Caracas, Aug 24 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela´s Vice President José Vicente Rangel
accused Tuesday US religious broadcaster and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson of making terrorist statements by
suggesting that American agents assassinate President Hugo Chavez.
The high ranking official stressed that how Washington responds to Robertson´s
remarks would put its anti-terrorism policy to the test.
"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 Robertson´s," said Rangel, adding that "the
ball is in the US court following this criminal statement."
On Monday, Robertson said on the Christian Broadcast Network´s "The 700 Club":
"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."
The Christian leader went on to say that Washington doesn´t need to engage in
another $200 billion war to get rid of one person. "It´s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job
and then get it over with."
Rangel pointed out that Robertson has influence in the US, adding sarcastically
that his words were "very Christian."
His comments "reveal that religious fundamentalism is one of the great problems
facing humanity in these times," Rangel said.
The new wrangle seems to fan up the fire of discord between Washington and Caracas.
President Chavez has repeatedly claimed that American officials are plotting to oust or kill him.
Following Rangel´s statements in Caracas, the US State Department distanced itself
from Robertson´s terrorist call. "We do not share his view, and his comments are inappropriate," spokesman Sean McCormack
said at a press briefing.
President Chavez was at the time visiting Jamaica to sign an energy
agreement as part of the PetroCaribe initiative, by which Venezuela will supply oil to needed neighboring countries at friendly
He wound up a visit to Cuba, where attended the first graduation of the Latin
American School of Medicine, in which 1,610 students from 28 countries got their diplomas as doctors after seven years of
President Chavez and Fidel Castro also presided over the opening ceremony of a
150 home community in Sandino, in Cuba´s westernmost province. The houses were donated by Venezuela and built mainly by members
of the Simon Bolivar International Aid Brigade of the Venezuelan Army.