You won't find commentary and language any more hostile to Hugo Chavez than on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Their June 23 piece by Mary Anastasia O'Grady in the Americas column is a clear, jaw-dropping example. It's practically blood-curdling in its vitriol which calls Hugo Chavez a threat to world peace. The sad part of it is Journal readers believe this stuff and are likely to support any US government efforts to remove the "threat."
The O'Grady article is about the elections scheduled to take place in the fall for five non-permanent UN Security Council seats to be held in 2007. One of them will be for the Latin American seat now held by Argentina. The two countries vying to fill the opening are Guatemala and Venezuela, and the other countries in the region will vote on which one will get it. You won't have to think long to guess the one the US supports - its Guatemalan ally, of course. And why not. For over 50 years its succession of military and civilian governments have all followed the dictates of their dominant northern neighbor. In so doing, they all managed to achieve one of the world's worst human rights records that hasn't abated even after the 1996 Peace Accords were signed ending a brutal 36 year conflict. Although the country today is nominally a democratic republic, it continues to abuse its people according to documented reports by Amnesty International.
Amnesty is aware of sexual violence and extreme brutality against women including 665 murders in 2005 gotten from police records; 224 reported attacks on human rights activists and organizations in the same year with little or no progress made investigating them; forced evictions and destruction of homes of indigenous people in rural areas (echoes of Palestine); and no progress by the government and Constitutional Court in seeking justice for decades of genocidal crimes and crimes against humanity committed by paramilitary death squads and the Guatamalan military. The sum of these and other unending abuses led Amnesty to call Guatamala a "land of injustice."
That record of abuse hardly matters to the Bush administration nor did it bother any past ones either since the CIA fomented a coup in 1954 ousting the country's democratically elected leader Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. That coup began a half century reign of terror against the country's indigenous Mayan majority. It was fully supported by a succession of US presidents who were quite willing to overlook it as long as Guatamalan governments maintained a policy of compliance with the US agenda. They all did, and in return received the support and blessing of the US and its corporate giants that continue to suck the life out of that oppressed country.
Guatamala fills the bill nicely for the Bush administration and would be expected to be a close ally in support of US positions that come up for votes in the UN Security Council. Venezuela, on the other hand, is a different story. Since he was first democratically elected in 1998, Hugo Chavez has done what few other leaders ever do. He's kept his promises to his people to serve their interests ahead of those of other nations, especially the US that's dominated and exploited Venezuela for decades. He's served them well, and in so doing engendered the wrath of his dominant northern neighbor that already has tried and failed three times to oust him and is now planning a fourth attempt to do it.
The idea of a Chavez-led government holding a seat on the Security Council does not go down well in Washington, and the Bush administration is leading a campaign to prevent it with aid and support of the kind of attack-dog journalism found in the Wall Street Journal. Honest observers know this newspaper of record for corporate America has a hard time dealing with facts it dislikes so it invents the ones it does to use in their place.
The June 23 editorial is a good example. It extolls the record of the Guatamalan government with its l