Florida Senator Marco Rubio took issue with his comments:
“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...”The Miami Herald quoted Council on Foreign Relations member and Director of Latin American Studies Program at the School of Advanced International Studies at The John Hopkins University, Riordan Roett, as saying that Chavez is "certifiable," and:
"... with a tremendous ego fueled by the power that comes from sitting on vast oil reserves — but he’s not as dangerous as the leaders of other less friendly regimes..."The article, penned by Patricia Mazzei and Erika Bolstad, quoted Roett, saying about Chavez:
“He poses no security threat to the United States or anyone else...Hugo Chávez is not going to attack us, he’s not going to occupy our embassy, he’s not going to bomb U.S. planes arriving in Caracas at Maiquetía Airport. He is a loudmouth who enjoys listening to himself, and has built up on the basis of oil revenue, a very, very populist, dependent regime that can’t deliver on basic services, on goods and commodities to his own people.”Mitt Romney apparently also disagrees with that assessment. Yesterday in Boston he said:
“I was stunned by his comments, and shocked by them. This is Hugo Chavez, this is Venezuela. This is Chavez who has invited Iran in, who has invited Hezbollah. Hezbollah, of course, being a surrogate and a proxy for Iran would potentially have access to weapons that could be used against us. … The idea that this nation, this president doesn’t pose a national security threat to this country is simply naïve. It’s an extraordinary admission on the part of this president to be completely out of touch with what’s happened in Latin America.”Here's the Video:
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