So imagine my dismay this morning when I learned that Pat Robertson called for a hit on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. This was not some sort of vague reference to Chavez simply turning up missing. It wasn't some off the cuff comment that we'd all be better off without him. Yesterday, on the 700 Club broadcast, Robertson said, "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," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
Such incendiary remarks are hardly helpful to U.S. interest in South and Central America. Oil rich Venezuela is certainly a country that has felt itself a stepchild of American Imperialism in the past. Hugo Chaves is after all a democratically elected head of state. While his leftist views may not be popular with many in the U.S. government, such statements by someone as widely known as Pat Robertson only increase the tensions that exist between the Unites States, Chavez and his many allies throughout South and Central America.
One has to wonder what ever was even going through Pat Robertson's mind? His fascist remarks have no doubt hurt Robertson as a future spokesperson for the Christian community. It has increased Chaves's value and standing among anti-Americans. Put Robertson on the same page as a terrorist and made the Bush Administration which normally has enough trouble staying out of this kind of trouble on the defensive with Venezuela. It seems the only party that has gained here is Chaves and his allies. Remembering the phrase, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" - well Chaves just made a whole lot of friends.