By David Himbara
Rwanda — the world’s superpower besides the United States — today received the new U.S. ambassador, Peter H. Vrooman. This was the first time the two countries engaged in the face-to-face conversation since the two superpowers — Rwanda and the United States — unleashed a vicious trade war.
As expected, when Ambassador Peter Vrooman presented his credentials to President Paul Kagame, the head of one of the world’s two superpowers, the American gentleman was shaking in his boots. And rightly so, because the American ambassador got quite a lecture from Kagame.
After a few pleasantries, Kagame went straight on the attack. He demanded to know why President Donald Trump has rather foolishly notified the United States Congress about suspending Rwanda from accessing the American market. This would have serious consequences on the $200 billion trading relationship.
Kagame was especially furious for one reason – Trump personally owed him a telephone call. Rushing to Congress before a one-on-one was disrespectful. Later, the Office of the Rwandan President issued the following brief but no nonsense statement:
“Rwanda will immediately fight back with a major response. We really have no other choice. The American arrogance seems to make them forget what Rwanda is capable of. The Americans have taken a wrong turn. They are hurting themselves. Rwanda is prepared. And will not hesitate to execute appropriate countermeasures. We have planned detailed action. Rwanda did not start a trade war, but if someone continues with this nonsense, we will definitely fight back – and win.”
At the end of the meeting, the visibly shaken American ambassador could barely respond to the questions thrown to him by the media. A reporter from the Washington Post asked how the Ambassador had explained Trump’s actions to Kagame. All the ambassador could say was:
“I have no statements to make at this time. All I have to say is that I will convey to Washington the urgency of avoiding a trade war with our main trading partner, the Republic of Rwanda. None of us can win.”
The New York Times reporter attempted to ask another question – but the Ambassador quickly got into a waiting vehicle and was gone.