Mr. Kerry’s record of promoting American values abroad is dismal. It isn’t that he opposes U.S. intervention—far from it. The trouble is that he has a habit of intervening on behalf of bad guys. A left-wing world view and an earnest conviction that it is his destiny to impose it on others may make him a perfect fit in the Obama cabinet. But it won’t be good for poor countries or for U.S. interests.
Latin America knows all too well the dangerous combination of Mr. Kerry’s arrogance and, to be polite, let’s say, naiveté. In 1985, in the midst of the Cold War, he led a congressional delegation to Nicaragua, where he met with Sandinista comandante Daniel Ortega. The Sandinista reputation as a human-rights violator was already well-established, and the Soviets were stalking Central America. Nevertheless, Mr. Kerry came back from Managua advocating an end to U.S. support for the resistance known as the “Contras.” The House took his advice and voted down a $14 million aid package to them. The next day Mr. Ortega flew to Moscow to get $200 million in support from the Kremlin.