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Little Fidel in Caracas

By A.M. Mora y Leon | The American Thinker

19.12.04 | On Venezuela, the Los Angeles Times has written a superb editorial, correctly realizing that dictator Hugo Chavez is emerging as Little Fidel in Caracas and preparing to assume the full world mantle of his dying tyrannical hero.  

For Americans, it's more important than the mainstream media has let on. It's not very well known that Hugo Chavez has destroyed nearly all personal liberties in his country since consolidating power six weeks ago. And even less known than that this same dictator has stepped up his ties with the international terrorist community, recently visiting the ayatollahs of Iran. On that trip, Chavez directed his goons in Caracas to raid on a Jewish school full of children. The object was to terrify them, ostensibly in search of 'weapons,' but in reality it was Chavez's gift to the glowering ayatollahs. Chavez has always had a soft spot for anti-semitic terrorism, given his flowery love letters to jailed Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal. But in the past six weeks, he's concretely stepped up his ties to the terrorist regimes, as if he were angling hard to join the Axis of Evil. That's bad news for the U.S.
But the LA Times has finally noticed, and this is to their credit. (We do not expect the same of the New York Times which is currently upholding its Herbert Matthews legacy.) The LA Times join the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Miami Herald in warning the world about the looming danger just 1350 miles south of Miami.
It's an interesting irony to see the left-leaning mainstream media like the LAT come up with the same solution to Chavez that the Bush Administration has recommended months earlier. But that's what happened yesterday morning when the LAT editorial staff looked at Venezuela honestly ... and came up with the same recommendation that Dr. Condoleezza Rice spelled out two months ago shortly before the elections.
Compare and contrast:
Dr. Rice: .. In Venezuela ... I think President Hugo Chavez is a real problem. I think he will continue to find ways to subvert democracy in his own country. He will continue to find ways to make his neighbors miserable. He will continue his contacts with Fidel Castro, maybe giving Castro one last fling to try to affect the politics of Latin America, which is not a good thing. He's involved in ways in Colombia with the FARC (Marxist rebels) that are unhelpful.

The key there is to mobilize the region to both watch him and be vigilant about him and to pressure him when he makes moves in one direction or another. We can't do it alone. This is a region where if we try to do it alone, we actually probably strengthen him. But the OAS (Organization of American States) can do a lot. We're hopeful that the recognition that he's not following a democratic course will help mobilize the OAS to do that. They have done it before -- with Peru they did it. Watching his activities and making it costly at least politically for Chavez to carry out anti-democratic activities either at home or in the region is really about where we are.

-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, via Pittsburgh Tribune Review  and Daniel's Venezuela News and Views    
As increasingly frustrated democratic forces in Venezuela run out of options, the best way to prevent social unrest in that deeply divided country is for other left-leaning South American presidents like Ricardo Lagos of Chile, Nestor Kirchner of Argentina and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil to speak up. They need to convince Chavez that mimicking his buddy Fidel Castro is incompatible with the region's commitment to democracy.

-The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 18, 2004

Meantime, Venezuelan analyst Alexandra Beech in London has written a fine blog essay analyzing the Los Angeles Times' and other media's growing realization of the leftist disaster now unfolding in Chavez's Venezuela. It's well worth reading.

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