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Vox Sentences: Digging up dead dictators

Trump lifts the sanctions on Turkey; deceased Spanish dictator Francisco Franco removed from the Valley of the Fallen.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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Trump ends Turkey sanctions

  • President Trump announced that he would be lifting the sanctions against Turkey on Wednesday. [Washington Post / Felicia Sonmez and David Nakamura]
  • Sanctions were first imposed against Turkey as a congressional response to Turkish “Operation Peace Spring” into northern Syria to establish a safe zone and eliminate Kurdish forces. Trump initially supported the sanctions if “Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.” [CBS News]
  • By pulling US troops out of Turkey, Trump’s actions facilitated the Turkish incursion into Syria against the Kurds. [Axios / Dave Lawler]
  • Now Trump says that since Turkey halted their military operation and agreed to make the ceasefire that the US helped negotiate permanent, there’s no longer a need to impose sanctions. [Wall Street Journal / Vivian Salama, Michael R. Gordon and Jared Malsin]
  • While justifying his actions, Trump said of his wider pullout from the Middle East, “We’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long, blood-stained sand.” [Al Jazeera]
  • Trump has since called the course of events a “great outcome” for Syria and praised the ceasefire negotiations as the US passing on the mantle of handling the Middle East to the region itself. [Politico / Quint Forgey]
  • Vox’s Alex Ward argues that Trump’s handling of this crisis is the clearest example of the “Trump doctrine” of foreign policy. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • Imposing, removing, reimposing, increasing, and decreasing: Does America have a sanctions problem? [The Atlantic / Neil Bhatiya and Edoardo Saravalle]

Spain exhumes and reburies Franco

  • After a year-long legal battle, the remains of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco were exhumed from their place in the Valley of the Fallen. [The Guardian / Sam Jones]
  • Franco will be re-interred in a public cemetery where his deceased wife is buried, situated next to the El Pardo palace of his time in power. His family unsuccessfully attempted to challenge the relocation in court. [New York Times / Raphael Minder]
  • The move, 44 years after Franco’s funeral, is part of the socialist government’s promise to stop glorifying the dictator and his fascist regime. [BBC]
  • Spain’s government says that the day-long operation was done to repay a debt to Franco’s victims, many of whom were buried in unmarked graves inside the same mausoleum that he resided in prior to the move. [Washington Post / Ciaran Giles and Aritz Parra]



“The whole predicate of your question is insane.” [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during an interview about US credibility since pulling troops out of Syria]

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