Libya is being torn apart by an intransigent tyrant who can't see the writing on the wall. If Qaddafi can no longer remain in power, then he has decided to murder as many Libyans as possible before waltzing into retirement. Old habits die hard.
Sensing that his comrade might be in hot water, Hugo Chavez has offered to serve as a mediator between Qaddafi and Libya's fed-up citizenry. Wow, that's, um...very helpful, Hugo. Let's see, what kind of special skills would Hugo Chavez bring to the negotiating table?
1. Chavez and Qaddafi are good old boys
2. Chavez is an authoritarian tyrant
3. Chavez has zero tolerance for the voices of opposition in Venezuela
4. Chavez has maintained power by brutally crushing his opponents
5. Chavez is terrified that, if the rebellions in North Africa continue to succeed, the burgeoning anti-autocratic fervor might spread to other continents
All things considered--and much as we appreciate the gesture, Hugo--I recommend that you take your "special set of negotiating skills" and go fly a kite. What Libya needs right now is a whole lot less of Qaddafi and people like you. Don't get me wrong, Hugo, I can understand why you might not appreciate input from your neighbors to the north. We've never been very supportive of your regime and, again, I know how antagonized you are by opposing ideas and democratic principles.
Nevertheless, it's time to fact the facts. The glory days of North African tyrants have come and gone. Thanks to common sense, Facebook (BTW, who would have thought that FB could play such an integral role in the struggle for political progress?? Three cheers for FB!), and a whole lot of Libyan courage, the tide has finally turned against Qaddafi--and there's nothing you can do about it, dude.
Bitter as it may seem, the one global leader who really has a handle on the situation in Libya is Barack Obama. In case you missed the headlines, President Obama has demanded that Qaddafi cease his reprisals and slither out of office ASAP. Obama has also stated that the US will keep all options on the table in its efforts to support the people of Libya in their struggle against oppression. How's that for a commitment to democracy?
Times they are a changin', Hugo. Get used to it. The heyday of North African tyranny is over. Hopefully, the same will soon be true of South American tyranny as well.