ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Latin America - Rejecting the Tide of History

From the Washington Times via FrontPageMag.com

Losing Latin America?
By William R. Hawkins
Washington Times | May 25, 2005

The Bush administration's recent interest in Latin America may be too little, too late. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a five-day trip to Brazil, El Salvador, Colombia, and Chile in late April; and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld addressed the Council of the Americas in Washington on May 3. "Today the countries of the region are working together in a very constructive way," Mr. Rumsfeld said, claiming. "They're leaning forward in support of democracy."

Unfortunately, the region is dominated by left-wing governments elected on anti-U.S. platforms, a development that cannot be considered constructive.
[...]
The Bush administration recognizes this problem in regard to President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The democratically elected ex-paratrooper is thought to have financed violent insurgent groups in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Venezuela might have played a role in the revolt that toppled Ecuadorean President Lucio Gutierrez in April.

Mr. Chavez has been accused by U.S. and Colombian officials of supporting the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). Mr. Chavez has been supplying oil to his mentor Fidel Castro in Cuba, and is looking to buy Russian weapons to expand his military.

Cuba and China have sent hundreds of military "advisers" and "trainers" to Venezuela to help the Chavez regime maintain itself against strong domestic opposition and political turmoil.

Venezuelan military training under foreign communist tutelage will not contain any of the values of democracy and respect for human rights that are part of the U.S. approach to creating professional soldiers. The Chinese hold that the army owes its allegiance exclusively to the ruling party. This principle was demonstrated during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy activists.

An indoctrinated army would appeal to the embattled Venezuelan president, who was ousted briefly by a 2002 coup after his supporters opened fire on hundreds of thousands of unarmed demonstrators. It would run directly contrary to Washington's recent efforts to foster civilian governments whose militaries stayed in their barracks during political crises.

Latin America certainly isn't moving with the tide of history... and the Bush administration isn't exactly handling the situation effectively in my opinion. Of course, there are plenty on the Left that think Hugo Chavez, Castro, et al down south are all just a bunch of cute socialists...

Yeah, they're harmless... training an indoctrinated army to make sure they keep their hold on power, shooting unarmed demonstrators, supporting narco-terrorists (FARC), toppling neighbor governments... It seems the Left will overlook these minor issues and even mobilize to financially support someone like this - as long as he's got a Oil-For-Chickens program.


El Presidente Hugo Chavez shortly before
ordering his supporters to shoot unarmed demonstrators.
Note the fashionable red beret


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler