U.S. President Bush Meets with Venezuelan Opposition

Mérida, September 24, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)-- On Tuesday U.S. President George Bush met with opposition leaders from Venezuela and other "dissidents" from Cuba, Russia, China, North Korea, Burma and other countries, in New York, according to a White House statement.

In the meeting Bush and his wife gave a dinner and discussed "advancing the agenda of freedom and protection of rights and dignity" said White House spokes woman, Emily Lawrimore.

The director of Radio Caracas Televesion (RCTV) Marcel Granier was among the attendees, as well as Cuban exile Omar Pernet Hernandez.

RCTV is a private television station whose broadcasting license was not renewed by the government in May 2007 and has since moved to cable. The Venezuelan government decided not to renew the license due to RCTV's participation in the April 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez and for violating the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio and Television.

Other attendees included Lodi Gyari, sent by the Dalai Lama, and Sang Hak Par, the president of the Fighters for Free North Korea.

Speaking to the press after the meeting George Bush said he had "just had a wonderful lunch with democracy leaders, human rights activists, courageous men and women who have stood strong for freedom. I assured them that this government, my government, believes in the universality of freedom. We believe there's an Almighty, and a gift of that Almighty to every man, woman and child is freedom.

"They inspire us. Here in [North] America , we have an obligation to help others realize the blessings of liberty. They have been on the front lines of securing liberty."