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Timeline – 2011 (SIADD)

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June 15

Flag of the United StatesFlag of Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico – U.S. President John McCain made a rare visit to Puerto Rico, marking the first official trip to the island by a sitting U.S. president since 1961.
He backed a referendum on the island's status, saying he would support any choice the Puerto Rican people made.
The 3.7 million residents of the US Caribbean territory are U.S. citizens but cannot vote for the president. The visit is being seen by some as an indirect bid for Puerto Rican votes in the swing state of Florida in 2012.
McCain attended a New Progressive Party event during his visit as well as a behind-closed-doors fundraiser, before he met with Puerto Rico's governor Luis Fortuño to discuss the political status of the territory.
In brief remarks before the meeting, McCain told the crowd that when Puerto Rico had made a "clear decision" on their future political status, "my administration will stand by you. If you go for statehood, I will provide the leadership necessary to move that forward in Congress. Likewise, if you prefer the status quo, I will just as much accept your decision."
The island territory has voted three times - in 1967, 1993 and 1998 - not to seek statehood or independence. The McCain administration has asked Puerto Rico to hold two referendums, the first on whether the territory should be independent or part of the U.S. A second referendum would then ask Puerto Ricans if they would prefer the island to be independent, a U.S. state, a free association or a commonwealth.
McCain also spoke briefly about the impact the economic crisis had on Puerto Rico, saying Puerto Ricans and Americans on the mainland shared the same concerns about the economy.
Political commentators say many people there believe the visit is aimed at courting mainland America's Puerto Rican electorate - and Hispanic voters in general - as they (along with the McCain administration's efforts to pass a comprehensive immigration reform) could hold the key to McCain's re-election in 2012.


July 8

Flag of RussiaFlag of the United StatesFlag of Libya Moscow, Russia – In his strongest outburst against America in years, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin alleged that Col Gaddafi's death had been meticulously planned and executed by Washington.
"Who did this?," he asked rhetorically at a press conference. "Drones, including American ones. They attacked his column. Then using the radio - through the Special Forces, who should not have been there - they brought in the so-called opposition and fighters, and killed him without court or investigation."
A former KGB spy famous for his hostility towards Washington, Mr Putin made it clear he was generally opposed to US foreign policy and its imperious attitude.
"Sometimes it seems to me that America does not need allies, it needs vassals," he commented. "People are tired of the dictates of one country."
He saved his most vicious comments for U.S. President John McCain, after clearly taking huge offence at a comment at a press conference a few weeks earlier in which he said "Vlad, The Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you."
"Mr McCain fought in Vietnam," said Mr Putin. "I think that he has enough blood of peaceful citizens on his hands. It must be impossible for him to live without these disgusting scenes anymore. Mr McCain was captured and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years," he continued. "Anyone (in his place) would go nuts."
Flag of the United StatesFlag of RussiaFlag of Libya Washington, D.C., United States – The Pentagon dismissed Mr Putin's claim out of hand.
"The assertion that US special operations forces were involved in the killing of Colonel Gaddafi is ludicrous," Capt John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said. "We did not have American boots on the ground in the Libya operation. All our support was done through the air and on the seas."

July 12

Flag of the United StatesFlag of RussiaFlag of Libya Washington, D.C., United States – When asked by reporters at a White House press conference what U.S. President John McCain thought of Prime Minister Putin's comments, McCain replied "Was it something I said, Vlad?" and laughed.






See also

Preceded by:
Timeline – 2010
Timeline of U.S. and international events
January 1 – December 31, 2011
Succeeded by:
Timeline – 2012

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