According to a new Pew Research survey, over 62% of Venezuelans have a favorable view of the United States.
Meanwhile, only 37% of Venezuelans have a favorable view of the Maduro government's political patron, Castro's Cuba.
This, despite the fact that the Maduro government blames the United States for absolutely everything -- from "spreading cancer" to "assassination plots" to "economic aggression."
Yet, the concern that Maduro will use the United States as an "excuse" -- which it does anyway -- has kept U.S. diplomats paralyzed.
As we've written before in The Hill:
"'Don’t give them an excuse to crack down on dissent,' is a favorite sophism spread among foreign-policy elites, lazy bureaucrats and big-chair academics. Dictators love it. Why? Because as soon as it’s uttered, it shifts blame, immunizes them and effectively silences freedom’s advocates, even in the face of egregious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity."
But also, the people of those countries don't believe their "excuses."
This is also a favorite talking point of those who lobby against Cuba sanctions -- that it gives Castro an "excuse" for its failings.
Yet, time and time again, every survey conducted in Cuba shows that less than 10% of Cubans believe the U.S. embargo is the cause of their ills. Moreover, they believe that if you lift sanctions, it would only have a limited effect on their economic well-being, as Castro's monopolies control all foreign trade and investment.
In other words, Cubans (like Venezuelans) don't believe Castro's "excuses."
Why? Because they're not stupid.
at 8:06 AM Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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