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Wed Jun 4, 2014, 04:07 PM

Lawmakers Push Back Against Administration’s Failed Latin America Policy

Published on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 by The Hill

Lawmakers Push Back Against Administration’s Failed Latin America Policy

by Mark Weisbrot

In a remarkable eruption of sanity in Washington, there is finally some pushback from Congress against the far-right and “center” on U.S. policy toward Venezuela and Latin America -- something that has not happened under the McCarthyite pall that has prevailed for years.

A letter from members of Congress to President Obama last Tuesday expressed strong opposition to legislation that will impose economic sanctions against Venezuelan officials. In an election year in which there is nothing for politicians to gain from standing up to the bullies of the recently merged anti-Cuba and anti-Venezuela lobbies, this is significant. But even more striking were some of the points that the letter made about U.S. policy in the region.

The members of Congress noted that the U.S. government typically “takes European or African governments’ opinions into account in those regions,” and put forth the proposition that it should do the same for Latin America. Now this might seem like a no-brainer, but the White House and State Department routinely take decisions and actions on regional issues without any consultation whatsoever with other governments. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initial decision to not recognize last year’s presidential election results in Venezuela – which he later reversed under pressure from South America – comes to mind as an example. The U.S. government’s numerous actions in support of the 2009 coup government in Honduras – which were vehemently opposed in the region – are another example of unilateral actions that caused much resentment in the hemisphere.

In a move sure to infuriate the right, the letter also called for the Obama administration to accept Venezuela’s ambassador, and to appoint one for Venezuela. The members of Congress also noted:

"The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Organization of American States (by a 29-3 vote) have all issued statements that are in various ways supportive of the Venezuelan government and that call for the respect of the country’s democratic institutions. A number of presidents and governments, including Michelle Bachelet of Chile, have publicly warned against attempts to forcibly remove the democratically elected government of Venezuela."

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/06/04-11

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Reply Lawmakers Push Back Against Administration’s Failed Latin America Policy (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 OP
dixiegrrrrl Jun 2014 #1
geek tragedy Jun 2014 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 05:59 PM

1. Good!

Rec.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 06:02 PM

2. does the US even have a LatAm policy?

 

It seems they've pretty much ignored this hemisphere, which is a serious flaw I guess.

Has Venezuela appointed an ambassador to the US? There's been no eagerness on either side to restore full relations, chiefly for domestic political concerns on both sides. The two governments hate each others' guts, it seems pretty indisputable, regardless of which if either has cause.

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