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Who knew that chief executives bandying unsubstantiated allegations of assassination strategies about would turn into a growth industry? The BBC reports that Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez accused the Bush administration of planning his murder, echoing the same charge leveled by his friend Fidel Castro in the previous week:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he believes the US government is planning to assassinate him.
"If they kill me, the name of the person responsible is [President] George Bush," Mr Chavez said.
Mr Chavez - who offered no evidence to back his claim - said any attempt on his life would backfire and threatened to cut off oil supplies to America.
Perhaps Chavez has hired Eason Jordan as a political consultant these days. It certainly appears that leveling accusations of assassinations has become the New Black of diplomacy and international debate. Oddly, however, the only people getting assassinated these days are opponents of leftist totalitarian states, such as Rafik Hariri of Lebanon, and politicians opposed to Islamofascist terror, like a number of Iraqis killed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Chavez may have other reasons to sleep uneasily than George Bush, and one suspects those reasons live a lot closer to home and have much more of a desire to kill Chavez than Bush does. The hysterical ranting of Chavez has some political intent: to focus attention on the Yanqui Menace as a means of uniting Venezuelans behind Chavez. It might work, but Chavez has played this card before, and I doubt that the Venezuelan opposition could possibly give Chavez this much benefit of the doubt.
However, the Bush administration could arrange for Chavez' peaceful abdication from power in Venezuela by offering him cash and a prestigious position here in the United States. Why, I hear a major Atlanta media corporation is looking for a new chief of operations, and based on Chavez' public relations experience, he seems like a perfect fit. Fidel could even arrange the introductions with its former owner to grease the skids ...Sphere It View blog reactions
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