Mary Anastasia O’Grady at the Wall Street Journal digs into the latest Russian hijinks in Caracas, warning that Democrats should resist the temptation to coddle up to Hugo Chavez:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to allow a vote on the Colombia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, sending a message to Bogotá and any would-be friends in the region that we are unreliable. But trifling with Colombia-U.S. trade is only part of a larger outrage. The Democrats also are playing footsie with Mr. Chávez, as the nearby photo — with the two women dressed in matching chavista red — taken in Washington a year ago indicates.Left-wing Colombian Sen. Piedad Córdoba is a close friend of Mr. Chávez and a frequent visitor to the Venezuelan presidential palace. She is also trusted by the FARC and is often photographed with its leaders. Her political activities among the rebels have provoked so many questions in Colombia that the government has launched an investigation into her FARC ties.U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern’s name is all over the captured FARC documents and when a Wall Street Journal editorial reported as much in March, the Massachusetts Democrat didn’t deny it. But he howled in protest when this column reported that the FARC leaders wrote that Mrs. Pelosi had “designated” him to work on hostage negotiations. The FARC also expressed faith in Mrs. Pelosi as someone who “helps” in its effort to undermine Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Mr. McGovern said in a letter to this newspaper that the FARC was engaging in fantasy. But maybe instead the rebels put their faith in Mrs. Pelosi because they perceive a common friend in the radicalized Ms. Córdoba, who can do their bidding in Washington.If Mr. Chávez thinks he can go nuclear with no consequences it is because he understands the divided allegiances in Washington. One way to solve that problem would be for Democrats to come out and say whose side they are on.