Archive for Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Venezuela condemns U.S. evangelist’s call for assassination

August 24, 2005


— Pat Robertson's call for American agents to assassinate President Hugo Chavez is a "terrorist" statement that needs to be investigated by U.S. authorities, Venezuela said Tuesday. The Bush administration quickly distanced itself from the religious broadcaster.

Robertson's suggestion Monday that the United States "take out" Chavez to stop Venezuela from becoming a "launching pad for communist influence and Muslim extremism" appeared likely to aggravate tensions between the United States and the world's fifth-largest oil exporting country.

Chavez, who was democratically elected, has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush, accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. The United States is the top buyer of Venezuelan oil, but Chavez has made it clear he wants to decrease the country's dependence on the U.S. market by finding other buyers.

Winding up a visit to Cuba, Chavez said in response to questions from reporters about Roberston's remarks that such comments did not matter to him and that he would prefer to "talk about life."

"I don't even know who that person is," said Chavez, standing next to Cuban leader Fidel Castro at Havana's airport.

In Venezuela, however, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said the U.S. response to Robertson would be a test of its anti-terrorist policy and that Venezuela was studying its legal options.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro speak with the media Tuesday minutes before Chavez left for Jamaica at Jose Marti international airport in Havana, Cuba.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro speak with the media Tuesday minutes before Chavez left for Jamaica at Jose Marti international airport in Havana, Cuba.

At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said when asked about Robertson's comments: "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law. He's a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time."

Rumsfeld said he knew of no consideration ever being given to assassinating Chavez.

Robertson is a founder of the Christian Coalition of America.

On Monday, Robertson said on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club": "We have the ability to take him (Chavez) out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."


chrisgladfelter 12 years, 3 months ago

The extreme Christian clothing store downtown should start selling t-shirts with Robertson on the front saying, "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Unless It's Cheaper Than Going to War."

chrisgladfelter 12 years, 3 months ago

But....but....isn't Robertson supposed to be a Christian leader, a role model for those who defend Christianity and preach its morals? Private citizen or not, Robertson just gave Christians another black eye.

chrisgladfelter 12 years, 3 months ago

I was wondering how people today would start trying to defend Robertson's call for an assassination. Some say he didn't mean it. Some say he was taken out of context. Some say he's a private citizen and doesn't represent the Bush administration. Some say he's senile. Some even say that he's right. But I like your example, Arminius, of using another Christian hypocrisy: infidelity. Indeed, Rev. Jackson gave Christians a black eye. So does every Christian who divorces or (according to Leviticus) wears cotton-poly blends and glasses, associates with a woman during menses, and eats shrimp. The Bible can be and has been interpreted in so many ways that most Christians don't know what to do or to believe. With so much ambiguity, they certainly didn't need a prominent Christian leader to come forth and call for someone to be murdered.

kuhusker 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't think Robertson speaks for all Christians, but it is disturbing that he has access to the highest levels of the US administration and is counted as a respected policy advisor by President Bush.

chrisgladfelter 12 years, 3 months ago

Arminius, I never said that Robertson speaks for all Christians. You're trying too hard to defend him. I said he's a prominent Christian leader. He has millions of viewers/believers, and I bet the majority of them are feeling pretty embarrased today.

chrisgladfelter 12 years, 3 months ago

Let's not stray off topic here.

Pat Robertson is a huge Christian "leader" who has called for someone's assassination. I guess if you have your own TV station, you can say anything you want.

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