Should Americans be concerned that three of the world’s top dictatorships—also renowned for violating human rights—are endorsing President Obama? The White House probably won’t issue any press releases, but here are the details.
The latest to publicly announce his support for the commander-in-chief’s reelection bid was Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who this week assured he’d vote for Obama if he were from the United States. The America-bashing strongman made the announcement on state-owned television, saying “Obama is a good guy” and that if Obama was from Caracas, he’d surely return the favor by voting for Chavez.
The Venezuelan dictator, who has forged a strong alliance with Iran, appreciates that Obama doesn’t consider Venezuela a threat to the interests of the Unites States. This despite illegally shipping U.S. military aircraft to help Iran evade American radar, hosting terrorists from Hezbollah and Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces and helping Iran and Syria evade international sanctions. Chavez is also buying tons of advanced weaponry from Russia and has pulled out of human rights conventions that could call his regime on its many violations.
Oh, and who could forget that Chavez named a former military intelligence officer sanctioned by the U.S. for trafficking drugs as deputy interior minister. In 2008, the U.S. Treasury froze the new minister’s (Hugo Carvajal) assets because he assisted narcotics trafficking by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Chavez named another U.S.-blacklisted official who provided Colombian rebels with weapons and training commander General of the Army.
Earlier in the year the government-official daughter of Cuban military dictator Raul Castro proclaimed her country’s support for Obama during a visit to the U.S. “I believe that Obama needs another opportunity and he needs greater support to move forward with his projects and with his ideas, which I believe come from the bottom of his heart,” Mariela Castro said during a cable news interview. Cuba has for years appeared on the State Department’s list of terrorist sponsoring nations and its communist regime is famous for its atrocious human rights violations. Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro also endorsed Obama (actually an Obama-Clinton ticket) during the 2008 election in a piece published in the island’s communist paper.
That brings us to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who has eliminated most elections in his country, monopolized all major media and destroyed the political party system. There is no doubt that he’s a dictator, according to a Russian journalist, who says the only reason this is questioned is because western leaders and western media refuse to call him one. Putin has also had his police cronies in Moscow arrest peaceful, legal demonstrators and confiscate, destroy or damage private property.
In a letter to a major newspaper, the president of a group dedicated to expanding freedom around the world points out that under Putin there has been an “across-the-board crackdown on civil society.” The piece goes on to ask: “Will Obama stand up against Putin’s abuses?” Unlikely, now that the Russian dictator has extended his endorsement.