We’ll have to dig through this one line-by-line, because the former president-turned-validator-of-stolen-Latin-American-elections has offered up a masterpiece of mendacity in the eulogy of Hugo Chavez today so instructive as to make it difficult to debunk the contention that virtually no difference exists between the politics and ideology of Chavez and today’s Democrat Party.
And away we go…
Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Hugo Chávez Frías. We met Hugo Chávez when he was campaigning for president in 1998 and The Carter Center was invited to observe elections for the first time in Venezuela.
This was a mere six years after Chavez was jailed for his role in a failed military coup aimed at deposing the elected president of Venezuela.
We returned often, for the 2000 elections, and then to facilitate dialogue during the political conflict of 2002-2004. We came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized.
By destroying the rule of law and private property rights.
Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.
Those countrymen who voted for Chavez, that is. Carter “has not agreed with all the methods” Chavez used to deal with those who didn’t – including theft, rape, beatings, murder and exile. And Carter didn’t bother to mention all the Cuban secret police goon-squad types Chavez imported to put muscle behind his regime; those Cubans without a doubt were committed to improving the lives of Chavez’ countrymen.
President Chávez will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment.
Tell that to the victims of Chavez’ friends among the FARC guerillas in Colombia, to whom he’s given succor in the longest-running civil war on earth. Or to the people of Bolivia, Ecuador and Honduras in whose internal affairs Chavez has meddled. Autonomy and independence, indeed!
During his 14-year tenure, Chávez joined other leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean to create new forms of integration. Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half, and millions received identification documents for the first time allowing them to participate more effectively in their country’s economic and political life.
If that’s true, how come there is no longer an independent media in Venezuela? Why are the shelves empty?
At the same time, we recognize the divisions created in the drive towards change in Venezuela and the need for national healing.
A CYA statement intended to keep blood off Carter’s hands when the post-Chavez period turns violent, as it almost surely will.
We hope that as Venezuelans mourn the passing of President Chávez and recall his positive legacies — especially the gains made for the poor and vulnerable — the political leaders will move the country forward by building a new consensus that ensures equal opportunities for all Venezuelans to participate in every aspect of national life.
Nothing about the fact that Chavez’ hand-picked successor just accused the United States of giving him cancer, of course. Or about how Carter’s friends in Iran got a concession from Chavez to build missile bases with which to target the East Coast. Or about how Chavez was hosting the Russian Navy as the latter contemplated threatening the United States. Or his reference to one of Carter’s colleagues as president as “El Diablo” at the United Nations.
Or anything else that would serve as evidence of Hugo Chavez’ hostility to the United States.
Jimmy Carter just papers over all of that and sucks up to a dead dictator.
It’s almost enough to wish the Cuban health-care system on Jimmy Carter.