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View Diary: The U.S., selflessly concerned about democracy in Venezuela, questions integrity of election result (233 comments)

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  •  Why is it our business (5+ / 0-)

    to tell another country how to conduct its elections?

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:11:24 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's every countries' business (0+ / 0-)

      That's why the OAS and other countries have also given their opinions.  

      But the US has more complicated reasons because of its role as guarantor of the world's governance institutions, such as the UN, OAS, and numerous other institutions that simply wouldn't be able to continue if the US didn't provide at least tacit support.  Like it or not, the US does have international governance responsibilities that most other countries don't.

      Secondly, many US citizens are also Venezuelan citizens who have asked their government for this.  So this gives the US a right to be involved outside of any claims to world governance responsibilities.

      Finally, the US has conflicted national values involved here as well.  First, the principal of self-determination was a uniquely American value that the US brought to the world stage after WWII when it mandated that Britain and France  begin the process of decolonization, which US diplomatic cables of the time indicate the US saw as abhorrent but also a hindrance to combatting communism which used colonialism to criticize the West.  But that value often comes into conflict with the other American value of promoting liberal democratic government which upholds the principal that government exists, primarily, to secure self-evident individual rights of life, liberty, and individual self determination ( a generalization of Locke's "property" right).  Venezuela, and now Bolivia and Ecuador, have new constitutions, passed by less than super-majorities in violation of the constitutions they replaced,  which abandon liberal democracy in favor of radical democracy, which is rule by presidential decree pleb

      •  Well, if your first paragraph is true, (6+ / 0-)

        then the USA's is a minority opinion of one, and should gracefully choose silence.

        Your second and last paragraphs are, well, amusing.  The only thing we "guarantee" is the ability of our corporations to do business when-, where-, and however they please, and in fact we continue to have a nasty habit of supporting regimes that conduct fraudulent elections or overthrow democratic governments.

        Somehow we never get involved in other countries' electoral problems, real or imagined, although I imagine that most Americans with dual citizenship don't share that dual citizenship with Venezuela.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:58:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, we do get involved in close elections (0+ / 0-)

          on a regular basis, often driven by constituent interest of dual citizens, and US diplomats follow elections and engage politically everywhere.  The wikileaks cables showed this pretty clearly.   In most cases, however, the winning candidate hasn't previously just expelled an American diplomat in order to motivate his base, so this is a pretty easy case for anyone in government -- call for a recount and let it go.

          •  And exactly why again (5+ / 0-)

            are we calling for Venezuela to do something counter to its own law?

            Oh yeah -- we want to eliminate its current government by whatever means are available.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:40:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We aren't asking any such thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Riff

              We are asking Venezuela to apply exactly what its own law allows in close elections -- a recount.  Maduro himself even called for one right after the election before he was advised that there might be reasons he would lose in a recount.

              •  From what I understand (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happymisanthropy, slatsg, JesseCW

                Venezuela has an electoral commission that has sole authority over whether a recount is necessary, and that commission has already completed its work.

                It's your right not to like the composition of the commission or the decision it made, but it's none of our business.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:03:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, that's not how it works (0+ / 0-)

                  In the Venezuelan constitution, the president has authority to ask the commission to recount or do anything else.  The US is asking the president to use that authority and legitimize his election by asking the commission to do a recount.  The office of the president in Venezuela is provided with much more broad powers than in the US.  

                  •  And if the president chooses not to (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy, slatsg, JesseCW

                    then there's no recount.

                    Unfortunately for you, the president has made no such request, nor need he do so simply because Uncle Sam wants his oil back.

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:39:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                      But this in no way means that the US is doing anything contrary to Venezuela's laws or asking Venezuela to.

                      As a consequence, it will just have to get on without enjoying US support for his election. Not really a big deal for anyone involved, but certainly the correct course of action for the US government to take in this situation.

                      •  True but irrelevant; (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        happymisanthropy, slatsg, JesseCW

                        the election appears to have been cleaner than any of our presidential elections -- not that that's setting the bar terribly high -- and we have no problem legitimizing the results of sham elections held in much worse states.

                        Quite frankly, Venezuela would be much better off it if just expelled the entire American diplomatic corps.

                        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                        by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:49:10 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No it does not appear clean at all (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Riff

                          There were numerous discoveries after the election of uncounted votes, reported by bloggers before their sites were taken down (that's the state of the press in Venezuela), and news of that discovery is what led to Maduro rescinding his own request for a recount, instead opting for just audit of the reported totals.  

                          By asking Venezuela for a recount through official diplomatic channels, the US is signalling to the Venezuelan government that all is not well and that concessions will have to made to the US if they want our diplomatic help for things going forward.  (Which they will want, just as Chavez also did, because they still have diplomatic relations and their economy is entirely dependent on the US.)  Again, part of the lawful process of democratic governance and nothing to be alarmed about or to oppose.

                          •  Didn't say clean; (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slatsg, JesseCW

                            just cleaner than ours.

                            The less "diplomatic help" Venezuela receives from us, the better.  

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:07:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  State : Huge irregularities in Putin’s election (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW

                            EastSideDemocrat, does this mean that "all is not well and that concessions will have to made to the US if they want our diplomatic help for things going forward."

                            State Department: Huge irregularities in Putin’s election

                             Friday, April 19, 2013 - 5:24 PM

                            http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/...

                             The State Department issued a report Friday that detailed widespread accusations of fraud and abuse in the March 2012 election that brought Vladimir Putin back into the Russian presidency.

                            U.S.-Russian relations have been in a tailspin since Putin's return as head of state in Moscow, following his four years as prime minister under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev. The United States and Russia have been at odds over a U.S. list of Russian human rights violators, the Russian decision to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children, Russian persecution of international NGOs, the expulsion from Russia of USAID, and Russia's unilateral withdrawal from the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction program.

                            In the run-up to Putin's election, huge protests swept Moscow and Putin blamed then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for "inciting" the crowds that had protested the Russian parliamentary elections in December 2011where fraud and abuse were also widely reported.

                            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

                            by PatriciaVa on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:31:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Basically, yes (0+ / 0-)

                            that's exactly what that means.  Although it is a much different thing to contest power with a great power like Russia than to contest it with a negligible power, in Obama's words, like Venezuela.

    •  I recall when progressives were for US taking (0+ / 0-)

      action (sanctions, divestment) against South Africa because they had apartheid going on, including denying blacks to vote.  Were you in the "What business is that of ours?" camp back then?

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