy lights around the “Ireland remains a predominantly Catholic coungarden, Indian food served in a colorful try, as clearly illustrated in the 2016 census where 78 shamiana [an Indian ceremonial tent] percent of the population identified as Roman CathoGRETA MULHALL. wife of Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall with carpets laid on the grass. lic,” she said, noting that traditional Irish culture has “Ten months later, our daughter Tara shifted in recent years to keep up with the times. “The was born. She is now 35 and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her husband William referendum which allowed divorce took place in 1995. In 2015, the Irish people voted in and their two daughters,” Mulhall continued. “I try to see our two little granddaughters favor of [same-sex] marriage equality in a referendum, making Ireland the first country every 10 weeks as they are growing so quickly and I want to be a part of their lives. I am to do so.” The religiously conservative country is also set to hold a referendum on May a very proud grandmother, completely besotted by our two darling little girls. They came 25 on its strict abortion laws. to Washington for Christmas and will return again in the late summer.” Despite their extensive travels, this is the Mulhalls’ first posting in the U.S. “I am Their son Jason, 33, is an entrepreneur with a background in law and business. “His thrilled to be in this post. I haven’t been here before. Washington is so great. It’s a beauticompany is called Karousel. He has introduced street food to corporate offices in Lon- ful cityscape — the Smithsonian and all the culture. The quality of life is wonderful and don by rotating around 50 street traders to more than 24 corporate offices in the center there’s so much history. My husband is a historian so he loves it.” of the city,” Mulhall explained. “Office lunches are not the same as I remember them — While she has yet to attend any of the ubiquitous national day receptions on the Mongolian dumplings, sushi or organic super salads seem to be popular. He also does Washington diplomatic circuit, she’s been taking advantage of other local opportunities, festivals, weddings and corporate events. The formula seems to be working.” But having two children and two diplomats in the family did not work out indefinitely SEE SPOUSES • PAGE 41

Following someone else’s career and trying to be independent is tricky. I reinvent myself every couple of years…. I am very adaptable.


WD | Culture | Festivals

Transcending Politics Despite Diplomatic Freeze with U.S., Cuban Culture Sizzles at Kennedy Center •



he Kennedy Center’s “Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World” festival was three years in the making, spanning a remarkable period of change in the tumultuous diplomatic relationship between Washington and Havana. With 400 artists and over 50 events, the unprecedented gathering of Cuban and Cuban-American artists was designed to celebrate and showcase the country’s vibrant arts and culture. Held from May 8 to 20, the two-week festival offered an array of dance, music, visual art, theater and film in the midst of a fascinating, but uncertain, moment in U.S.-Cuba relations. Alicia Adams, vice president of international programing and the festival’s curator, told The Washington Diplomat that the Kennedy Center, as the national center for the performing arts, has a “different mission and responsibility than other arts organizations.” The center wants “to provide as many windows for people to peek through and get a sense of and tap into the essence of the culture,” she said. “It’s about a cultural exchange,” Adams, who has been traveling to Cuba for 20 years, said. “Art is the best tool we have to bring people together. I don’t think art solves the problems or solves the issues, but it certainly gives a way to look at it and discuss it differently. And that’s what we’re doing.” And the focus on Cuba has paid off, with strong ticket sales and great enthusiasm from guests, including ambassadors and members of Congress, according to Adams. “This is unprecedented in that it’s a two-week festival with all of these artists gathered in this moment, in this time, in this building,” Adams said. When the Kennedy Center began planning the festival three years ago, organizers, of course, couldn’t predict what diplomatic context it would fall into. The U.S.-Cuba relationship has long been an intriguing one, stretching back centuries to encompass important trade agreements, powerful cultural and artistic exchange and plenty of diplomatic drama. With the defeat of Spain in 1898, the U.S. military occupied Cuba until 1902, when formal independence was granted. After the 1959 Cuban Revolution, when communist revolutionary Fidel Castro came to power, relations rapidly deteriorated, and the diplomatic break between the island country and the United States was cemented in the early 1960s with the U.S. trade embargo. Five decades later, things started to shift. In 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced that they had begun normalizing relations between the two countries. It was dubbed the “Cuban thaw.” The next year, Washington and Havana restored diplomatic relations (also see “Havana Basks in Renewed Ties with Washington, But Will Honeymoon Last?” in the October 2016 issue). In 2016, there were once again seismic shifts, with President Donald Trump’s election win and Fidel Castro’s death at age 90. Since coming into office, Trump has rolled back some of the Obama administration’s actions, putting a freeze on his predecessor’s thaw. And still-unexplained medical problems suffered by diplomats in Cuba have spurred the U.S. to pull out two-thirds of its embassy staff from Havana (also see “Cuba’s Raúl Castro to Step Down as Island’s Relations with Washington Worsen” in the April 2018 issue). An understaffed embassy, unsurprisingly, served as a major hitch for the festival in Washington. “What became a problem was when that embassy was reduced to a skeletal staff, which meant we had to send 250 artists to Mexico City to get their visas. That becomes a major logistics problem to solve, but it’s the sort of nightmare logistics that we are used to with previous festivals,” said Adams, who has helped the Kennedy Center spearhead major international festivals focusing on countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and elsewhere. But the logistical efforts paid off, and the Kennedy Center brought hundreds of Cuban and Cuban-American artists to D.C. for an unprecedented showcase of the island nation’s arts and culture. The events, which ranged from reggae and rap concerts to documentaries and theater, showcase Cuba’s diverse melting pot of African, European, Caribbean and Latin American traditions. Highlights included a concert by Grammy-winning Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble; two programs by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba; and large-scale installations by renowned artists such as Cuban sculptor Roberto Fabelo and muralist





The “Artes de Cuba” festival at the Kennedy Center featured over 50 events showcasing Cuban and Cuban-Americans such as, from clockwise top: artist José Parla, pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa; the Havana Lyceum Orchestra; and Ballet Nacional de Cuba. PHOTO: ALEX HOERNER Emilio Perez. “These artists are outstanding. That’s what my work is, to search for these artists and create a vision for how we will present them and a context that will reflect the country,” Adams said. And the festival serves as a reminder of the long history of cultural exchange that has existed between the United States and Cuba, whatever the state of the diplomatic relationship. “In the DNA of America is Cuba,” Adams said. “People have been traveling back and forth, both Americans and Cubans, for [hundreds of years]. There was a twice daily boat from Havana to New Orleans, and that helped to create the New Orleans jazz sound.… Cuba helped put the beat into American jazz. You get into the history of these things, and it’s just fascinating. “It’s circular. We like to think our lives are so drawn by borders and boundaries, but they really haven’t been in that way.” WD

Mackenzie Weinger (@mweinger) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Diplomacy | Culture | WD

Women of the OAS Organization of Women of the Americas Leaves Mark on Washington and World •



rom an annual festival celebrating culture and gastronomy to events raising funds for nations hit by hurricanes, the members of the Organization of Women of the Americas (OWA) stay busy year-round trying to make an impact in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Female ambassadors, the wives of ambassadors, and the women or the spouses of those who work at the Organization of American States make up the OWA, an active social and charitable group that’s been a key part of the fabric of Washington’s diplomatic scene since its founding in 1997. The board of directors, led by current OWA President Natacha Jovane de Sierra, the wife of the permanent representative of Panama, “is a melting pot, just like the OAS,” she told The Washington Diplomat during a recent chat at the historic OAS headquarters, a magnificent building dominated by a large indoor tropical patio and marbled staircases. And the group’s larger membership also reflects the vitality of the OAS, a regional forum for political discussion and policy analysis in Western Hemisphere affairs. “We’re always seeking new members, like the new spouses, and we’ve had a lot of support from the lady ambassadors. Because now we have women! And that is wonderful. It is really wonderful to have lady ambassadors, and they are very happy with our mission, which is empowering women and children,” she said. Since its founding, the group, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been laser-focused on its fundraising activities. Under Sierra, whose tenure at the top of the organization will be up later this year, the OWA has turned that attention to a mission of “empowering women and children of the Americas.” “That’s how I like to call it. It used to be ‘vulnerable children and women,’ so I thought it’s time to change to ‘empowering women and children,’” she said. This year marks the 20th Annual Food Festival of the Americas, held on the OAS grounds on May 20, an event that draws many in the diplomatic community to try pupusas from El Salvador, arroz con pollo from Panama or an array of margaritas from Mexico — all for a good cause. The gathering features tasty displays from some of the OAS member countries, as well as observer nations such as China and Italy, to eat on site, and there are plenty of gifts like Chilean wine and Caribbean rum for sale to take home. “It’s a big fundraising event and it’s a beautiful opportunity for the countries to show off — it’s not only a gastronomic festival, but it’s cultural. So we have a lot of folkloric groups, musical groups, that come,” Sierra told The Washington Diplomat. “A lot of people make the effort to bring their groups because it’s a window, it’s a showcase to let other people know who we are as different countries. “Do not eat for three days, and come in and have fun. The food is fantastic. People really make an effort to bring out the best of their countries,” she added. The festival is, of course, a fundraising event, with 70 percent of the proceeds going to an NGO in one of the member countries and 30 percent staying in Washington, D.C., given to the OAS’s Art Museum of the Americas. The group raised about $20,000 last year and is hopeful this year draws even more into the fundraising coffers, with Belize as the main recipient. As for Sierra, with her time leading the group drawing to a close, she says she is proud of what it has accomplished since she came on board in 2016. “I’ve been in Washington two years. I got here and — I’m a psychologist back home — and I said, I don’t have a license to practice here. I need to get busy. Otherwise, what do I do with my time? So the minute I stepped out of a plane, I said, ‘I’m in. Let’s work. Let’s help.’ And so I’ve been busy,” she told The Diplomat. “I didn’t know what it entailed. Nobody told me, but it’s so gratifying.” An event like the food festival is about entertaining those in Washington, but it also taps into the organization’s larger goal. Last year, the food festival donations went to an NGO focused on the financial education of women migrants — and the impact, Sierra said, is still reverberating. “I believe education is the way to ascend to a different level and leave poverty behind,” she said. “I got a testimony from a lady who was provided with the financial education, and she said, ‘Thanks to the group, I can now save money to send my son to college.’ It never occurred to her. She’s a migrant woman, most of these women are very poor, they come without education, and then she’s saving for her child to go to college — that changes a world. That’s what’s so gratifying about this job: It impacts a lot of people in our community.” WD


