Kerry issues a strong statement on Venezuela and Chavez

March 21, 2004

Thanks to Joe I learn of the strong statements issued by Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry a couple of days ago on Chavez and Venezuela. Should rattle some people here in Government. Some excerpts:

“With the future of the democratic process at a critical juncture in Venezuela, we should work to bring all possible international pressure to bear on President Chavez to allow the referendum to proceed. The Administration should demonstrate its true commitment to democracy in Latin America by showing determined leadership now, while a peaceful resolution can still be achieved. “


“Throughout his time in office, President Chavez has repeatedly undermined democratic institutions by using extra-legal means, including politically motivated incarcerations, to consolidate power.  In fact, his close relationship with Fidel Castro has raised serious questions about his commitment to leading a truly democratic government.”


“The referendum has given the people of Venezuela the opportunity to express their views on his presidency through constitutionally legitimate means.  The international community cannot allow President Chavez to subvert this process, as he has attempted to do thus far.  He must be pressured to comply with the agreements he made with the OAS and the Carter Center to allow the referendum to proceed, respect the exercise of free expression, and release political prisoners.”


The Chavez administartion has been sending clear signals that they would love to have Bush lose the elections to get a more sympathetic ear, this may chaneg their minds, it’s actually stronger than most things the Bush administration has said.


I may even be starting to like Kerry…

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