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Mr. Obama’s silence on press crackdowns in Venezuela and Ecuador.

Despite U.S. leadership shining as a beacon of freedom for more than two centuries, Mr. Obama is conspicuously silent as the free press remains under siege. Mr. Chavez relentlessly attacks media outlets that criticize him, like Globovision TV, shuttering their offices and issuing arrest warrants for their leadership. Ecuador’s Rafael Correa jailed three publishers and an opinion columnist from El Universo newspaper for alleging his personal involvement in brutally halting a coup attempt. Though the journalists were later pardoned, Mr. Correa’s message was clear: There is no free press in Ecuador. Where’s Mr. Obama been on all of this? Nowhere.

Though as bad as Mr. Obama has been for Latin America, it could be worse. At least his policies haven’t resulted in the region being taken over by Islamists as they have throughout the Middle East, thanks in part to his siding with the strongest in the Arab Spring. Not yet, anyway. Give Iran time and they’ll think of something.

J.D. Gordon is a retired Navy commander who served as a Pentagon spokesman in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2005-2009.