President Obama has spoken out against any new expansion of Israeli settlements, even if that expansion is a result of natural growth, e.g., new housing to accommodate the grown children of settlers. Yet, as the Washington Post editorial board observes, Obama turns a blind eye to the outrages committed by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
These outrages include a recent raid on the country’s last independent broadcast network; the elimination of the limit on Chavez’s tenure as president following “a one-sided referendum campaign that included ugly attacks on Venezuela’s Jewish community;” and imprisonment or orchestrated investigations against most of the country’s leading opposition figures. In addition, the National Assembly, which Chavez controls, is considering legislation that would eliminate collective bargaining and replace independent trade unions with “worker’s councils” controlled by Chavez’s ruling party.
Meanwhile, according to the Post, Obama “has persisted with the policy of quiet engagement that [he] promised before taking office.” Thus, the U.S. is “watch[ing] the systematic destruction of a Latin American democracy in silence.”
The Post asks: “Isn’t it time to start talking about preserving independent television stations, opposition political leaders, trade unions and human rights groups — before it is too late?” The answer, of course, is yes — unless one is a modern American leftist, indifferent to issues of self-rule and human rights abuses other than those that can be ginned up against America and its friends and allies.