Embassy Row

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On Thursday, Mr. McFaul said at a Moscow public-policy forum that he expects the U.S. Congress to soon repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment, a Cold War policy designed to impose trade sanctions on the old Soviet Union for preventing Soviet Jews from migrating to Israel or the West.

‘POWER-HUNGRY TYRANT’

The feisty chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week responded to the latest criticism from Venezuela by calling autocratic President Hugo Chavez a “power-hungry tyrant.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who regularly spars with Mr. Chavez and other left-wing leaders in Latin America, said Venezuelan state television has been attacking her for her role in getting a Venezuelan diplomat ousted from the United States.

“The attacks against me by Venezuelan state television are proof positive that in Venezuela the Chavez regime decides everything, down to the content of programming that its citizens watch,” said the Florida Republican.

She suggested that the television station should report on “rolling electrical blackouts” in the capital, Caracas, the “lack of bread, milk and other basic staples throughout the country, the attacks against private property and the withering of human rights.”

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen said she doubts those issues will be covered as long as “a power-hungry tyrant” has control of the media.

State television criticized Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen after the State Department last week expelled Livia Acosta, Venezuela’s consul-general in Miami who had been linked to an Iranian plant to disrupt computer systems at U.S. nuclear power plants.

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen and other members of Congress had called for the State Department to investigate a report about the plot by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
James Morrison

James Morrison

James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...

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