Read this and enjoy! I do not have a Wall Street Journal subscription but I have friends:
The Wall Street Journal
REVIEW & OUTLOOK AUGUST 30, 2010
Our Man in Caracas
Good news: Chávez doesn't like him.
Should Hugo Chávez be allowed to choose the next U.S. ambassador to
Venezuela? He seems to think so, as he is protesting President Obama's
nominee for the post.
Larry Palmer is a career diplomat with experience over two decades in
the likes of the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ecuador. In
2002 George W. Bush named him U.S. ambassador to Honduras.
The Senate is expected to confirm Mr. Palmer for Caracas after its
summer recess, but some of his confirmation answers have riled the
Venezuelan caudillo. Answering a dozen pointed questions from Richard
Lugar of Indiana on human rights and the like, Mr. Palmer went way out
on a limb and said U.S. policy should work to "bolster regional
cooperation to support democracy and human rights."
He also suggested that José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the
Organization of American States, should use his office to do the same.
He said time and events would determine whether "OAS member states
decide to honor their commitments under the Charter and stand up in
defense of democracy in Venezuela, or wherever it is threatened." This
kind of thing infuriates Mr. Chávez, who has been trying to dominate
the OAS and has rolled over Mr. Insulza like fresh asphalt.
Regarding the Venezuelan military, Mr. Palmer referred to its "clear
ties" with guerrillas fighting the Colombian government, a decline in
its professionalism due to politicization, and concern that "Cuba's
influence within the Venezuelan military will grow."
That was all too much for Señor Chávez. "How do you think, Obama, that
I am going to accept that gentleman as ambassador? It's impossible,"
he said on his TV program. "He ruled himself out, breaking all the
rules of diplomacy, having a go at us, even the armed forces. Probably
you will withdraw him, Obama. Don't insist, I'm asking you."
Sorry, Hugo. Mr. Palmer's answers merely reflect U.S. policy. Perhaps
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should break the news to Mr. Chávez
that whoever draws the short straw at State and gets sent to Caracas
will carry the same portfolio. She might add that the U.S. doesn't beg
countries to accept its ambassadors. If the post stays vacant, so be
"whoever draws the short straw at State and gets sent to Caracas"
you gotta love that one....