Above from left, Inés Elvira Shuk, wife of Colombia’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS); Organization of Women of the Americas (OWA) Pesident Natacha Jovane de Sierra, the wife of the permanent representative of Panama; and Elvira Mendez, wife of OAS Assistant Secretary-General Nestor Mendez, attend last year’s Food Festival of the Americas, hosted by OWA to raise funds for the empowerment of women and children in the Americas.

Mackenzie Weinger (@mweinger) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018 | 37

WD | Culture | Theater

Boy Meets Boy ‘Girlfriend’ at Signature Is Wistful Gay Coming-of-Age Story •




irlfriend,” staged in Signature Theatre’s intimate ARK Theatre, is a feel-good, comingof-age tale of adolescent boy meets boy, set in 1993’s small-town Nebraska. The D.C. premiere is seen by an audience for whom legalized gay marriage and openly gay legislators and celebrities have become the norm, and in this way, the script doesn’t offer ground-breaking revelations. However, it does explore a side of homosexuality that has been largely absent in cinema and theater over the years: It offers a sweet love story that doesn’t politicize or emphasize the struggles gay people have endured, such as the AIDS epidemic or LGBTQ discrimination. Of course, the fact the play is set in the early 1990s in the rural Midwest does pose issues of acceptance and anti-gay sentiments, but for the most part, the script is light, humorous and infused with gratifying emotions. “It is a messy, uncomfortable and weird time, but also thrilling,” said Signature Theatre Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner, who directed and choreographed the production. “And nothing is more thrilling at that point in your life than falling in love for the first time, especially as a gay teenager. To realize there is someone else out there like you, someone you can connect with on that level is such a life-changing moment.” The first loves’ backdrop is based on a semi-autobiographical book by Todd Almond and features the music and lyrics of Matthew Sweet’s iconic ’90s alternative rock album “Girlfriend.” An all-girl band accompanies the boys’ courtship within a glass partition (recording studio style) behind the characters’ action. The music contains the 1991 single hit “Girlfriend” from Sweet’s third album. Musicians Britt Bonney, on keyboard; Beth Cannon, on guitar; Nicole Saphos, on bass; and Erika Johnson, on drums, are not only fine-tuned musicians, but also look the part with their 1990s iconic grunge hairstyles and clothing. The band functions like a Greek chorus, which the boys accompany with pleasing vocals that become their language of love. The teens are immersed in the music, as most youth play out their life stories to the tunes and lyrics of their time — in this instance through coveted, shared mixed tapes. It’s the summer between high school and college and Will (Jimmy Mavrikes), a doe-eyed adolescent who is demonstrably gay and unsure of his future, encounters Mike (Lukas James Miller), a successful high school athlete headed for college, who is slower to acknowledge emotions he feels are forbidden. The two engage in a slow courtship that plays out mostly at the local movie drive-in where they sit night after night in cautious attraction to each other. Not much conversation is exchanged — Will tends to spout off stream-ofconsciousness babble about the movie and what it reminds him of, to which



Lukas James Miller (above standing) and Jimmy Mavrikes star in “Girlfriend,” a sweet coming-of-age story of adolescent gay love set in 1993’s small-town Nebraska.

Will offers monosyllabic responses. Yet their subtext is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Although Will at times overplays his youthful enthusiasm in loud outbursts while alone in his room, his character blossoms to embrace confidence and amorous vulnerability, which lures Mike out of his shell. Mike, in his macho reticence, explains to Will at the beginning of the play that he has a “girlfriend” and just wants to hang out. He is slower to realize his true intentions, explaining that his father is overbearing and homophobic. The boys’ feelings for each other are tested by a homophobic slur calling them “faggots” from some boys on the street, and the audience is reminded that their romance isn’t obstacle free, making it more precious and valuable. Gardiner’s handling of the tentative romance is gentle and touching, as it explores the thrill and terror these two experience — assumingly without role models to pave the way for them. Will exclaims lines like, “My life becomes the musical I always knew it was,” when Mike, over the phone, serenades him a sample of a mixed tape, and “I’ve been waiting my whole life to have a boy ask me to run errands with him” when Mike asks him to help him find boxes for his move to college. However, at other times the play veers from the authentic to the corny, especially toward the end when the boys coincidentally cross paths after their heartfelt departure at summer’s end. Although the play isn’t on the level of Signature’s usual fare in profoundness and execution, “Girlfriend” holds up to what it’s meant to be: an intimate glance into the lives of two young kids who succeeded in choosing each other against society’s norms. It’s a coming-of-age love story that includes drive-in movies, boom boxes, mixed tapes and first kisses. Whether or not you’re a baby boomer and lived through the ’90s or whether or not you’re gay and experienced coming out, the play and its makings are universal symbols of the true feelings of youth. WD Lisa Troshinsky is the theater reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

WD | Culture | Film

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

BURMESE 14 Apples Directed by Midi Z (Taiwan/Myanmar, 2018, 84 min.) Wang Shin-hong is suffering from insomnia. A fortuneteller advises the Mandalay businessman to spend 14 days in a monastery, living as a monk and eating an apple a day. During his fleeting role as the monks’ advisor, he soon learns of the villagers’ attempts to survive and make a living as legal or illegal migrants in China, Thailand or Malaysia. He also finds out how the other monks try to generate profit and additional income (director in person). Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 10, 2 p.m.

City of Jade Directed by Midi Z (Taiwan/Myanmar, 2016, 99 min.) Director Midi Z was only 5 years old when his oldest brother, Zhao, abandoned the family at age 16. There were rumors that he’d found riches in the mythical “City of Jade.”When he reappeared, Zhao was poor and addicted to opium. Years later, weak but still hopeful of finding a big jade gemstone to become rich overnight, Zhao set off once again for the mines — with Midi and his camera in tow — just like countless others in Myanmar’s war-torn Kachin State on the border with China (Burmese and Mandarin). Freer Gallery of Art Sat., June 9, 2 p.m.

CZECH Black Peter (Cerny Petr) Directed by Miloš Forman (Czech Republic, 1963, 85 min.) Marking Oscar-winning director Miloš Forman’s debut, “Black Peter” centers on a shy young store clerk assigned to apprehend shoplifters but lacks the nerve to confront anyone. This coming of age story explores summer in a small Czech town during the 1960s. To register, visit https://blackpeter. Embassy of the Czech Republic Wed., June 6, 6 p.m.

Masaryk Directed by Julius Sevcík Czech Republic/Slovakia/Germany, 2017, 114 min.) Just before World War II breaks out, Jan Masaryk serves as Czechoslovak ambassador in London. He desperately tries to save his homeland from Nazi occupation, appealing to his French and British allies. Their betrayal is an ultimate slap in the face. Left without a nation, Jan flees to America, wanting to forget the world in a psychiatric ward. However, a German psychiatrist and a beautiful journalist encourage him to continue the fight to help his nation. The Avalon Theatre Wed., June 13, 8 p.m.

ENGLISH Beast Directed by Michael Pearce (U.K., 2018, 107 min.)

