In his Miami Herald column yesterday Andres Oppenheimer wrote about the Organization of American States (OAS) in particular its recent victory over several member countries who are trying to stifle the OAS on matters of human rights.
Mexico — alongside Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Canada and the United States — succeeded in defeating a proposal by Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua to strip the 34-country Organization of American States’ human rights commission of most of its funding, and to significantly reduce its powers.
When you read about this bloc of countries, with Venezuela at the forefront, you have to wonder how otherwise apparently intelligent people are either unmoved, or unaware, or just plain refuse to believe that anything is wrong. When the OAS criticized, rightly, the US about the prison camp at Guantanamo, everyone heard about it. Yet when countries such as Venezuela are cited for attacks on media restrictions it falls on deaf ears.
Sean Penn, Oliver Stone et al. were all over late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez when the cameras were rolling. Do they choose to ignore his media limitations? Did they just fall hook, line and sinker for his charm? It’s not a rumour or an unfounded accusation that he shut down media outlets, it’s a fact. An inconvenient fact, but a fact nonetheless.
(The OAS has) criticized both the United States for its prison camp in Guantánamo, and Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia for their constant attacks on press freedoms.
Venezuela and its allies, whose presidents already control all government branches and want to clamp down on the last vestige of criticism in their countries — the media — had mounted a diplomatic offensive over the past two years to effectively silence the two OAS agencies.”
As I’ve blogged elsewhere, Chavez talked a good presidency, but that’s all it was, talk when it came to actually helping the poor, Chavez was much more likely to give money to foreign tyrants than to help his own citizens. You might be able to understand poor, desperate, uneducated people living in squalor hanging their hopes on Chavez and taking him at his word. But otherwise bright folks seeing him as anything but a tyrant himself is mind-boggling.