The president, responding to a question from an audience member, made an interesting statement in Chicago on Monday:
Bush said he would remind Western Hemisphere nations such as [Venezuela and Bolivia] that "respect for property rights and human rights is essential," that "meddling in other elections ... to achieve a short-term objective is not in the interests of the neighborhood," and that the United States expects other nations to stand against corruption and for transparent governance. "Let me just put it bluntly: I'm concerned about the erosion of democracy in" Venezuela and Bolivia, he said.
Bush did not address the recent recommendation of the UN Committee Against Torture that the United States close down its detention facilities in Guantanamo. Nor did he address the legality of the U.S. invasion of Iraq or its effects on "the interests of the neighborhood." He also failed to discuss the indictment and continuing investigation of members of his own administration as well as the corruption charges against Republican members of Congress.
But he did put it bluntly to the Venezuelans and the Bolivians.