Transcript: Hugo Chavez Interview

KOPPEL: A revolutionary has to be in revolt against something. What are you revolting against?

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):I've been in revolt for years against ignominy, against injustice, against inequality, against immorality, against the exploitation of human beings.

One of the greatest rebels, who I really admire: Christ. He was a rebel. He ended up being crucified. He was a great rebel. He rebelled against the established power that subjugated. That is what rebellion is; it's rebellion out of love for human beings. In truth, that is the cause, the cause of love: love for every human being, for every women, for every child, for every man, for every brother.

I believe you to be a brother. I don't see you as above or below. I don't feel superior or inferior to you. We're on an equal basis. Your cameraman, your photograph are equal. The men and women who are seeing you, who are seeing us are equal. They're true brothers.

KOPPEL: Well, maybe the photographer; not the cameraman.


No, no, I'm just teasing. He's an old friend.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):It's really hot here in New York.

KOPPEL: It's very hot here in New York.

I appreciate what you say and I think I understand that you don't feel that same way; you don't have that same love for the government of the United States.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):Yes. There are profound differences, very profound with this government, this administration since Mr. Bush came into power. We have been subjected -- Venezuela has been subjected to permanent aggression against us and against me personally.

There has been no respect for the sovereignty of Venezuelans, for the chief of state (inaudible) Venezuela.

On the other hand, I remind you that last night I gathered here with some Democrats and Republicans. Tomorrow, I'm going to be with some others.

Recently, Jackson was there and I'm going to see him tomorrow.

This morning, I saw Danny Grover (ph). We're good friends. And I said to them, and I say to everyone, that it was different with Clinton.

With President Clinton, I sat down just like we are now on at least three occasions. There was no occasion for disrespect on either side.

Now, this administration has truly broken with all protocols of democracy and respect for people. The coup d'etat against Venezuela was manufactured in Washington. My death was ordered. And it was ordered recently.

Reverend Pat Robertson, who is very close to the president, asked for me to be physically eliminated, for me to be killed.

And so perhaps Christ recommends that when we get a slap in our cheek, we turn the other cheek. We have both cheeks red and blue because we've turned the cheek so many times. But we never (inaudible) because we do love the people of the United States. We want to be brothers and sisters of the people of the United States, independently of their government.

KOPPEL: I'm going to perhaps shock you a little, but these are your words. You called President Bush an asshole.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):I've said various things about him. I don't know if I actually used that word. But I have been really hard on him.

But I have always responded to things that I was termed. I was termed a threat, a threat to the continent. It was said of me that I harbor terrorists.

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