Monday, October 10, 2005

Robertson Accuses Chavez of Seeking Nuclear Material From Iran

Washington Post:

Bloomberg News

Monday, October 10, 2005; A12

Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition founder, told CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is negotiating with Iran for nuclear material and sent $1.2 million to terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Chavez is creating a Marxist-like dictatorship in his country and is trying to spread Marxism in South America, Robertson said on the program.

"One day we're going to be staring at nuclear weapons and it won't be Katrina facing New Orleans, it's going to be a Venezuelan nuke," Robertson said in an interview. On Aug. 22, Robertson told viewers of "The 700 Club" program that the United States should kill Chavez to prevent the Latin American country from becoming a "launching pad" for extremism. The next day, the television evangelist said his comments were misinterpreted.

Robertson also said yesterday that "sources that came to me" told him that Venezuela sent money to bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also said Chavez befriended Moammar Gaddafi of Libya and "these people who are considered terrorists."

Relations between Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil producer, and the United States have eroded since Chavez took office in February 1999.

Last month, Chavez used a speech before the U.N. General Assembly and a news conference to attack the United States, saying, "It is a terrorist state. It is a government that violates all rules and behaves shamelessly" because of its actions in Iraq, Robertson's assassination comment and the U.S. refusal to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted for the bombing of a Cuban airliner.


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