A troubled woman living in an isolated community finds herself pulled between the control of her oppressive family and the allure of a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Breath Directed by Simon Baker (Australia, 2018, 115 min.) Set in mid-70s coastal Australia, two teenage boys, hungry for discovery, form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious older adventurer who pushes them to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives. Angelika Pop-Up Opens Fri., June 8

Disobedience Directed by Sebastián Lelio (Ireland/U.K./U.S., 2018, 114 min.) Rachel Weisz stars as a woman who returns to the orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for decades earlier because of her attraction to a childhood friend (Rachel McAdams). Once back, passions between the two women reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

First Reformed Directed by Paul Schrader (U.S., 2018, 108 min.) Reverend Ernst Toller is a solitary, middleaged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. When a pregnant parishioner asks him to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Guardians of the Earth Directed by Filip Antoni Malinowski (Austria/Germany, 2017, 86 min.) In December 2015, after 21 years of endless U.N. climate change negotiations, 195 nations — and 20,000 negotiators — met at a private airport shielded by the military in the north of Paris for a last attempt to save our planet (English, German, French and Bengali; followed by discussion with the filmmaker). Embassy of Austria Thu., June 21, 7 p.m.

Heat and Dust Directed by James Ivory (U.K., 1983, 133 min.) Seeking to unravel the mystery surrounding a long-ago affair between her aunt and an Indian prince, Anne (Julie Christie) becomes immersed in the local culture, where the pull of the past simultaneously leads to a clearer view of her own future (English, Urdu and Hindi). Freer Gallery of Art Sun., June 24, 2 p.m.

Mountain Directed by Jennifer Peedom (Australia, 2018, 74 min.) Narrated by Willem Dafoe, “Mountain” is a

dazzling exploration of our obsession with mountains. Where once their remoteness protected their purity, mountains have today become theatres for recreation. But their greatest value lies in their power to inspire wonder and awe: to remind us of the limits of our schemes and ambition. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., June 8

On Chesil Beach Directed by Dominic Cooke (U.K., 2018, 105 min.) Saoirse Ronan stars in this drama centered on a young couple of drastically different backgrounds in the summer of 1962. Following the pair through their idyllic courtship, the film explores sex and societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Pope Francis – A Man of His Word Directed by Wim Wenders (Switzerland/Holy See/Italy/Germany/ France, 2018, 96 min.) A rare co-production with the Vatican, the pope’s ideas and his message are central to the film, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions from death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism and the role of the family (English, Italian, Spanish and German). Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema West End Cinema

RBG Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West (U.S., 2018, 97 min.) At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior’s rise to the nation’s highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans—until now. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Seagull Directed by Michael Mayer (U.S., 2018, 98 min.) One summer at a lakeside Russian estate, friends and family gather for a weekend in the countryside. While everyone is caught up in passionately loving someone who loves somebody else, a tragicomedy unfolds about art, fame, human folly, and the eternal desire to live a purposeful life. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Shakespeare Wallah Directed by James Ivory (U.S., 1965, 120 min.) In the final days of English colonial rule, the Buckingham Players, a traveling theater group in India, try to uphold British tradition by staging Shakespeare plays for the general public, boarding schools, and local royalty, but they are unable to compete with the wildly popular Bollywood film industry (English and Hindi).

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | June 2018 Freer Gallery of Art Fri., June 22, 7 p.m.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Directed by Morgan Neville (U.S., 2018, 94 min.) For over 30 years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer, was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Fred and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Opens Fri., June 8


love with her psychoanalyst, Paul. A few months later she moves in with him, but soon discovers that her lover is concealing a part of his identity. The Avalon Theatre Wed., June 20, 8 p.m.

Let the Sunshine In Directed by Claire Denis (France/Belgium, 2017, 94 min.) Juliette Binoche delivers a luminous performance in the deliciously witty, sensuously romantic film as a divorced Parisian painter searching for another shot at love, but refusing to settle for the parade of all-too-flawed men who drift in and out of her life. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Le Havre

Directed by Valentin Vaala (Finland, 1946, 85 min.) A tale of love between young Juhani Niskavuori and a local dairy worker, “Loviisa” focuses on the family’s frustration triggered by their affair. National Gallery of Art Sat., June 23, 2 p.m.

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland/France/Germany, 2011, 93 min.) When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home (screens with “Shadows in Paradise”). National Gallery of Art Sun., June 24, 4 p.m.

Shadows in Paradise



Directed by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland, 1986, 74 min.) In gray, class-conscious Helsinki, Nikander is a stoic, solitary garbage man. Cigarettes, coffee, bingo games, and English lessons border his circumscribed life. Ilona, a supermarket clerk who frequently loses her job, bandages Nikander’s hand one evening and they begin an on-again offagain relationship (Finnish, Swedish and English; screens with “Le Havre”). National Gallery of Art Sun., June 24, 4 p.m.

The Unknown Soldier Directed by Edvin Laine (Finland, 1955, 169 min.) In the summer of 1941, a Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The next morning the soldiers wake to the sound of guns — and war. The young, nervous rookies of the company get their baptism of fire, and the men become familiar with death and the hardships of war. National Gallery of Art Sun., June 10, 4 p.m.

FRENCH Disobedience – The Sousa Mendes Story

Drunken Angel Directed by Akira Kurosawa (Japan, 1948, 98 min.) In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with a jaded physician. Freer Gallery of Art Wed., June 6, 2 p.m.

MANDARIN The Road to Mandalay Directed by Midi Z (Taiwan/Myanmar/France/Germany, 2016, 108 min.) The film centers on two Burmese illegal immigrants trying to build lives for themselves on the margins of society in Thailand. This slow-burning love story looks at one of today’s most pressing global issues through a deeply personal lens (Mandarin, Thai and Burmese). Freer Gallery of Art Fri., June 8, 7 p.m.


Directed by Joël Santoni (France, 2009, 104 min.) Aristides Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux, disobeys his superiors and issues visas that allowed thousands of people, mostly Jews, to escape the Nazis when they invaded France in 1940 (French, Yiddish and Portuguese; Portuguese wine and beer available prior to screening; Q&A follows). The Avalon Theatre Thu., June 21, 6:30 p.m.

Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist (Brazil, 2018, 101 min.) This compelling documentary tracks the rebuilding of the Chapecoense football club in Brazil after an airplane carrying the team crashed in November 2016, leaving all but three of the players dead. As the team flies the same fated route to play the final championship game that last year’s team would have played, they must unite around a common identity. The Avalon Theatre Opens Fri., June 8

Double Lover


Directed by François Ozon (France/Belgium, 2017, 108 min.) Chloé, a fragile young woman, falls in

Abracadabra Directed by Pablo Berger

(Spain, 2017, 96 min.) an ordinary couple from Madrid — Carmen is a devoted homemaker and Carlos is a construction worker attend their nephew’s wedding, Carmen’s cousin sees a chance to demonstrate his amateur hypnosis act, with Carlos as the guinea pig. As Carlos steps onstage, an unwanted spirit crashes the show. AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 2, 7:15 p.m.

Anchor and Hope Directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet (Spain/U.K., 2017, 111 min.) Eva and Kat are a couple coming to terms with the death of their cat when Kat’s close friend Roger comes to stay. Space is tight on their London houseboat, and Eva is not happy to have the gregarious, womanizing Roger impinging on their space. But then she hits on a plan that will bind the three of them (Spanish and English). AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 3, 7 p.m.

Constructing Albert Directed by Laura Collado (Spain/Estonia, 2017, 82 min.) Chef Albert Adrià wants his restaurants to surprise, stir emotions and, of course, entertain. He views each of his dramatically different eateries — an experimental cocktail bar, a taqueria, a vermouth bar, a tapas bar, a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant — as if he is a film auteur experimenting across genres. AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 2, 5:15 p.m.

Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle Directed by Gustavo Salmerón (Spain, 2017, 90 min.) Spanish actor Gustavo Salmerón steps behind the camera to capture the winsome eccentricities of his extraordinary mother Julita, who had three dreams: having lots of kids, owning a monkey and living in a castle. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 3, 4:45 p.m.

The Motive Directed by Manuel Martín Cuenca (Spain, 2017, 112 min.) Álvaro dreams of being a writer — a true artist, and not a hack like his bestsellingauthor wife. When he catches her cheating on him right outside their home, Álvaro decides to leave and quit his boring job as a notary clerk so he can dedicate his life to the written word. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., June 3, 9:20 p.m.

