By now, millions of Americans are jubilant, and are still dancing in the streets over Obama as President-Elect. But, let us not forget the many, many millions of people around the world who were just as affected as we here in America, at the hands of evil of the present administration.
Let us not forget that they, like us, are in this together, with us, and whatever President-Elect Obama does, affects not only us here in America—–it also affects the people of Kenya, China, Brasil, Saudia Arabia, England, France, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Bahamas……..and yes, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here are their voices of the thankfulness that America finally awoke out of its stupor of bitter animosity and overcame the fear-mongering tactics of a candidate who could not help but concede the race, not just because of the lack of electoral votes he did not receive, but because he finally realized that the American people no longer wanted more of the same vicious sadistic hells the present administration put us, and the rest of the world, through in the last eight years.
Jubilee heard ’round the world.
Here are their voices.
Their voices of joy, and elation, of even surprise, some doubts, but most of all. . . .their voices of the audacity of hope.
Reactions From Around the WorldBy The New York Times
New York Times correspondents are sharing reactions from around the world to the election of Barack Obama.
KISUMU, Kenya | By Jeffrey Gettleman Call it redemption.
This town, in the epicenter of Kenya’s Obamaland — the same area where Barack Obama’s father was from and where some of his cousins, half-brothers and a very gregarious 86-year-old step-grandmother still live — exploded into cheers when the news broke that Mr. Obama had won the presidency.
Thousands of people sang, danced, blew whistles, honked horns, hugged, kissed and thumped on drums — all down the same streets where not so long ago huge flames of protest had raged.
“Who needs a passport?” people yelled. “We’re going to America!”
It was sweetness on many levels. A black man in the White House. A half-Kenyan at the helm of the most powerful country on the planet. And a fair election, which Kenyans have learned is nothing to take for granted.
People here stayed up all night, swatting mosquitoes as they watched the election results trickle in on TV sets with fuzzy pictures. The last time this many Kenyans were riveted by an election — their own, in December 2007 — riots erupted after the opposition candidate lost and Kenya’s incumbent president won. Widespread allegations of vote rigging sent tens of thousands of young men into the streets, to loot, burn and kill. Much of Kisumu, usually a relaxed town along the steamy, hippo-infested shores of Lake Victoria, was ravaged.
But on Wednesday, many of the same young men who had been doing the burning, the looting and worse, were all smiles, part of the happy wave of emotion that coursed through Kisumu. Passersby and mini-bus drivers and bicycle taxi men got swept into the streets, where Obama posters, Obama pins and even Obama wall clocks were selling faster than juicy papayas.
“This has restored my faith in democracy,” said Duncan Adel, a computer technician who had been part of the election protests last year.
About an hour away, down a bumpy dirt road, Mr. Obama’s extended Kenyan family held a 1,000-person bash in their ancestral village of Kogelo.
“We’re going to the White House!” they sang.
[Most people in Kisumu are Luo, the ethnic group of the top opposition leader and coincidentally the same ethnic group of Mr. Obama’s father. There is an old joke in Kisumu that a Luo will become president of the United States before becoming president of Kenya. It has indeed come true.]
By mid-morning, the Kenyan government declared Thursday a national holiday. It meant a day off. And surely more partying.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates | By Michael Slackman Minutes before show time, the $2 million high-tech backdrop for Al Arabiya’s election day news coverage was not working. But the channel’s executive editor, Nabil al-Khatib, was calm. He is a tall man, with an easy presence, decades of experience in Middle East news and a conviction that events would not surprise.
Senator John McCain, he believed, was going to win.
“Would Americans choose someone who thinks outside the box?” he asked rhetorically as an army of engineers and technicians scrambled to get the big screen working again Wednesday morning. “This is just too good to be true.”
Al Arabiya is a Saudi-owned, Arabic-language television news channel based in the Arab world’s capital of consumer spending, Dubai. Al Arabiya’s regional audience was overwhelmingly in favor of Senator Barack Obama, the editors said, but in the emirates, it seemed, there were at least some people who were certain that Americans would never vote for someone as different as Mr. Obama. “McCain will win,” Bilal al-Bodour, a deputy minister of culture for the United Arab Emirates, said a day earlier. “That is the American mentality.”
