By Ricky Browne
As an angry hoard of Trump supporters took over the US Capitol building for about four hours on January 6 — resulting in the deaths of at least four people — much of the world stood aghast.
Several national leaders went on Twitter to give their views on the matter, some with a greater feeling of schadenfreude than others.
THE UNITED KINGDOM
The British Isles include the countries that compose the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, as well as Ireland.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Great Britain tweeted:
“Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
The tweet got 214,000 likes and 25,800 comments.
Nicola Sturgeon the First Minister of Scotland was even stronger in her condemnation. President Donald Trump traces his roots to Scotland via his mother who was Scottish.
“The scenes from the Capitol are utterly horrifying. Solidarity with those in [the US] on the side of democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Shame on those who have incited this attack on democracy,” she tweeted.
The tweet received 107,000 likes and got 5,500 comments.
Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales was less direct.
“Deeply concerning to see the scenes of violence in Washington DC last night. The peaceful transition of power is central to every democracy,” he tweeted.
The tweet barely registered with 522 likes and 144 comments.
Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland did not make a comment on her Twitter site. Her last tweet was on December 31.
In North America we are including the United States’ closest neighbours, including those of the Caribbean and Central America.
Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau tweeted about the event in both English and French.
“ Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld – and it will be,” Trudeau tweeted.
The tweet in English got 297,000 likes and 11,500 comments. The French version of the same tweet got 3,800 likes and 117 comments.
President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canal, had quite a lot to say about the situation in the United States, in both English and Spanish.
In one tweet he said: “We lament the loss of human lives and reject the violent actions, the attack on Congress and the supremacist expressions that took place in Washington DC yesterday.” The tweet got 567 likes and 61 comments.
In an earlier tweet he quoted 19th century Cuban national hero Jose Mart with “Martí: “But it is a matter of certification rather than of prophecy for anyone who observes how, in the United States, the reasons for unity are weakening, not solidifying; how the problems of mankind are being reproduced, not solved;” Diaz-Canal tweeted.
The tweet was liked 668 times.
NOTHING TO TWEET
But many leaders from the North American region did not feel like committing anything to a tweet when it came to the problems the United States appeared to be having with its democracy.
Nothing was tweeted by President of Mexico; Prime m inister of Jamaica Andrew Holness or Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley for example.
But elsewhere Oprador did comment that it was wrong for social media sites like Twitter to ban the US President from using their platforms.
Many EU leaders don’t have a Twitter site, probably because it is primarily an English-speaking platform. As a result, though they may have spoken on the subject elsewhere, they didn’t twwet. President Trump had a similar problem too for a while, when he was disconnected from Twitter, but he tweeted via a spokesman’s site.
President of France Emmanuel Macron made a very short tweet on January 7, the day after the event took place.
“We believe in democracy. #WeAreOne,” Macron tweeted. The tweet included a video of him speaking about American democracy. The tweet got 82,100 likes and received 7,100 comments.
A tweet attributed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, demonstrated a great deal of dry wit. “I assure you that my departure from office is going to be very boring” the tweet said.
Unfortunately, the tweet really came from Angela Merkel @Queen_Europe – which needless to say is not Angela Merkel who is only the Chancellor of Germany. The real Angela tweeted nothing.
Like Trump’s site, the Queen_Europe’s site was also disconnected by Twitter.
“Account suspended” said Twitter, adding:Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.
Unlike the First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Michael Martin did have something to say.
“The Irish people have a deep connection with the United States of America, built up over many generations. I know that many, like me, will be watching the scenes unfolding in Washington DC with great concern and dismay,” Martin tweeted.
Over in Africa, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, tweeted nothing. Likewise President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, who has tweeted nothing to his 3.9 million followers since February 2019.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi tweeted: “Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”
The tweet got 138,000 likes and 11,700 comments.
Over in Pakistan, Prime Mister Imran Khan had nothing to tweet on the issue.
Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison tweeted on January 6: “Very distressing scenes at the US Congress. We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition.” The tweet got 27,800 likes and 4,400 comments.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shared something in common with Cuba’s President and tweeted more than once about the happenings in the United States.
Her first tweet read: “Democracy – the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail.” The tweet received 63,900 likes and 856 comments.
A later tweet did even better.
“Like so many others, I’ve been watching what’s happening in the United States. I share the sentiment of friends in the US – what is happening is wrong,” Ardern tweeted. It received 126,700 likes and 2,000 comments.
Neither Trump supporter Jair Bolsonaro on one hand or Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela who is not considered a big fan on the other, had anything to directly tweet about the storming of the Capitol in the US.
But Maduro did retweet quite a few comments and news reports, including video of a policeman sprinting upstairs to get away from protestors who had gained entry into the building.