Venezuelan-Americans Concerned Over Chavez's Anti-Semitic Remarks

August 10, 2006

Source: The Miami Herald

On August 10, 2006 The Miami Herald reported, "Some Venezuelans in Broward are incensed about recent remarks by President Hugo Chávez, who accused Israel of conducting its own Holocaust against Palestinians and the people of Lebanon. 'They [the Israelis] are doing what Hitler did against the Jews,' Chávez said in an interview with the Al Jazeera news agency broadcast Friday from Dubai. During his Sunday radio program, Chávez accused Israel of committing a 'new Holocaust' with the help of the United States, which he described as a 'terrorist' country. The comments are just the latest wound to the Venezuelan exile community in South Florida and across the country. Many moved to the United States because they didn't want to live under Chávez's rule, and now fear their country will be more divided, with Chávez alienating its Jewish community. 'What he said does not represent what the majority of Venezuelans feel,' said Alirio Parra, 49, outside Café Canela, a Venezuelan restaurant in Weston on Wednesday. 'I am ashamed of our leaders.' Chávez is trying to move the spotlight from Venezuela's internal problems such as crime and poverty, said Parra, a former pilot for the country's national oil company. Plus, the leader wants to cozy up to his anti-American allies like Iran, Cuba and North Korea, Parra said."