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article imageHugo Chávez praises dictators, terrorist 'Carlos the Jackal'

By Christopher Szabo     Nov 23, 2009 in World
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez has praised the Venezuelan-born terrorist ”Carlos the Jackal”, as a freedom fighter, claiming his imprisonment for murder by French authorities was an injustice.
Chávez said Carlos, whose real name is Illich Ramírez Sanchez, was a champion of the Palestinian people, according to the Guardian. He added:
I defend him. I don’t care what they say tomorrow in Europe. They accuse him of being a terrorist, but Carlos really was a revolutionary fighter.
Chávez went on to praise dictators including Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe as ”brothers.” He added that the late Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, was a ”patriot.” Chávez said:
We thought he was a cannibal. I have doubts. I don't know, maybe he was a great nationalist, a patriot.
However, the statement did not go down well in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. President Yoweri Museveni’s secretary, Tamale Mirundi, said Amin’s soldiers had murdered both his parents before his eyes.
Chavez might have been trying to draw attention from his slipping popularity, caused by economic problems and decaying public services, including water and electricity rationing.
Illich Ramírez Sanchez, the ”Jackal, ” named after Frederick Forsyth’s 1970s novel Day of the Jackal was found among his belongings, was a notorious terrorist in the 1970s.
He was implicated in a large number of murders and bombings and was famous for his rabid anti-Semitism. His best-known terrorist attack was the kidnapping of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) leaders in Vienna in 1975.
Justice caught up with ”Carlos” in 1994 when Sudanese officials handed him over to French agents after a deal and he was finally put on trial in 1997. He received a sentence of life imprisonment.
He has corresponded before with Chávez and has reportedly converted to Islam, and has, in letters published by a French journalist, said the answer to „”U.S. totalitarianism was revolutionary Islam, saying:
From now on terrorism is going to be more or less a daily par of the landscape of your rotting democracies.
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