Previous signs of “Miss me yet?” may have sprung up around various points in the United States, but in certain portions of Europe the 43rd president is still not getting a warm reception. After agreeing to assist in a charity event for a Jewish group in Switzerland, warning signs indicated that some left wing groups were preparing a decidedly hostile welcome for Bush and the trip had to be canceled.
President George W. Bush has canceled an event in the famously neutral country Switzerland because of expected protests to his presence there.
Bush was supposed to give the keynote address at a Jewish group’s charity gala on Feb. 12 in Geneva.
Leftist groups had planned to protest the visit, according to news agencies. But several human rights groups had also filed criminal complaints against Bush, demanding that he be taken into custody if he stepped on Swiss soil and investigated for allegations of ordering torture.
A right-wing member of the Swiss parliament also demanded last week Bush’s arrest on war crimes allegations if he came to the country, according to Reuters.
It was already pointed out to the organizers that, all protests aside, Bush’s status as a visiting dignitary and former head of state would have assured him a level of diplomatic immunity. None of that, however, would have lessened the negative effect of proposed demonstrations.
In the end, the most damage would not have been done to Bush, but to the charitable organization trying to conduct their fundraising. It appears that this was taken into consideration and the former president chose not to hamper their work by canceling the trip entirely. No indication was given as to whether or not the appearance could be rescheduled for a later date.