Torremolinos 73 Directed by Pablo Berger (Spain/Denmark, 2003, 91 min.) Pablo Berger’s hilarious debut feature is set in 1973 Spain — Francisco Franco is still in power, and Alfredo and his wife Carmen are struggling to make ends meet. When the couple agree to make their own Super 8 erotic “educational” films to be sold in Scandinavia, however, their fortunes change overnight. AFI Silver Theatre Sat., June 2, 10 p.m.


WD | Culture | Events

Events Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the venue for times. Venue locations are subject to change. June 2 to Sept. 9

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia Approximately 60 works, drawn from the collection of Miami-based collectors and philanthropists Debra and Dennis Scholl, spotlight nine leading Aboriginal Australian women artists. The artists are from remote Aboriginal communities across Australia, and the subjects of their art are broad, yet each work is an attempt to grapple with fundamental questions of existence, asking us to slow down and pay attention to the natural world. The Phillips Collection Through June 8

Whispering Glass A new photographic exhibit by Fiona Lake shares stories from Australia’s outback cattle stations through images that capture life on outback cattle stations located across Australia’s vast rangelands, stretching more than 3,000 kilometers east to west and 2,000 kilometers north to south. Embassy of Australia Art Gallery June 9 to Jan. 13, 2019

Fabergé Rediscovered Designed to delight and surprise, the treasures created by the firm of Carl Fabergé have inspired admiration and intrigue for over a century, both for their remarkable craftsmanship and the captivating stories that surround them. The fascination with Fabergé continues to uncover new discoveries about the storied jeweler to the tsars and his remarkable creations. This exhibit unveils recent research and explore how the 2014 discovery of a long-lost imperial Easter egg prompted new findings about Hillwood’s own collection. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens June 16 to Aug. 12

Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective Celebrating the career of one of Britain’s most important graphic artists of the last 50 years, this collection of more than 100 original artworks will take viewers on a journey through Ralph Steadman’s wideranging career, from sketches created in the 1950s, to book illustrations, to present-day work. Steadman is famous for his long collaboration with the writer Hunter S. Thompson, most notably providing the illustrations for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and helping to create what has since become known as “Gonzo” journalism. American University Museum June 16 to Sept. 23

Form and Function: The Genius of the Book Dive deep into one of the world’s greatest technologies: the book. Discover a history beyond what’s printed on the page, seen in the structure, craftsmanship and beauty of this often-overlooked marvel. Folger Shakespeare Library Through June 24

Jim Chuchu’s Invocations The museum is the first institution to acquire and display Kenyan multimedia artist

Jim Chuchu’s mesmerizing suite of video projections, in which two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation rituals. Surrounded by Chuchu’s pulsing house beats and evocative imagery, viewers are invited to contemplate the separations and releases that shape our individual and collective identities. National Museum of African Art

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | June 2018 Through Aug. 5

Events Highlight

June Is the Month of Portugal T

he Portuguese government is highlighting its many connections to the United States throughout the month of June with a series of events spanning 55 cities and 11 Through June 24 states across the U.S. (also see this month’s The Creative Nation: Swedish cover profile). Music and Innovation Those connections include geography Sweden has long been ranked as one of the (the countries are linked by the Atlantic, with most creative and innovative countries in the Azores being the first European port in the world, with accolades for its contributhe North Atlantic), history (Portugal was the tions to music, design and technology. This first neutral country to recognize a newly exhibit explores the connection between independent America) and culture (over 1.5 Sweden’s many technological innovations million Americans identify themselves as and the nation’s commercial musical prow-NO INTEREST having Portuguese roots). The government For 12 Months ess. From video games to communicationSAME AS CASH! is also touting its economic links, including With approved credit tools, a slew of innovative products has foland minimum purchase of investments in infrastructure, technological lowed in the tracks of Ericsson and Skype. $4000 APR 23.97% innovation and the sciences. And given Sweden’s long history of musical “Portugal and the United States face each excellence, it’s hardly surprising that tech other across the Atlantic, united by shared companies in Sweden also excel in the values, enduring alliance bonds and strong world of music. Sweden offers universal people-to-people friendship,” Prime Minister music education and is among the top

nations per capita both in number of choirs and number of global stars, from dancing queens to house mafias. House of Sweden

António Costa said in a statement. Over a dozen events will be held in the D.C. area. Among them: “Sustainable Azores – Commitment Toward the Future,” an exhibition on the archipelago of the Azores, the closest European territory to the U.S. (through June 30 at the Portuguese Embassy). Other highlights include: concert featuring internationally acclaimed fado interpreters Camané and Nathalie Pires (June 13 at the Kennedy Center) and Portuguese soul singer Áurea (June 3 at the Kennedy Center); the film “Disobedience – The Sousa Mendes Story” (June 21 at the Avalon Theatre; the seminar “Enduring Alliances” featuring the Portuguese foreign affairs minister (June 22 at Georgetown University); and the Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference (June 23 at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center). — Anna Gawel

Director Ingmar Bergman’s imagery continues to inspire artists of all genres today. During the 2018 Bergman Centennial Year, many new films inspired by Bergman’s legacy are being released by contemporary filmmakers. The costumes presented at House of Sweden represent a mix of new and old, including examples from Tomas Alfredsson’s newly released film as well as original Nina Sandström works used in Bergman productions and other reinterpretations. The costumes are paired with large-scale photos reimagining iconic Bergman roles as well as the milieus that shaped Bergman as a storyteller. House of Sweden Through June 24

Still Life by Karin Broos Karin Broos is one of the most widely recognized Swedish artists of our time, and this is the second presentation of her work in an exhibition outside of Sweden. With her photorealistic portrayals of apparently everyday scenes, she expresses ambiguous sentiments and universal feelings of melancholia and gloom. The subjects in her atmospheric works are mainly from her home in Östra Ämtervik, the Värmland countryside, the Fryken lakes and her own close family. Her work also often explores different kinds of interiors and self-portraits, referring to 17th-century Dutch paintings and symbolism as well as to contemporary art. House of Sweden June 28 to Sept. 16

Heavy Metal – Women to Watch 2018 Over 50 works made from silver, copper, bronze, pewter, aluminum and more highlight contemporary women artists working with a variety of metals and techniques to create pieces such as wall-size installations, exquisite jewelry and reinventions of familiar objects. National Museum of Women in the Arts


Inspired by the acquisition of the important William A. Clark maiolica (glazed Italian ceramics) collection from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, this exhibition brings together some 90 objects to highlight the impact of Renaissance prints on maiolica and bronze plaquettes, the two media most dramatically influenced by the new technology of image replication. National Gallery of Art Through Aug. 15

Tomb of Christ Be virtually transported to Jerusalem and discover the fascinating history of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in an immersive 3-D experience unlike anything you’ve seen in a museum before. Groups will be able to virtually visit the church and learn about its storied history and enduring mysteries. National Geographic Through Aug. 31



For more information on the events, visit

Through June 24

Ingmar Bergman Moods: Costumes and Images

Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze

Through June 30

Inaugural Day of Light – Naked Eyes The latest immersive exhibition opening at ARTECHOUSE, by a world-renowned artist studio NONOTAK, is the ultimate celebration of light. Comprised of four unique installations, with each piece very site specific, the exhibit is a completely immersive and other-worldly experience of sound and vision. ARTECHOUSE Through July 1

through each artist’s distinct aesthetic and thought process. Separately and together, Darío Escobar of Guatemala and Patrick Hamilton of Chile share a penchant for using common materials such as rubber tires, metal fencing, spackling knives and soccer balls. Lightly treated and often simply rearranged or reordered, Escobar and Hamilton’s found objects are transformed from commercial products into newly aestheticized artworks that also provide ideological critiques of globalization and its effects. OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Cézanne Portraits

Through July 9

Bringing together some 60 examples drawn from collections around the world, this is the first exhibition devoted to the famed post-impressionist’s portraits. The revelatory exhibition provides the first full visual account of Paul Cézanne’s portrait practice, exploring the pictorial and thematic characteristics of his works in the genre, the chronological development of his style and method, and the range and influence of his sitters. National Gallery of Art

Vanishing Traditions: Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China

Through July 8

Through July 13

Hung Liu in Print This spotlight exhibition features 16 prints and a tapestry by painter and printmaker Hung Liu that invites viewers to explore the relationship between Liu’s multi-layered paintings and the palpable, physical qualities of her works on paper. Her multifaceted body of work probes the human condition and confronts issues of culture, identity and personal and national history. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through July 8

Transformers: New Contemporary Latin American Sculpture by Darío Escobar and Patrick Hamilton The conceptual sculptures on display in this exhibition explore similar themes

