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‘Sickened’, ‘saddened’ and ‘a bit angry’: US Ambassador Cella on riots

The outgoing US Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and Tonga says he was sickened, saddened and a bit angered by the scenes of violence at the US Capitol building in Washington DC  last week. 

Ambassador Joseph Cella leaves Suva and his role as America’s top diplomat in Fiji in nine days. An apppointee of President Donald Trump, he spent just over the year  as Ambassador, and has championed US support for the Pacific’s private sector and entrepreneurs amongst other causes during his short tenure.  Today in Suva he hosted a roundtable on “building bridges between civil society, business and government.’

Asked about Fiji’s reaction to last week’s riots, and whether the US’s international partners should be worried about the events, Ambassador Cella said:  “Having worked at the historically hallowed and pristine halls of Congress, what I saw sickened me, it was saddening, a bit angry. To hear that a US capital police officer was clubbed in the head with a fire extinguisher and killed, awful. But our principles and truths are timeless, that our republic is based on and it will endure this. This will pass, don’t know when, soon enough it will but [I’m] always optimisitic we have endured very very grave difficulties in the not so distant past and we have come out stronger again and I’m confident we will too this time.”   

He has asked the people of Fiji to “pray for the United States”.

“Over the arc of the history of the United States, over the arc of the history of the Republic of Fiji, we’ve had undulations. We’ve rode those out, some have been more challenging and uncertain than others. We’re at another one of those moments, and I hope and trust and pray that the better angels will prevail of people.”

Prior to coming to the Pacific, he served as the Catholic Liaison for the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign and managed the campaign’s Catholic Advisory Group.  He also served on the Presidential Transition Team.   

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