A Reply to Pat Robertson’s Call for the Assassination of Venezuela’s Chavez

Is Bush willing to take a stand against such outrageous and provocative rhetoric, or is he prepared to take a pass in the name of advancing the political objectives of his administration?

Just when one thought that the US political situation could not get anyloonier, right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson has issued a call forthe assassination of democratically elected President of Venezuela,Hugo Chavez. With the arrogance so typical of the US political Right,Robertson seems to believe that it is up to the United States to makethe decisions for each country as to who its leaders should be.Further, that should the USA disagree with a people’s choice, the USAhas the right to carry out an assassination against their leader.

How could a self-professed “man of the cloth” call for an assassination?Religious community leaders should shun a man like this for making astatement in contradiction to basic and nearly universal sanctionsagainst murder. In addition, Reverend Robertson used the airways tocall for violence. The FCC has rules against using the broadcastairwaves to insight violent action. There should be an investigation.

StateDepartment spokesman Sean McCormack said the Bush Administrationcondemns Robertson’s comments as “inappropriate” and continued that theremarks were from a private citizen and did not represent the U.S.government position. Not good enough!!!

In nouncertain terms the Bush administration must come out and sharply andunequivocally condemn Robertson’s threats. Further, it must make clearthat assassinations of other nations’ leaders are simply not an optionfor the United States and its foreign policy.

Asthe Venezuelan Vice President emphasized, at a moment when PresidentBush proclaims a so-called war against terrorism, Robertsondemonstrates that he—Robertson—is not above support of terrorism forhis own maniacal motives. The question facing the people of the USA,and indeed, the people of the world, is whether President Bush willtake a stand against such outrageous and provocative rhetoric, or if,instead, he is prepared to take a pass in the name of advancing thepolitical objectives of his administration.

WhatRobertson must understand is that by calling for the assassination ofthe leader of a sovereign country, he is indeed opening the door forthe chickens to come home to roost. These chickens, however, couldpossibly unhinge the democratic processes Rev. Robertson professes tolive by.

BillFletcher is the President of TransAfrica Forum. TransAfrica Forum isthe leading advocacy organization for Africa and the African Diasporain U.S. foreign policy. TransAfrica Forum led the world protest againstapartheid in South Africa and today works for human and economicjustice for African people on the continent of Africa, in Latin Americaand in the Caribbean.

Source: TransAfrica Forum