United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is an uncomplicated woman in a byzantine world of international intrigue. She has been facing down a seemingly never-ending assault by enemies from afar and from closer to home, in an environment some conclude has become hostile territory for an avid supporter of President Trump.
She doesn’t even blink. Yes, Ambassador Haley is a badass on the right side of history, and although her tenure is concluding too soon, she is still all business and taking no prisoners. Even the tantrum throwing delegations of Cuba and Bolivia, who turned last week’s peaceful meeting to draw attention to the plight of political prisoners into a mob scene, couldn’t intimidate Haley. But the incident did motivate her to smack them down in a very public fashion.
Not since Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the General Assembly in 1960 removed and banged his shoe on the desk for an hour, has this type of unhinged behavior been seen. Khrushchev reportedly took offense to the undiplomatic words uttered from a Philippine delegate who claimed that Eastern Europe had been “deprived of political and civil rights.”
For nigh on almost 60 years, the sniping has been without physical demonstrations. Yeah, well that era of civility is long gone as a recent event titled, “Jailed for What? The plight of Cuba’s political prisoners,” held in the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chamber descended into chaos as diplomats from Cuba and Bolivia went stark raving mad. Channeling the spirit of Khrushchev, they began banging on tables and screaming slogans meant to derail and intimidate those involved.
One would have thought there was a Republican attempting to dine out in a public place. Turns out that it was not Democrat Party inspired, but the results were the same: Damage to property, attempts at intimidation through physical means, and generally angering the adults in the room.
Ambassador Haley, calm and collected, took her ire on the debacle out by penning a letter to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres that flat out demanded the UN take the matter in hand and punish the perps:
“Due to the outrageous behavior of the Cuban and Bolivian UN delegations, this diplomatic event became a mob scene, and resulted in significant damage to UN property. I respectfully call on you to condemn this extremely unprofessional conduct and require the Cuban and Bolivian delegations to pay for the property damage they caused.”
That’s diplomatic speak for “get your house under control” or Guterres will have to contend with Haley. And no one wants to be on her bad side. Originally, the United States was going to be billed for much of the damage inflicted – which incensed Haley – and she let Guterres know that was unacceptable:
“Cuba’s UN delegation destroyed property with their juvenile, unprofessional behavior that was a mockery of diplomacy. There’s no way the UN should pay for those repairs – with US taxpayers footing 22 percent of that bill. The bill needs to be sent directly to Cuba.”
U.S. ECOSOC Ambassador Kelley Currie, who led the event, plunged the dagger in further as she told reporters, “I have never in my life seen diplomats behave the way the Cuban delegation did today … it makes you wonder that if the diplomats of this government behave this way, how do the police behave?”
Good point. And hopefully good riddance.
What’s Next for Nikki?
Ambassador Haley is a badass on the right side of history.
The jury is out as to whether Guterres will find his mojo and put the hammer down on the miscreants involved. But certainly is Nikki Haley is one tough warrior when it comes to standing for the interests of the U.S. and its many allies within the United Nations. Since her recent resignation from that post however, many are wondering what’s next on the cards for this standout of the Trump administration. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Recently, at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, Haley, as keynote speaker, demonstrated with great panache that she is as versatile as she is confident in style. Joking about looking for a job on social media platform LinkedIn, she followed the applause by saying, “People ask me all the time what they should call me – governor, ambassador, Nikki. You can call me anything, just don’t call me anonymous.”
But that, of course, is not written in her future.
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