The presidents of Chile, Colombia and Panama have issued statements deploring the political violence in Venezuela, urging that every effort be made to halt the violence, and encouraging dialogue by all parties in arriving at a peaceful denouement that respects human rights, free speech, the right to protest peacefully and respect for democracy.
Kudos to President Sebastián Piñera of Chile, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and President Roberto Martinelli of Panama, for publicly taking positions that uphold the principles of human rights and democracy stipulated explicitly in the bylaws of Mercosur, Unasur, CELAC, Caricom and the OAS democratic charter – among others.
Latin America has at least three heads of state today who are conscious of their shared obligations and responsibilities in defending human rights and democracy.
Sad indeed that the rest of Latin America/Caribbean region’s elected leaders are not, in fact, behaving like heads of state but rather whores of state who evidently are choosing to say nothing for reasons of self-interest.
Jose Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch said earlier this week that Latin America’s democratically elected governments are driven increasingly by self-interest; pragmatism trumps everything else.
He deplored Brazil’s silence, and Argentina’s endorsement of an ALBA statement backing Maduro.
Vivanco also noted that the OAS democratic charter is “dead” because none of the OAS member states are willing to officially call for its application against Maduro.
It appears Vivanco’s explanation is that Latin American and Caribbean states have become so globalized and prosperous economically, and democracy has taken such deep roots in the region that no one cares about tyranny, freedom and human rights any more.
Maybe it looks that way from Washington, DC – but not in Venezuela.
The US, EU and Canada have condemned the violence in Venezuela, urging Maduro to cease the violent repression, respect human rights and pursue peaceful democratic solutions for the population’s legitimate grievances.
The presidents of Chile, Colombia and Panama also have made firm statements calling on Maduro to halt the violence and uphold human rights in Venezuela.
But with very few exceptions, there isn’t a country in the region today that hasn’t been whorishly slavish to the Bolivarian regime for the past 15 years in exchange for discounted oil, cash giveaways and other “freebies” they received from the Chavez-Maduro regime.
These whores of state want to continue receiving discounted oil, cash and other freebies. They want to continue paying for their discounted oil supplies from Venezuela with food and other goods at grossly inflated prices. They want to continue trading with Venezuela in Sucres instead of dollars – Sucres being the ALBA’s monopoly currency.
Currently these countries owe Pdvsa – meaning the Venezuelan people – about $10bn including all of the Americas, not just PetroCaribe, with payments stretched out over 25 years.
If the Venezuelan people’s revolt against Maduro’s Bolivarian tyranny succeeds, the discounted oil and cash giveaways will stop immediately. And, potentially worse, a new government in Venezuela might call in those loans regardless of the terms under which they were agreed.
The pro-Maduro positions staked out by scum like Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador’s wannabe president-for-life) are understandable. This trio, members of ALBA, say and do whatever Havana dictates.
It’s also understandable that Cristina Kirchner (Argentina) came down against democracy, siding with Maduro’s tyranny.
Pdvsa bankrolled Cristina’s presidential aspirations, and Argentine “entrepreneurs” clustered around chief crook (aka planning minister) Julio de Vido have scammed tens of billions of dollars from the Bolivarian regime over the past 12 years.
Corruption and communism bind the above quartet. But it’s likely they also share well-grounded fears that what’s happening today in Venezuela could happen to them – particularly if Nicolas Maduro and gang get booted out of power.
Commies and crooks worry about toppling dominoes too. If Maduro falls and the Bolivarian revolution implodes in Venezuela, it could spread to other countries in the region.
It’s also not surprising that nary a peep has been heard officially from Dilma Rousseff (Brazil). Itamaraty’s boots of clay are legendary in global diplomacy.
And Dilma is, after all, a lifelong communist and also the handpicked successor of Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, the mellowed radical who was president of Brazil twice and then retired to enjoy the hundreds of millions of dollars he (and his family) stole while in power.
Rousseff also won’t do anything to annoy Maduro because it could upset billions of dollars of Brazilian exports and contracts in Venezuela by firms like Odebrecht and Embraer.
Mercosur – whose founding members include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – has said nothing, and likely won’t. This ostrich-in-the-sand position openly ignores Mercosur’s democratic clauses, demonstrating empirically that Mercosur will never be more than a Brazilian shadow puppet and job bank for Southern Cone burrocrats.
Prime minister Portia Simpson-Miller (Jamaica) also has remained silent on the Maduro regime’s systematic violation of human rights.
It’s said in Kingston that Simpson-Miller supports a growing campaign in Jamaica to demand financial reparations from England for 300 years of slavery, but don’t expect her to call on Maduro’s government to halt the murderous violence unleashed against anti-government protestors armed with rocks and smartphones.
Jamaica, together with Nicaragua and Dominican Republic, has one of the largest (and growing) debts with Pdvsa for oil supplies financed under PetroCaribe. Kingston wants to pay down that debt with agricultural goods and “services” – whatever that means.
Caricom covered the Caribbean’s collective rump with a self-serving, three-paragraph “official statement” that shows again why the Caribbean states get no respect anywhere in the world even when they band together for strength, urging in the second paragraph “respect for the democratically elected Government of the Bolivarian Republic.”
Deafening silence also from Mauricio Funes (El Salvador), Otto Perez Molina (Guatemala), Juan Orlando Hernandez (Honduras), Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Michel Martelly (Haiti) and Danilo Medina (Dominican Republic).
Chile’s Piñera will transfer power in less than a month to new Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, who also has been silent on Venezuela.
“She’s hoping the problems in Venezuela will go away before she takes the presidential oath and gets put on the spot,” a friend in Santiago Skyped today.