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The Myanmar aid puzzle
Unless one thinks back to what happened after Katrina hit the United States. The U.S. didn’t do a tremendously spectacular job in its handling of the disaster. A foreign country offered the U.S. over 1,000 doctors trained in emergency situations to help the victims. The offer was rejected. The country that offered the medical help was Cuba , known throughout the world for the capabilities of its medical personnel. But the U.S. rejected the aid. Although it doesn’t seem very likely, possibly the U.S. was afraid that these doctors would pose a threat to the U.S. government. That, too, seems strange. Unless…
Unless one recalls that in 1999 a great tragedy struck Venezuela as massive landslides killed thousands. The U.S. was sending a ship to Venezuela with aid and military personnel. The aid was rejected because Venezuela said that while it would accept help from other countries, it was not interested in foreign military personnel entering the country. That, too, seemed strange. Unless…
Unless one considers what happened only a couple of years later in 2002, when the U.S. government spokespeople smiled on the overthrow of the Chávez government. Maybe the Venezuelan response wasn’t so strange.
Maybe Myanmar’s response isn’t so strange either. I don’t write this to defend the government of Myanmar, but there is often much more to what is happening in the world than what the press reports and what the reporters remember.
Charles Hardy ©
Charles Hardy is author of Cowboy in Caracas: A North American’s Memoir of Venezuela’s Democratic Revolution, published by Curbstone Press. Other essays by Hardy can be found on his personal blog Cowboyincaracas.com. You may write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.