Monday, June 08, 2009

Latin America's Brave New World by Mary Anastasia O'Grady

The following opinion article is from The Wall Street Journal.

Latin America's Brave New World by Mary Anastasia O'Grady

In a post-bubble world that vilifies the private sector and elevates government as humanity's best hope, two events in Latin America last week deserve attention.
The first was a meeting of the Organization of American States in Honduras. The OAS voted to lift the 1962 ban on Cuba's membership. The second was the 25th anniversary celebration of the Venezuelan, pro-liberty think-tank Cedice Libertad in Caracas.

The former, state-sponsored event, sided with tyranny. The latter, held by private citizens in the most repressive country in South America, took a stand for liberty. This dichotomy may well be the region's future. The OAS expelled Cuba in 1962, in part, because the regime's Marxist-Leninist ideology was considered "incompatible with the inter-American system." In 2001 all OAS members strengthened that position by signing "the democratic charter" and pledging to respect limits to state power. But under Secretary General José Miguel Insulza the organization's principled stand has withered. Led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Argentina now tell Mr. Insulza what to do. Brazil goes along as part of its eternal quest to reduce U.S. power in the region. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has been very public about her admiration for Fidel Castro.

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