For centuries, minority cultures in southwest China have donned elaborate textiles, jewelry, and accessories for community celebrations. Dazzling festival costumes new to the museum’s collections explore traditions now endangered by modernization. The George Washington University Textile Museum

in Central Asia. Not surprisingly, ikats caught the attention of contemporary designers, most notably Oscar de la Renta. This exhibition brings together about 30 of the finest historical Central Asian ikat hangings and coats from the Freer|Sackler collections, as well as seven of Oscar de la Renta’s iconic creations, to explore the original use and function of these dazzling fabrics and the enduring appeal of their extraordinary designs. Freer Gallery of Art Through Aug. 5

Through Sept. 3

Korean-born Do Ho Suh (b. 1962) is internationally renowned for his immersive, architectural fabric sculptures that explore the global nature of contemporary identity. “Do Ho Suh: Almost Home” will transform the museum’s galleries through Suh’s captivating installations, which recreate to scale several of his former homes from around the world. Through these works, Suh investigates the nature of home and memory and the impact of migration and displacement on an individual’s sense of self. Smithsonian American Art Museum

World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean

Through Aug. 5

Franco Lippi and Luis Falduti use photography to temporally expose the enigmatic layers of Lippi’s paintings to disclose its hidden messages. The aim of these two artists is to re-enact the complete chain of events in which a painter and a photographer collaborate, creating two separate bodies of work, each from his own point of view, that still allows both to reveal the essence of the other. Embassy of Argentina

The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran

To Dye for: Ikats from Central Asia With their brilliant designs, ikats are among the most distinct fabrics produced

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first Latin American Olympic games, this exhibit takes audiences through a simple and concrete exploration of the sporting venues built for the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics and their constant connection to design and urban art. The development of competition sites for the Olympics’ diverse sporting disciplines required not only the adaptation of existing structures, but also the rapid construction of new, modern and functional facilities. In these new spaces, it was possible to implement the use of an applied architecture that met both the needs of the audience and the functional requirements of each sporting event that occupied it. Mexican Cultural Institute

Do Ho Suh: Almost Home


Through July 29

Constructing Mexico68

In our age of social media and selfies, it may be difficult to grasp the importance of painted portraits and studio photographs in 19th-century Iran. During this time, known as the Qajar era, rulers such as FathAli Shah, a contemporary of Napoleon, and Nasir al-Din Shah, a contemporary of Queen Victoria, used portraiture to convey monarchical power and dynastic grandeur. Through a selection of about thirty works from the Freer and Sackler collections, this exhibition explores how Persian artists transformed modes of representing royalty and nobility. Freer Gallery of Art

The first major traveling exhibition dedicated to the arts of the Swahili coast reveals the diverse interchanges that break down barriers between Africa and Asia in a space that physically connects the Smithsonian’s African and Asian art museums. The Swahili coast, where East Africa meets the Indian Ocean, has long been a significant cultural, diplomatic and commercial intersection for Africa, Asia and Europe for millennia. “World on the Horizon” offers audiences an unprecedented opportunity to view over 160 artworks brought together from public and private collections from four continents. National Museum of African Art Through Jan. 21, 2019

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man Each year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a city of more than 70,000 people rises out of the dust for a single week. During that time, enormous experimental art installations are erected and many are ritually burned to the ground. Cutting-edge artwork created at Burning Man, the annual desert gathering that is one of the most influential events in contemporary art and culture, will be exhibited in the nation’s capital for the first time this spring. Renwick Gallery

Events | Culture | WD DANCE Through June 3

Ballet Nacional de Cuba: Giselle Admired for its beautiful footwork, strong dancers, and impeccable technique, the company has embraced a tradition of romantic and classical excellence since Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso and Alberto Alonso (the first professional dancer in Cuba) founded it in 1948. Tickets are $29 to $129. Kennedy Center Opera House Fri., June 8, 6:30 p.m.

Contemporary Dance from Spain: Joaquín Collado Contemporary choreographer and dancer Joaquín Collado, founder of Antes Collado Company, offers a performance with students from the Company E Summer Dance Intensive. Admission is free; to register, visit washington-dc/. Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain June 15 to 16

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company: Portraits The company presents three new dances created at the National Portrait Gallery during Burgess’s residency as the Smithsonian Institution’s first official choreographer. The dances, “I am Vertical,” “After 1001 Nights” and “Confluence,” exemplify Burgess’ sublime choreography which poetically delves into the emotional terrain of our shared humanity. Tickets are $30 to $75. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Rebirth of Europe The Wilsonian Club and Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) present a conference on the “Rebirth of Europe” that celebrates the creation of new national states in Europe — Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia. Through the event, participants will discuss political and logistical challenges associated with new state creation and celebrate historical personalities that participated in the process, exploring yesterday’s creations and tomorrow’s challenges. For information, visit Embassy of Slovakia Thu., June 7, 5 p.m.

Mexican Fashion Designer Carla Fernández at Phillips After 5 As part of its after-hours museum opening, the Phillips Collection will host a talk by Mexican fashion designer Carla Fernández, who creates work preserving the rich textile heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities. The evening will also feature a papel picado workshop and a performance by Los Gallos Negros, a mariachi-style band promoting Mexican and Latin American jazz culture. Admission is $12. The Phillips Collection Thu., June 14, 6:45 p.m.

In the French Kitchen: Where Joie de Vivre Begins After living in France for a quarter century, Susan Herrmann Loomis knows the essential secret of the country’s home cooks: a philosophy that combines a love of food with the pleasure of sharing it with family and friends. Join her as she serves up tips

and techniques for creating simple but elegant meals in the Gallic culinary tradition. Tickets are $90; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center Tue., June 19, 6:45 p.m.

Become a More Curious Traveler Travel expert Christine van Blokland, the Emmy-winning host of PBS’s “Curious Traveler” series, offers strategies to help you approach a new city exactly as she does when producing her show: as a mystery to be solved. Tickets are $30; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center Wed., June 20, 6:45 p.m.

U.S.-China Relations: Looking Ahead A panel moderated by Robert Daly, director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, examines a relationship between nations that has transitioned from an era of engagement to one of mutual suspicion and testing as they vie to shape global practices to suit contrasting social and political systems. Tickets are $45; for information, visit www. S. Dillon Ripley Center Thu., June 21, 6:45 p.m.

Istanbul Unveiled It is a city of mystery, a city of wonders and a city whose history is unlike any other. Serif Yenen, a travel specialist, highlights some iconic places to visit as well as those waiting to be discovered in this storied city. Tickets are $45; for information, visit www. S. Dillon Ripley Center Mon., June 25, 6:45 p.m.

Germany’s Path from Despotism to Democracy Charles Ingrao, professor emeritus of history at Purdue University, traces Germany’s governmental evolution. His starting point is the 18th century, a period in which authoritarianism and militarism coexisted with constitutional government, the rule of law, and a full spectrum of Enlightenment-era values—concepts that continued to mark Germany’s path to the present. Tickets are $45; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center Thu., June 28, 6:45 p.m.

What Diplomats Know: An Insider’s Look at a Unique Profession In this two-part lectures series, Nicholas Kralev, executive director of the Washington International Diplomatic Academy, examines the wide range of specialized knowledge and skills that diplomats — both seasoned and new — must call on in their daily lives. This session focuses on U.S. diplomacy overseas. Tickets are $35; for information, visit S. Dillon Ripley Center

FESTIVALS Sat., June 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun., June 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

35th Annual DupontKalorama Museum Walk Weekend Five diverse museums will open their doors free of charge for this weekend long celebration in one of D.C.’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Discover

Sun., June 24, 6:30 p.m.

Anderson House, Dumbarton House, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, the Phillips Collection and the President Woodrow Wilson House, along with a variety of exhibits and special programming. For information, visit Various locations

its cultural and artistic traditions. The concert, which represents almost two centuries of Polish music, pays tribute to this spirit. Tickets are $23 to $76. Music Center at Strathmore

June 21 to 24

Czech jazz pianist Emil Viklický brings his jazz trio to the heart of the nation’s capital. Viklický, a key player on the Czech jazz scene, is renowned for his unique synthesis of the melodicism and tonalities of Moravian folk songs combined with modern jazz. Tickets are $25; use code CZECH for half-priced admission to the shows. Blues Alley

The Nordic Embassies are proud to present the 12th annual Nordic Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C. Internationally acclaimed performers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will present the modern sound of Nordic Jazz. On June 24, two bands will perform in the spectacular setting of House of Sweden. Enjoy a first hour of cocktails on the rooftop followed by two full sets of contemporary jazz by Sigurdur Flosason Quartet (from Iceland and Sweden) and Trail of Souls (from Norway). Tickets are $25; for information, visit www. House of Sweden

Thu., June 7, 6:45 p.m.

