A Biden administration, it’s been reported, will seek to change U.S. relations with Venezuela and its despotic leader Nicolas Maduro, preferring to seek “free and fair elections” and “offering sanctions relief in return” rather than continue with the Trump administration’s promise to only negotiate a Maduro surrender.
Interesting choice by the ostensible American President-elect since the Venezuelan head of state tweeted out, the day after Christmas, praise for one of the worst mass murderers in human history, China’s Mao Zedong, while indicating his affinity for the leadership of the current Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping.
Celebro 127 años del natalicio del Gran Timonel de la República Popular China. Hablar de Mao Zedong es conectarnos con la grandeza y genialidad estratégica de un gigante de la humanidad. Saludos al presidente Xi Jinping y al pueblo chino que sigue su legado de unión y libertad. pic.twitter.com/G3kTgqVTx8
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) December 26, 2020
Translated, the text reads: “I celebrate 127 years of the birth of the Great Helmsman of the People’s Republic of China. To speak of Mao Zedong is to connect with the greatness and strategic genius of a giant of humanity. Greetings to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people who follow his legacy of unity and freedom.”
So…that’s what we have to look forward to, America. Attempts to find ways to work with a guy who celebrates the man who starved millions to death and who even the Washington Post tacitly admitted was a really bad guy by publishing a 2016 column penned by George Mason University’s Ilya Somin entitled, “Remembering the biggest mass murder in the history of the world.” And it was prescient.
Who was the biggest mass murderer in the history of the world? Most people probably assume that the answer is Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust. Others might guess Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who may indeed have managed to kill even more innocent people than Hitler did, many of them as part of a terror famine that likely took more lives than the Holocaust. But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.
[O]ur continuing historical blind spot about the crimes of Mao and other communist rulers, leads us to underestimate the horrors of such policies, and makes it more likely that they might be revived in the future. The horrendous history of China, the USSR, and their imitators, should have permanently discredited socialism as completely as fascism was discredited by the Nazis. But it has not – so far – fully done so.
Just recently, the socialist government of Venezuela imposed forced labor on much of its population. Yet most of the media coverage of this injustice fails to note the connection to socialism, or that the policy has parallels in the history of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other similar regimes. One analysis even claims that the real problem is not so much “socialism qua socialism,” but rather Venezuela’s “particular brand of socialism, which fuses bad economic ideas with a distinctive brand of strongman bullying,” and is prone to authoritarianism and “mismanagement.” The author simply ignores the fact that “strongman bullying” and “mismanagement” are typical of socialist states around the world. The Scandinavian nations – sometimes cited as examples of successful socialism- are not actually socialist at all, because they do not feature government ownership of the means of production, and in many ways have freer markets than most other western nations.
Biden, it would appear, would like to step back into the shoes of his former running mate, Barack Obama, and get on board with the whole “citizen of the world” thing. And, as with any social group one is trying to wiggle their way into, expressing the right (or, in this case, left) opinions and associating oneself with the popular people are paramount to success.
Never mind that, as international human rights attorney Hillel Neuer points out, Xi is following in the bloody footsteps of Mao. He’s still having a place saved for him on the UN Human Rights Council.
One week from tomorrow, a man who herded 1 million Uighurs into camps, jails human rights activists, crushed Tibet, disappeared courageous men and women who sounded the alarm on the coronavirus, and suffocated freedom in Hong Kong will join the U.N.'s highest human rights body. pic.twitter.com/j4iSBOOnlk
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) December 24, 2020
And never mind that the U.S. State Department, in the time it has left under the Trump administration, is weighing whether or not to officially declare what Xi is doing as genocide.
Biden apparently wants to develop a “trade” policy that focuses on easily manipulated reports of “good behavior” rather than through goods and services that are easier to track via economic health or dearth.
This “leading from behind” mentality was frightening enough in the eight years of the Obama administration. Now, following the COVID crisis and very real questions about the integrity of U.S. systems (election and otherwise), it’s downright horrifying. The U.S. may not survive it intact.