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Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, March 11, 2006

Federal Bureau of Intimidation

A Latin American and Chicano histories professor, Tinker-Salas, believes he was targeted as a result of his outspoken politics regarding the U.S. policy toward Venezuela and Latin America.

Tinker-Salas figured in a Christian Science Monitor story last month dealing with whether Iran and Venezuela could forge a political counterweight to U.S. power. He said the detectives questioned him on subjects that easily could have been answered elsewhere.

According to Tinker-Salas, the agents told him they were interested in the Venezuelan community and concerned that it may be involved in terrorism. They asked him if he had relationships with the Venezuelan embassy or consulate, and if anyone in the Venezuelan government had asked him to speak out about Venezuela-related matters.

Tinker-Salas said the deputies also questioned waiting students about him and examined cartoons on his office door.

"They asked them about my classes," he said. "My students were intimidated."

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." (Fourth amendment, United States Constitution)
The FBI declined to comment on the incident, however, they did respond to a Huffington Post article about the interrogation, stating in part, The FBI takes great pains to avoid publicity when interviews are conducted.

Publicity? They don't want publicity. We don't want a police state. Tit for tat. Maybe we need to find a place to centrally report all intimidation attempts.

This isn't an isolated incident. How many other Latinos with connections to Venezuela have been intimidated? What a way to capture the hearts and minds of America's growing Latino population! I suppose soon we'll be placing them in the new detention centers built by Halliburton.

I'm sure this is just a tip of the US' intention to block Chavez, who was, as you recall, democratically elected, and happens to be quite popular with the citizens of Venezuela, unlike the president in the US who isn't winning any popularity contests for this stance.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Congress last month that the administration was pursuing an "inoculation strategy" in other Latin American countries to limit Venezuelan influence.

"There is some concern that if the United States doesn't play its cards right, there could be a major policy shift in the region that favors Venezuela's interests over the United States," said Daniel P. Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue, a research organization in Washington.

What? Favor a populist over a bully? Favor a government who responds to the needs of all their citizens opposed to a government who responds to the needs of the wealthy? Democracy?
posted by Cyndy | link | | |


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