US activist blasts call for Chavez killing

US civil rights activist the Reverend Jesse Jackson has branded "repugnant, immoral, illegal" a call by a US televangelist for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    Jesse Jackson (front) addresses Venezuela's National Assembly

    Addressing the Venezuelan National Assembly on Sunday, Jackson called for the US Justice Department to investigate the statement by famous evangelist Pat Robertson, who last Monday said of Chavez: "I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

    Jackson, on a three-day visit to Venezuela to meet Chavez, politicians and community leaders, also called on US President George Bush to express "a swift rejection" of Robertson's statement.

    "It must be unequivocally clear that such a heinous act is not desirable nor designed nor planned. We must use power to reduce tensions, reduce the rhetoric of our threats," Jackson said.

    "It was such a repugnant, immoral, illegal statement," he said.

    Apology

    Robertson apologised on Wednesday for his statement but then went on to compare Chavez to Saddam Hussein and to suggest the United States could one day be at war with his oil-rich country.

    Chavez, a twice-elected leftist and close ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro, has often said Washington would like to assassinate him and accuses the Bush administration of involvement in a coup d'etat that toppled him for 47 hours in April 2002.

    US officials last week distanced themselves from Robertson's comments.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.