Politics & Policy

Meet Libya’s New Envoy

After the resignation of its most recent U.N. Ambassador, Libya has resorted to its close ties with Nicaragua to find a new one. Born in America, a catholic priest, a hater of Ronald Reagan (“the butcher of my people”), once a president of the United Nations General Assembly, and the former foreign minister for Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government, Fr. Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann wants to, “support the Libyan brothers in their battle to ensure respect for sovereignty and self-determination — both of which are being violated by the powerful, who once again threaten the independence and peace of the people.” He has a masters degree in journalism from Columbia.

But he might have some troubles. As the Times reports:


But Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, said Mr. D’Escoto was not an American citizen — even though he was born in Los Angeles — and was in the country on a tourist visa, which did not permit him to act as the representative of a foreign government. She said he would need to leave the country and apply for a different visa if he were to take up the post.

“I do think it’s curious,” she said, “that somebody who represents seemingly nobody is holding a press conference in a U.N. facility. If he reports to be or acts like a representative of a foreign government on a tourist visa he will soon find his visa status reviewed.” 


Some United Nations diplomats said he was unlikely to help overcome Libya’s status as a pariah. In his previous role at the United Nations, they said, he had shown himself to be viscerally anti-American. Others said he had tamed his anti-Americanism.


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