Don’t Water Down “Captive Nations” Statement

Communist China is crushing Hong Kong, threatening Taiwan, and trying to bully allies like Australia. Protesters are marching in Cuba in defiance of their communist government. With communist governments trying to flex their muscles and stepping up repression of their citizens, now is not the time to water down the President’s annual “captive nations” statement against communist imperialism and repression.

Yet, according to the Wall Street Journal, Team Biden is considering replacing the phrase “Captive Nations Week” with “Free and Open Societies Week.”

They’ve been calling around to see how that idea would go down with folks who care about America’s moral and diplomatic standing. The answer is not too well.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an umbrella group that represents victims of oppression, has sent a letter to Mr. Biden urging him “to demonstrate the commitment of the United States to promoting liberty and human rights” by issuing “a strong 2021 Captive Nations Week proclamation.”

The difference here may seem semantic, but the notion of Captive Nations carries a lot more moral weight than “free and open societies.” The former signifies that Communists and authoritarians subjugate entire populations.

The promise of America, and its flag, may not be viewed as favorably as it used to domestically, but America is still viewed as the beacon of freedom around the world. It’s why protesters in Hong Kong routinely carried a U.S. Flag last year, and Cuban protesters were seen with the Stars and Stripes this week.

The United States has always stood with those who oppose tyrannical governments and desire freedom. It would be a real shame if our commitment to supporting the right of people to be free around the globe was watered down via weak Presidential statements.

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