Skip to comments.Chávez condemns bombings by U.S.
Posted on 10/31/2001 12:34:01 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON -- President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela has sparked a new tiff with the United States by holding up photos of dead children and telling his countrymen that the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan has left a wake of atrocities.
``See this baby? What fault did it have?'' Chávez said in a national televised speech Monday night, suggesting that allied bombing was leaving innocent civilian casualties.
Chávez held up a series of purported photos of dead and wounded children from Afghanistan and said: ``This has no justification, just like the attacks in New York didn't either.'' Chávez said Venezuela condemns the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States but does not condone the bombing of Afghanistan.
``The killing in Afghanistan must stop,'' he said. ``This cannot be.''
In an unusual public response, a State Department official rejected any comparison by Chávez between the airliner bombings in the United States and the unintended civilian casualties from allied bombing in Afghanistan.
``We were surprised and deeply disappointed by his comments,'' said Charles Barclay, spokesman for the Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. ``We're clear about what we're doing . . . We're not targeting the people of Afghanistan and have made every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We deeply regret civilian casualties but reject any effort to equate the intentional and deliberate killing of thousands of innocents by terrorists on Sept. 11 with the unintended and unfortunate casualties resulting from the just response to these heinous terrorist acts,'' he said.
In a series of recent barbed comments, two senior Chávez aides have criticized the U.S. war on terrorism, souring relations between the United States and Venezuela, a major supplier of crude oil.
Defense Minister José Vicente Rangel and Interior Minister Luis Miquilena have blasted the U.S. bombing campaign that began Oct. 7 in Afghanistan. Miquilena said he has seen no proof that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
U.S. Ambassador Donna Hrinak later said in a television interview that such remarks would have consequences: ``The country has paid a price in terms of credibility.''
Foreign Minister Luis Alfonso Dávila said he would call Hrinak in for an explanation. That meeting has yet to occur. A U.S. official said Hrinak now planned to talk ``at length'' with Venezuelan officials ``regarding their public posture on Sept. 11 and its aftermath.''
Chavez said dozens of community newspapers across the country will report on the accomplishments he has made in attempting to rebuild Venezuela after decades of corrupt governments - efforts the left-leaning, populist leader calls his revolution.
That is something the ``big newspapers seldom do,'' said Chavez, adding that the community papers will criticize his government ``objectively'' - suggesting others are biased.
He also announced a big public relations push, saying at least 2,000 ``popular spokesmen'' will fan out across Venezuela to explain alleged inaccuracies in the mainstream media. Chavez reacted angrily to an editorial in the Caracas daily El Nacional on Sunday that deemed his latest trip abroad a failure. [End Excerpt]
no doubt the entire venezuelan media will soon have to be cured of their obstreperousness by special government psychiatrists
then all will be well in his new socialist worker's paradise
I believe if we have to have Globalism it should be on OUR terms. I truly believe that the rest of humanity should be a part of a world where truly 'All Men Are Created Equal'. Our FFs were great, our people are great, and the West is great and worth fighting to the death for.
I assume Chavez was doing as he was bidden by his spiritual master, the Mullah Omar. Let's see, Chavez'statements would have made it in under the 72 hour limit, no?
It's clear that Chavez is "with the terrorists".
These tin horn dictators don't care to do the heavy lifting needed to make their countries strong and prosperous.
They just like to swagger and see who will make the highest bid for their temporary "loyalty."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.