Mr. Kerry, Stop Bullying Venezuela
I don’t believe in the dogmatic postulates of Marxist revolution. I don’t accept that we are living in a period of proletarian revolutions. Reality is telling us that every day. But if I am told that because of that reality you can’t do anything to help the poor, then I say, “We part company.”
-Hugo Chavez, 2004
The hypocrisy of the government of the United States seems to know no limits. The current posture it’s taking toward the elected government of Venezuela is simply shameful.
Secretary of State John Kerry and two powerful US Senators are threatening economic sanctions unless the duly elected Venezuelan government changes its tune in on-going talks between itself and a collection of disgruntled right-wing parties and business elements. The headline in the New York Times reads: “Kerry Calls on Venezuela To Talk with Opposition.” What it should have read was: “Kerry Threatens Venezuela With Sanctions: Do It Our Way, Or Else.”
The headline misleads because talks are already in process mediated by representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and the Roman Catholic Church. Venezuela is talking; the opposition just hasn’t gotten what it or the US wants -- hence the threats. Encouraging fair diplomatic talks is a good thing; but threats of an economic attack? The hypocrisy is laughable.
Can you imagine John Kerry threatening Israel with economic sanctions if it did not “demonstrate good-faith actions” or “honor the dialogue process” or “restore the civil liberties of [Palestinian] leaders who have been unjustly imprisoned.” Kerry’s Israel/Palestine diplomacy crashed and burned last month, and as most of the world knows, the Israeli decision to pursue new West Bank settlements in the midst of the talks had a lot to do with their demise. The Israelis failed miserably at “good faith actions.” So why not economic sanctions against Israel? You gotta be kidding.