June 25 to July 2

Talk and Performance with Artist and E thnomusicologist Cornelio García

Classical Movements: 8th Annual Serenade! Choral Festival

By the People Festival “By The People” is a new, inclusive, international arts and innovation festival that facilitates connection and celebrates creativity. Organized by Halcyon, the Smithsonian, Destination DC and dozens of cultural groups, it will take place in every quadrant of the city, bringing people together around the themes of life, liberty and happiness. Dozens of artists, speakers and performers will present events to promote empathy and spark civil discourse, building bridges across the cultural divide. Curated discussions feature experts with opposing views on issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whether true human connection can be found online and the importance of exploring our universe versus protecting our home planet. Other highlights include: a Pokémon Go-style art hunt in D.C. developed by ARTECHOUSE; pop-up activities such as Bridgman|Packer Dance, which will perform a nontraditional dance inside a 17-foot U-Haul truck; and “Solstice Saturday,” a Smithsonian celebration of the summer’s longest day held in conjunction with the festival. By combining those far-reaching dialogues with art installations and performances, “By The People” invites visitors to open their minds and engage with one another on a deeper level. For information, visit Various locations

MUSIC Sat., June 2, 8 p.m.

National Philharmonic: 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence The National Philharmonic ends its 201718 season with the musical celebration “100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence.” Conducted by world-renowned Polish Maestro Mirosław Jacek Baszczyk, the concert will feature music composed by Poland’s greatest musicians, performed by some of today’s leading vocalists and musicians, including Brian Ganz on the piano. In November 1918, after more than a century of invasion, partition and subjugation by the AustroHungarian, German and Russian empires, Poland regained its independence as a sovereign country. Throughout its long history, Poland maintained a strong nationalist spirit as well as pride in

Mon., June 4, 8 and 10 p.m.

Emil Viklický Trio

As part of its 2018 music series “La Música de México,” the Mexican Cultural Institute presents a talk and performance on the traditional Sones of Jalisco with artist and ethnomusicologist Cornelio García. A fascinating, entertaining and informed conversationalist, García will share his passion for music and will sing a number of canciones jalisciences with his quixotic tenor voice, accompanied by his faithful quinta de golpe. Admission is free; to RSVP, visit Mexican Cultural Institute Thu., June 14, 7 p.m.

In Sides by Javier Moreno As part of DC Jazz Festival, bassist Javier Moreno presents “In Sides,” a new project of contemporary Jazz and improvisation that reflects roots, longings, ruptures and hopes. Admission is free; to register, visit washington-dc/. Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain

Nordic Jazz 2018

Czech violinist Jana Kubánková will perform the works of contemporary composers Ervín Schulhoff, Karel Sklenička, Klement Slavický, Martin Hybler and Jaroslav Ježek. Savor an evening of extraordinary Czech modern works for solo violin with stories about the authors and music itself. Admission is free; to RSVP, visit https://czechmoderncomposers. Embassy of the Czech Republic


including EU-related events, think tank lectures and visiting cultural institutions, in addition to joining a book club with 10 other diplomatic wives. Mulhall is also appreciative of the warm welcome she has received. Shortly after they arrived at the Irish Residence on S Street in D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood, their nextdoor neighbor Esther Coopersmith, a former U.S. permanent representative to the U.N. and a prominent Washingtonian, arranged a large, sit-down “welcome” dinner for the couple. “She also very generously invited us in at Thanksgiving,” Mulhall noted.

June 16 to 24

The Emperor of Atlantis Written and rehearsed in the “model” concentration camp Terezien but censored by the Nazi regime before its performance, “The Emperor of Atlantis: Death Goes On Strike” (1943) is the work of Czech composer Viktor Ullmann and fellow camp inmate Peter Kien, a poet and visual artist. The piece, which is paired with Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” satirizes dictatorship and militarism with commedia dell’ arte type characters. Tickets are $23 to $47. Atlas Performing Arts Center Through June 17

The Remains

In collaboration with the Kennedy Center, Classical Movements announces a joint partnership to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of South African revolutionary, politician and philanthropist Nelson Mandela. The festival features a dozen professional vocal ensembles hailing from 14 nations such as Australia, India, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Venezuela. Sharing Mandela’s prized notions of hope, justice and unity, the groups will perform collaborative concerts and exchange cultures through shared workshops and side-by-side rehearsals with select community choral groups and youth choirs alike, all while participating in outreach and service projects across the Washington region. Kennedy Center Thu., June 28, 7 p.m.

Cobario Cobario is a one-of-a-kind world music trio from Vienna that performs an eclectic mix of dreamy and melancholy tunes, energetic and compelling sound installations, as well as virtuosic solos. Admission is free; to register, visit Embassy of Austria

Thu., June 21, 6 p.m.

Modern Czech Composers

but an illiterate farm girl whose focus on the individual rocks the church and state. Tickets are $30 to $79. Folger Theatre

THEATER Through June 10

Saint Joan Joan of Arc, from peasant stock, fights for her country and defeats the English at Orleans. She is captured and taken prisoner in Burgundy, brought before a church court, tried as a heretic, and burned at the stake — all before the age of 19. Depicted as neither witch, saint, nor madwoman in George Bernard Shaw’s retelling, Joan is

Ken Urban’s timely, funny and human play reunites artistic director David Muse with longtime friend, Maulik Pancholy playing Kevin, one half of a same-sex couple whose seemingly perfect but deeply fraught relationship unravels during a family dinner party. Tickets are $20 to $85. The Studio Theatre Through June 24

Botticelli in the Fire Sandro Botticelli is devoted to beauty, sensuality and pleasure. While painting “The Birth of Venus,” however, the limits of his dedication are put to the test by the arrival of a conservative priest leading a populist revolution in Lorenzo de Medici’s Florence. When his full-throttle, decadent ways catch up to him, will the famed artist sacrifice his work or the life of his young apprentice, Leonardo Da Vinci? Please call for ticket information. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Through July 1

Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot Amid mystical forests and grand castles, “Camelot” tells a strikingly familiar tale of a leader’s integrity, courage and empathy — a chronicle of the struggle for civilization and goodness in a world accustomed to violence and hate. Please call for ticket information. Shakespeare Theatre Company

Culture arts & entertainment

Plan Your Entire Weekend.

This veteran diplomatic couple is also fond of traveling outside the Beltway, planning trips like their visit to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. “We returned from a trip overseas to visit our granddaughters and son and daughter for Easter. We were told upon our arrival at Dulles Airport that the cherry blossoms had bloomed in our absence, so we drove immediately from the airport to walk around the [Tidal] Basin to see them,” she said. “They did not disappoint. I subsequently went down twice again to see the blossoms in all their glory, plus walked around Kenwood with friends to see the beautiful cherry blossoms there. They were simply stunning.” WD Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Greta Mulhall and Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.


WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic Spotlight

June 2018

Latvian Ambassador Insider Series

Journalist Lisbeth May, realtor Leila Beale and Miriam Hooker, wife of the Nicaraguan ambassador.

On April 18, Latvian Ambassador Andris Teikmanis talked about the outsize role his small nation plays in European affairs at The Washington Diplomat’s 13th Ambassador Insider Series (AIS), held at the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel in Dupont Circle. Latvia, which celebrates its 100th year of independence in 2018, has found itself on the frontlines of Russia’s global ambitions — a position it is all too familiar with given its tumultuous history. After declaring independence in 1918, Latvia fell under Soviet rule during World War II, an occupation it finally shed in 1991. Despite its troubled past, Latvia today is not only an independent nation but a proud and prosperous one. Today, this Baltic country enjoys the highest per-capita GDP of any of the former Soviet republics except Estonia. Latvia’s dream came true in 2004, when it officially joined both NATO and the European Union. On Nov. 18 of this year, Latvia will mark the 100th anniversary of its original independence. To commemorate the occasion, it planted 100 oak trees along its borders — symbolically laying the foundation of strength for the next 100 years.



The Washington Diplomat sales manager Rod Carrasco, right, introduces moderator Larry Luxner.

Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis served as mayor of Riga from 1990 to 1994 and represented his country as ambassador to Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia before coming to the U.S. in September 2016.


Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis talks about Russia under Vladimir Putin, how Latvia weathered the euro crisis, the rise of populism, relations under President Trump and other issues.


Afedziwa Hayford of Neah Arts, Anthony Duggan of Westin DC City Center and Qian Ding of Westin DC City Center.

Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis is interviewed by moderator Larry Luxner, news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis, center, poses with members of The Washington Diplomat: From left are sales manager Rod Carrasco, publisher Victor Shiblie, managing editor Anna Gawel, news editor Larry Luxner and operations director Fuad Shiblie.



A newly renovated retreat in the heart of D.C., the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel offers boutique Art Deco style, lavish accommodations and the acclaimed Riggsby restaurant.

