Foreign and Defense Policy, Latin America

Jimmy Carter sends his condolences to Hugo Chavez



Former president Jimmy Carter returned to the scene of the crime tonight, issuing a statement that heaps effusive praise on the legacy of dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Carter says:

We came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.

Just as he whitewashed Venezuela’s deeply flawed electoral system under which the Chavez regime held onto power, Carter completely misrepresented Chavez’s destructive legacy: Deep political polarization, authoritarian manipulation, hateful rhetoric, disastrous economic policies, and the devastation of Venezuela’s petroleum industry.

Under Venezuela’s constitution, new elections must be called in the months ahead to choose Chavez’s successor. If Venezuelans are to have any opportunity to rescue their country from the corrupt chavista cronies who are trying to hold on to power, there must be simple but profound reforms in the electoral system that Carter recently called “the best in the world.” Indeed, a free campaign and a fair vote count must be monitored for the first time in a decade by impartial, credible international observers.

In other words, if Jimmy Carter is anywhere to be seen during that electoral process, it will be very bad news for Venezuelans who want to reclaim their country and future.

US officials must do two things: Insist on a constitutional succession and free elections and ignore Jimmy Carter. Click here for a post-Chavez checklist for US policymakers.

Here is my video response to Chavez’s death:

17 thoughts on “Jimmy Carter sends his condolences to Hugo Chavez

  1. What I love about Americans is that a foreign country is only good, free, and democratic if it somehow profits American interests. Pres. Chavez made many mistakes but he put his country ahead of personal gain and corporate multinational greed.

    • Uh yeah, that’s why he and his brothers made “billions” over the years that he was in charge, all the while throwing a few crumbs to the poor folks and taking their freedoms away.

      Wake up

    • Alexander, you are as clueless as the day is long. Chavez put his country ahead of personal gain? Are you freakin’ kidding me? He was just another in a long line of third-world despots who made a fortune ($2B) by plundering his country’s resources ala Castro, Arafat, Qaddafi, and Saddam Hussein. When are you naive liberals going to wake up and see reality for what it is?

  2. Bad news for Venuezuelans if Carter is around who want to reclaim their country and future,bullcrap! You must mean the wealthy residents who abhorred Chavez.Let me guess they want capitialistic heroes to swoop down and provide the poor with prosperity & opportunities.Before that can happen people of Venezuela first things first,about this oil you have over here.

  3. Chavez was a petty little dictator who used fear and force to maintain control, much like Hitler and in the direction obama is going. Carter is still a loser just like he was in the 70′s, and always will be.

    One thing is for sure, unless Chavez had his complete faith in Jesus (and Jesus alone), then he is in hell today. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father except by me”, not the church, not Mary, not the vatican, ONLY Jesus alone. Jesus would have never supported Chavez and his dictator ways.

    • I think it’s safe to assume he had no connection to Jesus so he’s most likely smelling quite a bit of sulfur right about now!

  4. What a fool! Right up there with Oliver Stone and Sean Penn. Every sitting president since Carter’s well deserved trouncing by Reagan has despised him. He gets in the way of American policy and gives cover to all the wrong people. Let’s keep him occupied building houses.

  5. here’s the yankee profiteers ready to banquet on the venezuelan oil industry…you paid and supported scores of crackpot dictators, as long as you could lay your filthy hands over their riches…if one of these dictators decides to spend his nation’s money to alleviate poverty, fight illiteracy, improve health care for his citizens, he’s all oif a sudden a dangerous lunatic..I tell you the next election venezuelans will choose the continuation of the revolution, voting for Chavez’ deputy Nicolas Maduro. Another slap on your greedy face

    • Gee, you’re kinda pumped up. I don’t think my face is greedy. But go ahead down your path and you’ll now tell us that Castro is a good guy, that all those folks he’s killed and jailed deserved their fate and that Cuba is a better place because of him. Keep your eye on the inflation Venezuela is suffering from and let me know how that has helped the poor.

      • who supported Noriega? Who’s got pretty pictures with saddam hussein? Who supported Pinochet in chile? Who destabilised Nicaragua, Hoduras, El Salvador in the 70s/80s (does the name contras ring any bell?). Were these all good guys? All paid by US taxpayers, who then had to fork out again, in terms of money and human lives (S.Hussein)? But Chavez is bad becaused uses his oil not to enrich a few corporations but to develop literacy and health care among the poorest… the poverty level dropped 75% since he took power…these are datas you can gather yourself anywhere if you just bothered. If in the process exxon mobil lost a few bucks, I personally don’t give a damn

        • Chavez tossed a couple of “crumbs” to the poor people while he lived “high off the hog”. Then to boot the economy is failing there, and personal freedoms and rights were taken away so he could keep his power. Given the choice between dealing with “big business” or a dictator, I would choose the “big business” and keep my personal freedom and choice. I can at least “choose” to buy or not buy products.

          • I saw in the WSJ this morning that the principal news source not controlled by the state was shutting down because of government censorship. It shows that Chavez’ government can’t deal with the light of day. The biggest fear Russia had during the Cold War was dissemination of the truth (or even competing ideas).

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