The Democrats Embrace of Chavez - Revisited

American Thinker published an article " Democrats and the anti-Semitism of Hugo Chavez" in late September of 2006. The article pointed out that Jimmy carter certified his "election" back then-though its legitimacy was criticized in many quarters and with good reason.

The article also pointed out that 16 Democratic Congressman voiced their support for Chavez back in 2002, and Congressman William Delahunt of Massachusetts established a "Venezuelan Caucus" to "show "friendship to President Chavez".
A number of Democratic Congressman have supped at the Chavez oil spigot, using subsidized oil from Chavez to garner support among their constituents who, in return for cheaper fuel, will presumably vote for the Democratic Congressmen who have opened this pipeline to Chavez. 

This issue is worth revisiting in light of the recent news that a computer was recently found in the hands of the Colombian terror group FARC that showed that Chavez had extended hundreds of millions of dollars to the communist guerillas - a group well known for killings and kidnappings. More worryingly, FARC appeared to have sought to use these funds to purchase uranium - a development with portentous implications. Iran has exceedingly close ties with Chavez and could certainly, given its advanced nuclear program, be in a position to supply this uranium to FARC.

Beyond that, why are Democrats so closely aligning themselves with a tyrant who suppresses his people, confiscates money and land, represses free speech, and denies political freedom to his people. Why do Democrats support a man who openly supports terrorism?

Furthermore, do these same Democrats show any concern for the plight of the Jews of Venezuela. Abraham Foxman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post about Chavez's anti-Semitism just this past month
which noted the Chavez-inspired anti-Semitism raging through Venezuela. This includes raids by police on a Jewish community school and cultural and sports center-which terrified children.

Foxman continued:
Certain government officials and commentators in the official media frequently resort to implicit and explicit anti-Semitic displays, including rehashing the ancient canard about Jewish control, vilifying Jews and Israel as agents of imperialism, and adopting anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish financial influence.

Instead of denouncing such hateful speech, Chavez chooses to overlook anti-Jewish rhetoric and often endorses notorious anti-Semites in the media. As dangerous and hurtful as this is for the small Venezuelan Jewish community, it is a symptom of something much deeper and far riskier for all Venezuelans: the breakdown of democratic ideals and institutions.

Chávez has repeatedly compared Israel to Hitler and the Nazis, and he has accused Israel of engaging in genocide against Arabs. These views have been expressed in various Venezuelan government-sponsored media outlets, on radio and TV broadcasts, and in newspaper articles and political cartoons.

Chávez has aligned Venezuela with countries and radical Islamic movements that are a verifiable threat to Israel and world Jewry, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Hezbollah's secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah; and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He has also fostered relationships with convicted guerrilla terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (a.k.a. "Carlos the Jackal") and the now-deceased Holocaust denier Norberto Ceresole of

David Horovitz of the Jerusalem Post has also commented on the increasingly Nazi-like behavior of Chavez: 

Venezuela's Jews are being watched carefully  by a regime whose leader meets regularly with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and who has declared that the "descendants of the same ones who crucified Christ" have "taken possession of all the wealth in the world."

It is not pleasant being Jewish in Venezuela today. I recently watched a video of footage from a Venezuelan TV station in which a Chavez acolyte accused Jewish leaders of fomenting, leading and financing anti-government student protests and other conspiracies. "We have to be very careful about what is going on in Venezuela," the speaker declared ominously. "Those Jewish businessmen who are not involved in the conspiracy must say so."

He identified two rabbis by name, and also named a wealthy Jewish family at the heart of the purported plotting. "I am not going to be blamed for being an anti-Semite," he said... as he spouted his anti-Semitism.

Visiting Israel this week, a former Venezuelan Jew who now lives in Miami told me flatly that "Chavez and his government do not like Jews," and that the community has not fled en masse only "for the same reason the Jews didn't leave Germany: denial."

Many Venezuelans are suffering under the dictatorial rule of Hugo Chavez but Jews seem to be subject to his particular ire. How does he condemn Colombia-a close ally of America, headed by a democratically -elected leader who has done wonders for his nation but who rejects terror and who rejects close ties to Chavez? He declares Colombia has become "the Israel of Latin America"  the ultimate epithet in his lexicon.

Will the Democrats who have strongly supported him over the years continue their blind allegiance? Will the Congressmen who have stood up for him now express their concern? Will they reject Chavez for his anti-Semitism, for his terrorism, for his Nazi-like behavior towards his own Jewish population?

The silence is at once deafening and telling.
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