By Mario Augusto Jakobskind (Brasil de fato, Brazil):
Barack Obama is only repeating what successive American governments have done over time in Latin America.
Once again, the Israeli government was able to make the United Nations Security Council condone the illegal settlement constructions in the West Bank of the Palestinian territory, thanks to the United States’ veto power.
It is cynical not only for the USA, but also for Israel to still be talking about the peace process. It is impossible to make peace when the extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is overtly racist to the Arabs and allow Jewish settlers, a good portion coming from the USA, to build houses in territory that does not belong to them.
Barack Obama’s government used the excuse that the Middle East is already under revolution to reject the resolution of condemning Israeli constructions in Palestinian territory. It has been suggested that the non-veto could make things even worse in the area, but the excuse has no real justification. This is not the first time American governments have sided with Israel, even though the country makes illegal decisions.
The time has come for the international community to take severe action against Israel, since nothing happens through the United Nations. Time passes by, and the creation of a Palestinian state does not occur. This is true, even though the Palestinians that control the West Bank area are considered absolutely moderate and would be the ones to govern the new country.
In another part of the world, the U.S. decided to offer $5 million to President Hugo Chavez’s opposition from Obama’s congressional budget. Washington’s intent is to support and strengthen Venezuela’s civil society, therefore protecting the democratic space in the country.
But really, it is cynical and hypocritical for Obama’s government to talk about democracy in a country like Venezuela that is rich in petroleum and where George Bush Sr.’s son supported a coup attempt that was thwarted by the nation.
Regarding other countries rich in petroleum where the people live totally subordinated to a bloody monarchy, such as Saudi Arabia, there were no words about democracy from Barack Obama or any other person in the USA.
There are more aggravating things. The $5 million offered to Chavez’s opposition is against Venezuelan legislation that prohibits financial aid from abroad for political reasons. The White House does not care about following the rules of sovereign countries.
With respect to this, Barack Obama is again following what successive U.S. governments have done over time in Latin America. Even worse, Barack Obama, who is coming to Brazil on March 19 and 20, has yet to realize that most countries in Latin America do not accept following Washington’s rules anymore.
In Argentina, Cristina Kirchner’s government had to confiscate cargo of an American airplane that was entering the country illegally. The same precedent that guided previous governments was also used in this case. The Americans believed that Argentina was no man’s land. Therefore, they could do whatever they want — including omitting information — such as not declaring to customs that they were carrying weapons and spy equipment.
Obama’s government is now demanding the return of the cargo and using aggressive language from the time governments with dictators would willingly follow any of Washington’s rules. The Argentinean foreign minister, Hector Timerman, let the U.S. know that Argentina has self-respect in its sovereignty and does not accept impositions like the ones the State Department is trying to inflict.
There is an expectation that other countries in Latin America, especially those belonging to the Mercosul, will have the same disposition to defend their principles and their sovereignty.