Saturday, April 9, 2011

Faleomavaega Praises Reelection of Dictator despite International Community Views

Caspionet, the state run national satellite television channel of the Republic of Kazakhstan has seized upon the comments of one person, Faleomavaega, to declare on its website,
 That “the US Congress believes that the early elections in Kazakhstan demonstrated transparency and freedom of choice.”  Caspionet goes on to say Faleomavaega noted that this transparency and freedom of choice “was because of the officials of the country and especially Nursultan Nazarbayev.”   Capionet quotes Faleomavaega as saying: “For a country like Kazakhstan with some 40 religious organizations, 65% Muslim and 20% Russian Orthodox, I think speaks well to the fact that it has rather tremendous religious freedom, allowing the people to express their own personal religious preferences.

Oh, my, my.

Of course, the respected international Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) saw it a bit differently.  According to a Reuters News Agency report,, “Kazakhstan's presidential election revealed the same shortcomings as past polls,” with International observers noting “that reforms necessary for holding genuine democratic elections have yet to materialize."

Reuters went on to quote Amb. Daan Everts as saying "Regrettably we have to conclude that this election could and should have been better."   Everts is Head of the long-term election observation mission deployed by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
Faleomavaega’s continued fawning support for Kazahkstan’s long serving dictator comes as no surprise, as he has lent his backing to the Kazakh president in the past and has also warmed to other dictators as well, including Fiji’s Frank Bainamarama.

But his comments here are so completely at odds with the findings of international observers, and are so embarrassing, one has to believe that Samoa News, where his sister-in-law is an editor, will quickly and quietly bury them.   Prediction: you will only read this story here.   The links to the Reuters and Caspionet stories are provided above, lest you think we are exaggerating.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Obama Ignores Faleomavaega

Prior to President Obama's recent trip to Chile, Faleomavaega made a fervent public plea for him to put Rapa Nui on his agenda with the Chilean president.  Joined by lame duck Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), who will retire at the 2012 election apparently without his Hawaiian Sovereignty bill (Akaka bill) enacted, Faleomavaega wrote an opinion piece for the Honolulu Star Advertiser that called on the U.S. to take the lead in protecting human rights on Chile's island province in the Pacific. 

As has been the case in virtually ever cause he has ever undertaken in Congress, his pleas went unheard, as Obama declined to raise the issue in Santiago.  Perhaps Faleomavaega suspected that would be the case but did not worry about taking another blow to his prestige, knowing his sister-in-law, an editor at his home town daily paper, Samoa News, would bury the story and preserve his ability to fool his consituents.  It may have been a pretext for him going to Rapa Nui himself, as we predicted he would.

Anyone who thought Faleomavaega's travel wings would be clipped in this Congress, now that he has been stripped of his subcommittee chairman, has been sadly mistaken.  The first quarter of 2012 has just come to a close and already he has been on a congressional junket to Australia and New Zealand,  stopping in Pago Pago each way just long enough to get fuel and give the people his middle finger and Rapa Nui and has announced he will be going to Korea.  Even with Republicans in charge and tight congressional budgets, he has found the money to keep on traveling.

What makes this visit to Rapa Nui so absurd is that he has absolutely no power or authority to do anything about the situation.  What makes it sad is that while he was in Rapa Nui, the new president of SgtarKist was making his first visit to American Samoa.  This was precisely the time Faleomavaega needed to be home to sit in on the  meeting between the new head of StarKist and the governor to plot a course to keep the cannery in the territory.

And of course, his fans just keep cheering him on.  Atta boy, Eni.  We have just one plea to Eni: any issue you really care about, please keep it to yourself.  Once you get involved, it ia guaranteed you will be on the losing side.