Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why Cuba is afraid, very afraid, of unrest in Venezuela

Why Cuba is afraid, very afraid, of unrest in Venezuela
By Mary Anastasia O'GradyPublished February 24, 2014
The Wall Street Journal

The bloodshed in Caracas over the past 12 days brings to mind the 2009
Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, where President Obama greeted
Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez with a huge grin and a warm handshake. A
couple of months later the State Department attempted to force Honduras
to reinstall pro-Chávez president Manuel Zelaya, who had been deposed
for violating the constitution.

Brows were knitted throughout the Americas. Why did the U.S. president
favor the Venezuelan dictator, protégé of Fidel Castro, over Honduras,
which still had a rule of law, press freedom and pluralism?

Venezuela has promised 100,000 barrels of oil per day to Cuba, and in
exchange Cuban intelligence runs the Venezuelan state security
apparatus. The Cubans clearly are worried about losing the oil if their
man in Caracas falls.
Fast forward to last Wednesday, after four peaceful student-protesters
had been confirmed as having been killed by the government's armed
minions. Mr. Obama took notice, pronouncing the brutality
"unacceptable." That must have been comforting to hear amid the gun
shots and pummeling on the streets of Caracas.

That same night the government of Nicolás Maduro —Chávez's handpicked
successor—unleashed a wave of terror across the country. According to
Venezuelan blogs and Twitter posts, the National Guard and police went
on a tear, firing their weapons indiscriminately, beating civilians,
raiding suspected student hide-outs, destroying private property and
launching tear-gas canisters. Civilian militia on motor bikes added to
the mayhem. The reports came from Valencia, Mérida, San Cristóbal,
Maracaibo, Puerto Ordaz and elsewhere, as well as the capital.

To continue reading Ms. O'Grady's column in the Wall Street Journal,
click here:

Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes The Americas column for the Wall Street

Source: Why Cuba is afraid, very afraid, of unrest in Venezuela | Fox
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