Jason McNatt of the National Park Service, human resources consultant David Van Ongevalle and Shae Allen of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Stephanie Fassler of the World Affairs Council-DC talks with Arturs Saburovs of the Latvian Embassy. News editor Larry Luxner welcomes guests.

Ursula McNamara, area director of sales and marketing for the Kimpton Carlyle and Kimpton Glover Park hotels, welcomes guests.




Latvian Ambassador Andris Teikmanis.


Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis and Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker.


Hollee Gritz of Mortgage Gallery Inc. talks with guests.



Ken Arnold of T. Dean Reed Co. talks with Latvian Ambassador Andris Teikmanis.

Director of the Embassy Series Jerome PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT Barry and Daniel Yi-Lung Huang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Mohammed El Hajjam of AV Audio, journalist Sana Tabite and Representative Office (TECRO). Shadi Sadeghi of Children’s National Health System.



Shubhangi Shukla, Andrew Sanders and Matthew Kostman, all from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Spotlight | Culture | WD

Human resources consultant David Van Ongevalle, Sanna Kangasharju of the European Parliament Liaison Office to Congress and Steve Kalan of Levick. PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT

Guests were treated to traditional Latvian Black Balsam liquor from Riga. PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT

Amanda Kilmek and Evan Johnson, both of Potomac International Partners.


Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis is interviewed by moderator Larry Luxner. PHOTO: JESSICA KNOX / DIPLOMAT


Claudia Eggspuehler, Steve Mukherjee, George Saman and Stefan Gudjohnsen of Globescope.

Elise Emmons of Compression Hydro LLC, Kevin Tassi of the Department of Homeland Security, Derrick Wayland of the Department of Homeland Security and managing editor Anna Gawel. Misty Knack of the American Pharmacists Association and Qian Ding of Westin DC City Center try Riga Black Balsam liquor from Latvia.


Randall Knack of Prince William County Schools.


The Washington Diplomat sales manager Rod Carrasco, Ursula McNamara of Kimpton Hotels and Claus Blohm of Syltbar.

ENTERTAIN WITH ALL THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS Creative Cuisine, Professional Service with a Dash of Flair






WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic Spotlight

June 2018

Dupont Circle Village at Haiti

Le Gala Rochambeau Rochambeau, the French International School of Washington, D.C., presented a music and masquerade fête for its 2018 Le Gala Rochambeau, co-hosted by French Ambassador Gérard Araud on April 6. The black-tie optional fundraiser celebrated diversity and multicultural education, raising nearly $100,000 to support the school’s students and educational offerings.

Members of the Dupont Circle Village held their 2018 gala at the Haitian Embassy on April 27 to celebrate “10 Years of Shattering the Stereotype.” Gala proceeds benefit the Dupont Circle Village’s free social, education and volunteer services to more than 250 older adults in Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan and Kalorama.


Emilie Brillant, Lycée Rochambeau President François Legros, D.C. United soccer player Frédéric Brillant, French Ambassador Gérard Araud and Lycée Rochambeau Head of School Catherine Levy.

Ambassador of France Gérard Araud welcomes guests.


Iris Molotsky, president emerita of the Dupont Circle Village, presents Dave Fils-Aimé of the Haitian Embassy with a token of appreciation at the 10th Annual Dupont Circle Village Gala.

Victorine Reina Manga and Agnè s Finucan, both from Rochambeau, the French International School of Washington, D.C.

Florence Layrisse, Benedicte Maurice, Mathilde Durand and Carine Albert.

Cyril Le Nouen, Carine Albert, Benedicte Maurice and Florent Refauvelet.

Aissata Bangoura Paye. Matthew Gagan, Kevin Scallan, Dana Atallah and Sophie Pestieau.

Guests in masquerade masks enjoy dinner, live music, dancing and silent auction at Le Gala Rochambeau.

Miss Universe at South Africa

Director of Culture and Education at the Haitian Embassy Dave FilsAimé, welcomes more than 150 guests to the Dupont Circle Village Gala. At right is Dupont Circle Village President Steven Kittrell.

Derek du Plessix, Raina du Plessix and Morgan du Plessix.

New Ambassadors at Meridian The Meridian International Center welcomes nine new ambassadors on April 18, the Bahamas, Croatia, Estonia, Korea, Libya, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saint Lucia and Uzbekistan. Other attendees included Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), MPAA Chair and CEO Charlie Rivkin, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

Stephen Grant and Abigail Wiebenson.

Lynn Lewis joins Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine at the 10th Annual Dupont Circle Village Gala.

Georgian Wine Tasting Marie Royce, wife of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and recently appointed U.S. assistant secretary of educational and cultural affairs at the U.S., emphasizes the importance of international exchange and public diplomacy.


Miss Universe 2018 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who is South African, poses with Ambassador of South Africa Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu in front of the Nelson Mandela statue at the embassy during a recent U.S. visit.


Meridian President and CEO Stuart Holliday, left, and Meridian Chairman Carlos Gutierrez, right, pose with newly accredited ambassadors. From left are: Ambassadors Sidney Stanley Collie of the Bahamas; Pjer Šimunović of Croatia; Jose Manuel del Gallego Romualdez of the Philippines; Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor of Nigeria; Assistant Secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce; Lauri Lepik of Estonia; Wafa Bugaighis of Libya; Javlon Vakhabov of Uzbekistan; Meridian Vice Chair Ann Stock; Anton Edsel Edmunds of Saint Lucia; and Cho Yoon-je of South Korea.


Antonia Gore, former U.S. Ambassador Lloyd Hand, Mrs. Cho and Ambassador of South Korea Cho Yoon-je.

President of THIS for Diplomats Adele Sigmund, Ambassador of Georgia David Bakradze, Kerstin Mahnicke and Birgit Salzmann attend a special tasting of Georgian wines at the Georgian Embassy for THIS for Diplomats, a nonprofit volunteer organization that welcomes diplomats and their families to Washington, D.C.


Young South Koreans in particular — who have no tangible connection to their countrymen in the North like their elders do — fear for their longterm job prospects if their country’s vibrant economy is integrated with the moribund one across the border. Moon would have to perform another delicate balancing act as he tries to appease those who favor reunification and those who fear it. But for now, the more immediate challenge is whether the North-South rapprochement can even survive this latest Trump bump. “The cancellation of the summit doesn’t bode well for North-South ties. North Korea has been signaling in recent days that inter-Korean progress will pay a price if there is a setback with the United States,” said Mintaro Oba, a former Korea desk officer at the State Department. “Now, North Korea will probably calculate that tying inter-Korean relations to the U.S. move to cancel the summit will heighten discontent in South Korea and deepen the divide between Seoul and Washington.” Goto agreed that the move could cause a rift between Seoul and Washington. “A worrisome development has been less about the summit meeting being cancelled — rather, the fact that Trump reportedly did not consult U.S. allies including South Korea nor Japan was alarming,” she wrote in an email. “As Washington presses for more tariffs in the name of national security, frustration with broader U.S. policies will likely grow. Trump’s hopes should be less about Nobel prizes, but ensuring that alliances remain strong in light of increased uncertainties.”

MOON’S ROLE It’s unclear if Moon will continue to offer the North economic carrots — in defiance of Washington — to keep peace talks alive. Yet the mere fact that Moon helped engineer what could still be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader is an impressive feat for someone who took the reins of a South Korea that seemed adrift. Moon won the presidency in 2017 following a traumatic national trial that ended in the impeachment of his disgraced predecessor, Park Geunhye. Moon entered office with soaring approval ratings, but many Asiawatchers questioned whether Seoul would be sidelined in regional politics, especially given the fast-moving events that put Trump and Kim on a collision course. Less than a year into Trump’s presidency, North Korea tested its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapon and successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). By late last year, experts were warning that the North could be months away from mastering the technology to mount a nuclear warhead atop an ICBM capable of striking the continental U.S. Time was not on the side of a U.S. president who already had little pa-


The demilitarized zone was established as buffer between North and South Korea after the 1950-53 Korean War. Despite an armistice that ended the fighting, the two sides technically remain at war, and a peace agreement would be major coup for the countries’ leaders, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in.

tience for diplomacy — or for America’s traditional alliances. Indeed, Trump was elected on a protectionist “America First” platform, declaring that allies — including South Korea — should pay the U.S. more for the defense it provides. He also pledged to rip up or renegotiate trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, while igniting a possible trade war with China. But under Moon’s leadership, Seoul has been a powerful, if quiet, force in the region.

