US Ambassador: Our democracy will come out of this stronger

There is a certain similarity to the 2018 protests in Slovakia and the Black Lives Matter protests in the US now, says Ambassador Bridget Brink.

US Ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink. US Ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink. (Source: Courtesy by the US Embassy to Slovakia)

Rarely does the world change so much within a few months as it has since Bridget Brink first came to Bratislava to serve as the US ambassador to Slovakia. In this interview with The Slovak Spectator, she comments on how governments have responded to the pandemic, the similarity she sees between the Black Lives Matter protests in the US to the For a Decent Slovakia movement, and the threats of corruption and disinformation facing Slovakia.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What was it like coming to Slovakia in 2019, amid everything that was going on?

Bridget Brink (BB): It is a very dynamic moment for Slovakia, but also a really important time in America and globally. What resonates with me after my first year is how much we are united with our shared values: freedom, democracy, rule of law, and human rights, as well as our mutual goals of stability, prosperity, security, and transatlantic cooperation. I have found that we have so much in common and so much to share, in ways that I think are all very positive, like the environment, the shared love of the outdoors, which my family shares, the strong sense of family and community, and just an overall love of freedom. I see that here. We need to keep reminding ourselves of the benefits of our shared values, and of our shared history. The birth of Slovakia started with Slovak and Czech Americans in the United States, after all. Of course, it does not mean we must agree on everything, but we remain strong partners and allies.

TSS: One of the biggest challenges and threats for Slovakia and the US are conspiracy theories and disinformation. What have you learned about dealing with this problem during your time in Slovakia?

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