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Venezuela says Robertson call for Chavez assassination 'criminal'

[JURIST] Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel Tuesday called a televised statement by Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson [personal website] calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile] "criminal" and said that Robertson's comments were "terrorist statements." Speaking Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's The 700 Club [program website], Robertson suggested that US agents assassinate Chavez [AP report] in order to stop Venezuela from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism" and said that the US should exercise its "ability to take him out." Watch recorded video from CBN. Rangel has called on the US to take action and also said that Venezuela was considering its legal options. A spokesman for the US State Department said Tuesday that Robertson's comments were inappropriate [AP report], and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that "Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law." AP has more. The Harvard International Review offers a perspective on assassination policy under international law [article text]. From Caracas, El Nacional has local coverage, in Spanish.

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