Reuters reports that the relationship between the United States and Myanmar have been strengthened by Obama’s visit on Monday. The American President was welcomed by numerous residents and pro-democracy protestors making people in the Republic hope for a democratic regime.
Barack Obama never expected to be so well-received by Myanmar inhabitants. Yet, the streets of the Republic were crowded with people taking pictures as the African American President visited some of the most important attractions of the country.
Facebook pages were immediately flooded with photos of the President as he was walking barefoot through the Buddhist pagoda, Shwedagon or shaking hands with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
While some people remain reserved about the implications that Obama’s visit could have on the adoption of a democratic regime, others regarded the U.S. commander-in-chief as the knight in shining armor they had all been waiting for. They were, in fact, upset that Obama didn’t make the trip to Myanmar earlier, but they admitted that it is always “better late than never”. “Things would have been quite different if a U.S. president had come to us much earlier,” teacher Thein Aung, 37, told Reuters reporters.
Myanmar has been through decades of hardline military regime, which led to its current poverty and isolation. Pro-democratic protestors have always been persecuted and Suu Kyi was arrested due to the beliefs they held. Residents, however, hope things could turn better in their country, especially now that they have received President Barack Obama’s visit. “His visit to Myanmar will surely strengthen the good impression of our country among the international community,” stated Chan Tun, one of the country’s former ambassadors to China. He further added that he hopes Obama will help the country make the transition towards democracy.
The President’s visit to Myanmar could have positive consequence on its reputation, as well. Obama’s arrival in the country also known as Burma coincided with the release of 52 political prisoners. The majority of the residents believe the American President has contributed to their liberation.