“Be nice, please. Pretty please: play fair and show some respect for freedom and human rights.”
So says a letter sent to Castro puppet Nicolás Maduro by a somewhat impressive but absolutely lame cohort of finger-wagging politicians.
ABC Spain reports that former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar and 26 other ex-presidents from Spanish-speaking countries have affixed their signatures on a letter sent to Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. ABC also reports that copies of this letter have been sent to Pope Francis, to the current occupant of the White House, to the general secretary of the Organization of American States, and a few other political leaders.
The letter asks Maduro to ensure that the upcoming December 6 legislative elections are “free, just, and impartial” and conducted in “an atmosphere of confidence and total transparency.” The letter also states that it is “absolutely necessary” for international observers to monitor the election process, and all those who signed the letter offer to personally take part as observers.
In addition, the letter asks Maduro to free all political prisoners and to cease his harassment of dissidents and the news media.
Thus far, the only response from Maduro’s “Bolivarian” regime has been to pass a law that prohibits several opposition leaders — including Daniel Ceballos, Enzo Scarano y María Corina Machado— from running for office in those upcoming elections.
In sum, the 27 ex-presidents are engaging in futile grandstanding. Their demands, reasonable as they are, carry no stick or carrot. The prose has a beauty of its own, but every word is hollow.
What is the point of asking Maduro to free his enemies and to respect freedom of expression when his lord and master in Havana is being amply rewarded for doing just the opposite?
And why is it that these ex-presidents show so much concern for democracy in Venezuela when they show absolutely none for freedom in Cuba? Why didn’t they send the same letter to Raul Castro?
So… what are you waiting for, ex-leaders of the Ibero-American world? If it’s not too much trouble, please ask Raul Castro to be nice. Pretty please. And be sure to send a copy of your letter to Pope Francis and the current occupant of the White House. And please, please, make your request as politely as possible.