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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt


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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Chavez Blasts Bush... Again

On Nightline with Ted Koppel, Hugo Chavez:

There are profound differences, very profound with this government, this administration since Mr. Bush came into power. We have been subjected -- Venezuela has been subjected to permanent aggression against us and against me personally. There has been no respect for the sovereignty of Venezuelans, for the chief of state (inaudible) Venezuela.

[...]

Now, this administration has truly broken with all protocols of democracy and respect for people. The coup d'etat against Venezuela was manufactured in Washington. My death was ordered. And it was ordered recently. Reverend Pat Robertson, who is very close to the president, asked for me to be physically eliminated, for me to be killed. And so perhaps Christ recommends that when we get a slap in our cheek, we turn the other cheek. We have both cheeks red and blue because we've turned the cheek so many times. But we never (inaudible) because we do love the people of the United States. We want to be brothers and sisters of the people of the United States, independently of their government.

[...]

You know where right now my medical team is? In the presidential plane, 200 kilometers from here. The government of the United States, in violation of the laws of the United States and conventions, prevented my doctors from coming to New York. Where is the chief of staff of my military detachment and my chief of security? On the plane. They've been locked into the plane, two days. They can't come out of the plane.

Those are the signals we're receiving. Yesterday they issued a report saying that Venezuela does not cooperate in the fight against drugs. Absolutely false. We have broken records this year in confiscation of cocaine in the fight against drug trafficking. Those are the false aggressions, the false signals we've been receiving.

[...]

The U.S. administration has to reject -- should have rejected the term of terrorist that Robertson used. The U.S. administration seriously sinned with respect to international and national laws, because the call to murder a chief of state is, in accordance with international law, terrorism. So this gentleman, Robertson, should be under arrest by the government of the United States -- silence.

Consequently, harboring a terrorist, but not only Robertson -- there have been television channels in Miami, various people, including some Venezuelan terrorists who participated in the coup d'etat and who lived here in the United States freely -- went to request my death, and the government of this country does absolutely nothing.

So they are harboring terrorism, independently of whether or not Robertson (inaudible) of a personality. But that is not the main issue. The main issue is that on television, in front of millions of people, he justified my assassination. And later, he said, no, it was not assassination. It was kidnapping. But that's also terrorism.

[...]

I'm telling you that I have evidence that there are plans to invade Venezuela. Furthermore, we have documentation: how many bombers to overfly Venezuela on the day of the invasion, how many trans-Atlantic carriers, how many aircraft carriers need to be sent to (inaudible) even during (inaudible).

Recently, an aircraft carrier went to Curacao (inaudible) the fact that the soldiers were on leave. That's a lie. They were doing movements. They were doing maneuvers. All on documentation. The plan is called Balboa, where Venezuela is indicated as an objective.

And in the face of that scenario, I said that if that actually happens, the United States should just forget the million and a half barrels of oil. Because everyday since I've been in power for seven years, we haven't missed it even one single day -- just one day, when we were overthrown. We were overthrown by that coup -- oil sabotage -- which was supported by Washington...

[...]

Pay attention. In these days of Katrina, today or tomorrow, a Venezuelan ship with 300,000 barrels of gasoline should be arriving. It's the first of four or five additional ships that we have sent to help to palliate the (inaudible) and put the breaks on the (inaudible). That's what we're doing. (inaudible) You hit me on one cheek, and I'll try to respond by helping you. I don't care. We're not doing this for the administration. We're doing it for the people of the United States. So that's how I respond.

We have no plans to alter in any way the supply of oil to the United States. Furthermore, I would say that Venezuela has the chief, most important oil reserves in the world. Do you know how much oil is left in the United States reserve? Barely 20 billion barrels, with 20 million barrels a day being consumed. Venezuela has 300 billion barrels for the reserve. We have the second-most important reserve of gas in this continent of the United States or in the world.

[...]

We love the people of the United States, and our desire is to have a world of brothers in peace. God grant that that be the case.

While I cannot corroborate the credibility of his claims, at this point, I would trust just about anyone over the Bush Administration.

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