Communism drives immigration decisions, 1956. Hank Cohen is in love. It's his first tour, and he's in Paris. The Soviets invade Hungary and Hank helps thousands of refugees flee Communist aggression and make new lives in the US. But what about heartthrob megastar Yves Montand, who is an avowed Communist? How can Hank get him a visa? And about that girl...
We're refreshing one of our earlier (and best!) episodes from the early days, before anyone had heard of us. But now you have! And so we offer you the joy you may have missed, of learning what it is to be black, creole or colored, all words that have been used to describe Desiree Cormier, both here in the US and during her posting in South Africa. Enjoy!
We love music. We love it almost as much as we love listening to our friends tell stories about life overseas. So here's our end-of-summer look back on some of our favorite music in the series. Enjoy! Your pals, Pete and Laura
Larry Dinger regales us with tales of tires on fire, pollution, trekking, and one of the most bizarre episodes in monarchy in the world. Now Laura wants to join the Foreign Service and all of us want to go to Kathmandu.
It's 1991 in Ethiopia. President Mengistu and the rebels are at war. Drought and famine are killing thousands. As Charge d'Affaires in Addis Ababa, Bob Houdek oversees the evacuation of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, and why? Because, as Bob explains, "Immigration is one of the fundamental human rights under the UN convention."
Burns shares stories from his engaging new book, The Back Channel.
Plus, a few good works. Vicki Huddleston gets around in the Sahara, and even gets the women a place inside the tent. So where did all these terrorists come from?
Vicki Huddleston, our ambassador in Mali (not to be confused with Bali), helps us understand the Sahel, the Sahara, and their vast range of inhabitants. Everyone got along so well, so how did this land become what the UN now calls the most dangerous mission on earth?
Now that Ortega is back, how is the revolution going? Nicaraguans are being shot, hauled off and denied medical services, while the president's coffers swell. A how-to kit, on how to steal democracy.
We have Independence Day, and for Nicaraguans Liberation Day is just as important. Celebrated July 19, this is the day the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dynasty in 1979. But what really is a Sandinista, and what's up with their leader Daniel Ortega now? Most importantly, how is life today for Nicaraguans?
Jimmy Kolker is back to tell us how, as Ambassador to Uganda, he helped stem the spread of this deadly disease and save scores of human lives.
How did Tom Shannon end up Secretary of State for 12 days? How do transitions work, when one president leaves and another takes office?
We revisit Pete's stories about Naples, with a couple of bonuses at the front. Happy summer!
Social Democracy in Northern Europe, not to be confused with socialism of any stripe. And what is socialism, anyway? With Ambassador Jimmy Kolker. Plus knowledge test: What fabulous 70s band brought us the name of this episode?
Will Cops-in-a-Box keep Fulanita home? What else do these guys have for us?
You think of your loved ones first: Honoring the lives of those who sacrificed theirs in the line of service. With remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the story of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton.
What happens when Fulanita arrives? And what is this wall, really? And what do drugs have to do with all of this? Bill Brownfield and John Feeley, together with Pete, unpack the deets in our second of three episodes on the border. Plus, a barnyard narco song you do not want to miss.
Episode One, in which John Feeley, Bill Brownfield and Pete lay it all out: How and why does Fulanita, our Guatamalan every-gal, end up at the US border with young son Javier, delivered by the cartels' fancy coach service?
Remember the movie The Graduate? Fifty-two years on, here's where we are with plastics. It ain't pretty, but Bob Blake is on the job.
The life and (near) death of Indonesia's Palm Oil Pledge, a guy named Anderson and an air pollution monitor in Jakarta. Bob Blake works with private industry and government to foster lasting change in Indonesia.
Me, neither. Chris Teal, filmmaker, author and diplomat, shares the little-known tale of integrity and courage of the first African American diplomat, appointed 1869, preceding longtime friend Frederick Douglass by 20 years.
Michele Bond parses immigration and solves the whole conundrum. So what's the problem? (Hint: Pete thinks it's us.)
Courtesy, respect, denial (painful, but often true). Tourist visas to visit the US, with Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. Can you guess why Pete is admitted and Laura is not?
In case you don't (say, you were born after 1960), Lauri Fitz-Pegado remembers him for us: his vision, his vim, his leadership, his significance to our participation in the worldwide economy. With bonus continuing comment from Pete on Venzuela.