COMPELLING BACKGROUND Moon’s biography is at once compelling and challenging. Born to refugees who fled North Korea, Moon spent his early years in poverty before enlisting in mandatory military service and becoming a special forces soldier. After serving, he enrolled in law school — and was jailed for participating in prodemocracy rallies protesting the dictatorship of Park Chung-hee. Moon then worked for two decades as a human rights lawyer, often taking on cases for students and lowwage laborers. In 2003, he left his law practice to become chief of staff to his longtime friend, Roh Moo-hyun, who as president advocated engagement with the North. In 2012, Moon ran for president himself against Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the dictator he once denounced. Park Geun-hye, a conservative, took a more hardline approach toward the North than Moon, a liberal who favored dialogue. Moon narrowly lost that race, but following the corruption trial that led to Park’s impeachment in 2017, Moon got his second chance. “He’s as much an activist as he is a politician,” said Goto. Moon was elected in part to forge a more open, even conciliatory, relationship with North Korea. In a New Year’s press conference, he said his goal “is to resolve the


Citizens pay respect to bronze statues depicting North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung, left, and Kim Jong-il at the Mansu Hill Grand Monument. North Korea’s third-generation dictator, Kim Jong-un, has prioritized developing his country’s nuclear weapons program as a deterrent against regime change.

North Korean nuclear problem and solidify peace during my term. War must not break out on the Korean Peninsula again.” Moon has even proposed reducing the South’s mandatory military service from 21 months to 18 month and cutting the number of troops overall — ideas that have met with resistance in light of the North’s military provocations, according to the center-right English daily The Korea Herald. “He has a strong moral compass” at a time when many politicians are not rewarded for focusing on a singular mission, Goto told The Diplomat. Griffith described Moon’s background as a refugee from the North as a “double-edged sword” because it could provide him with unique common ground with Kim, but it also “leaves him susceptible at home to more extremist political elements.” Indeed, as a former peace activist, the U.S. government feared that Moon would be “too accommodating and too idealistic to not drive a hard bargain,” Goto said.

REALISTIC PEACENIK “He has peace on the agenda, but

he is a realist,” Goto said. Seoul’s security partnership with Washington is “key,” she added, and Moon has reinforced it despite opposition at home. For instance, Moon allowed the U.S. to deploy additional launchers to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system begun under his predecessor, despite vocal protests from many South Koreans — whom Moon might have joined in his younger years as a peace activist. THAAD, which is designed to shoot down incoming missiles, is a linchpin of the U.S. defense umbrella in East Asia. But many South Koreans view it as a provocation to the North — and to China. Beijing vehemently opposes THAAD, fearing that its sophisticated radar capabilities could be used against China’s own missiles. Last year, Beijing slapped an economic boycott on South Korean goods to pressure Seoul into abandoning the missile system. Moon initially held off on installing THAAD but went ahead with its deployment after North Korea stepped up its missile and nuclear testing last year. Despite cooperation on the security front, Trump has not shied away from challenging Moon on the eco-

nomic front, according to Goto, who gave credit to Seoul for “managing” the White House’s dueling demands. Even while vowing to defend South Korea from the North’s aggressions, Trump insisted on renegotiating the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), which he had called a “disaster.” The president’s main complaint stemmed from the nearly $28 billion trade deficit that America has with South Korea, even though the deficit is relatively small compared to other countries and most U.S. industries were perfectly content with the agreement (also see “Trump Takes Aim at U.S.-South Korea FTA, Despite Wishes of Many U.S. Industries” in the February 2018 issue). In March, the U.S. and South Korea announced they had agreed on a “revised” version of the original trade pact signed in 2012. U.S. automakers can now double the number of cars they send to South Korea, to 50,000 annually, among other modest changes. In return, South Korea was exempted from the 25 percent tariffs that Trump threatened to impose on imported steel and aluminum from around the world (although Seoul agreed to limit its U.S. steel shipments to about 70 percent of the annual average). The timing of the North Korean nuclear crisis played in Seoul’s favor, Goto told The Diplomat. Under threat from Pyongyang, Seoul was “spared the wrath of NAFTA,” she said, referring to the protracted disputes between Trump and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts as they renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. In light of security concerns on the Korean Peninsula, Moon quietly renegotiated KORUS while escaping the steel and aluminum tariffs that have angered U.S. allies such as Japan.

FORMIDABLE OPPONENT While Moon has proven to be a deft negotiator, Kim, too, has shown himself to be an uncanny operator. Since the start of the New Year, when Kim made peace overtures to Moon, Kim transformed his reputation from rogue dictator to reasonable statesman seemingly overnight. Even the initial response to Trump’s announcement was shockingly conciliatory — and shrewd, putting the onus on Trump to restart talks. Of course, whether Kim continues to respond in a calm manner or he lashes out with his trademark hyperbole is anyone’s guess. Regardless, his PR prowess thus far has surprised many observers. Griffith noted that Kim attended school in Switzerland and has been exposed to the Western way of life. While in school, Kim “obsessed over basketball,” according to a report by Dana Kennedy in the Daily Beast. He is a longtime fan of the Chicago Bulls, which helped prompt his unlikely friendship with NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. His exposure to Western media also gave him an appreciation for the power of imagery and symbolism, SEE MOON • PAGE 46


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according to Griffith. “He’s caught a few people by surprise at how adept he’s been at these summits,” Griffith told us. The April summit between Moon and Kim — including a friendly chat outside of microphone range and hand-holding as the two smiling leaders crossed the border — was made for television. Kim even joked that he would stop interrupting Moon’s sleep with overnight missile tests. Kim also “played the perfect junior partner to China” in his showy March visit to Beijing for his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Griffith added. Since taking power in 2011, Kim has had a frosty relationship with his Chinese counterpart. Many Chinese officials worry about a volatile, brutal young leader with nukes on their doorstep. But Beijing has a vested interest in keeping Kim afloat, fearing that a collapse of his regime would send an influx of poor refugees into China and install a unified Korea — and staunch American ally — on its border. The relationship is symbiotic, with China serving as the North’s economic lifeline. As such, Kim is beholden to Beijing in any future negotiations. In fact, Trump accused China of using its leverage to pos46 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | JUNE 2018

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sibly sway Kim into backtracking on his promises. “Many U.S. officials, and possibly Trump himself, will blame Beijing for interfering and possibly pushing Kim to keep its distance from the U.S.,” wrote Isaac Stone Fish, a senior fellow at the Asia Society, in a statement. “This — along with that recent bizarre case of a potential sonic attack against a U.S. diplomat in China, the trade deadlock, and growing worries about China’s stance on disputed territories in the South China Sea — may cause the U.S. to act more aggressively towards Beijing.” On the flip side, Beijing may have been in favor of the summit, preferring long-term stability in its neighborhood. In a tweet shortly after Trump’s announcement, China’s communist-controlled Global Times newspaper denounced the cancellation. “The decision of US President Donald Trump was announced a few hours after North Korea dismantled its nuclear test site. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un must have felt that he was tricked by Trump,” wrote editor Hu Xijin. Kim’s reasoning — and what he’ll do next — remain indecipherable, even to Beijing. His charm offensive, coupled with Trump’s abandonment of talks, may convince China to ease up on sanctions that have severely restricted coal and other key imports to the impoverished country. But the U.S. isn’t likely to let up on its campaign of economic and military pressure — and may even escalate it. In response, Kim could double down and restart missile and nuclear weapons testing — or at least bluff about the prospect to lure Trump back into talks. Fearing an imminent U.S. attack or more sanctions, Kim could also reverse course and extend an olive branch to the U.S. Or Kim may simply ditch nego-

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tiations altogether and bide his time, having ruthlessly consolidated his power, essentially completed his missile program and convinced everyone that he did his best to make nice with Trump. “The world won’t countenance the U.S. using force as long as Kim is talking peace, and even less so if Trump bears responsibility for scuttling the summit,” former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken told Axios. In truth, nobody knows what Kim or Trump will do, other than Kim and Trump. But Joseph DeTrani, a former U.S. special envoy for six-party talks with North Korea, argues that pundits have been wrong before, so there is still hope for progress. “Many will disagree with this assessment. Interestingly, many of these outspoken critics were in government positions previously and opted to ignore North Korea’s race to acquire a more potent nuclear and missile arsenal,” DeTrani wrote May 6 in The Cipher Brief. While President Obama adopted a policy of “strategic patience” that bore little fruit, Trump has embraced a policy of “maximum pressure and engagement” that has significantly moved the needle on the North Korean nuclear stalemate. Whether that needle moves in the direction of peace or war remains to be seen. But in a basketball analogy Kim would appreciate, Moon had thrown the perfect alley-oop pass. So far, Trump and Kim have failed to dunk it in the basket. WD Anna Gawel (@diplomatnews) is managing editor of The Washington Diplomat. Ryan R. Migeed (@RyanMigeed) is a freelance writer based in Boston.

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June 2018  

The Washington Diplomat is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community with regular...

June 2018  

The Washington Diplomat is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community with regular...