The Biden administration vowed to “take action” if a military coup in Myanmar is not reversed following the arrests of the President, members of Parliament, and Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader.
The arrests were carried out by the military early Monday morning as generals staged a coup against the government.
The leaders alleged voter fraud in last year’s election which Suu Kyi won in a landslide and seized control just hours before the new government was sworn in.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the coup in a statement overnight, and demanded the military “reverse these actions immediately.”
A statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki states, “The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed.”
The military asserts that they have taken power for at least a year, declaring a state of emergency for such time.
With tanks and helicopters, soldiers and police officers, the Myanmar military seized control of the levers of state — canceling a planned session of Parliament, cutting off internet and telephone networks, and taking control of the airports. https://t.co/TT3Gu0r139
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) February 1, 2021
Biden Threatens to Take Action After Myanmar Coup
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Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on Myanmar’s military to release the political leaders, calling their actions “horrifying” and pressuring President Biden to level a forceful response.
“The Biden Administration must take a strong stand and our partners and all democracies around the world should follow suit in condemning this authoritarian assault on democracy,” McConnell said.
We have an actual coup taking place in Southeast Asia, an actual “authoritarian assault on democracy.”
How silly does it sound for lawmakers to sound the alarm over an actual travesty of justice taking place abroad when they’ve spent weeks on end accusing Republicans of these very same things here in America?
The White House website issued a statement indicating they would review sanctions against Myanmar that had previously been in place if the military does not reverse course.
“The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy,” it reads. “The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.”
TV in Myanmar is announcing a yearlong state of emergency with former General Myint Swe, current Vice President and former head of the Yangon military command, to serve as acting president https://t.co/YvaFNXe5X2
— Sean Gleeson (@seanjgleeson) February 1, 2021
After Four Years of No New Wars, Is Biden Already Facing Some Serious Tests?
The tension and threat of action from the Myanmar coup come as Iran is also testing President Biden.
Iranian leaders have said they refuse to negotiate with Biden over an attempt to rejoin the nuclear pact – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – until the United States “corrects its path” and lifts sanctions against the rogue nation.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 29, 2021
Former President Donald Trump backed out of the nuclear agreement in 2018 and reinstated nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime.
Blinken, meanwhile, warns that Iran is just weeks away from having enough material to make a nuclear bomb.
“On Iran, Blinken warned that Tehran was months away from being able to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon,” NBC News reported, “saying it could be only ‘a matter of weeks’ if Iran continues to lift restraints in the nuclear deal.”
Following four years of Trump’s leadership resulting in few new military conflicts and several undreamt of peace deals in the Middle East, foreign policy struggles appear to already be troubling the Biden administration.
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