Michael Moynihan asks a question today in The Daily Beast that every Cuban exile has known how to answer for well over half a century:
Why do Western liberals tolerate repression from leftist Latin American dictators that they would never condone in their own countries?
We Cubans have known for far too long that the answer to this question is not pretty, and that it has to do with bigotry of the worst sort: the kind that is invisible to the bigots themselves.
Aside from the fact that all “leftist” rulers are given a pass by liberals simply for being on the left, no matter how ruthless their rule, there is a darker and more disturbing reason for the left’s high tolerance of Latin tyrants and mass murderers.
Deep down, liberals tend to consider all “Latins” inferior to themselves, and congenitally in need of “strong” rulers” — God forbid you call them “dictators”– who impose “social justice” and eliminate all selfishness and elitism.
Here in the good old USA, these primitive savages are called “Hispanics” or “Latinos” and they are seen as desperately in need of the help of the Democratic Party.
The basic flaw plaguing this race — yes, liberals think conceive of “Latinos” as a race — is that they are all incapable of rational thought.
That’s why you never see any of these “Lateeen-ohs/ahs writing for the New York Review of Books, The Nation, or any elite leftist propaganda rag, or trend-setting publications such as Esquire or Vanity Fair.
And God forbid any of them escape from the liberal plantation in the USA, gain political office, and expose the dark consequences of liberalism. Everything they say will be viewed not just as irrational, but also as dangerous.
No, these inferior beings must stay in their barrios and only be allowed to write pathetic little pieces about their own people in second or third rate publications. Or maybe a token article or two about the South Bronx in The New York Times.
Oh, yes, these inferior beings can be considered great artists, especially when they express themselves in ways that demonstrate that they are more emotional than rational.
Of course, in their minds the liberals think of the unruly savages as Rousseau did. Deep down, the savages are noble, which is why they can be so appreciative of the “social justice” imposed on them by their “strong rulers.”
But that nobility stems precisely from their inferiority.
That’s why what is happening down in Venezuela is viewed by liberals as a justifiably “restrained” and enlightened leftist response to the savagery of the natives.
Venezuela’s Useful Idiots
by Michael Moynihan, The Daily Beast
Defenders of the Venezuelan regime would never allow the White House to arrest opposition leaders and shut down unfriendly media outlets. So why the double standard?
…Many outside of Venezuela, including a small segment of the media, have fallen for the crude propaganda oozing out of Miraflores Palace. All over the internet, one finds a seemingly inexhaustible supply of useful idiots and Sandinista nostalgists willing to contextualize the disastrous Bolivarian Revolution.
One would think such fellow travelling had died with Chavez. Another failed evolution failed, another utopia unarmed. But one would be astoundingly wrong. I haven’t the time or the stomach to offer a full accounting of Western apologists for Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro, but a few recent examples should give a sense of the rot. A writer at Al Jazeera, Belen Fernandez, denounced the recent appearance of the “elite right-wing Caracas blogger Emiliana Duarte” on the Qatari network, blasting her for “launch[ing] into a sob story about having to visit 10 different supermarkets the previous year during a quest to bake a cake.” Duarte was merely cataloging the massive shortages of basic goods (rice, milk, toilet paper) that have crippled Venezuela in recent years, not engaging in a bourgeois, fascist bakeoff.
The benignly named Washington think tank Council on Hemispheric Affairs, whose “experts” are frequently quoted in the mainstream media, blared on its homepage “Venezuelan Government Shows Restraint and Resolve in the Face of Anti-Chavista Mayhem.” Over at the Huffington Post, a self-identified “human rights lawyer” lamented that “without irony, the media fulminates about Venezuela’s alleged lack of democracy…to justify its open support of Venezuela’s elite opposition.” He then credulously quoties a Chavez loyalist’s assessment that the “Venezuelan economy is doing very well,” despite the empty shelves, capital flight, and runaway inflation.
A pro-Chavez academic writing in The Nation argued that the massive street demonstrations across the country “have far more to do with returning economic and political elites to power than with their downfall.” The Guardian headlined a news story: “Venezuela’s hardliner reappears as Nicolas Maduro expels US officials.” That hardliner wasn’t Maduro, whose government is arresting regime opponents and strangling the free press, but Leopoldo Lopez, the opposition leader currently languishing in jail. Flip over to the Guardian’s editorial for the bizarre excoriation of President Obama for his supposed “support for regime change in Venezuela.”
It’s a thought experiment I often present to the Western Chavista, one that usually ends up demonstrating that sympathizers of the regime, both in this country and in Europe, have something of a colonialist attitude towards Venezuela. Because one wonders the reaction of these faux progressives if Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel–pick your the imperialist lackey!–arrested an opposition leader who had organized peaceful street protests? Or if the CIA shut off the internet in politically restive cities like Berkeley and Brooklyn; blocked Twitter traffic it found politically suspect; and took over PBS, forcing it to broadcast only pro-administration agitprop, never allowing the opposition party to traduce the government across public airwaves? Or if the president forced the removal of BBC America from all cable providers for being too anti-American?
Perhaps reactions would be muted if motorcycle gangs loyal to President George W. Bush circled anti-Iraq War protests physically attacking–and occasionally murdering–demonstrators. How about if a judge ruled against President Obama’s domestic spying apparatus and, in return, the White House ordered that judge thrown in prison? How long would an American president be allowed to run up massive inflation, despite massive oil revenues coming into government coffers? How long would it be considered reasonable–and not the president’s responsibility–to preside over 23,000 murders in a country of just under 30 million people, a rate that would horrify the average resident of Baghdad? How long could supermarket shelves remain bare of basic staples like bread and milk before The Nation or The Guardian would gleefully decide that America was a failed, kleptocratic state? Or if Bush or Obama’s economic policies meant that toilet paper could no longer be found on the open market?
So I ask a rather straight-forward question to those who pretend to care about the Venezuelan people (much like those who miraculously lost interest in the Vietnamese people after 1975 or the Nicaraguan people after 1990), those who care so deeply for the poor and destitute in Latin America: Why the double standard?
Read the entire piece HERE.