From all indications, the reign of Donald Trump is fast nearing the finish line with no hope of meeting his Liberian counterpart George Weah. Besides bellicose and totalitarian Charles Taylor who is jailed in a maximum prison in England for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in neighboring Sierra Leone, every Liberian President met their US counterpart and closely collaborated on streams of diplomatic initiatives. The United States of America is Liberia’s oldest and biggest traditional Ally and America is largely considered a home away from home by many Liberians. The historical ties which bond the two nations have been warmth and cordially ablaze for most of its existence.
Not only Trump didn’t lay down a “Red Carpet” for Weah which lingers more questions than answers, but he also didn’t even honor Weah’s presidency with a single telephone call, a complete brush-off foreign relations experts with depth on U.S.-Liberia relations pontificate is shocking and unprecedented, to say the least. A Liberian foreign relations expert who prefers anonymity postulates that a Liberian president who doesn’t get an official invitation to visit the ‘White House’, Washington, DC from a sitting American President certainly doesn’t get the traditional approbation and full backing of Washington, and such is inconsistent to the customary norms that have guided U.S.-Liberia relation for almost two centuries.
A Liberian President with such a fate wherein Washington refuses to accord you the necessary courtesy in line with the long-standing ties which have partnered the two countries, as is being experienced by Weah, is no doubt a lame-duck Liberia President, Liberian diplomatic experts assert. Behind the scenes, the Weah government has been making tons of desperate efforts and bankrolling countless attempts to set up a White House visit for Weah but quite unfortunately none of these has yielded any meaningful or fruitful result thus frustrating the Liberian President and his confidantes in no small way. If all is well and Weah is doing good with governance to the delight of the Liberian people, he would not have to spend millions of dollars behind the scenes to meet his American counterpart (President Trump), a veteran Liberia diplomat told me recently.
As Trump exits the coveted White House and President-elect Joe Biden faithfully steps in, does Geoge Weah stand any chance of a Washington visit? Does he have the gravitas and wherewithal to breakthrough the Biden kitchen cabinet and seal a deal that will change such a demeaning narrative? Can he charm Biden into a bromance? Political pundits and commentators posit that it remains difficult if not impossible for Weah to easily endear himself to the heart of Washington considering the horrifying narratives associated with his governance of Liberia.
I, too, remain incredulous that Weah can easily attract Washinton with his regime marred by chronic corruption, lawlessness, hawkish trappings, human rights abuses, rising intolerance, the subjugation, deprivation, pauperization of the citizenry, marginalization, indignation, bigotry, and other brazen anomalies his government is notoriously known for. With about three years of his Presidency, Weah and his adherents have plunged Liberia into a total morass, infamy, and conundrum with rivers of deadly scandals busted and reported almost daily. I recall two months ago Mike Pompeo banned Weah’s Passport and Visa Services Director Andrew Wonplo and his entire family from traveling to the U.S. over a disgraceful passport racket that saw over 4,250 pieces of Liberian diplomatic passports swindled and sold out to drug rings and terroristic elements. This threatens regional and international security said the U.S. State Department. Wonplo claims he acted upon the instructions of the Presidency and Foreign Minister Gbehzongar Milton Findley. Since the revelation of the disturbing passport saga, the U.S. government has reportedly increased surveillance on the infamous and incorrigible Weah’s regime.
The Weah regime is yet to launch an investigation into such a grave and embarrassing opprobrium something State Department is said to be displeased with. Even with a new team at the State Department under the Biden-led government, these are the kind of humiliating and frivolous reports it will ultimately meet in the files of Liberia regarding the disreputable George Weah administration and wouldn’t take kindly nor compromise the existential threat it poses to the U.S. and other nations that are prime targets of marauding terrorists.
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