Monday, July 20, 2009

The Weekly N&C for July 20th, 2009

Apples and Apples and Oranges

So is there ever a case where one international situation is the same (within argument); that there are enough parallels that hypocrisy in the reaction of outside governments becomes apparent?

Rhetorical question.

One that is almost unanswerable without a detailed knowledge of the finer points of any cases being compared, but...

...when such comparisons do catch the attention, hypocrisy can be the second thing to come to mind (the first always being "the world is a terrible place", or some other such moment of sympathy for the innocent caught up in the turmoil).

Here's a couple of cases, just to see whether they trigger one's hypocrisy alarm:

The Bolivarian Socialist bloc, voiced by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, have claimed open support for demonstrations inside Honduras in favor of making removed-and-exiled former President Manuel Zelaya un-exiled and reinstated. They have certainly made vast amounts of resources available to sustain demonstrations and political protests outside Honduras, and there is solid enough evidence that they've sent support to the Zelaya faction inside Honduras.

So what? Zelaya is their man, and he got caught working the political machinations to turn Honduras into a Chavista vassal state. Of course they are opposed to his removal. Power to the Zelaya People and print up more t-shirts for the protesters.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, there have been ongoing labor actions against the various interventions by the Chavez regime... PDVSA (the national Oil monopoly) workers against party-appointed "union leaders" and "management"...
(Provea human rights NGO general coordinator, Marino) Alvarado accused Labor Minister MarĂ­a Cristina Iglesias of ordering the arrest of five employees of the state-run oil company Pdvsa Gas Anaco, who led a protest last April at the gates of the Ministry of Labor.

Alvarado stressed that such detentions show that the government has gradually become intolerant to demonstrations.
Note that the right to strike is guaranteed under the Venezuelan Constitution. Such arrests functionally make the criminalization of protests State Policy.

Same story goes for Venezuelan Guayana's Corporation (CGV), the State-controlled Aluminum smelters in Venezuela. Expect these strikes to be criminalized shortly.

So, protests against Honduras = good; protests against Chavista Venezuela = bad.

No surprise, but pretty blatant.


Madagascar, and the removal of Marc Ravalomanana by the military (acting on their own impetus). Ravalomanana is outright deposed, but not arrested, for a list of supposed crimes against the people and the State. He makes his way to southern Africa and is immediately welcomed into the SADC regional community as "still the legitimate President of Madagascar". Weeks went by, and pressure from all manner of the political bodies in the region mounted... threats of outside intervention were made... activists (provocateurs) demonstrated publicly, and plotted privately... the latest acts being a campaign of attempted bombings orchestrated by former government officials. Yet when this matter came before a more distant interested party (France)
France denounced the attempted strikes in its former colony and called for the island's feuding leaders to resume talks towards establishing a consensus government.

"France condemns all recourse to violence in Madagascar and hopes light is shone on this affair," said a statement from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In fact, France has shown a distinct willingness to keep the Rajoelina junta in place *in spite of serious Constitutional challenges to that having any legitimacy* and negotiate toward arranging for an election at some unspecified future date.

Yet France, as party to the European Union response to the Honduras Crisis, and even in possession of the entire manifest of Constitutionally-compliant actions by the interim government of Honduras (up to the act of exile), has seen to withdrawing its ambassador and calling for the reinstatement of M. Zelaya.

Maybe they would see things differently if Honduras had ever been a French Colony...


The Honduras Crisis negotiations (if they still exist) are supposed to forestall "possible civil war", yet the talking points being waved around by negotiator-in-chief President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica are as of this date a list of the Zelaya camp's demands, and the talks have rightfully gone nowhere.

It will be most edifying to see if *when* the impatient Mr. Zelaya (and his far-more impatient Bolivarian Socialist backers) attempts to force the issue with rioting and his return to some corner of Honduras, whether anyone will call this act what it is:

Just another attempt to make a government in Stanleyville to oppose the government in Leopoldville. (reference: Congo Crisis, 1960)

Let's try to stop that from happening again. That time, the guys with red stars on their hats poured material and weapons in and the result was five more years of bloody and nearly senseless warfare.

If it takes someone stepping up to the Zelaya-backers and saying "if that happens, then we go all-in on the side of the Interim Government; if it doesn't, you've got your negotiations", then so be it.

What's the worst that could happen if you (a country) steps up?

Hugo Chavez rants his hatred for you. Sounds pretty much like what he does already.

Big deal.

***

End Notes:

All notes are embedded in the text as links.

General Information on all matters and persons referenced in the text are available at Wikipedia, but as always *remember that this is a contentious matter* and to check carefully all sources cited therein.

3 comments:

Susan said...

Mr. Chavez--

Venezuela will strengthen its fleet of armored vehicles and increase its military presence along its border with Colombia, President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday....

and he was stated the US is trying to make Colombia another Israel

Susan said...

oops-- he also stated the US ...

L.Douglas Garrett said...

@Susan

He's got a line on about a 100 Russian main battle tanks. Problem is, he's used up most of his credit with Ivan and has not a whole lot of spare cash around right now.

None the less, the only meaningful need in the region for that sort of armored vehicle in substantial numbers would be offensive operations... and have you ever seen the terrain along most of that border? Not exactly tank country.

A couple hundred Javelin ATGM's (or equivalent) in Colombian hands would pretty much neutralize the threat posed by Hugo Chavez having more tanks.

But...

...they are very useful in the hands of the State against any internal challenge...

...presuming of course that one trusts one's Praetorian Guard.