U.S. Seen as Weak Patron Of Latin Democracy: ... A senior administration official yesterday repeated denials of allegations by Chavez supporters that the United States had encouraged the coup, although he acknowledged that U.S. officials had met with a number of Chavez opponents. "They came here . . . to complain and to inform us and to tell us about the situation," he said. "We said we can't tell you to remove a president or not to remove a president . . . we did not wink, not even wink at anyone." Few Latin American officials appeared to believe the United States was involved. But they expressed a rueful lack of surprise at what they saw as the administration's failure, despite President Bush's frequent statements on the importance of hemispheric relations, to publicly oppose it once it happened.
Well, I can't say as I'm surprised, either. After all, it's significantly unremarkable when a right-leaning business oligarch favors replacement of a left-leaning near-Marxist by other right-leaning business oligarchs.
It will be interesting to see what the administration's previously declared lack of support for Venezuela's democratically elected government has on relations with Latin America generally. After all, surprise or no, they should probably regard Washington even more warily than they already did.Posted by iain at April 16, 2002 08:41 AM