The original version of Benjamin Hart’s article for New York Magazine, Report: U.S. Official Met With Rebel Venezuelans Who Wanted to Overthrow Maduro, contains this nonsensical sentence (the emphasis is mine):
The U.S. has a long history of meddling in Latin American countries to promote democracy, often siding with brutal dictators in Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere to achieve its ends.
This kind of doublethink is nothing new, and familiar to me. I still remember hearing about George H. W. Bush’s toast when he was Reagan’s VP and visiting my birth country — the Philippines — which was then under Ferdinand Marcos’ iron-fisted rule:
“We stand with the Philippines. We love your adherence to democratic principles and democratic processes. We will not leave you in isolation.”
What. A. Crock. Of. Shit.
What the American government really loved was Clark Air Force Base and U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, both of which were located in the Philippines. They weren’t too concerned about the political situation there, as long as they could check the boxes labeled “Not communist”, “Holds reasonable-looking fake elections”, “Supports our interests”. But in the end, even the U.S. government had to cut their ties with Marcos.
Thankfully, the terrible sentence in New York Magazine’s article did not go unnoticed:
This sentence appears in @NYMag & I don’t think it’s meant as satire: “The U.S. has a long history of meddling in Latin American countries to promote democracy, often siding with brutal dictators in Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere to achieve its ends.” 🤔 https://t.co/tdAJR9Edk3 pic.twitter.com/UxqAf14h2N
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) September 10, 2018
I’m pleased to report that the article has since been corrected:
Now that’s more accurate.