It turns out that offering a hand of friendship to tyrants is usually a bad idea, especially when they are focused on spreading communism and undermining democratic allies of America. It's one thing to spout platitudes in a classroom or campaign, but quite another when there are actual consequences. Monica Showalter of Investors Business Daily writes:
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that top officials in Venezuela, as recently as May, were shipping weapons to FARC, the Marxist narcoterrorists trying to overthrow the Colombian government.
It's an eye-opener, given that a month earlier, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had "turned the page" with Venezuela's strongman, laughing, shaking hands and backslapping with him as Chavez declared: "I want to be your friend."
The editorial goes on to lay out the evidence that Hugo Chavez is financing and arming a guerilla force aimed at overthrowing democratic Colombia. It is a formidable indictment. Yet the Obama administration does not support ratification of our free trade pact with Colombia, and continues to treat Chavez with far too much cordiality. The piece notes:
Colombia's war should also be finished by now but it's not, because Chavez is arming the other side. Failures to sanction him, and treat him as the enemy that he is, only make his goal easier.