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The pathetic admiration of the Latin American left for Colonel Gaddafi

This is a cross-post by James Bloodworth

While events in Libya are greeted with shock and indignation across the world, there are some who’s instinctive reaction to such barbarism is not to condemn the perpetrators, nor to ask how those responsible can be brought to justice, but to add the massacre to their relativist soup, a repugnant dish served with an ample side-helping of condemnation of United States foreign policy – only United States foreign policy. Selecting an item on this menu that doesn’t include a Michelin Star-like denunciation of the US (and I for one am no opponent of dining on this hearty dish from time to time,) is as good as an open admission of being a “lackey of imperialism” to what remains of the 20th-century Stalinist left.

84 year old Fidel Castro, the elderly parody of the vicious young hero of the unreconstructed left who ordered the makeshift boats of those fleeing his socialist paradise capsized, and the former leader who locked up independent journalists in the name of a Stalinist experiment that has proven time and again to have utterly failed the Cuban people, has made a timely intervention in his Reflections of Fidel column to say that it is “too early to criticise Gaddafi”. Too early!

After 41 years in charge of a regime that brought down an American passenger plane, pitilessly exterminated an unknown number of political opponents, expelled tens of thousands of Palestinians for being insufficiently willing to immolate themselves for the cause, as well as plundered the Libyan economy for the benefit of Western corporations, many things can be said of Gaddafi’s regime. Too early to be deserving of criticism is not one of them.

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega sickeningly said he has telephoned the Libyan leader to express his “solidarity”. The Sandinista leader says he has called several times this week because Gaddafi “is again waging a great battle” to defend the unity of his nation. Bizarrely, the main problem the former Marxist guerrilla has with the protesters appears to be that “there is looting of businesses now…that is terrible”.

Perhaps along with Raul Castro he is looking admiringly at the Chinese model of bosses’ communism.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, meanwhile, has stayed mute, his foreign policy spokesperson simply warning of the dangers of “imperialism”. Chavez and Gaddafi have in the past had such warm ties that on Monday rumors swept the world that Gaddafi was fleeing to Venezuela. Gaddafi however appeared on television to deny such speculation. Bizarrely, Chavez has previously said that “what Simon Bolívar (the Great Liberator of South American independence against the Spanish) is to the Venezuelan people, Gaddafi is to the Libyan people.” Chavez has also awarded Gaddafi the “Orden del Libertador,” Venezuela’s highest civilian decoration, and presented the Libyan leader with a replica of Simon Bolívar’s sword.

In Libya, there is a football stadium in the city of Benghazi named after Chavez.

Bolivia came closest to criticizing the government in Tripoli, issuing a statement expressing concern over “the regrettable loss of many lives” and urging both sides to find a peaceful solution. Still no outright condemnation of Gaddafi however from the supposedly “revolutionary” government.

Gaddafi has in the past awarded the absurd Moammar al-Gaddafi International Human Rights Prize to Castro, Ortega, Chavez and Evo Morales.

Perhaps this proves you can get away with anything on the Stalinoid left, as long as you proclaim an opposition to United States foreign policy.

Gene adds: Hugo Chavez Stadium in Benghazi. I wonder how long that sign is going to stay up (if it’s still there).