Ambassador Reflects On American Respect For Real Democracy
Mohamed Yeslem Beisat, an ambassador for the Western Sahara, knew he faced a serious uphill struggle when he began his position in Washington, D.C. years ago as the representative for his country that is located on the northwest coast of Africa.
Beisat knew that most Americans knew nothing about the volatile circumstance that engulfs the Western Sahara, the nation that holds the undesirable distinction of being the ‘Last Colony’ on the African continent.
The little known Western Sahara sits on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Africa located south of Morocco, north of Mauritania and east of Algeria.
Beisat also knew that Morocco, the monarchy-ruled African nation that has illegally occupied the Western Sahara for four decades, spends millions of dollars annually lobbying U.S. legislators, top policy makers and influential journalists to turn blind-eyes toward Morocco’s colonization -- an occupation that is fraught with human rights violations and economic exploitation.
Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara features rampant brutality and discrimination directed against the indigenous population –- the Saharawi –- according to multiple reports from entities as diverse Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department.
Morocco, since its 1975 invasion of the Western Sahara, has been able to defy agreements it made with the United Nations and other bodies requiring Morocco to conduct a referendum where the Saharawi could vote for either independence or alignment with Morocco. The ability of Morocco to defy that long series of official agreements to hold the referendum and/or withdraw from the Western Sahara is the result of strong support from France and tacit support from the United States.
The legal arguments and historical justifications advanced by Morocco for seizing and holding the Western Sahara have been repeatedly rejected by the U.N. and other international bodies.
Morocco, to strengthen its illegal domination of the Western Sahara, built a fortified wall sealing off about two-thirds of the country. The largest cities and all of the lucrative natural resources in the Western Sahara are located behind Morocco’s wall.
As Mohamed Beisat leaves his Washington, DC ambassador post for a new position within the Western Sahara’s government-in-exile he is able to count some successes, from Capitol Hill to community-based initiatives, in that uphill struggle he has confronted.
“A bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on the Western Sahara was established under the leadership of two prominent lawmakers: Democrat John Conyers and Republican Joe Pitts. Conyers is the only person on Capitol Hill who had Rosa Parks work in his office,” Beisat stated in a recent email to ThisCan’tBeHappening.net. That email also listed other House and Senate members who have been supportive of resolving the Western Sahara controversy under the terms of the long-defied United Nation’s peace plan.