19. dec. 2014
Sam Brodey, Mother Jones, skriver bl.a.:
The Pope Just Helped the US and Cuba Make Up. What International Conflict Will He Fix Next?
Great Pope, or Greatest Pope?
Wednesday's historic deal between the United States and Cuba was noteworthy for a lot of reasons—and a fascinating one that's emerged has been the role of Pope Francis. It's been reported that the Pope sent personal letters to President Obama and President Raul Castro enjoining them to reconsider the situation; then, he invited US and Cuban officials to the Vatican in October to talk things out. In the days since the announcement—which His Holiness greeted with "warm congratulations"—the Vatican has enjoyed wide credit as one of the biggest influences in breaking the decades-old standoff.
But those surprised at Pope Francis' role in this negotiation shouldn't be: While many popes in the past have involved themselves in geopolitics, few have been as proactive—and as willing to move beyond rhetoric and into the actual work of diplomacy—as Francis. Vatican-watchers have characterized this pontiff as a bold statesman, unafraid to use his popularity and the reach of his office in the service of a particular brand of soft power diplomacy. Jim Yardley at the New York Times summed it up well, writing, "What has changed under Francis—or has been restored—is a vision of diplomatic boldness, a willingness to take risks and insert the Vatican into diplomatic disputes."
While Wednesday's deal may have been his biggest success to date, he's managed to pack some ambitious diplomatic moves into his young reign as the Bishop of Rome. Here's a highlight reel:
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