- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A specter is haunting Central and South America — the specter of communism — but instead of expressing measured concern, the Biden administration is congratulating incoming far-left leaders while attributing their victories to “free and fair elections.” 

But that may not be the case, and the Biden administration should consider the history of how communist regimes such as Cuba and Venezuela have subverted democracy throughout the western hemisphere before so easily validating these election victories. 

On Dec. 30, Mr. Biden was quick to join a chorus of other leaders in the western hemisphere — namely communist dictators Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela — in congratulating Chile’s new far-left president, Gabriel Boric, for his recent victory over free-market incumbent Jose Antonio Kast after a nail-biting presidential runoff. 

A Dec. 30 White House statement said Mr. Biden cited Chile’s elections as a “powerful example” of free and fair elections for the rest of the world, a salute that followed his administration also congratulating similarly Marxist-leaning candidates for their victories in Honduras and Peru. 

During Mr. Biden’s call with Mr. Boric, the two “discussed their shared commitment to social justice, human rights and inclusive growth,” according to a statement by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who added that they talked about “the existential threat posed by climate change.”

Ms. Psaki said nothing of Mr. Boric’s post-election pledge to “bury” Chile’s neoliberal economic model along with its constitution, already being rewritten by a constitutional convention, nor his Dec. 20 visit to the presidential palace, at which time he also took the opportunity to pay his respects to a bust of Salvador Allende, a former Marxist president whose tenure included a 23-day visit from Fidel Castro.

On Nov. 30, Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Xiomara Castro as the president-elect of Honduras, a leader of the left-leaning Liberty and Refoundation Party and also the wife of the former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, a notorious ally of Hugo Chavez. Mr. Blinken’s statement celebrated “high voter turnout, peaceful participation, and active civil society engagement … signaling an enduring commitment to the democratic process.” 

On July 30, Mr. Biden’s White House announced a delegation to Peru to attend the inauguration of incoming President Pedro Castillo, whose party, “Free Peru,” has praised Fidel Castro and Vladimir Lenin and proposed to abandon capitalism. 

Despite Mr. Biden’s attempt to build diplomatic bridges with the newly elected leaders of our neighbor countries, he should consider the following before getting too close to his newfound friends on the fringe of the radical left. 

In an Oct. 24 article titled, “Who Funds Violent Latin America Politics,” The Wall Street Journal revealed Mr. Maduro was “hopping mad” about the extradition of two Venezuelan operatives — Caracas’ financial go-between Alex Saab and former military intelligence director Hugo Carvajal. 

“All over Latin America, democracy is being subverted through violent and antidemocratic uprisings and replaced by hard-left, one-man rule,” the Journal’s Mary O’Grady wrote, adding that since his arrest, Mr. Caravajal has gone public with claims that Venezuela had, “illegally financed the hard left in Latin America,” citing support for Marxist leaning leaders such as Nestor Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Lula de Silva in Brazil, Mr. Zelaya in Honduras and Gustavo Petro in Colombia. 

In her 2019 book “Cuba’s Intervention in Venezuela,” expert Maria Werlau chronicles how Cuba interferes in regional elections clandestinely by funding campaigns and recruiting agents in political parties, the media and academia, as well as by inserting operatives into radical groups and providing them funds, materials and advice. More openly, Cuba spreads propaganda and disinformation and trains political and social leaders in Cuba.

None of this should be news to Mr. Biden, who has the entire U.S. intelligence community at his disposal. A revitalized pink tide is gushing across America’s sphere of influence three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a fact that should raise alarm bells for any presidential administration. 

U.S. recognition provides invaluable political capital to any world leader, and Mr. Biden should not be so quick to offer it without knowing all the facts — especially when the long-term impact of a socialist or communist western hemisphere will ultimately, undoubtedly endanger the national security of the United States. 

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