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The Cannon of Christianity: Pat Robertson Calls for the Assassination of Hugo Chavez
by Democracy Now (reposted)
Wednesday Aug 24th, 2005 6:53 AM
Christian televangelist Pat Robertson set off an international firestorm this week when he called for the assassination of Venezuela's democratically-elected president Hugo Chavez. We speak with journalist and author Chris Hedges and attorney Michal Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Christian televangelist Pat Robertson set off an international firestorm this week when he called for the assassination of Venezuela's democratically-elected president Hugo Chavez. Robertson made the comment on his TV program "The 700 Club."

* Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network, speaking on "The 700 Club."

Robertson, who is 75, ran for president as a Republican in 1988 (nineteen ninety eight.) He has often used his show and the political advocacy group he founded, the Christian Coalition, to support President Bush. According to his web site, the TV show, "The 700 Club" has an audience of about one million people. At a news conference Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was questioned about Roberton's comments.

* Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, news conference, August 23, 2005.

Robertson's comments were also denounced by the State Department which called them "inappropriate," but the White House has remained silent despite repeated calls for repudiation.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Robertson's comments and the watchdog group, Media Matters for America, sent a letter urging the ABC Family network to stop carrying his show. While some of Robertson's allies distanced themselves from his comments, other conservative Christian organizations were not so forthcoming. The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Reverend Ted Haggard, was questioned on CNN yesterday afternoon by host Kyra Phillips.

* Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, interviewed on CNN, August 23, 2005.

Meanwhile, Robertson's comments have set off an international firestorm. In Havana, Cuban President Fidel Castro criticized Robertson's comments saying, "I think only God can punish crimes of such magnitude." Meanwhile, Venezuela's ambassador to Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, said Bush needs to guarantee Chavez's safety at next month's United Nations meeting in New York.

* Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuelan ambassador to U.S., news conference, August 23, 2005.

In Caracas, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said Venezuela was studying its legal options in response to the comments. He said, "It's huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism and at the same time, in the heart of that country, there are entirely terrorist statements like those."

Chavez has often accused the United States of plotting his overthrow or assassination. He survived a short-lived coup in 2002.

US involvement? Over the years, tens of millions of dollars in U.S. government money has been given to Venezuelan opposition groups through the National Endowment for Democracy. Last August, Chavez survived a referendum to remove him from power through a recall election. Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporting country and a major supplier to the United States.

* Chris Hedges, journalist and author. He was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and is currently a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He is author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" and "Losing Moses on the Freeway." He has a Masters degree in theology from Harvard University. He is currently writing a book on the Christian Right.
* Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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Pandora's Box: Who Would Jesus Assassinate?Who Would Jesus Assassinate?Wednesday Aug 24th, 2005 8:21 PM
Editorial: Robertson’s CallArab News (repost)Wednesday Aug 24th, 2005 7:44 PM
P. Robertson supports Zionist Israel& apartheid South Africa's blood diamondsWednesday Aug 24th, 2005 7:10 PM

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