Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson, a former GOP presidential candidate and host of the “700 Club” daily Christian TV show, today called for the assassination of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

“There was a popular coup that overthrew him,” Robertson said. “And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken. Chavez was back in power. But we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.”

About the Fidel Castro ally, Robertson said: “You know, 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.”

“It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war … and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop,” Robertson added. “But this man is a terrific danger and the United … this is in our sphere of influence, so we can’t let this happen.”

Chavez is becoming more shrill in his condemnations of America. On Sunday, in an appearance with Castro, he said: “‘The grand destroyer of the world, and the greatest threat … is represented by U.S. imperialism.”

Chavez was responding to remarks Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made on his way home from visits to Paraguay and Peru last week. Referring to social uprisings in Bolivia that have pushed out two presidents in less than two years, Rumsfeld told reporters that Venezuela and Cuba have been influencing the Andean nation “in unhelpful ways.”

Uneasy about the close relationship between Castro and Chavez, Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials have repeatedly said the two men are fomenting instability in Latin America. Both leaders have consistently denied the accusations.

“We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced,” said Robertson. “And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.”

He concluded his commentary by saying: “We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

Indeed, there is evidence Chavez is not only supporting Communist movements in Latin America but also Islamist insurgencies.

As WorldNetDaily reported, a Venezuelan military defector claims President Chavez developed ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida – even providing it with $1 million in cash after Sept. 11, 2001.

Air Force Maj. Juan Diaz Castillo, who was Chavez’s pilot, told WorldNetDaily through an interpreter that “the American people should awaken and be aware of the enemy they have just three hours’ flight from the United States.”

Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

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