Raoni In Da (Burning) House!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

So the 2019 G7 meeting, in Biarritz, France, is now history. Pundits are pointing to the $22 million promised to Brazil to help extinguish the Amazon forest fires as the meeting’s one solid accomplishment – money that Brazilian President Bolsonaro has since rejected, in a growing feud with this year’s G7 host, President Macron.

You also might have heard how Macron exercised his host’s right to invite to hang out at the summit’s fringes a range of what we used to call Third World leaders: the Indian premier Narendra Modi, the Egyptian dictator General al-Sisi and the like. (Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also showed up, but that’s another story.) You probably did not hear about another such leader who also appeared at Biarritz.

This is no joke; I’m quite serious here, so I call upon readers to stifle any ugly, prejudicial thoughts. In point of fact, this Indian gentleman (in the sense of native Western Hemisphere Indian) had a closer connection to what Macron and the other G7 leaders were trying to do to save the Amazon than any others present.

He is Raoni (full name: Raoni Metuktire), ambassador to the outside world of a leading tribe of Indians living in the Amazon area. He and his people certainly don’t welcome the increasing deforestation of the Amazon area, as it affects them directly. And he has been agitating against it for a long time.

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