Haters gonna hate the saying goes so of course the right wing is up and arms over President Obama’s handshake and greeting with twice elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. To the right wing Obama can do nothing right. Former Speaker of the House and so-called historian Newt Gingrich appeared on the Today Show and proceeded to rip Obama for shaking the leaders hand. Repeatedly stating without interruption from Meredith Viera that Chavez hates America. A statement that for some reason went unchallenged by the interviewer leaving the impression to the uninformed that Obama happily greets those who are anti-American.
A natural follow up question for Newt Gingrich would have been something to the effect of do you think that Chavez is anti-American or anti the previous American administration? Given the fact that the U.S. supported the coup by oil executives that almost toppled him (the U.S. and Chile were the only countries in the world to recognize this briefly lived regime) and the fact that Chavez has in the past given discount oil and gas to communities in America. It would have been great test of Newt’s knowledge or spin on recent history. Chavez did not out of the blue start ripping on the Bush administration. His tirade’s began after the failed coup which he blamed on the friendly neighbors to the north.
Based on right wing logic, which many contend is an oxymoron, leaders of other nations who disagree with an American administration are in a broad stroke anti-American. So at times Tony Blair, Sarkosy and many of the U.S. closest allies are therefore anti-American under their logic.
Political leaders, who know better, spew a whitewashed version of history onto the airwaves for American’s to eat up. A history that the people of Central and South America know too well. The U.S. during the cold war propped up right wing dictators sympathetic to U.S. corporate exploitation, trained right wing paramilitary groups who destroyed families and communities, and violently removed leaders who sought to end their exploitation. This is the back drop upon which Chavez and many of the new leaders of South America operate and greet President Obama. Evidenced by Chavez giving Obama a book on the history of this exploitation Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. A fair and balanced look at this history and the modern implications should be welcomed.
See Allegations of U.S. Involvement in 2002 Coup
See U.S. Interventions in Latin America
See Intelligence Activities in the Americas