Venezuela Responds to US Secretary of Defense

Responding
to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said that Hugo Chavez is a "threat to regional
stability," Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez affirmed that Hugo
Chavez is indeed a "tremendous threat" to the "empires of the
world," and assured they would continue to be a "greater threat"
as time goes on.

By Chris Carlson – Venezuelanalysis.com

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Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez (Union Radio)
Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez (Union Radio)
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Caracas,

October 4, 2007

(venezuelanalysis.com)- Responding
to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said that Hugo Chavez is a "threat to regional
stability," Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez affirmed that Hugo
Chavez is indeed a "tremendous threat" to the "empires of the
world," and assured they would continue to be a "greater threat"
as time goes on.

"Of course he [Chavez] is a threat to the stability of
the empires of the world, for those who consider themselves the world police,
for those who think they have a right to invade countries and massively murder
the population," replied the Venezuelan vice-president to a recent
statement made by Robert Gates during a visit to El Salvador.

"And we are going to continue becoming a greater danger as the people
continue to heed the call to get organized. Without a doubt, we will convert
ourselves into a danger for the despots of the world," Rodriguez
continued.

The US defense secretary
made the comment on Monday during a two-hour visit to El Salvador. At
a joint news conference with Salvadoran President Antonio Saca, Gates called El
Salvador "one of the most faithful
coalition partners," due to the fact that it is the only Latin American
country with troops in Iraq.
Gates went on to praise its "important role in humanitarian and
peacekeeping operations worldwide."

Gates then warned that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was mainly a
"threat to the freedom and economic prosperity of the people of Venezuela."
According to Gates, Chavez "has been very generous in offering their
resources to people around the world, when perhaps these resources could be
better used to alleviate some of the economic problems facing the people of Venezuela."

Gates made the visit to El Salvador
as a part of a five-nation tour of Latin America.
The defense secretary's tour will include visits to Colombia,
Chile, Peru, and Surinam,
some of Washington's
strongest allies in the region. Analysts said the goal of Gates' Latin American
tour is to not only shore up US allies, but also to counter the influence of
Hugo Chavez in the region.

Chavez has also become a strong ally for US
enemy, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has made investments in Venezuela and
increased economic ties with the region. Ahmadinejad met last week with the
Venezuelan President after first traveling to Bolivia to meet with President Evo
Morales. He also met this year with Rafael Correa of Ecuador
and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.

Vice-President Rodriguez assured that Gates' intention in Latin
America was to undermine the alliances that President Chavez has
built with other leaders in the region, but assured that he would not be
successful.

"Every time they have tried it the only thing they have done is waste
their time," he said.

"I have no doubt that this guy is wasting his time and he is going to keep
wasting his time. I think it is completely impossible to reverse this wind of
liberty, of self-determination, of sovereignty, that the leaders of the
continent are obligated to defend. Now it is the whole continent that is
struggling for its liberty and I doubt very much that this official will be
able to come here and reverse the course of history," he concluded.

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