Calling Jimmy Carter

This is part of some old articles and press realeases that are worth saving them … If you have read them GREAT, if no, please enjoy them.



Investors Business Daily.
Calling Jimmy Carter
Issues & Insights
Calling Jimmy Carter
Posted 2/9/2006
Freedom: Does a woman who accepts America’s money to build democracy deserve 16 years in prison? Only to a brutal dictator. But that doesn’t excuse Congress, NOW and Jimmy Carter for having nothing to say. Right under the news radar, a politicized court is about to throw Venezuelan democracy campaigner Maria Corina Machado into prison for “treason.” Her so-called crime: Accepting a $54,000 grant from U.S. Congress’ National Endowment for Democracy.

If words mean anything, Machado’s treason must have been a bid to overthrow
Chavez or turn the nation over to the rule of another country, right? No, all she and three others did was inform citizens about their supposed rights under Chavez’s own 1999 constitution.

For Chavez, that was a crime. So his prosecutor handed the one-man judge and jury his demand for the most draconian sentence ever imposed on a National Endowment for Democracy recipient anywhere in the world.

That’s why the silence from our nation’s Capitol is so strange. Is Congress admitting, right along with Chavez, that its open-books bipartisan democracy-building arm is an instrument of conspiracy?

Where now is Rep. Lynne Woolsey, fresh from hosting “peace mom” Cindy Sheehan, whose last whistle-stop was a Venezuelan foreign-ministry-sponsored trip to kiss Chavez in Caracas?

Or Rep. Bill Delahunt and Sens. Lincoln Chafee, Bill Nelson and Chris Dodd, all of
whom have junketed to Caracas to be at the dictator’s side and, like pull-string dolls, robotically repeat that he was “democratically elected.”

Most are ignoring what Chavez is doing to democracy and people like Machado who try to put meaning behind his hollow claims. Some remain silent — so long as cheap heating-oil spoils from Chavez are passed along to constituents as political pork to them.

Meanwhile in Caracas, Machado has declined to flee the country and vowed to stay even in the face of a 16-year prison sentence.

That, however, won’t stop the National Organization for Women from making an
appreciative pilgrimage to Venezuela next month along with Sheehan’s pals at Global Exchange.

NOW’s concern about women’s rights means little if Machado is in jail. It means even less, given the sexually harassing ads that have run on Chavez’s state TV depicting Machado as a “bobblehead” who takes raining dollar bills from a cartoon Statue of Liberty.

But hey, if Chavez’s barrage of sexual dirty talk last year against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice didn’t annoy NOW, why will this?

More morally bankrupt silence comes from ex-President Carter. Never at a loss for public words, he’s famous for certifying Venezuela’s 2004 recall referendum — what Chavez now calls treason — as “free and fair.”

Carter has put his stamp of approval on the way Chavez runs his voting operations, but he has nothing to say about the dictator’s vengeance on those who organized the petition to recall him. Carter worked with Machado in his 2004 observation mission. His Carter Center election-monitoring outfit claims to be an independent civil society organization affiliated with other independent civil society organizations — at least until they’re clapped into prison by dictators.

The sham of it is that Chavez has tried to convince us — using the words of
Congress, NOW and Carter — that he’s as much a democrat as we are. Getting them to say this means something to him.

We know now, however, that such imprimaturs come cheap. What comes with a
price in Venezuela today is standing up for real democracy.

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