Over the past thirty years, Human Rights Watch has become one of the most recognized non-governmental organizations in the world due to its global promotion of human rights. But despite its claims to be an advocate of international human rights law, the reports issued by Human Rights Watch have exhibited a bias towards certain rights over others. More precisely, Human Rights Watch repeatedly focuses on political and civil rights while ignoring social and economic rights. As a result, it routinely judges nations throughout the world in a manner that furthers capitalist values and discredits governments seeking socialist alternatives. It is this bias that lies at the root of Human Rights Watch’s scathing attacks on Venezuela, or what the organization’s executive director Ken Roth called, “the most abusive nation” in Latin America.
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Within hours of the death of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez last week, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued what is arguably the most insensitive statement ever released by one democratically-elected leader about the death of another. The core of the statement consisted of the following proverbial kick-in-the-teeth to the still-warm corpse of the Venezuelan president: “At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” In short, Harper arrogantly bid good riddance to Chávez, not on behalf of Canada, but on behalf of the Venezuelan people. The prime minister’s comments stood in stark contrast to the ones he made when Nigeria’s President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in 2010, illustrating how Harper’s position is motivated more by ideology than any concern for democracy, freedom and human rights.
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Canada’s Liberal Party MP Jim Karygiannis is the latest to jump on the “demonize Venezuela” bandwagon. While professing to stand for democracy, Karygiannis’s call “to return democracy to Venezuela” exhibits a blatant disregard for the overwhelming majority of Venezuelans who hold their democracy in high regard. The Liberal MP’s outlandish declarations follow similar propaganda espoused over the past decade by other prominent North Americans such as former assistant secretary of state Otto Reich, former presidential candidate Pat Robertson, Secretary of State Colin Powell and CIA director George Tenet. The ongoing campaign to demonize Venezuela’s socialist revolution not only stands in stark contrast to the reality on the ground in that South American nation, but also contradicts the many reports issued by the United Nations and other highly-regarded mainstream organizations. Continue reading
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According to the Bush administration, it is Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s desire to purchase weapons from Russia that threatens to destabilize the Andean region, not the $3 billion in military aid that Washington has provided to Colombia over the past five years. Likewise, in the Middle East, it is Syria’s efforts to obtain purely defensive anti-aircraft missiles that pose a threat to that region, not the $1 billion a year in U.S. military aid to Israel. And on the nuclear front, while there is no evidence that Iran is intending to build nuclear weapons, it is the regime in Tehran that is threatening to further destabilize the region, not President Bush’s apparent pledge to support any future Israeli attack against Iran. Meanwhile, North Korea’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in order to develop nuclear weapons makes the Asian nation a “rogue state,” but Washington’s abandonment of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) to build its missile defense system, which could lead to the weaponization of space, apparently does not justify the same anti-multilateralist label being applied to the United States.
Comments Off on The World’s Warmonger | tags: colombia, George W Bush, hugo chavez, iran, israel, north korea, syria, venezuela | posted in Uncategorized