Mr. Khatib had the same sense. He stood in the back of the newsroom, a circular studio wrapped in a belt of video screens, all bathed in red and blue lights. The engineers had fixed the digital backdrop. “This is a historic moment not only for the United States, but so we can all get away from perceptions about religion and race and instead consider the quality of the person,” Mr. Khatib said.
Al Arabiya was determined to present news coverage of the election that was not biased toward either candidate. There was concern, for example, about the banner swirling across a screen. It was red, the station’s color, but it might appear to signal support for the Republicans.
As the night went on, it was clear who was the favorite candidate on the set.
“I want Obama to win with 99 percent, like Saddam Hussein,” said Hani Abu Ayyash, who was monitoring the early returns at his computer. “I swear, if he doesn’t win, I’m going to take it personally.”
And then, a few minutes before 8 a.m., CNN called the race, declaring Senator Obama the winner, and there was, for a brief moment, a cheer in the studio, a fist raised, and then back to the broadcast. Mr. Khatib clasped his hands over his head, like a champion declaring victory, and smiled broadly.
“I am positively surprised,” he said. “It’s great.”
NEW DELHI | By Somini Sengupta Early on Wednesday morning, as news of Mr. Obama’s victory poured in from across the world, Balaji Samanthapudi, 36, a technology consultant, was jubilant in Bangalore, India. As the president of the Barack Obama Fan Club in India’s outsourcing mecca, Mr. Samanthapudi gushed optimistically about all that an Obama presidency would deliver.
“I’ve never seen such an inspiring leader before,” he said. “You can see the market prices going up. He is going to put a stop to terrorism completely. He is a very straightforward leader.” His fan club collected donations from a dozen people, mostly software engineers and management consultants, putting $4,000 in Mr. Obama’s campaign kitty. None of them are U.S. citizens but they urged their U.S. citizen friends and family to vote for Obama.
Satyaja Bedi, 39, sipping coffee mid-morning and struggling to listen to Obama’s victory speech at a noisy New Delhi cafe, had similarly outsized expectations. “It’s very good,” she said. “I think America should bounce back.”
At the American Center nearby, where big screen television monitors broadcast news of the election, Sukanya Bhardwaj, 19, a college student studying politics, said Obama’s victory was testament to the candidate’s abilities but also to the maturity of American voters. “It has become the greatest democracy,” she said. “It has proved it is ready for a black president.”
Nearly every major newspaper in the capital, New Delhi, had Obama vs. McCain on the front page. Television stations have broadcast nothing but American presidential election news all morning.
“The World Enters America” was the headline of the Hindustan Times lead editorial Wednesday morning, reminding the 44th president of the United States to be mindful of an interconnected world roiled by a financial crisis and two wars. “For America to chart these choppy waters, it will have to have a helmsman who understands and engages with the world on the world’s terms,” it urged.
The Indian Express, whose editorial pages had been fond of the Bush White House over the last couple of years, echoed how swiftly and decisively the next president would have to act. “The way the world has been enthralled by the contest is a message that the dominant sentiment, after the Bush presidency, is not so much anti-Americanism, but exasperation with the uses of American power and a concurrent belief that with adequate political will the superpower can repair its agenda for the greater global good.”
Some Indians used the occasion to introspect. Krishna Prasad, a magazine editor who runs a blog, churumuri.com, invited readers to consider when India could expect to elect a Prime Minister from its largest minority group: Muslims. He said he was surprised that more than a third of his roughly 600 respondents said they believed it was possible.
Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Indian chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, urged Mr. Obama to demonstrate a change in U.S. energy policy. “The US now has a unique opportunity to assume leadership in meeting the threat of climate change, and it would help greatly if the new President were to announce a coherent and forward looking policy soon after he takes office. There is every reason to believe that President Obama will actually do so. This should please people across the globe, because US leadership is critical for mounting global efforts to meet this threat effectively.”
