[Marxism] Venezuela to Seek Legal Action Against Robertson

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 28 22:29:55 MDT 2005

August 28, 2005
Venezuela to Seek Legal Action Against Robertson

Filed at 10:56 p.m. ET

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said
on Sunday his government would take legal action against Pat
Robertson and potentially seek his extradition after the U.S.
evangelist called for Washington to assassinate the South American

Robertson, who later apologized for the remark, said he was
expressing his frustration with Chavez's constant accusations against
the administration of President George W. Bush.

``I announce that my government is going to take legal action in the
United States ... to call for the assassination of a head of state is
an act of terrorism.'' Chavez said in a televised speech.

The fiery left-wing critic of Bush's foreign policy who frequently
charges the U.S. government is plotting to kill him, called Robertson
``crazy'' and a ``public menace.''

He said Venezuela could seek Robertson's extradition under
international treaties and take its claim to the United Nations if
the Bush administration did not act.

Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a leader of the
Christian right that has backed Bush, said on Monday that if Chavez
``thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really
ought to go ahead and do it.''

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said political assassination was
against the law and was not U.S. policy.

Relations between Chavez and the United States, the top buyer of the
OPEC nation's oil, have deteriorated since Chavez survived a brief
2002 coup he says was backed by U.S. authorities. Washington says it
is not plotting to kill Chavez and denies involvement in the coup.

Chavez said on Friday Bush would be to blame if anything happened to
him. In the past, he has said Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest
oil exporter, would cut sales to the United States if he was

A close ally of communist Cuba, Chavez presents his self-proclaimed
revolution as an alternative to U.S. policies in the region.

Washington says Chavez is a negative influence who uses oil profits
to fund anti-democratic groups in South America while becoming more
authoritarian at home.

U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, visiting Venezuela on
Sunday, called Robertson's remarks ``immoral'' and rejected U.S.
government claims against Chavez.

* Copyright 2005 Reuters Ltd.

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