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    Venezuela's Anti-American Rhetoric Unites Government Supporters

    Venezuela's Anti-American Rhetoric Unites Government Supportersi
    X
    March 24, 2014 8:44 PM
    Officials in Venezuela have repeatedly accused the U.S. of orchestrating anti-government protests in their country. While the U.S. provides funding to groups that promote democracy, VOA's Brian Padden reports authorities deny they support opposition parties or play a part in the current crisis.
    Brian Padden
    Officials in Venezuela have repeatedly accused the United States of orchestrating anti-government demonstrations in the South American country. While the United States provides funding to human rights groups and organizations that promote democracy in Venezuela, U.S. authorities deny they support political opposition parties or play a  part in the current Venezuelan crisis.

    President Nicolas Maduro has time and again accused the United States of trying to destabilize the Venezuelan government by providing aid and support to anti- government protests there.

    "Elements of America's power structure and their internal subordinates seek to demoralize, to blemish the armed forces,” he said.

    While no evidence has been presented, anti-America rhetoric has been an effective political tactic to unite his party.  

    The late President Hugo Chavez often accused the United States of supporting opposition groups and playing a role in an attempted military coup in Venezuela in 2002. The United States denies involvement, but Latin American analyst Michael Shifter, with the Inter-America Dialogue, says many observers remain skeptical.

    “Certainly the United States expressed great pleasure after that coup, which I think was really a terrible mistake during the Bush administration," he said. "And I think it raised a lot of questions.”

    Chavez accused the United States of providing aid to opposition groups under the guise of supporting human rights and democracy development.

    These are the same charges Maduro is making today.

    State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defends U.S. support for basic human rights.  
     
     "We have serious concerns about some issues in Venezuela, including democracy and human rights, and we will continue to express those concerns,” she said.

    Human rights, democracy and free press groups often have adversarial relationships with those in power.

    "Basically human rights organizations, whether it is Venezuela or any other country in the world, they work to avoid, denounce, confront human rights violations committed by state agents,” said Santiago Canton, director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

    Shifter says the Obama administration has drawn a policy line between supporting democracy and human rights and taking sides in a political conflict.

    “It is much more careful, much  more deliberate, much more low-key and clearly is careful not to cross the line into political organizing,” he said.  

    Some in Congress want to increase funding to democracy groups in Venezuela, but Shifter says the perception of U.S. invovlement would take the focus away from the deteriorating economic and security conditions in the country and give Venezuela's leaders a foreign enemy to blame.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Richard Dawson from: USA
    March 26, 2014 5:43 PM
    Santiago-
    I agree with Jen Psaki she said:

    "We have serious concerns about some issues in Venezuela, including democracy and human rights, and we will continue to express those concerns,”

    And with the groups in Congress that want :

    "Some in Congress want to increase funding to democracy groups in Venezuela".

    That is in line with the House report 113-318 and with the Sub-Committee Mark up:H.Res.488 in support of the Venezuelan people.

    In fact not doing so will allow a dictatorship to be installed in Venezuela for the next 50 years like in Cuba with the support of Russia,Iran and its proxy Hezbollah in the Andean Region that is in the middle of the Western Hemisphere.

    Shifter says:

    "the perception of U.S. involvement would take the focus away from the deteriorating economic and security conditions in the country and give Venezuela's leaders a foreign enemy to blame"

    I don't agree with Michael, not supporting the people in Venezuela that are being killed in the streets by Maduro like Assad is doing in Syria with the support of Russia and Iran, will be very dangerous for our National Security and it goes against the core of our democratic values.

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