BUENOS AIRES | By Alexei Barrionuevo The Sacramento bar in the trendy Palermo district filled with a thunderous roar when CNN declared Mr. Obama the winner. Several hundred Americans and a few Argentines who were packed inside then launched into a soccer chant, singing, “Olé olé olé olé, Obama Obama!”
“The biggest economy in the world has a leader that the world can talk to,” said Alejandro Saks, an Argentine television scriptwriter. “There is the feeling that for the first time since Kennedy, America has a different type of leader.”
CARACAS, Venezuela | By Simon Romero The sputtering bus inched its way up the streets of Petare, this city’s largest slum, delivering its passengers in front of Vecinito, Enrique Cisneros’s corner store. Salsa blared from loudspeakers perched nearby on the stoops of cinderblock hovels.
“Pull up a seat, we’re celebrating tonight,” said Mr. Cisneros, 37, opening a bottle of Blender’s Pride whiskey. He poured the spirit into plastic cups, mixed in some orange juice, and declared to his guests, “The United States is choosing a black man as its president. Maybe we can share a bit in this happiness.”
His guests Tuesday night included a schoolteacher, a shoe factory worker, an accountant’s assistant, a telephone operator and a couple of foreign journalists. They sipped Mr. Cisneros’s concoction or nursed Polar Ice beers and engaged in Venezuela’s top pastime: political debate.
“This is the first American election I can remember in my lifetime that I was eager to witness,” said Armando Díaz, 24, who works at Movistar, a cellphone company here.
“Before, we’d just switch the channel to baseball,” said Mr. Díaz, gazing at a television announcer on Globovisión and wrapping Venezuelan rapid-fire Spanish around the names of states like Connecticut and Rhode Island. “It’s kind of nice to feel good about the United States again.”
As they do in almost any gathering here in which people examine the toxicity of Venezuelan political life, in this instance through the lens of the election of Barack Obama as president, jokes ensued.
Sitting under a poster of a playful painting by Carlos Cruz-Díez, a kinetic artist, most of those present proudly identified themselves as “pitiyanquis,” or petite yanquis, thus appropriating a vitriolic insult used with increasing frequency by President Hugo Chávez to describe his opponents.
“I wonder if Chávez can stop referring to the United States with such hatred, if only for a few days,” said Lucy Martínez, 44, a teacher at a primary school in Petare. “It would be nice to get a break from that.”
As if on cue, Globovisión shifted its broadcast to focus on a political cartoon from Tuesday’s newspapers here, showing an image of Mr. Chávez and the headline “Anti-Imperial Discourse,” under a smaller photo of Mr. Obama next to the words, “Expiration Date, 11/4.”
In other words, the bugaboo that the Bush administration has been for Mr. Chávez may be fading.
As night engulfed the streets outside Vecinito, revelers rejoiced. As slums go, this area of Petare, called La Montañita, was not so bad, they claimed. Many of its residents were working class or middle class, struggling to rise in life. They all agreed their most pressing concern was with violent crime.
“Sometimes the police don’t arrive for an entire day to pick up the body after someone is shot dead on the street,” said Yamile Contreras, 30, a telephone operator with hair dyed about a shade lighter than Marilyn Monroe’s. “Is it true New York was once this violent?”
Then they turned the tables on their journalist guests, peppering them with more questions about American oddities like its electoral college. (Is that democratic?) They asked when America’s distant wars would come to an end. They asked whether America was in a recession or a depression.
Bidding farewell after an evening filled with awe over the events unfolding in the United States, those gathered at Vecinito embraced each other and piled their visitors and Mr. Cisneros, the owner of the corner store, into a bandit taxi parked outside.
Ear-splitting salsa blared again from the speakers of the car, an astonishingly large 1982 Chevrolet Malibu without seat belts. “I love American cars,” the taxi driver said as he drove on Petare’s maze of streets, which were still buzzing with pedestrian activity past midnight. Motorcycles whizzed by in the Caribbean night.
“A few hours ago,” said Mr. Cisneros, “the world felt like a different place.”
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq | By Alissa J. Rubin
Here on the edge of Baghdad, soldiers who have served long deployments and those who just arrived lingered in the dining room, long after their breakfast eggs were cold, to watch the election returns flashing on the television screens in the early morning hours here.
