24 Aug 2005
Why is the Reverend Pat Robertson preparing his Christian Coalition for a murder? President Chavez, whose country is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush. Is it the "critic" that upsets him, or the oil that Chavez is selling to China?
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. "He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent", he said.
He continued: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop, but this man is a terrific danger, and the United States -- this is in our sphere of influence. We can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine. We have other doctrines that we have announced, and without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with".
Pat Robertson, 75, spoke on his TV show, The 700 Club. He ran for president as a Republican in 1988. He has often used his show in the political advocacy group he founded, the Christian Coalition, to support President Bush. According to his website, the TV show, The 700 Club, has an audience of about a million people.
Later the Reverend apologised and withdrew his statement. Had he been a Muslim cleric instead of an influential Christian cleric, no Western media or press would have accepted the apology and would have continued with their witch hunting against the Muslim community.