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  • Writer's pictureBy Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Panuelo: This is not what FSM learned from America

Micronesian president condemns Trump

Mincing no words, Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo condemned U.S. President Donald Trump for “endorsing fascism by openly calling on his supporters to overthrow the will of the American public and the democratic process.” Panuelo issued a long and strongly worded statement in response to the riot in Washington D.C., where four people died Wednesday when Trump supporters assailed the U.S. Capitol in a brazen attempt to stop the U.S. Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the presidential election.

"We denounce the actions of President Trump and his supporters, which we recognize as undemocratic, violent, and entirely contrary to the spirit of American concepts of liberty," he said. FSM, a sovereign nation in free association with the United States, is among the U.S. allies in the Pacific Islands region and has an enlistment rate in the U.S. Armed Forces higher than any U.S. state per capita. “Our Micronesian democracy is based in large part on the American form of governance. Micronesians genuinely believe in democracy, and upholding democratic institutions, which we were taught by our American partners,” Panuelo said. “The America that I know is about decency, honor, respect, and love for one another. That decency, honor, respect, and love still exists—we recently saw it in the restoration of Medicaid for Micronesian citizens living in the United States—but maintaining it in the face of domestic insurrectionists is no doubt an arduous task,” the FSM president said. World leaders expressed shock and horror over the violent siege of the U.S., urging Trump to peacefully concede the White House. “When President Trump says, and I quote, ‘We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol, and we’re…going to try to give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country—so let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue,’ the people and government of the Federated States of Micronesia recognize that as an act of insurrection,” Panuelo said.

He said FSM’s alliance with the U.S. was based on what shared democratic values.

The United States, he noted, “has historically and rightfully possessed a reputation as the world’s foremost champion of democracy and the rule of law."

However, he added, “U.S. President Trump’s actions, and the actions of his supporters, are now metaphorically attacking that reputation by literally assaulting America’s citadel of liberty, its Capitol.”

FSM remains a friend to the U.S., Panuelo said.

“But friends have an obligation to look their friends in the eye and tell them when something is wrong, and when their behavior is unacceptable,” he said. “What President Trump is doing is wrong, and what his supporters are doing is wrong. These behaviors are unacceptable. President Trump’s actions are harmful to the people and government of the United States of America.”

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