Chavez And Republicans: The Mother Of All Hypocrites

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[Black Star News Editorial]

What a sad and perverted world we live in.

How quickly we forget. It’s the height of hypocrisy for Republicans to be admonishing President Barack Obama about exchanging a friendly handshake with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.

Does anyone remember “constructive engagement?” That farce of a policy was pursued by the United States in dealing with South Africa during the whitest days of apartheid--the argument was that punitive measures such as economic sanctions would “harm” South Africa’s Black population the most.

Of course there was no such consideration in recent years when the full measure was unleashed against Zimbabwe, bringing the economy to the ground.

The U.S. and Britain opposed all forms of major sanctions against the evil and racist regime in Pretoria. In fact, the U.S. and Britain preferred to “pall around” with the terrorist regime there, to borrow a term from the good Governor Sarah Palin.

Yes, during the era of “constructive engagement” not only did top Republican officials and even presidents shake hands with the architects of apartheid in South Africa, the U.S. and its allies also conducted billions of dollars worth of trade with the racist regime.

The U.S. and its allies even supplied either the military technology or the arms and training for the South African repressive military and police forces which committed massacres against students in Soweto and bombed refugee camps in Zambia and later in Mozambique.

This was the time when there were thousands of political prisoners with many enduring torture in South Africa. This was a time when Nelson Mandela was still languishing in prison, Winnie Mandela was under house arrest, and activists like Bantu Steven Biko were being murdered; in Biko’s case, his brain was smashed with a hammer.

The U.S. and Britain --ever the first to protect kith and kin whether they are criminal regimes or not-- used the same argument of constructive engagement to rationalize support for Ian Smith’s racist regime in Rhodesia.

The policy was advocated and practiced by Republican Administrations. It delayed the demise of apartheid for perhaps more than a decade and caused the deaths of thousands of Africans in South Africa and the other Southern African countries where minority regimes were abetted by Pretoria.

So unless Republican critics of the president are saying that Venezuela is worse than South Africa during apartheid, they should take a careful look at the mirror.

They will see the Mother of All Hypocrites.

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