Who's Losing Latin America?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam's Apple, May 4, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Someone should start paying attention to Latin America and Communist China's influence in that area before we find ourselves next door to a Communist Latin America.

    Who's Losing Latin America?
    By Frank J. Gaffney Jr., The Washington Times
    May 2, 2006

    Despite the serious and almost-without-exception adverse implications of events throughout Central and South America for our strategic, trade and security interests, however, neither the Bush administration nor either party in Congress is doing much to address them.

    Among the indicators of trouble ahead are the following ominous developments:

    • Fidel Castro has been rescued from oblivion by the oil wealth and vaulting strategic ambitions of his most promising protege, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. The two authoritarians have adopted a new strategy, born of the realization that radical anti-American leftists can be brought to power throughout the hemisphere the same way Mr. Chavez was -- by ballots, rather than bullets.
    Funding and organizational support from Venezuela is making the electoral playing-field uneven across the region, giving a formidable advantage to populist revolutionaries over their democratic opponents. Once in office, the latter can rely not only on money from Mr. Chavez and his Islamofascist (for example, Iranian) and Chinese friends. They can also elicit muscle from Mr. Castro's foreign legion (communist Cuban special forces, police, praetorian guards, doctors and teachers) to help consolidate control and eliminate their opponents.

    • This phenomenon is already well-advanced in Bolivia, where Evo Morales was elected president in December, after fomenting populist upheavals to topple not one but two elected governments. He has moved rapidly in ensuing months to neutralize the parliament, constitution and judiciary that might check his steady accretion and exercise of power.

    • In Peru, another would-be dictator, Ollanta Humala, has won the first round of balloting to replace outgoing President Alejandro Toledo. While it is not clear at this writing whether he will prevail in the upcoming runoff, Mr. Humala's inflammatory rhetoric (threatening the country's political elite and its constitutional democracy, admiring the violent terrorist group known as the Shining Path and signaling a willingness to go to war with neighboring Chile) represents a frightening prospect for Peru, the region and U.S. interests. Even if Mr. Humala loses, it is not clear he will refrain from fomenting trouble for the new government -- and the rest of us.

    • Bolivia and Peru are relatively distant and it is seductive to discount them as security problems for the United States. The same cannot be said of Mexico, which will hold a presidential election in July. Polls have long suggested the likely winner will be Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the rabidly anti-American former mayor of Mexico City.
    Like others of his persuasion, Lopez Obrador's bid appears to have benefited from financial and help on the ground from his soul mates in Caracas and Havana, who clearly relish the prospect of extending their axis to the border of the United States. While the race has of late become increasingly competitive, as the conservative PAN Party's candidate Felipe Calderon has gained ground, Washington confronts the distinct possibility of an explicitly hostile government in Mexico.

    The implications of such an outcome could be far-reaching for the integrity of our southern frontier, illegal immigration, drug-trafficking, terrorism, trade and the radical "reconquista" movement (which is intent on "taking back" at least parts of the United States for Mexico).

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