As Senator Barack Obama took one state after another, there was the occasional cheer, the occasional tear, but mostly the soldiers looked serious. The man who wins has the possibility of changing their life, where they serve, how much they are in harm’s way and how long they remain far from home.
“We watched the election every day; we talked about it,” said Katherine Roy, a wheel vehicle repair specialist from Houston.
“What’s going to happen to us? We know we’re not going to leave Iraq, but we don’t want to go to Afghanistan. We just want to go home,” said Specialist Roy, of the 122nd Infantry Support Company, Fourth Infantry Division.
For the young soldiers, there was a feeling of distance from both candidates. Senator John McCain is 72; one soldier described him as being “like your grandfather, set in his ways.” And Mr. Obama is a newcomer to the military world, a rare visitor to Iraq, an unknown in many respects.
“We’ll support and defend him and support his wishes,” said Second Lieutenant Hunter Wakeland, Brigade Staff 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry. “President Bush listened to the generals, the joint chiefs, they have a lot of experience; with President-elect Obama’s lack of military experience, hopefully he listens to them, too.”
The war and the economy are critical issues for soldiers here, just as they are for many Americans — except that here, when people speak about the war, they speak from experience. Many enlisted men said they thought Americans had done enough to help Iraqis and it was time to let them stand, or fall, on their own.
“If we continue to babysit, they’ll continue to rely on us,” said Specialist Anthony Davis, 27, of Silsby, Tex., Headquarters, 2-4 Infantry Battalion, Fourth Infantry Division. “We’re wanting a change. From history, the military acts democratic and votes Republican but I think there is a little more unity this year.”
But there was also the feeling that they were part of history.
“When we have an election, the world has an election,” said Specialist Anthony Kamps, 24, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Alpha company, 4th Support battalion, First brigade, Fourth Infantry Division, who serves as a gunner on a convoy escort. “At first the big issue was the war, but then when the stock market happened it was the economy. I think the election could make a difference.”
BEIJING | By Jim Yardley
His class in international relations was starting in 10 minutes, but Tang Tang was busy studying a map on a computer screen inside a cramped common room at prestigious Tsinghua University. His major is international relations – the Chinese equivalent of political science – and his screen displayed the biggest political show in the world: the red-and-blue electoral jigsaw of the United States, with every state labeled in Chinese characters.
Mr. Tang, 23, admitted that the American election had been a serious distraction during his Wednesday morning classes. Given the different time zones, the outcome was still uncertain. Yet now that he could assess the historic Obama victory, Mr. Tang’s reaction seemed akin to a sports fan dissecting a box score and betrayed none of the hopeful idealism once conferred on Western-styled democracy by young Chinese intellectuals.
“We are different from the younger generation 20 years ago,” Mr. Tang said, alluding to the generation defined, and scarred, by the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square. “Now we can take a more rational, sober approach when we observe the election. The generation 20 years ago grew up in a different environment. America was like a completely different world. It would be shocking to watch this.”
Mr. Tang’s cool detachment, if not disinterest, is just a small reminder that if the idealism of young voters in the United States was considered critical to Mr. Obama’s victory, their peers in authoritarian China are often less convinced of the transformative potential of democracy. The bookcases outside Mr. Tang’s classrooms are filled with journals assessing the Sino-American relationship and several students said Mr. Obama’s candidacy had become a subject of much interest and discussion.
But China’s own political evolution seems unlikely to be dramatically altered by a historic election half a world away. Mr. Tang’s biggest concern – one expressed by several other students — was how an Obama presidency would, or would not, influence relations with China. Mr. Tang had even studied past American presidents and found a trend: They talk tough about China at first but then soften over time. He assumed Mr. Obama would be the same.
“This is huge for America,” Mr. Tang said. “But for the Chinese, I don’t think we are paying as much attention.”
A few minutes later, he checked his watch. “Sorry, I’ve got to get to class.”
SOURCE: The New York Times: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/05/reactions-from-around-the-world/
OBAMA’S VICTORY SPARKS CHEERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD