Here are some of the responses we have received after President Obama’s bizarre and inexplicable claim that Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan despot and ally of the Iranian dictatorship, is not a threat to the United States:
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
SENATOR RUBIO CONDEMNS OBAMA’S FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE HUGO CHAVEZ’S THREAT TO U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s assessment that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez does not pose a serious national security threat to the U.S.:
“It’s now disturbingly clear that President Obama has been living under a rock when it comes to recognizing the national security threat posed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
“Hugo Chavez is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people’s freedom and democratic aspirations, he has also supported Iran’s regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere, facilitated money laundering activities that finance state sponsors of terrorism and provided a safe haven for FARC narco-terrorists, among many other actions. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal detailed how Hugo Chavez circumvents U.S. and EU sanctions to help prop up the Assad regime in Syria. And even Obama’s own State Department belatedly but rightly expelled Chavez’s consul general in Miami for her ties to a plan to wage cyber-attacks on the U.S.
“President Obama continues to display an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere.”
In an interview that aired last night on Miami’s Channel 41, Obama said, “We’re always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe. But overall my sense is that what Mr. Chávez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 11, 2012
Obama’s Policies Toward Cuba and Venezuela: Ignorance is NOT Bliss
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) responds to an interview by Oscar Haza which aired last night on the program, “A Mano Limpia” on América TeVe, in which President Barak Obama commented on his failed policies toward Cuba and Venezuela.
“President Obama clearly wants to continue his failed policy of providing unilateral concessions to the Castro dictatorship, and expects that the murderous regime will in turn ‘recognize that their system is no longer working.’ Yet during his three and a half years in office, the regime has responded by holding hostage American humanitarian aid worker Alan Gross, murdering four political prisoners of conscience, and increasing its brutal oppression against the Cuban people. That President Obama continues to reach out a hand to the Cuban dictatorship, and ignores the brave pro-democracy movement in Cuba, is an outrage. It is deeply disturbing that in the face of the regime’s demonstrated depravity, President Obama continues to expect that his acts of appeasement will somehow convince the regime to ‘recognize that their system is no longer working.’ Miraculously, the President fails to notice that it is precisely his policies which have increased the channeling of U.S. dollars to the Cuban dictatorship and have only emboldened it further. Clearly President Obama’s policies are ‘working’ just fine for the Castro brothers.
“As to Venezuela, President Obama said that Chavez ‘has not had a serious national security impact’ on the United States. His willful ignorance on this matter is shocking from a U.S. president. The President must have forgotten that his own State Department expelled the Venezuelan consul general in Miami for plotting against U.S. security interests, and that Chavez fiercely supports the State Sponsors of Terrorism Iran, Syria, and Cuba, and the terrorist organizations, the FARC and Hezbollah, with his vast petroleum resources, safe harbor, and access to credit.
“It is dangerous that President Obama is utterly blind to the brutal nature of the Castro dictatorship, and to the grave threats posed by Hugo Chavez’s committed support for terrorist states and organizations. The Castro dictatorship and Chavez actively work against U.S. interests and in coordination with other U.S. foes. In our dangerous world, it is appalling that the United States has a President who completely fails to appreciate serious threats within our own hemisphere.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
For IMMEDIATE Release – July 11, 2012
Obama Burying Head in Sand, Ignoring Chavez Threat, Ros-Lehtinen Says
Also Says Administration Doesn’t Understand Castro Regime; Concessions to Cuba Have Strengthened Dictatorship’s Hand
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today disputed President Obama’s statement that Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is not a threat to U.S. national security interests. She also disagrees with the President’s defense of concessions made by the Administration to the Castro regime in Cuba:
“President Obama hasn’t been paying attention if he thinks that Hugo Chavez, with buddies like the regimes in Cuba, Iran, and Syria, drug cartels, arms traffickers, and extremist groups, is not a threat to the United States. I am deeply disappointed that this Administration continues to bury its head in the sand about threats to U.S. security, our interests, and our allies coming from within the Western Hemisphere.
“It is also disappointing that the President does not seem to understand the true nature of the region’s despots, who violate human rights and attack freedom and democracy. The President said that he hopes the Cuban regime will realize that its system is ‘no longer working.’ The Castro system has never worked and the Cuban people can testify to the horrific conditions and human rights violations they endure under this brutal dictatorship. The Administration’s concessions have only resulted in more money flowing into the regime’s coffers.
