Fiji unrest a.k.a. Strongman Slippery When Wet

It could be a cruel, cruel summer for Fiji’s Bainimarama

Why does it seem that coups in foreign countries always seem so complicated? Why can’t the issues behind overthrowing governments be more like those in the United States, such as say, free trade or universal health care?

A coup has been feared recently in the island nation of Fiji in the South Pacific. A standoff by Fijian military leader, Commodore Vorge Bainimarama, erupted about a month ago. Bainimarama is upset that leaders of the 2000 coup in Fiji are being allowed to rejoin the government. That is despite the fact that Commodore Bainimarama might somehow be mistaken for the 70s and 80s bands The Commodores and Bananarama. Alexander Downer, the Australian foreign minister, said Fiji was in the midst of a “tortuously complicated situation,” according to the “Financial Times.” Downer can understate with the best of them. It also must be pointed out that one must be cautious of news reports about small island nations especially when they are printed on the side of a salmon as is the case with the FT.

Fiji has experienced two coups since gaining its independence from the British in 1970. It is rather easy to understand why this is the case. My ship docked in the capital city, Suva, overnight in 1977. While the islands were lovely and somewhat quaint back then, Suva seemed to suffer from a lack of entertainment. Of course, it might have had something to do with it being Sunday. Or perhaps that several of my shipmates and I had drank enough Jesus in a Jar to where we wouldn’t know entertainment from intersection.

Perhaps Bananarama and The Commodores will work it all out and everyone can get back to doing what they do best in Fiji. I absolutely have no idea what it is that they do best but I’m sure they will think of something.

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