Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PMBComments | Council on Foreign Relations drinks Chavez's Kool Aid

PMBComment: The Council on Foreign Relations must have hired a clueless intern to prepare an interactive timeline titled: Venezuela's Chávez Era. Fact checking and objectivity were clearly not part of the assigned task. There are so many factual errors that it would take some time to walk the reader through each one. A colleague blogger is preparing this detailed rebuttal as I write.The CFR does not know, to take a US factoid as example, that Dr. Rice was not Secretary of State in 2002. They also see no problem glorifying the murderous adventures of Hugo Chávez: the failed coup plotter. They ignore the fact that the Chavez revolution has brought certifiable chaos to the country. Corruption, the curse the revolution was meant to extirpate, is a bigger problem than ever and insecurity, inflation and food shortages define daily life for millions of Venezuelans from every socio-economic grouping. The CFR reserves all the adjectives for the past and all the good intentions to the ruinous Lt. Colonel. They seem to ignore - just to name two well documented reports - what HRW has concluded about human rights and what the GAO has laid out about Venezuela's full blown evolution into a indictable narcostate. It is this type of teary eyed romanticism that gets some US liberals into so much trouble as they view the world from the comfort of their academic or think tank perches with no intention whatsoever of spending any time in the countries they write and pontificate about.

While I do not expect the CFR to take this farcical timeline off their web site (intellectual pride is a constraint), I would expect them to read it and make requisite corrections. It is easier to say Condoleezza Rice made a mistake than to accept that it was the Clinton Administration that helped propel Mr. Chávez to power by denying him a visa for leading the failed coup CFR now glorifies. The right uses blunt instruments when engaged in foreign affairs, the left seems to become a pretzel beyond it home boundaries. Not sure what protects US interest best. In the case of Venezuela, we are not to far from an answer. PMB

Link to CFR Timeline: http://www.cfr.org/publication/13504/timeline.html

Maru Angarita
My blog is: http://maruangarita.blogspot.com/