World Reacts to Trump's UN Address

Cuba calls speech 'unacceptable'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2017 2:16 AM CDT
Updated Sep 20, 2017 5:05 AM CDT
World Reacts to Trump's UN Address
President Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

President Trump's extraordinary speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday has met with strong reactions from other countries—especially the ones he singled out for criticism. Cuba's Foreign Ministry says the country's UN delegation has "voiced a strong protest" against Trump's "disrespectful, unacceptable, and meddling statements," Reuters reports. In his address, Trump slammed the Cuban regime as "corrupt" and "destabilizing" and said there was no chance of the US trade embargo being lifted until Havana brings in "fundamental reforms." Other reactions:

  • "Trump's ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times-not the 21st Century UN," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. "Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one."

  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was not present for the speech, called Trump "the new Hitler," the Independent reports. Earlier, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded to Trump's call for democracy to be restored in the country by saying: "No leader can come and question our democracy, can come and question our sovereignty."
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the speech a better review. "In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech," he said.
  • Trump, who warned that the US would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary, was also applauded by South Korea, the AP reports. Trump set out a "firm and specific stance regarding the important issue of maintaining peace and security now facing the international community and the United Nations," said a spokesman for the country's presidential office.
  • Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tells the BBC: "It was the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience." "This was a bombastic, nationalist speech," she says. "It must have been decades since one last heard a speech like that in the UN General Assembly."
  • Senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said Trump painted Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela as "almost the worst dictatorships in the history of the humankind." He said that in the "contradictory" speech, Trump expressed support for nations' sovereign rights but mixed it with a "barefaced US pretense to determine who has such rights and who does not," the AP reports.
(One US commentator believes Trump's speech bordered "on the threat of committing a war crime.")

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