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Obama to Miami anchor: Hugo Chávez has not posed 'serious' national security threat

UPDATE: Read full story here.

Oscar Haza, a well known Miami Spanish-language broadcast journalist and anchor, scored an interview this week in Washington with President Barack Obama in which Obama said Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has not posed a "serious" national security threat to the United States.

The full interview aired Tuesday night on A Mano Limpia, Haza's nightly show on WJAN-Channel 41, better known as América TeVe. The show had shown portions of the interview Monday night, with Haza live in D.C., and teased to the president talking about Cuba and Venezuela.

The Dominican-born Haza, who also hosts a daily morning radio show that recently moved to Univisión's WAQI-AM (710), better known as Radio Mambí, said he was one of eight journalists from eight swing states invited to the White House -- the only one from Florida -- to speak to the president and other administration officials as Obama pushed his plan to keep some Bush-era tax cuts but eliminate them for incomes greather than $250,000 a year.

Most noteworthy from Haza's interview with the president -- no surprise here -- were questions on Cuba and Venezuela, key issues for South Florida's Hispanic audience (and voters). "If I don't ask you about Cuba, I can't get back to Miami," Haza quipped, in English, before asking the president about a "perception" that he intends to further embrace relations with Cuba in a potential second term.

Obama said he had been "clear" and "consistent" in his position.

"I believe that there should be a way for us to resolve this 50-year conflict with Cuba, but it involves recognizing liberty and, you know, releasing poltiical prisoners and showing movement inside of Cuba," he said. "We've shown flexibility in remittances and lifting parts of the travel ban for family members, and I think that was the right hting to do. And my hope is that the Cuban government begins to recognize that their system is no longer working."

Haza then mentioned detained American Alan Gross and stepped-up repression on the island.

"We're not going to see big moves or major improvement in the U.S.-Cuba relationship if the Cuban leadership continues to do the same thing over and over again," Obama said.

Then, Haza asked about the alliance between Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Iran.

"We're always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe. But overall my sense is that what Mr. Chávez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us," Obama said. "We have to vigilant. My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs, and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don't always see."

You can watch Haza's Tuesday night show below. The Obama interview is in English, with Spanish subtitles.

Comments

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yiostouoeou@ymail.com

The Iranian regime is planning to place medium range ballistic missiles on Venezuelan soil. (An agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October 19, 2010.) and this is not a serious threat?
http://caseybrownmyers.blogspot.com/2010/12/cuban-missile-crisis-in-venezuela.html

Andylit

Not a threat. Wow.

The guy is in bed with Castro, Putin, Iran and terrorists who try to disrupt his neighbors, but Obozo doesn't see him as a threat.

Who ya gonna vote for in November?

Your Brain

Hearing this dribble by Odumbo makes you wonder how detached he is. He always talks about countries that won’t attack us using their military as no threat. This R-tard is risking our security so he can divert funds from security to social programs. A question was asked to one of his Obama-zombies, “where does he get the money for these programs?” and the zombie said “ I don’t know maybe he gets it from his stash.” The level of stupidity of his voting base is just breath taking.

djm159

I certainly cannot disagree with the Marxist in Chief on this one. Hugo Chavez is much less of a threat to national security than Barack Hussein Obama. That's the big problem. As dictators go Chavez is small potatoes. He isn't even in the same league as our dictator, Obama.

CoverUpLeaked

The biggest threat we face is from unelected dictators trashing our Constitution and not allowing the media to report the truth!

http://BiggestCoverUp.blogspot.com

WonkishRogue

The Leftist defense of King Putt is predictable and as amusing as ever. The fat monkey thug running Venezuela is making all kinds of deals with America's enemies. That makes him a threat. But you can't expect President Mom Jeans to be critical of a man he has so much in common with and whom he admires for his leadership style.

