Foreign Policy

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Libya’s relationship folly with Latin America
Foreign Policy

The Qaddafi regime’s use of deadly force against protesting Libyan citizens has been properly met by condemnations from responsible governments around the globe. And then you have the outliers.It may surprise some that this includes several governments in the Western Hemisphere, led by Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, the one-time petty dictator who posed as a born-again democrat to capture his country’s presidency in 2006 (only to revert to his autocratic ways).

To great fanfare, Ortega pronounced, « I have been speaking with Qaddafi on the telephone … he is again fighting a great battle, how many battles has Qaddafi had to fight. In these circumstances they are looking for a way to have a dialogue, but defend the unity of the nation, so the country does not disintegrate, so there will not be anarchy in the country. » Also displaying solidarity with the murderous Qaddafi regime is Ortega’s guiding light, Fidel Castro, who gamely tried to change the subject by telling the world that, « The government of the United States is not concerned at all about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a question of hours or very short days. »

The support for Qaddafi, as detestable as it is, is not hard to understand. After all, both Ortega and Castro, along with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, are all past recipients of the Muammar Qaddafi International Human Rights Prize, bestowed by the Libyan dictator himself.