The Venezuelan government is making a frenzied effort to combat shortages of food and medicine. The FT reports that on Monday the country will begin auctioning off dollars to certain business in hopes of spurring them to import the basic goods it desperately needs. But critics claim that the new system won’t really do much to solve the problem:
The president, in his embarrassing and mealy-mouthed statement, offered no such condemnation of Chavez’s past behavior. Obama thereby displayed a number of his greatest failings. He is an irresolute defender of the oppressed. He is too afraid of giving offense to vile regimes and calling out gross abrogation of human rights. He thereby demoralizes democracy advocates and human rights dissidents. He fails to appreciate that the way in which we interact with Iran’s allies (e.g. Syria, Venezuela) affects their perception of our resolve.
At his excuse-ridden news conference last Friday, the president declared, “I’m not a dictator.” Unfortunately, he seems unwilling to admit that Chavez was one. And in failing to do so, he highlights the moral vacuum he created where the world’s only superpower used to exert moral (as well as economic, diplomatic and military) leadership.
You don’t expect Obama to actually criticize Chavez and his commie dictatorship, do you? Especially not when President Hussein actually envied the man and his works.