Ann Gitzinger

POTUS is soooo naive! He thinks people who are aligned with his marxist ideas are not enemies of the US. They are enemies of the current US and have been for a long time. However, if POTUS has his way...our country will no longer stand for freedom. Witness his lack of objection to the UN Arms Control proposal! Witness his association with Rev. Wright, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan,and Bill Ayers! None of these people want America to stand for freedom. We are toast if he is elected again...kiss the America you knew goodbye!

akw

While the US is expending vast resources on the GWOT, the terrorists are being armed and reinforced by America’s southern neighbors, making the GWOT far more costly for the US and directly threatening American security. Even though Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez may be removed from the presidency either through an electoral loss in the October 7, 2012 presidential elections or through his battle with cancer, certain sectors of the Venezuelan government will continue to support international terrorism, whose activities, bases and training camps have now spread throughout this region. By understanding the dynamics of the increasingly entrenched narcoterrorist network, the U.S. can develop an effective policy to contend with these, whether or not President Chávez remains in power.

Vanessa Neumann is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and is co-chair, with FPRI Trustee Devon Cross, of FPRI’s Manhattan Initiative.

PDF Version of bulletin. (4 pages, 91K PDF)
http://www.fpri.org/enotes/2011/201112.neumann.narcoterrorism.pdf

http://www.fpri.org/enotes/2011/201112.neumann.narcoterrorism.html

Roy

considering the Pres and Hugo share a common mentor in Bill Ayres....this is no surprise to me...

akw

Cuban missile crisis in Venezuela --- According to the German daily Die Welt (Nov. 25, 2010), the Iranian regime is planning to place medium range ballistic missiles on Venezuelan soil. An agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October 19, 2010. According to Die Welt, Iranian Shabab 3 (range 1,300-1,500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) missiles will be deployed at a base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an "emergency." --- December 9, 2010

http://caseybrownmyers.blogspot.com/2010/12/cuban-missile-crisis-in-venezuela.html

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=220879

ONTIME

How would the Fraud in the WH know what Huggy has been up to, when he has been golfing on your dime since he got in the Oval Office?

Bryan Hipple

Obama is not naive, nor is he stupid, Obama firmly believes that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right, he has chosen his path, oh yes, he has, it's the wrong path, but to Obama, it's the right one! If one were to ask Obama to look up, he'd look down. He is a man of faith, the one he worships is easy to guess?

akw

Hezbollah in Venezuela - Former OAS ambassador Roger Noriega has told a subcommittee of the House of Representatives that Venezuela has become a base of support for Hezbollah and the Quds Force. Terrorist operatives have trained drug traffickers on explosives. Venezuela's number two diplomat to Syria is a jihadist leader.

Read more at
http://moneyjihad.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/terror-operatives-afoot-in-venezuela/

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOX_yKJBdvw

StopFixedElections

This next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin's bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she's not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren't in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.
http://PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot.com

shane

Chavez gave $1 million to Taliban AFTER 9/11...

I got that direct from Major Diaz, Chavez's personal pilot for his Airforce 1, an Airbus.

He drove me to Caracas airport to see his Airbus one time, but from a safe distance, after he'd quit Chavez and went public and had gotten himself on Chavez most wanted list. Later he got out of the country via Trinidad and into Miami where I'd arranged his tell all FBI debriefing and then media coverage which was largely ignored by MSM, except for brief mention by Britt Humes of Fox about his "supposed allegations" that Chavez gave 1 million $'s to Taliban AFTER 9/11.

More here...
ki4u.com/chavez.htm

DP_Thinker

What Venezuela does and what Hugo Chavez does is none of our business unless they directly attack Amerika. The people love Hugo Chavez. Maybe we don't agree with his economic policies, but he has brought a constitution to Venezuela, he has provided more education and healthcare than Venezuela has ever seen!

If you want freedom for yourself, you must first grant it to others. You can't believe in freedom and simultaneously impose your views on other countries. Wake up America, you are not the only people in the world.

eric h

To finalize my view on the audience here I think any intelligent human would say that the Cuban blockade has been a total failure and should be lifted immediately. It has served no purpose beside make the Cuban people poorer. Anyone think differently?

akw

The mounting Hezbollah threat in Latin America
Roger F. Noriega, José R. Cárdenas - October 06, 2011

Over the last several years Hezbollah and its patrons in Iran have greatly expanded their operations in Latin America to the detriment of inter-American security and US strategic interests. Today, Hezbollah is using the Western Hemisphere as a staging ground, fundraising center, and operational base to wage asymmetric warfare against the United States. Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and other anti-American governments in the region have facilitated this expansion by rolling out the welcome mats for Hezbollah and Iran. US policymakers must increase their attention to this problem, expand their assets in the region, and develop a comprehensive strategy to combat this threat in a sustained and meaningful way.

http://www.aei.org/article/foreign-and-defense-policy/regional/latin-america/the-mounting-hezbollah-threat-in-latin-america/

Joe E in the IE

Jay Carney's explanation should be a real doozie. Popcorn, anyone?

