Winning over hearts, minds, and ears

State.gov This may be the fresh approach American foreign policy has been looking for. According to The Miami Herald, U.S. Amb. James Cason has become a singing sensation in Paraguay after learning the native Guaraní language and recording an album of indigenous folk songs. Cason, who became ambassador to Paraguay in 2005, has become quite ...

594357_080701_cason_2005_1405.jpg
594357_080701_cason_2005_1405.jpg

State.gov

State.gov

This may be the fresh approach American foreign policy has been looking for. According to The Miami Herald, U.S. Amb. James Cason has become a singing sensation in Paraguay after learning the native Guaraní language and recording an album of indigenous folk songs.

Cason, who became ambassador to Paraguay in 2005, has become quite the hit. His songs are in heavy rotation on local radio stations and he drew 1,000 to a sold-out downtown concert. He’s used the proceeds from the concert and album sales to raise over $20,000 for English-language education scholarships, gaining plenty of attention from the locals along the way:

He’s been on TV and in all the newspapers,” said Nelson Viveros, 16, who traveled to meet the ambassador recently in Encarnación, by the Argentina border. “It’s strange, but people love it.”

Not everyone is convinced. One Paraguyan senator, who has asked Paraguay’s legislature to denounce Cason, said the diplomat “sings horribly and his pronunciation of Guaraní words is stammering. It is an offense to the Paraguayan people.”

Patrick Fitzgerald is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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