Is Hugo Chavez racist?

Obama Nominates Larry Palmer as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela – a very good choice, with an experienced diplomat for an important post.

So, is Chávez welcoming Palmer? Heck, nooo…

Our Man in Caracas
Good news: Chávez doesn’t like him

The Senate is expected to confirm Mr. Palmer for Caracas after its summer recess, but some of his confirmation answers have riled the Venezuelan caudillo. Answering a dozen pointed questions from Richard Lugar of Indiana on human rights and the like, Mr. Palmer went way out on a limb and said U.S. policy should work to “bolster regional cooperation to support democracy and human rights.”

He also suggested that José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, should use his office to do the same. He said time and events would determine whether “OAS member states decide to honor their commitments under the Charter and stand up in defense of democracy in Venezuela, or wherever it is threatened.” This kind of thing infuriates Mr. Chávez, who has been trying to dominate the OAS and has rolled over Mr. Insulza like fresh asphalt.

Regarding the Venezuelan military, Mr. Palmer referred to its “clear ties” with guerrillas fighting the Colombian government, a decline in its professionalism due to politicization, and concern that “Cuba’s influence within the Venezuelan military will grow.”

That was all too much for Señor Chávez. “How do you think, Obama, that I am going to accept that gentleman as ambassador? It’s impossible,” he said on his TV program. “He ruled himself out, breaking all the rules of diplomacy, having a go at us, even the armed forces. Probably you will withdraw him, Obama. Don’t insist, I’m asking you.”

Here is Hugo saying it (video in Spanish)

Hugo says [my translation; if you use this translation please link to the posst and credit me. thank you],

It’s impossible for [Palmer] to be accepted by a worthy country, regardless of its being a revolutionary government or not. It’s unacceptable in diplomacy, in the customs, in international law, for a person, even being ambassador, to declare themselves on the internal situation of the country where he will work, in the way Mr. Palmer has… because the receiving country has to protect itself and its relations with the other country.”

Considering how fond Liberals are of pulling the bigotry card any time anyone doesn’t agree with Obama’s policies and/or appointees, does this make Hugo racist?

Or is it Oikophobia? (h/t Larwyn)


More Latin American news and blog posts in today’s Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean roundup later today.


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