Friday, February 17, 2006

Meddling meddling 

Venezuela. Our largest supplier of oil (I believe) and now a source of ire. Hugo Chavez wants the US to stop meddling in his affairs, while the US says he has to stop eroding democracy in his country while also destabilizing the region.

Rice said on Thursday Washington would try to curb Chavez's anti-American influence by reaching out to allies to expose any anti-democratic policies in what she termed an "inoculation" strategy to counter Chavez, who is allied to Cuba.

She said she had contacted governments to publicly criticize a treason trial against leaders of a movement, Sumate, which had received U.S. funding and helped organize a 2004 referendum that failed to oust Chavez.

Critics say the trial is political persecution by an increasingly authoritarian government, a charge Chavez dismisses as propaganda. Prosecutors say the group illegally received funding from a foreign government.

Should we be giving money to an opposition party in another country? Wasn't there an uproar here about a connection between Saudi donations and Bush? What is wrong with countries wanting some sovereignty and separation from the US? If democracy is so important and noble, what firm ground are we standing on when we criticize and withhold our backing when candidates we don't like are democratically elected (see Palestine)? If the people elect someone in a truly democratic election, isn't that what we are after? Or is it a truly democratic election if the candidate the US wants is elected?

Our (recent) history with Central and South America is pretty screwed up, a fiasco of meddling, US-sponsored dictators, etc. I wonder when that will end? Is it really any wonder that those countries want to be free of our direct influences?

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

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