The Blog

Comandante Chavez's Friends

Hugo Chavez supports Saddam Hussein and terrorism. Several congressional Democrats support Chavez. What's wrong with this picture?

11:00 PM, Mar 10, 2003 • By THOR HALVORSSEN
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Any congressional support of Chavez is particularly galling given that he is vocal about his loathing of the United States and American liberty. Yet unlike Chavez and his paid supporters, the great majority of Venezuelans have great affection for America and its freedoms. A recent Pew survey on "Global Attitudes" demonstrated that, although much of the world--and nearly all of South America--resents and despises America, Venezuelans rank among the greatest admirers of the United States and its people.

Congress should put President Chavez on notice that his dictatorial actions will not be tolerated It should also urge the Organization of American States to expel him, and impose immediate sanctions for his state sponsorship of terrorism. Any appeasement of Chavez sends a comforting message to the enemies of freedom. Additionally, it sends a dispiriting signal to the natural allies of the United States: the millions of Venezuelans who reject the grotesque tyranny of Hugo Chavez.

Thor Halvorssen is a human rights and civil liberties activist in Philadelphia. He grew up in Venezuela.