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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: From Chamberlain to Kerry
Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel analyzes the similarities and differences between former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

By Beatrice E. Rangel

Perhaps no one has been as misunderstood as Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister whose tenure saw the rise of fascism in Germany and Europe.

His last name turned into an adjective to describe a person who trades with evil. He is much maligned as the author of the Munich Treaty which gave Nazi Germany the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.

Chamberlain is depicted as the master of appeasement and derided as a cold feet warrior.

Very little however is said of his life after leaving 10 Downing Street. And for someone with a tainted reputation one would expect a life of seclusion and solitude. This was not the case. Mr. Chamberlain enjoyed the love of his constituents and the respect of his society until he departed toward new horizons as Snoopy would put it.

This mismatch between historians and the people of England can only be explained on two counts.

First, Mr. Chamberlain like a fine British gentleman of his age could not care less for the rest of the world. For him the only and sole locus of politics was home. Henceforth he aimed at concentrating in domestic reform. Paid vacations, coal nationalization, trade facilitation, subsidies to entice slum dwellers to maintain their home and rent control were far more important issues in his mind that whatever the Europeans were doing in mainland.

He further believed that internecine fighting was part and parcel of European history into which Britain had no cards to play. And his isolationist country men and women seemed to agree with him in a significant proportion hence, the respect for his policies.

This belief was, of course, shattered as soon as Hitler had the idea of dispatching the Luftwaffe to London every evening. By the time the Brits came to grips with the true nature of the Nazi regime, they were at war with it. And they won thanks to the time they had to prepare themselves and the U.S. alliance.


The Chamberlain dilemma was most recently confronted by U.S. Secretary of State Kerry who, faced with rising totalitarianism in the hemisphere, decided to set his eyes on other horizons. And he traveled incessantly to the Middle East, a region facing violent problems since the times of Nebuchadnezzar.

Needless to say that during his tenure both the Palestinians as well as the Israelites engaged in an atrocities contest that left his mediation efforts at the very least scathed and the very worst without any believers.

Meanwhile Europe was hit by radical Islamic terrorist acts while narcotrafficking and terrorism began to nestle in the Americas.

Savvy exploitation of the many power boosting nodes created by globalization, such as invisible means to transfer money, cheap launching gadgets for bombs and missiles, access to drug money and through that to arms, terrorists and organized crime, decided to settle in the region.

And because of Kerry’s obsession with getting a Nobel peace prize for brokering the hundred and tenth Middle East Peace Accord, the region was completely neglected during his tenure.

Would it not have been for Vice President Biden, who took upon his shoulders to set limits to the Venezuelan sponsored PetroCaribe, the Caribbean basin countries may not have even reinitiated cooperation with the U.S. in fighting organized crime.

In his distraction, Kerry failed to seen totalitarianism‘s true colors and thus thought that it was possible to reinstate democracy in Cuba and Venezuela through dialogue.

Both regimes saw in his belief a great opportunity to gain time and sat to talk.

And we now learn that while the whole U.S. diplomatic machinery was ready four years ago to start setting the limits to totalitarianism, Secretary Kerry withheld such judgment in favor of dialogue.

As the news about the treacherous humanitarian crisis raging in Venezuela floods our TVs, we think how many lives could have been spared would there not have been any dialogue.

And there is where the difference with Chamberlain comes clear. Chamberlain spared British lives by buying time to allow his country to prepare for war. Kerry bought time for totalitarian regimes to continue their destructive path.


Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.



Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

Beatrice Rangel: Rio -- Demystifying the Olympic Games

Beatrice Rangel: The Luddite Syndrome in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Venezuela's Unexpected Transition

Beatrice Rangel: We Now Have a Wider Canal But Has Our Wisdom Expanded???

Beatrice Rangel: From Brexit to Tesla, Progress is Made by Leaders!!!

Beatrice Rangel: As the World Goes Latin, Latin America Gets Logical

Beatrice Rangel: On the Difficulties of Fighting Barbarism in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Impending Age of Housekeeping!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: What Happened to All Those Rosy Forecasts for Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On Dialogue and the Rules of Geopolitics in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Ides of Wisdom in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Populism

Beatrice Rangel: Three Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Trump, Lula, Kirchner and the Last Tupi-Guaranis

Beatrice Rangel: Time for Departures in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: A Contrarian View on the Panama Papers

Beatrice Rangel: Brazil's Lady in Her Labyrinth

Beatrice Rangel: Back to a Divided Home!!!

Beatrice Rangel: A Historical Take-Off in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: A Skipped Journey, a Reaffirmation and a Clearing of Path in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Demise of Civility in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Americas from Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Ban Ki Moon

Beatrice Rangel: The Pope's Difficult Stopover in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”

Beatrice Rangel: 2 Diseases in Latin America -- Different Prescriptions, Very Different Outcomes

Beatrice Rangel: On Health Alerts and the Long Arm of Justice in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory

Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year

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Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

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Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

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Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


 

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