Billybob

What if Chavez is working in conjunction with his cocalero syndicate buddy Evo Morales in Bolivia, his FARC buddies in Colombia, his Cuban and Nicaraguan friends to supply coke to the U.S.? Would that be considered a threat?

shane

Chavez gave $1million to Taliban AFTER 9/11

google...

Chavez: Clear & Present Danger

Rick O'Shea

This President will get a lot of us killed because of his idiotic foreign policies. Russia is now sending warships to Syria without a public whimper from from Obama. Putin has Obama's number and there must be some sort of deal between the two of them. Remember the '73 mideast war? Israel had about exhausted war materials so President Nixon decided to ship needed supplies to Israel. Breshnev told Nixon that he would send troops there if Nixon followed through with resuppling. Nixon increased the alert of the U.S.'s nuclear forces and all of a sudden Russia forgot all about it. Compare Nixon to the current lightweight in office now.

akw

Iran Strategy Brief No. 5: Iran's Venezuelan Gateway

Norman A. Bailey
February 2012

For years, the media and the U.S. government have repeated a familiar refrain: that the regime of now-ailing Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, however annoying, poses no serious threat to the national security of the United States. Compelling evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Under Chavez, Venezuela has systematically opposed U.S. values and initiatives throughout the Western Hemisphere and the world in general. It has tried to influence political events in other Latin American countries, sometimes successfully. It has supported guerrilla movements and terrorist organizations in other countries (most notably Colombia). And it has facilitated the activities of drug traffickers active in the region, even as it has destabilized the regional status quo through massive military purchases.

The most dangerous threat to the U.S. from Venezuela, however, results from its facilitation and encouragement of the penetration of the Western Hemisphere by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since 2005, with Venezuela’s assistance, Iran has created an extensive regional network of economic, diplomatic, industrial and commercial activities, with significant effect. The sum total of Iran’s declared investments in the region now stands at some $20 billion, at a time when the Iranian economy itself is in exceedingly poor condition. The depths of Iran’s involvement in the Western Hemisphere are all the more surprising—and significant—given that there is no historical or cultural affinity whatsoever between Iran and the countries on this side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the Iranian regime in recent years has exhibited an unprecedented level of interest and involvement in the region, facilitated by its burgeoning strategic partnership with Caracas.

http://www.afpc.org/publication_listings/viewBook/1335

akw

Deepening Venezuela-Iran Alliance Stokes Concern - In June 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that a Venezuelan diplomat in Lebanon was working for Hezbollah and Chavez’ government was “employing and providing safe harbor to Hezbollah facilitators and fundraisers.” The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said Ghazi Nasr al-Din had “counseled Hezbollah donors on fundraising efforts and has provided donors with specific information on bank accounts where the donors’ deposits would go directly to Hezbollah.” - September 10, 2009

cnsnews.com/news/article/deepening-venezuela-iran-alliance-stokes-concern

Dan

Obama says this because he sympathizes with Chavez' Marxist movement. Obama is basically a Hugo, only restrained by that "pesky Constitution and Bill of Rights." Obama is a Marxist just like HC. Obama ins't concerned because he's in bed with people like Chavez, who both look to "change" the world into something Karl Marx would love. Don't trust any of these Rat Pack idiots.

Redhawk

Add this latest Piece of CRAP to the lOng List of Obama Toatlly Inase and Clueless Sayings!! That freaking Moron is totally CLUELESS about So many things that he does not yet know what He does not know!!!

