Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan assumed power in May 2018 by riding on a wave of populism that he had generated.
On September 22, he tried to extend the momentum of that populism to the diaspora, delivering a masterful speech in Los Angeles. His speech stretched beyond celebrating the 28th anniversary of the independence of Armenia, covering some fundamental issues affecting Armenia and Armenians around the world.
Although these days the Pashinyan administration’s revolving door of defections can compete with those of President Trump, betraying some instability at the helm, the prime minister was able to capture his audience through his charisma and seriousness of intent.
In the first place, his speech was a resounding tribute to the diaspora, acknowledging in detail endeavors to support Armenia’s revival. Perhaps he went too far, saying that without diasporan help, Armenia could not survive.
Then, he went on to build block by block the golden bridge that he wants to extend from Armenia to the diaspora and vice versa.
He expressed his gratitude for the humanitarian relief programs that the diasporan organizations have delivered to Armenia and turning the tables, he proposed to convert the humanitarian programs to “utilitarian” ones by investing in Armenia. Thus, his recommendation was “enrich Armenia and enrich yourselves.”