Spain, the Unreliable

Spain has been providing anemic lifelines to failed, left-wing dictatorial governments in Latin America for decades including Communist Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and many others. They rarely, if ever, cooperate with the United States to advance the cause of liberty in the Americas.

Now Spain is allegedly selling modern weapons to gross violators of human rights and perpetrators of atrocity crimes in Venezuela, undermining U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere and destabilizing the Andean region. According to Breitbart, quoting a leading Spain liberal newspaper El Pais:

Spanish officials agreed to sell €20 million worth of tank parts in the first of 2018, despite a EU authorization approved in November 2017 that prohibited member states from selling arms to the Venezuelan government. The sanctions were a response to the regime’s use of excessive force against anti-government dissidents and its responsibility for the country’s ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis.

Breitbart, Spain Modernizes Venezuela Tanks, Violating E.U. Sanctions (3 Jan 2019)

Too bad the leaders of Spain, a NATO ally, remain so short-sighted. They have essentially teamed with Russia to prop up the military of a government, with the assistance of Cuba, that is responsible for one of the largest human rights crisis in recent history.

The Trump administration and the Congress should press Spain on several points, including the alleged sale. They should, for starters, ensure that no U.S. technology was re-exported to Venezuela. And if there are any items left to send, cancel the shipments. El Pais also alleges the tanks are at the Venezuela and Colombia border. Why?

To what other nations led by anti-American governments is Spain selling military, dual-use, or police equipment? Cuba? Ecuador? Nicaragua? Maybe the Uncle Sam, joined by the Organization of American States (OAS) should take a closer look at this recent sale as well as past sales to other regimes in the region.

For a long, long time, the United States has had Spain’s back in Europe. It would be an excellent development if Spain thought about working with the good guys in the Western Hemisphere, for a change.