By Bill Wilson
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines on January 3rd when she met with Hugo Chavez, a photo-op coup for the Venezuela dictator that recently expelled U.S. envoy Larry Palmer for allegedly being “disrespectful”.
In reality, Palmer was voicing U.S. concerns that Columbian drug cartels are being financed by Venezuela. Now, Clinton has been reduced to meeting with the despot and either objecting to his despotism — in a respectful way, of course — or worse, not at all.
Of course actions speak much louder than words. Merely denying, however, the visa of the Venezuelan diplomat and then meeting to shake hands hardly begins to deal with the growing dangers posed by authoritarianism to the region.
Little more than a year has passed since the U.S. Senate confirmed Arturo Valenzuela to the post of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. At the time, Americans for Limited Government objected to the appointment because of Valenzuela’s incredibly weak record defending liberty in the region.
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