…latin summits, us msm, amnesia and tabula rasa…

…a patronising statement in panama, and history begins anew…

In his attempt at misdirection the US President at the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama would mention ‘dark chapters in US (‘American’) history’ and a march, a memorial march, in Selma, Alabama, he had attended. On the latter it was impossible to deduce any positive contribution to the society from his participation, especially when a main organiser of that original Selma march had refused to participate in the photo-op event. On the ‘dark chapters’ when Latin and Caribbean leaders expect mature engagement, we are informed that he, not just a mere student of history, is accustomed to being ‘lectured’ to at such meetings.

And for the corporate MSM that statement of ‘recognition’, ‘acknowledgment’, would mean an ‘Honest’ Abe US President is a man of his word, ipso facto. A new day has dawned and US ‘assistance’ is now non malign. The US MSM’s disregard or distortion of the substance of Latin and Caribbean leaders’ interventions was not surprising. Of the more respectable US media, we have one that seeks to find light at the end of the tunnel.

The Nation’s Kornbluh in his article , Our Man in Panama: How Obama’s Summitry Could Change Relations With Latin America, sees and believes happy days are here for the region. An excerpt,

Yet those who listened carefully to the president heard him make a serious effort to break the tether of past transgressions and move the discussion of US–Latin American relations beyond the dark history of Washington’s hegemonic abuses. First, he acknowledged that those abuses were wrong. “I’m confident that the way to lift up the values that we care about is through persuasion,” he told the White House press corps (which included The Nation) in a concluding press conference before returning to Washington. “And so often, when we insert ourselves in ways that go beyond persuasion, it’s counterproductive. It backfires. That’s been part of our history….” Repudiating the era of US intervention in Latin America, Obama stated bluntly, “We are not in the business of regime change.”

[bold added for emphasis]

Of course, to say and admit does not imply policy change.

The blather about ‘dark chapters’ in the US history is just that, blather. In 2009, Honduras; in 2012, Paraguay, both coups. And in 2008, Bolivia; in 2010, Ecuador; in 2013 and 2014, Venezuela, all failed coup attempts; (and still in process in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil?). And, in the specific context of Latin America and the Caribbean, President Obama had officially assumed and been active in office in 2009?

Moreover,while he would win accolades for seeking to normalise relations with the small country of Cuba, long victimised by the US, he would on 9 March 2015 declare Venezuela an ‘extraordinary threat’ to the security of the US, then deny the validity of such an assertion, while other officials affirm its validity? The blogs and alternative media would see some strange incongruity, some bizarre insincerity when confronted with such ‘reality’, which explains the declining respect for, and importance of, the traditional media, their scribes and town criers.

On that business of US ‘respect’ for other countries comes this news about one country that dared to support Venezuela at the Summit in Panama. In Central America, where US Ambassadors strut like viceroys, comes this, US Threatens to Cut Aid to El Salvador for Backing Venezuela. In a nutshell,

The United States is threatening the small Central American country of El Salvador with financial repercussions for having supported Venezuela’s campaign seeking the repeal of sanctions against the country.

So where does that leave us? At least to be mindful of this admonition of President Maduro, ‘I respect you, but I do not trust you.’

What an odyssey for a US President, from the V Summit in 2009, where he had been greeted with such High Hopes (and respect) by leaders of the region, especially the late President Chávez of Venezuela. Little was accomplished that was praiseworthy – until the very laudable efforts at rapprochement with Cuba, which, in any case indicts existing US foreign policy.

The question that still lingers, Was it just callowness? Or cravenness? On this the corporate MSM has remained noncommittal.

…the reaction of the us president to the passing of president chavez and that of a saudi autocrat is no tabula rasa