October 28, 2007
As if we didn't have enough reasons to beware of Venezuela already, the Washington Post reports that over the past three years, Venezuela has become the primary route through which cocaine is smuggled into North America. It is said that corrupt military officers are the main reason for this. There is another, more basic explanation: that the rogue republic of Hugo Chavez is deliberately encouraging drug traffic as a way to undermine U.S. society. The communist side did so during the Vietnam War, and Fidel Castro did so during the Cold War. It shouldn't surprise anyone at all. But of course this is a mere conjecture on my part, and not yet proven.
A recurrent theme in Third World countries is a populist backlash against multinational corporations, as evidenced in recent years by the new leftist governments of Bolivia and Ecuador. For example, in May 2006, the Ecuadoran government canceled its contract with Occidental Petroleum on dubious grounds that served primarily as an excuse for indulging in populist politics. One of the main grievances is that the operations of foreign companies have allegedly caused environmental destruction or harm to workers' health. Some of the accusations are true, without a doubt. In recent years, activists have been resorting more and more often to the Alien Tort Claims Act, under which foreign individuals and corporations can be sued in U.S. courts. Walter Olson, at pointoflaw.com (via InstaPundit), profiles the case of liberal legal eagle Terry Collingsworth, who has filed tort claims against Chevron in U.S. courts for having (allegedly) committed human rights abuses, without bothering to check the facts.
This is a perfect example of "juridical imperialism," the unilateral arrogation of legal jurisdiction by one country into the sovereign domain of another; left-liberal globalization, if you wish.
The people of Argentinia will choose their next president today, and it seems all but certain that First Lady Cristina Kirchner will win, in spite of probable fraud with the government's inflation statistics. Just imagine if Hillary Clinton had been elected president in 2000, or if Nancy Reagan had been elected president in 1988. The Washington Post