Aug 25/05 - On a columnist's failed attempt to make a point
PMBComment: knowing Marcela, I think there was a bit of pointed irony intended in today's article, BUT I searched real hard and I have to admit I did not consider it funny at all. I found it quite easy to take issue with sentence after sentence, and poke holes all over her key premises and conclusions.
Chavez's largess, it's motivation, it's consequences for the welfare of Venezuelans of all walks of life - poor and not so poor - and it's likely long term effect on the recipient nations, do not seem to me like a subject to lever on just to take a stab at the Bush Administration. And it certainly does not merit this lame attempt at moral equivalency. If there is ONE point I do agree with Marcela on, it is that the
Because it is Friday and because they were so darn obvious, I will spare you the rest of the comments I made to Marcela directly. PMB
Washington Post Web Edition
August 26, 2005
By MARCELA SANCHEZ
At a time when record oil prices are becoming an ever-increasing burden, the leader of the world's fifth-largest oil producer is offering flexible financing not only to his close ally
Just last week, when protesters crippled oil production in
By golly, Chavez is a modern-day, Spanish-speaking Robin Hood. Such a characterization is, of course, heresy in
The truth is that Chavez is a lot of both. He is the Robin Hood who supports the poor with the money of the rich, and he is the ideologue who pushes an anti-imperialist, socialist agenda.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration has chosen to take on the Chavez challenge purely in terms of the latter. In the administration's rhetoric and in its thinking, Chavez is a communist, a meddler and, most damning, another Castro. And so
During Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Latin America last week, a Pentagon statement reiterated concerns over the ``menace'' that the Cuba-Venezuela axis poses to the region. Rumsfeld, on his third visit to the region in 10 months, stopped in
This kind of one-dimensional thinking blinds
For all Chavez and Castro would like to take credit that this is their doing, and for all that Bush officials would like to give it to them, the fact is that such popular discontent is more the fault of democracy and free markets than an axis diabolico.
So the onus, in great part, is on
This is why both Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo took advantage of Rumsfeld's visits to send an urgent plea to
The success of democracies in
But as long as the Bush administration obsesses solely on the destructive side of Chavez, it will be distracted from the hard work necessary to help Latin American economies succeed. And as long as it avoids that challenge, as long as high oil prices continue, Chavez will be more than happy to offer a hand.