“The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have a problem. The threats to our national security interests and allies in the Western Hemisphere will only increase unless the Administration acknowledges them and confronts them head-on. I have introduced new legislation to provide a comprehensive approach to counter current and emerging threats to our country and our allies in the Western Hemisphere, and I urge those concerned about these threats to support it.”
NOTE: The President’s comments came during an interview on WJAN Ch 41 (Miami) A Mana Limpia with host Oscar Haza. To watch the interview, please click here.
Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 6067, the Western Hemisphere Security Cooperation Act of 2012. The bill seeks to address the growing threat posed by Iran, its proxies, and other extremists in the region. It also urges the Department of State to establish a Western Hemisphere Regional Coordination Center with participating allied countries in the region to manage efforts, capacity, and intelligence information to efficiently fight drug traffickers and monitor extremist and other illicit activities. The bill also encourages the creation of an agreement to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons throughout the Western Hemisphere.
For Immediate Release
July 11, 2012
Congressman Rivera: President Obama Needs to Recognize Threat Posed by Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela
Washington, DC- Congressman David Rivera released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s comments that Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela has not posed a serious national security threat to the United States.
“It is extremely disconcerting that President Obama has chosen to turn a blind eye to Hugo Chavez. The threat that Chavez’s Venezuela represents is growing from a looming specter in our hemisphere to a concrete reality with a worldwide network. Venezuela has already demonstrated hostility towards the United States, establishing well-documented ties with other dictators around the world, including Fidel Castro in Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and Bashar al-Assad in Syria—all designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism by our own State Department. Most recently, it has come to light that the Venezuelan Air Force was illegally buying munitions from vendors in the United States that were selling parts without a license.
“In addition to his ties with other dictatorial regimes, Chavez has a dangerous track record. There is evidence that Venezuela is establishing itself as a cyber warfare center, and that the now expelled Consulate General in Miami was linked to a potential cyber attack on the United States involving affiliates of the Iranian, Cuban and Venezuelan regimes. Chavez has welcomed and provided direct military assistance to terrorist groups like the FARC. He has likewise provided safe havens for narco-terrorist and their drug trade as reports have shown that one third of the world’s cocaine, more than 30 tons of Colombian cocaine, pass through Venezuela each year.
“While President Obama seems aware of the lack of free and democratic elections and the violations of human rights in Venezuela, that is only the tip of the iceberg of the threat that Hugo Chavez poses.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2012
REP. CONNIE MACK: PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOULDN’T DOWNPLAY THE DANGER HUGO CHAVEZ POSES
Boston, MA – Florida Congressman Connie Mack today made the following statement on President Obama’s comments on Venezuela:
“Five years ago, campaigning against Barack Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton said that Barack Obama’s views of Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan strongman, were ‘irresponsible and frankly naïve.’ That was right in 2007, and it’s still right today. In an interview earlier this week, President Obama gave a pass to Chavez, explaining that ‘overall my sense is that what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.’ Here we have Hillary Clinton’s warning coming true. Hugo Chavez is a man who has spread anti-American hatred around the globe and has formed partnerships with countries that hate the United States, like Iran and Syria. He has been deeply engaged in supporting narco-terrorists who advance his interests. He has crushed opposition at home, seeking to model the internal workings of Venezuela on the Cuban revolution. His close friendship with Fidel Castro is legendary. And he has worked closely with the Castro brothers in subverting American policy and undermining freedom and democracy across Latin America. President Obama should be working to isolate Chavez, not downplaying the dangers he poses.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2012
MITT ROMNEY: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DISTURBING COMMENTS EMBOLDEN OUR ADVERSARIES
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today made the following statement on President Obama’s comments on Venezuela:
“This is a stunning and shocking comment by the President. It is disturbing to see him downplaying the threat posed to U.S. interests by a regime that openly wishes us ill. Hugo Chavez has provided safe haven to drug kingpins, encouraged regional terrorist organizations that threaten our allies like Colombia, has strengthened military ties with Iran and helped it evade sanctions, and has allowed a Hezbollah presence within his country’s borders. And he is seeking to lead – together with the Castros – a destabilizing, anti-democratic, and anti-American ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ across Latin America. President Obama’s remarks continue a pattern of weakness in his foreign policy, one that has emboldened adversaries and diminished U.S. influence in every region of the world. As president, I will speak clearly and resolutely on the challenges we face so that both our allies and our adversaries will know where we stand.”