Anyone really expect Obama to throw comrade Chavez under the bus?
MIAMI — 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. […]
Then, Haza asked about the alliance between Venezuelan PresidentHugo 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.”
Marco Rubio’s spot-on response below fold:
Here is Rubio’s full statement: “It’s now disturbingly clear that President Obama has been living under a rock when it comes to recognizing the national security threat posed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
“Hugo Chavez is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people’s freedom and democratic aspirations, he has also supported Iran’s regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere, facilitated money laundering activities that finance state sponsors of terrorism and provided a safe haven for FARC narco-terrorists, among many other actions.
“Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal detailed how Hugo Chavez circumvents U.S. and EU sanctions to help prop up the Assad regime in Syria. And even Obama’s own State Department belatedly but rightly expelled Chavez’s consul general in Miami for her ties to a plan to wage cyber-attacks on the U.S.