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I see all these opinion pieces about how Hugo Chavez's departure could provide an opening for a thaw in U.S.-Venezuelan relations. Then I read this:
The United States was represented by Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, and former Rep. William Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts.
Way to go, Secretary Kerry. Thirty heads of state or their deputies, including those from most of Latin America, attend Chavez's funeral. The United States -- the biggest importer of Venezuelan oil -- snubs the country's popular, long-time, democratically elected leader. Because he was a critic of American foreign policy and hung around with people the U.S. dislikes. Are you 15? Is this high school?
Even Canada, which slavishly parrots American policy toward Venezuela, managed to send a former prime minister. At a minimum, the U.S. has a former secretary of state, sitting around doing nothing, whom it could have sent. You know, in recognition of an important trade partner you're hoping for warmer relations with. Thank God Jesse Jackson and Sean Penn stepped up to fill in.
But no, there are domestic politics to contend with. So you'll pull the same blunder at Fidel Castro's funeral, and Raoul's, and keep wondering why your diplomatic charm offensives fall flat. It's because you are arrogant, ignorant hegemons, incapable of ever learning anything about how and why others see you.
That felt good.