Venezuela’s Farce Election

by Rick Santorum

Sadly but quite expectedly, President Obama’s legitimizing of the recent “elections” in Venezuelan is just one more example of his willingness to empower America’s enemies and undermine freedom abroad. 

These elections weren’t even “free and fair” by Chicago standards, and that’s saying something. To begin with, Chávez used his powers to corrupt the process by not allowing for the government to audit voter registration when there were clear red flags before the election. He then used national oil revenue to finance his campaign. And while the very dubious election results show him winning by ten percentage points, the exit polling suggested a very different and opposite outcome. Finally, he closed the Venezuelan consulate in Miami in order leave thousands of eligible voters disenfranchised. The opposition party has said that they will audit the outcome, but don’t expect anything to change.   

And even if there was some doubt, what kind of foreign policy gives a dictator with a reputation of oppressing freedom the benefit of it? Chávez has a history of running unfair elections to his benefit since coming to power in the 1990s. As a matter of fact, upon winning his first election, he abolished Venezuela’s supreme court and congress and rewrote its constitution to increase his powers. 

We’re giving the benefit of the doubt to a man who has focused his energy on the United States as Enemy No. 1, calling us the “greatest terrorist nation.” He has been Fidel Castro’s benefactor in Cuba. He has meddled in the politics of other Latin American countries such as Bolivia, trying align them with his anti-American positions. And he has sought alliances with Iranian president Ahmadinejad and Syrian president Assad, both enemies of the U.S. 

Again, more leading from behind from the Obama administration has given enemies of freedom the opportunity to form alliances that oppress freedom and put Americans in anger. The president’s foreign policy has suggested that you can get away with attacking our embassies and consulates, and that you can ignore our diplomatic efforts with little consequence. 

We cannot afford four more years of this. It is time to return to President Reagan’s time-tested philosophy of obtaining peace through strength and supporting freedom-loving people abroad.

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