Dems' bizarre assault on Hugo Chavez

News & Politics
This post, by Robert Naiman, originally appeared on the Blog for a Just Foreign Policy.

While many people were gnashing their teeth over the Congressional decision to fund the escalation of the war in Iraq without any meaningful restriction, the Senate, led by Senators Dodd, Clinton, and Obama, did something very bizarre. It passed a resolution introduced by Dodd and Lugar denouncing Venezuela for not renewing the license of a TV station that actively supported the 2002 military coup against the democratically elected government.

This continues a pattern for these Senators. I guess they feel that every time they do something to convince Democratic primary voters that they really oppose Bush's foreign policy (in this case, voting against the supplemental,) they feel they have to do something else to convince the Washington foreign policy establishment that they really support the Empire. Maybe they figure it's a freebie. Maybe they think that, unlike many places where the U.S. government sticks its nose, Venezuela is a truly independent country, so they can say nonsense things about Venezuela without causing much harm in the world. But such a resolution is not totally harmless. It hurts the cause of human rights, by giving grist to those in the world who ask, when some American politician talks about human rights somewhere, "How much oil does that country produce?"

Some of the bigfoot human rights groups also played a nefarious role in this affair. Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists also trashed the Venezuelan government's decision not to renew the license.

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