Pat Robertson calling for your murder can be a good thing. A South Florida newspaper is reporting a new spirit of unity among critics and fans of Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez. Both groups now agree on one thing: Pat Robertson is ape shit.
Some of Chávez’s most ardent opponents, who once led street marches back home but are now exiled in South Florida, said the comments were inappropriate and will further fuel tensions between the two countries.
“I think Chávez will grab this thread and make himself out to be the victim and justify the idea there are international groups that want to kill him,” said Carlos Fernandez, a Weston [Florida] resident and former opposition leader who helped lead a 2002 national strike that shut down Venezuela’s petroleum production.
…some wondered if Robertson was paid to make such an outlandish comment.
“I wonder if someone paid Robertson to say such a thing so Chávez could be vindicated,” said Ernesto Ackerman, founder of Independent Venezuelan American Citizens. “Otherwise those are the comments of a madman.”
When Robertson said, “We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,” (see earlier Pensito Review article), it wasn’t the first time a religious figure criticized Chavez.
Venezuela’s Roman Catholic Church leaders repeatedly have exchanged barbs with Chávez over the country’s political crisis. Leaders accused Chávez of amassing power. In turn, the president accused some of the clergy of backing a 2002 failed coup.
Yet until Robertson, no religious leader had publicly suggested killing Chávez.
No, Robertson’s amazing diatribe was a just teensy bit over the line. Even Florida’s Republican senator, Mel Martinez, apparently enjoying a little summertime travel, distanced himself from the Christian Coalition’s founder.
Robertson’s statement’s spread quickly through the region. During his visit to Brazil, Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Florida, condemned the statements.
Meanwhile, I didn’t know there were so many exiled Venezuelans in Florida.
The Andean nation is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer and a key supplier to the United States…Florida is home to about 65,000 Venezuelans, according to the U.S. Census’ 2003 American Community Survey. But local groups put that number closer to 100,000 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties…
What I haven’t heard is the outrage and condemnation of Robertson from the Christian Right in this country. If a foreign activist called for cutting to the chase and just taking out George Bush, we’d be sending troops in.