Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Lefty Latin America

I've railed against Hugo Chavez's leftward power grab in South America. In the wake of one of his proteges being elected in Bolivia, Ralph Peters (subscription req'd) says not to fear, let 'em fail and be there to pick up.
Looks like the voters of Bolivia have chosen Evo Morales as their next presidente. Evo's a pro-narco pal of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. His campaign included a pledge to become "America's nightmare."

What on earth should we do?

Nothing. The dumbest thing Washington could do would be to overreact and make yet another populist demagogue a hero. Bluster and threats only help our enemies.

Anti-Americanism is dying — it just happens to be a loud, slow death. The old blame-America excuses are growing thin. Left alone, the latest wave of Yanqui-go-homers will fade after they fail to live up to their promises. But with enough attention from Washington, they could hang on indefinitely. We made Fidel Castro a giant through our clumsiness. And we didn't learn. We did the same thing with Hugo Chavez, threatening to huff and puff and blow his casa down. The effect was to give him a hemispheric stage on which to strut.

Now there's a third amigo. Let's not do this one any favors by calling him names.

In Washington, it's tough to do nothing, since there's a lobby for everything. But sometimes nothing is exactly what we should do. Any signs of administration hysteria will play into Morales' hands.
Interesting point.

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