VIO News Blog

August 14, 2008

Venezuela’s Chavez Holds Key Meeting with Jewish Leaders

Yesterday, President Chavez met Jewish leaders in Venezuela (pictured at right). The head of the World Jewish Congress said, “We mentioned our concerns about anti-Semitism and asked him what his position was… And he said he was certainly not an anti-Semite.” This issue has for years been among the worst media misrepresentations of the Venezuelan leader. President Chavez called it “very important meeting,” according to the AP. To read a transcript of statements made at yesterday’s meeting, click here.

In regional news, Bolivian President Evo Morales has extended an olive branch to his political opponents after winning a recall referendum last Sunday. Reuters reports that Morales and opposition leaders agreed yesterday to meet “with an open mind.”

President Chavez is attending today’s inauguration of the new Paraguayan leader, Fernando Lugo. Newsweek prints an interview with Lugo, a former Bishop who says, “I am a centrist, like the hole of a poncho, standing above political parties.” Reuters reports that Lugo plans to help the poor by pursuing land reform and other policies. His administration marks a break from 61 years of one-party rule.


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