January 3rd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today urged the incoming Republican Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, to investigate Obama appointee Arturo Valenzuela for “the weak appeasement policies of the Obama Administration in Central and South America.”
Wilson, in his letter to Representative Ros-Lehtinen, blasted the Obama Administration’s failure to respond to the invasion of Costa Rica by Nicaragua, and urged her to bring Barack Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela, to the House to testify.
The letter contends that the Obama Administration’s failure to respond to the invasion, and instead to announce Nicaragua’s candidacy for U.S. aid from the Millennium Project, has emboldened America’s enemies in the region, including Venezuela dictator, Hugo Chavez. “The ineptitude of the Obama Administration has not gone unheeded in the region,” Wilson wrote.
In December 2010, U.S envoy Larry Palmer was banished for being “disrespectful,” according to Chavez. “In reality, Palmer was voicing U.S. concerns that Columbian drug cartels are being financed by Venezuela,” Wilson wrote.
Wilson noted the invasion of Carelo Island along the San Juan River by Nicaraguan military forces had no basis: “In fact, according to the official maps of both countries, the land has always been Costa Rican. It is in fact an illegal invasion by Nicaragua of Costa Rica, an historically peaceful country which has no standing military.”
But according to a recent Washington Post editorial, the Obama Administration “has not condemned the Nicaraguan land grab. In fact, the State Department has yet to say anything about the matter.” Wilson called the silence “inexcusable” in a statement
Wilson also brought forward concerns that Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega is cementing his rule on power so that he can serve for life by arbitrarily flouting constitutional restrictions from running for re-election.
Blame can be laid at Valenzuela’s feet, said Wilson. “Weakness invites aggression,” he wrote to Ros-Lehtinen. “Valenzuela’s background indicated a very weak policy by the U.S. to defending free nations in Latin America from the Marxist regimes that seek to overthrow them” and provided the basis for ALG’s opposition to the appointment.”
“Valenzuela has argued for ‘dialogue and an opening towards Cuba,’ defended Venezuela’s cracking down on press freedom while serving at Freedom House, and sat on the advisory board of Americas Watch with George Soros, a group that supported reinstating Manuel Zelaya to power in Honduras,” Wilson noted.
“It’s time that Arturo Valenzuela be held to account for the Obama Administration’s appeasement of authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and elsewhere,” Wilson concluded in a statement.
Letter to House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, December 3rd, 2011.
Arturo Valenzuela Background, Americans for Limited Government, July 2009.