Nick757

A left wing wanna be dictator and a left wing dictator together bound at the hip of socialism. Not seeing any right wing dictators in South America, however. Must be a reason for this.

Soothsayer123

Venezuela? What a joke. They're about as big a threat as Panama was. We'd roll through those cowards faster than we did in Iraq. But unlike Bush, Obama doesn't pick fights with loudmouths smaller than he is. Chavez may talk tough, but his people don't deserve to be slaughtered by US troops for it, like we did with Saddam and Iraq.

akw

New Calls for Obama Administration to Add Venezuela to Terror-Sponsor List - Accusations about links between the Venezuelan government and terrorists in Colombia and Spain add weight to calls to designate Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism, a Latin American specialist said Tuesday. - March 3, 2010

cnsnews.com/news/article/new-calls-obama-administration-add-venezuela-terror-sponsor-list

akw

Interpol Probe Bolsters Claims of Chavez-FARC Links - Interpol announced its findings into an investigation of computer files seized from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Colombia says the files provide evidence of close links between the Marxist rebels and the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Colombian police say the material shows that Chavez offered FARC financial aid, while Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa allowed the group to operate in Ecuadorian territory. - May 16, 2008

cnsnews.com/news/article/interpol-probe-bolsters-claims-chavez-farc-links

Soothsayer123

To all you mouth-breathing Drudge readers-- your SISTER put up more of of a fight with you in the sack last night than Venezuela would with the US.

Clinger True

I have no doubt that Hugo's current proclivities are not of any concern for the current administration as they do indeed have parallels to the ObomaNation's current political philosophies. The Dems never challenged or thought it necessary to be concerned about any past left wing South American governments, so why start here? One of their favorite South American despots Daniel Ortego was immune from conviction for abusing his step daughter Zoilamérica Narváez because he was President and thus immune from prosecution.The Dems never saw any reason to condemn this left wing despot and did not suggest denying travel to the US which he did frequently to buy his signature eye glasses.

akw

Testimony of Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism; Kevin Whitaker, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs; and Thomas Delare, Director of the Office of Terrorist Finance and Economic Sanctions Policy, Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs. Department of State - hearing on “Venezuela’s Sanctionable Activities” - 06/24/11

www.internationalrelations.house.gov/112/ben062411.pdf

Buck O'Fama

Somebody give President Chimpy a banana, he's made a monkey out of himself again. What?? Oh..do we need a trip down the memory hole libtards? Remember, what's good for the goose is good for the communist gander.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/interest/president-chimpy
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chimpy

Me laughing at you, hard. Get over it.

UhOh

Yeah, I guess that visit by Hezbollah to Venezuela last week was just a courtesy call to make sure Hugo is ok.
Odumbo doesn't really have any concern about this. After all, the association is just a conduit to the US. Nothing to see here.

Daniel

lol at all the blowhard Drudgeistas commenting on this story as if their national security experts. The last time you morons weighed in on foreign policy we got the Iraq war. That alone is reason enough to vote for Obama, but thankfully he's also lifted travel and remittance restrictions to Cuba, imposed by Mr. Family Values, Dubya.

Rand

Obama might just want to send a drone or two down that was.... he might just learn something about what is really going on. But comrades tend to stick together!

M

Evidently Boy Blunder in the White House figures that Iran working to put missiles in Venezuela that can reach the US are no problem. And considering the Dumbo canceled the missile shield...

coockoo for cocopuffs

Right, the only threat to America is Americans according the DHS, TSA and every law enforcement branch in the country.

George Gobel

Obama and Napolitano don't feel that Hugo Chavez poses a significant national security threat but returning member of the U.S. military are potential terror threats. Have they forgotten that Chavez and Ahmedinejad are buddies? Are they unaware of Venezuelan efforts to foment revolution and violence in neighboring Colombia? Have they forgotten how Venezuela took over and nationalized foreign companies? This is what happens when you put amateurs in the White House.

George Gobel

If what the President means is that Chavez doesn't pose as significant a threat to national security as Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid then I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly.

