Let nobody say the Bush administration doesn’t believe in human rights abuses in the name of spreading “democracy”:
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet came to Washington on Thursday for a one day whirl wind trip that included a meeting with George Bush. Both exchanged pleasantries after the meeting, neither referring to the heavy-handed efforts of the Bush administration to pressure Chile to oppose Venezuela’s bid for a seat on the United Nations security council.
Just 11 days before the White House visit the Chilean daily La Tercera published a report on a meeting between Condoleezza Rice and the Chilean foreign minister, Alejandro Foxley, in which the US secretary of state insisted that Venezuela’s candidacy for the UN seat “aims at the heart of US interests”. Rice warned that “Chile could fall into a group of losers against US interests…” and that the United States “will not understand” a Chilean vote for Venezuela.
The Bush administration is backing the candidacy of Guatemala in its campaign to stop President Hugo Chávez from winning a seat for Venezuela. Five of the 10 rotating seats on the security council are opening up in October, and one of them traditionally goes to a Latin American nation. Although the UN general assembly formally votes on the council members, the candidate is usually selected beforehand by a consensus among the countries of the region.
It is no surprise that the United States in its meddling in Latin American waters is backing Guatemala, a country with an atrocious human rights record. Under the current government of Oscar Berger, who took office in 2004, there have been charges of human rights abuses and he has done virtually nothing to bring to justice the perpetrators of a genocidal war against the country’s Indian population in decades past.
At a meeting of Latin American and European nations in Austria in May, President Bachelet, alluding to the growing US hostility towards the so-called “power axis” between Venezuela and Bolivia, stated: “I would not want us to return to the cold war era where we demonise one country or another. What we have witnessed in these countries [Bolivia and Venezuela] is that they are looking for governments and leaders that will work to eradicate poverty and eliminate inequality.”