Washington in a conundrum over Myanmar

Newly elected members of parliament and their family members preparing to return home with their belongings, after leaving guesthouses where they were residing in Nyapyitaw, Myanmar, on Feb 3, 2021.
Newly elected members of parliament and their family members preparing to return home with their belongings, after leaving guesthouses where they were residing in Nyapyitaw, Myanmar, on Feb 3, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - Monday's (Feb 1) coup d'etat in Myanmar stung a Washington eager to return to the business of promoting democracy, with President Joe Biden leading his foreign policy speech at the State Department on Thursday with a strong critique of the army's seizure of power.

The coup negated what was considered a foreign policy win for the Barack Obama administration, which in 2016 lifted all sanctions on Myanmar in return for its transition to what was at best a hybrid form of democracy, but still represented a huge change from the previous draconian military regime.

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