Tomas

From the America Thinker May 2011 "Iran and Venezuela are feverishly building ICBM bases on the Paraguana Peninsula, a thumbnail shaped spit of arid land around a thousand square miles in size, 250 miles northwest of Caracas. These bases are designed to house missiles with nuclear tipped warheads capable of reaching large portions of the United States."

kcsparky

Just proves that there has never been a socialist dictator that Obama doesn't love!!

Phil

"My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs, and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don't always see."

That's right. I'm not concerned at all with Chavez' Marxist policies or collaboration with Iran, just the whole voting thing... yeah.

Snake

and putin is not a threat either...........

Snake

StopIgnorance Since you know so much and are acting like Chamberlain (remember peace in our times with hilter?) How would you know? Have you been in the country of V? I have. Have you seen what is going on? I have. So in your divine wisdom, explain what is going on in the country of V. I shall be waiting.

michaelp

THATS BECAUSE BOTH ARE COMMUNISTS ! AND OBAMA SUPPORTS COMMUNISM ! Obama has been surrounded with communism since birth, and is bringing it to America ! First bankrupt the country ! then the people will have to follow ! That's communism 101. Then go after the Catholic church ! All done ! Obama even hires other communists to work in the white house, like Van Jones, and others. Isn't that TREASON ?

Racist Obamessiah

The failed, racist, wee-weed up, narcissistic, America-hating, golf-vacationing, one-term-is-one-too-many, socialist, effeminate, limp-wristed, scandal-diverting, U.S. border patrol agent-killing, media-anointed Obamessiah is one with Chavez.

The man-crush is mutual, no doubt...

Peter Pan

This is the only time when I agree with the President. More serious threat comes from occupying banksters and the sell-outs in Congress who are bought and sold by the banksters, but not from Chavez. Not even from Iran. What happens in those countries is none of our business. No foreign entanglements! Where did I hear that? Hmm?

Expat

I left the US in late 2003 due to the clearly foreseeable direction the country was headed when Diebold vote machines were accepted as a great innovation and the Patriot Act and Homeland Security were enacted with nary a whimper from the brain dead electorate. No regrets there. My worst fears for the country didn't come close to the horror show it has now become.

I have American friends currently living in Venezuela. They regularly send me rebuttals to the jingoist US media Venezuela attack propaganda. Chavez is adored by the majority of his constituents because he brought education, hospitals and affordable food and fuel to those who had never had it before under the tyranny of the previous administrations of elite psychopaths. He utilized the country's wealth of natural resources for the welfare of his people instead of allowing foreign corporations to bleed the country dry, while stuffing the pockets of their local enablers. Good on him!

Most of the twits making saber rattling comments on this story probably do not remember that it was Chavez who sent free heating oil to poor New Englanders during that horrible winter they endured a few years ago.... while the US government did nothing. No doubt there was a wailing and gnashing of teeth in the beltway on that PR coup. Score another one for Hugo. The same twits are probably also not aware that there have been two failed CIA assassination/coup attempts on Chavez. I think that earned him the right to call "W", in the UN, what he really is.

There is no Islamic threat to the US from Venezuela. That is simply more Washington propaganda. The thought of Iranian missile bases in Venezuela to be used to attack the "southern states" is absurdly laughable... but so many brainwashed wankers actually cower in fear at the highly unlikely possibility. It is simply another ploy to squeeze more war-pimp money out of voter-conscious congressional appropriations committees. The only drug threat from Venezuela comes from the US supported Colombian drug cartels who sneak through Venezuela to the coastal shipping ports which carry their cargoes through the Antilles Islands to the US. Venezuela is not a drug producing country. It is not tolerated.

As much as I dislike Obama (and Romney), he was correct on this point. Venezuela is not a strategic threat to the US, but it has a lot of natural resources that the ghouls are drooling to get their rapacious claws back on. Chavez's efforts to wean South America off of fiat dollars and begin trading amongst themselves in their own currencies (likely gold backed) is also not an endearing trait to Wall Street and the money junkies. Ask Gadaffi how that worked out for him.

The bottom line is all of you fearless jingoist chicken hawks need to pay attention to the real terror threat that faces you. It originates from Wall Street, Washington DC and Langley, VA. If you don't do something about that, you are all doomed.

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