Friday, June 1, 2007

"Where is the outrage?"

Further to my earlier post about the Posada case and Cuban Americans, I was asked to comment on the case for a newsletter, the Latin America Advisor, as were Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue and former Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich. The full newsletter with the three responses is here (pdf, 3 pages).

Here’s the question…

Prompted by Venezuela, the Organization of American States on Monday adopted a declaration urging countries to punish terrorists, an apparent reference to Luis Posada Carriles, the ex-CIA operative recently freed by a US judge and wanted by Venezuela and Cuba for allegedly masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. How will the US resolve the controversy over Posada Carriles? Is there a double standard in the US and in Latin American countries when it comes to pursuing terrorists?

…and here’s Mr. Reich’s response in full:

It's very disappointing, and it's another sign of the increasing irrelevance of the OAS, the fact that [Venezuela] is having riots because the government is trying to extinguish democracy, and the OAS is passing a resolution on something that doesn't really concern it ... It's such an obvious attempt to divert international opinion from the suppression of human rights in Venezuela. Why doesn't the OAS pass a resolution to keep the government of Venezuela from physically abusing its own people? The government of Venezuela has undermined every liberty that the OAS stands for, and the OAS has said nothing ... People and nations have a double standard, and they shouldn't. To use the example going on right now, there's a double standard as relates to the violation of human rights in Venezuela. Chavez is threatening to close down the last television station that broadcasts abroad. Where is the outrage? Chavez has threatened to shut them down if they don't stop broadcasting the news.Where is the outrage from the rest of the Hemisphere? Isn't that a double standard? I think there should be a condemnation of that kind of violation of human rights, whether it's committed by the right, the left, or the center.

1 comment:

leftside said...

Ha. That takes cojones to totally duck a question and go off on your own tangent in print like that. Someone has to tell Reich he is no longer in power and has to play by the rules.