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'Empty lies' about Venezuela

August 31, 2008

Re "Fears of a Hezbollah presence in Venezuela," Aug. 27

The Times made the very serious allegation that Venezuela would support terrorism, but tellingly lacked evidence to back up the claim. The Times used vague quotes from just one anonymous "Western anti-terrorism official" to claim that Venezuela is harboring militants. The argument is false, though, and simply mimics the politicized and unproved allegations against Venezuela by U.S. government agencies under President Bush.

Venezuela's democratic government does not support terrorism. The Times should leave these empty lies alone and focus on what we do know for sure: Caracas officials care about achieving peace and security in the hemisphere and protecting groups that face threats. After President Hugo Chavez met with Jewish leaders on Aug. 13, the head of the Latin American Jewish Congress stated that the Venezuelan leader "demonstrated that he is a great friend of the [Jewish] community, that he knows and wants to fight anti-Semitism in Latin America."

Megan Morrissey

Venezuela Information

Office

Washington

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