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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Obama's comments on Venezuela's Chavez

Here is the comment Obama made to a Miami TV station regarding Hugo Chavez:
"We're always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe. But overall, my sense is that what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.
We have to vigilant. My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don't always see."
It seems like a reasonable statement. Romney (and Rubio in Florida) have jumped all over this, claiming Obama is "weak" on Chavez and that is a sign of his overall foreign policy failures. The American people in general know little or nothing about Venezuela, our history of relations with Latin America, or the art of diplomacy. Hillary Clinton, Obama, and the U.S. Department of State team dealing with these matters have had an interesting dance to do, and they seem to have handled it quite well.

What would Romney and Rubio do? Would they attack Caracas? Impose a new "embargo?"
Start a clandestine campaign to kill Chavez with exploding cigars?

This presidential campaign needs to be followed more closely, particularly claims regarding Latin American foreign policy matters. Onward...

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