US presidential candidate Kerry's love letter to the Florida Cuban Community
VHeadline.com commentarist Elio Cequea writes: John Kerry and his campaign managers has put at risk the good credibility he has built so far in this young US presidential campaign. The March 19 statement published on the John Kerry's official web site seems to have been written by George W. Bush instead.
The statement is either the result of a major case of misinformation or the unfortunate first sign of a crack in the character of a (former?) man of integrity.
It is mostly made up of unverified headlines from the Venezuelan media where the "baron" of the Venezuelan media is of Cuban origin. It's not an accident that some of the "headlines" are 100% in line with the obscure desires of extreme right-wing Cuban dissidents.
The statement totally ignores, or disregards, the Venezuelan Constitution ... which allows for a referendum if 20% of the electoral body signs a petition. At this point there are only 1.8 million signatures approved as valid towards the confirmation of a presidential referendum. The constitution requires 2.4 million signatures. Working to bring pressure on President Chavez Frias to allow a referendum will indeed take the Venezuelan democratic process to a critical juncture. The referendum does not depend on Chavez but on 20% of the electoral population ... that's the Venezuelan Constitution!
The statement indicates "throughout his time in office, President Chavez has repeatedly undermined democratic institutions by using extra-legal means, including politically motivated incarcerations, to consolidate power."
If John Kerry wants to play the role of international statesman, one thing he should do is get the all facts together before putting his reputation and his candidacy in jeopardy. The only institutions that have been "undermined" are the un-democratic and coup plotters CTV and Fedecamaras. People being arrested for burning tires on a main highway ARE NOT politically-motivated incarcerations.
"Chavez close relationship with Fidel Castro", the statement says, "has raised serious questions about his commitment to leading a truly democratic government." Is Jimmy Carter also raising "serious" questions for his close ties with Castro? Has the closeness being developed by the US Government with Muammar al-Qadhafi raised any serious questions about Bush commitment to leading a truly democratic government?
Has Kerry sold out his integrity in exchange for Cuban support and money?
President Chavez policies might have been detrimental to the interests of capital power players in the US such as the Gustavo Cisneros' organization. But, it has NOT been detrimental to the interests of his neighbors. For instance, cheap oil is sold to the poor Central America countries as part of signed trade agreements. Another beneficiary of cheap oil is Cuba. Believe it or not, Cuba is also a neighbor!
The statement from John Kerry includes major and already proven old lies. Some "nice" journalists have lost their jobs for reporting that, for example, Chavez "has compromised efforts to eradicate drug cultivation by allowing Venezuela to become a haven for narco-terrorists." Kerry forgot to mention the Al-Qaeda cells that somehow hide on the heavily populated 1,085 km square Margarita Island! And yes! Venezuela is supporting anti-government insurgents in Colombia! It will give the US another reason to beef up the already heavy military aid Colombia receives. An unfriendly and militarily stronger pro-right neighbor is the dream come through of any "communist dictator"!
Half-truths and ambiguous assertions could not be excluded from this important declaration. "The referendum has given the people of Venezuela the opportunity to express their views on his presidency through constitutionally legitimate means."
This is true!
Only that 1.8 million people expressed their views according to the national electoral authority. In order to proceed with the referendum, the Venezuelan Constitution requires 2.4 million. As agreed with the OAS and the Carter Center, the referendum process was started. First, a formal petition to the CNE was made and accepted. Secondly, the petition was followed by the recollection of signatures. In order to proceed THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH SIGNATURES AS REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION!
The headline "Kerry Demands World Pressure on Chavez to call for a Referendum" is a national headline in a country where, according to Kerry, the government DOES NOT RESPECT freedom of expression. What can be said about his demand for the release of "political prisoners"?
John Kerry ends his statement criticizing the current US administration for supporting the failed coup against President Chavez and for allowing the removal of the democratically-elected leader of Haiti. He finishes by asking the current US government to "make a strong statement now by leading the effort to preserve the fragile democracy in Venezuela."
Is he confused, misinformed or simply kissing somebody's butt in exchange for votes and campaign money?
I had the impression he was different from President Bush.
Latin Americans, we better gear up for a long struggle ... it seems like Bush's alternative has also surrendered to Washington' special interests.