The NYT editorializes today that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is, at worst perhaps, a necessary evil given the current political climate: “if it takes Mr. Chávez’s demagogy to spur Washington toward more enlightened policies in the Americas, so be it.”

Oh yeah, and more US foreign aid to Latin America equals “social justice.”

“Mr. Bush deserves praise for doubling the assistance to Latin America, to $1.6 billion a year. But much of this has been for security programs in Colombia. A lot more will be needed if promoting social justice is to be more than a sound bite.”

In any case, I think it may in fact be true that President Bush’s “reputation in the hemisphere [is] nearing its modern nadir” if in a comparison of Bush and Chávez the latter comes off looking favorably. Or maybe it says more about the discernment of those making such judgments than it does about Chávez’s objective quality.

  • Did Chavez’ PR guys write that editorial? So more demons in politic inspire a righteous backlash, if I read that right…. Mayb a resurgence of the KKK would inspire less racism….Maybe a new anti-Masonic movement would inspire more fraternal charities…

    What a ridiculous proposition. I do find it intriguing that due to the volatility of Chavez/Citgo as an oil supplier, the US may reduce trade barriers for imported ethanol.

    It has only take how many wars and how many billions of $ of defense spending, (and one Great Depression) to realize that trade barriers hurt national security?