Pompeo: ‘Longing for freedom is … common to all of humanity’

James Baker and Michael R. Pompeo talking (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo (right) meets with former Secretary of State James Baker in Houston, Texas, on November 15. (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)

The human desire for freedom is universal and cannot be repressed, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said November 15.

Reflecting on his recent trip to Germany, where he celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pompeo noted that “the longing for freedom accrues and is common to all of humanity.”

The ordinary people who came together to bring down the Berlin Wall give everyone hope, Pompeo said. They are a testament to the power of the human spirit and people’s desire to be free.

Ending the Cold War and delivering people from oppression is a major accomplishment for mankind, Pompeo said in a speech at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy in Houston. Baker, who introduced Pompeo, was the 61st secretary of state. Pompeo credited him with helping to end the Cold War during George H.W. Bush’s presidency.

“It’s no coincidence that the most successful societies in the world are indeed free societies, because they’re the only place … that men and women can reach their true potential,” the secretary said.

But there are still many places where regimes oppress their people, he noted.

“The good news is we have lots of advantages,” Pompeo said. Democratic values have an attractiveness and resilience unlike anything in the world.

Around the world, in places like Iran, Venezuela and Hong Kong, ordinary people are expressing their hope for freedom and liberty, Pompeo said. There is a “natural hunger for human freedom,” he said, and “we should never underestimate its great and awesome power.”