Without mentioning the Investor’s Business Daily editorial reporting Hugo Chavez’s late night phone call to Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, Mary Anastasia O’Grady advances the story a bit by placing her own call to Shannon. O’Grady comments that Chavez’s phone call “showed that his campaign [to reinsate deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya] was not going well and that he thought he could get U.S. help.” She adds:
Mr. Shannon told me that Mr. Chávez “again made the case for the unconditional return of Mr. Zelaya, though he did so in a less bombastic manner than he has in the past.”
Mr. Shannon says that in response he “suggested to him that Venezuela and its [allies] address the fear factor by calling for free and fair elections and a peaceful transition to a new government.” That, Mr. Shannon, says, “hasn’t happened.”
Yet the Obama administration persists in its demand for the restoration of Zelaya to power and in the threat of sanctions if Honduras’s interim president, Congress and Supreme Court don’t back down. It stands shoulder to shoulder with Chavez in calling for Zelaya’s unconditional reinstatement.
The IBD editorial concluded that Chavez’s actions in the Honduras debacle are “nothing but the work of a dictator disguised in democracy’s clothing.” It would be nice if Chavez’s midnight phone call were to wake up others in the Obama administration besides Shannon.