Monday, 7 March 2011

Blood (and Oil) Brothers

As Western leaders continue to stumble and stutter over the ongoing crisis in Libya, Colonel Gaddafi has found vocal support from Latin America’s infamous gruesome twosome, Chavez and Castro. The exclusive ‘Dictator’s Club’ maintained by corrupt autocratic leaders brazenly exploiting their own national oil reserves has been quicker to mobilise support than the floundering Western leaders.

The relationship between Libya and Chavez-led Venezuela goes beyond the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Despite minimal cultural similarities, the robust anti-American sentiments that pervade the autocratic administrations in Libya, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua has created unified sentiment under a common enemy. As the recipient of the comically paradoxical ‘al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights’, Hugo Chavez remains committed to ensuring the brutal subjugation of people under autocratic rule. Chavez said last week it ‘was a great lie’ that loyalist Gaddafi forces had attacked civilians fronting the opposition freedom movement, whilst the old anti-American, anti-Imperialist and irrational Fidel Castro denounced the Western media for promulgating a ‘colossal campaign of lies’ about Libya. The absurd criticism of the Western media would be funny if the enduring state-influenced media in Cuba and Venezuela weren’t so tragic.

As the spectre of civil war looms the lack of coordination between Western governments appears in stark comparison to the chummy dictators. Although the situation remains fluid, as recently as last week Catherine Ashton confirmed the EU was not willing to coordinate on military action and hadn’t even discussed the possibility of a no-fly zone.

If authoritarian dictators are willing to stand-up for their own abhorrent, greedy and repressive regimes why is it that Western leaders have struggled so laboriously to stand up for human rights and democracy?

The coordinated opposition to the lone global hyperpower has created a sense of solidarity against Western intervention. It is both scandalous and morally reprehensible that Western powers do not share the same sense of solidarity in mobilising greater action to prevent the continuing gross human rights violations across Libya.

by David Fairhurst

This blog was originally posted by The Henry Jackson Society, 07/03/11 at

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