Caracas, Venezuela, August 23, 2005 (Venezuelanalysis.com).- Venezuela’s Vice-president Jose Vicente Rangel condemned today the calls by U.S. religious leader Pat Robertson, to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
"Before, they were openly calling for Chavez’s overthrow, now the call is to assassinate him," said Rangel during a press conference in Caracas.
"Religious fundamentalism is one of the greatest problems facing the world today," he added, describing Robertson’s comments as "terrorist remarks."
Robertson invoked the Monroe Doctrine to call for the assassination of the Venezuelan leader whom he described as "a terrific danger" to the U.S.
"You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson commented during his television show on Monday.
"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another 200 billion dollar war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with," Robertson continued.
According to Rangel, Venezuela was studying legal options, citing that U.S. laws and international treaties against terrorism condemn public calls to assassinate an elected leader.
Venezuelan Vice-President Rangel expects U.S. authorities to condemn Robertson’s remarks. "It is up to U.S. authorities who said to lead a war against terrorism, to express their opinion regarding this matter," he said.
In recent months Chavez has hinted that the U.S. government, after failed attempts to remove him from the presidency, might contemplate his assassination, given the fact that his high approval ratings in Venezuela make him very likely to be reelected next year.