Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hugo the Horrible

Pat Robertson's recent boneheaded comments about "taking out" (and no, I don't mean for a nice dinner) Venezualan President Hugo Chavez has placed a spotlight on the Latin American leader. Some (not all) on the Left see Mr. Chavez as a great leader, standing up against the hegemonic United States as this Minneapolis wrtier suggests.

I've never bought into that line. Just because someone comes in under the guise of helping the poor doesn't make them necessarily good. And there is evidence that Chavez is not the just leader he claims to be.

Julian Sanchez has a very good article detailing the danger that Chavez poses-not necessarily to the US but to the Region as does Michael Shifter of the InterAmerican dialogue.

I'm not against Chavez because he is a leftist. Brazil and Chile both have leftist leaders, but they aren't trying to usurp democracy as Chavez is.

In a time when Latin America is enjoying freedom after decades of dictatorships and repression, we can't afford to have it slip back. Chavez threatens that freedom under the guise of helping the poor.


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