Transcript: Hugo Chavez Interview

There have been official reports issued from the State Department. The secretary of state has gone through South America saying publicly that I have to be isolated; that I am a threat; that I am using oil to subvert order in Latin America. Some secretaries of state -- other secretaries of state, that I am allied with drug traffickers -- a series of lies and aggressionists that sometimes I respond to. And sometimes we raise the tone.

We wait to get signals, and we respond to signals we receive from Washington.

KOPPEL: So you haven't got any -- you haven't received any good signals lately?

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):Really good signals? No. You know where right now my medical team is? In the presidential plane, 200 kilometers from here. The government of the United States, in violation of the laws of the United States and conventions, prevented my doctors from coming to New York. Where is the chief of staff of my military detachment and my chief of security? On the plane. They've been locked into the plane, two days. They can't come out of the plane.

Those are the signals we're receiving. Yesterday they issued a report saying that Venezuela does not cooperate in the fight against drugs. Absolutely false. We have broken records this year in confiscation of cocaine in the fight against drug trafficking. Those are the false aggressions, the false signals we've been receiving.

KOPPEL: I've been told by contacts of mine in the U.S. intelligence community that you have members of Al Qaida, you have members of other terrorist groups who are allowed to operate within Venezuela. Not true?

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):It's absolutely false. And one time someone said that bin Laden -- did anyone ever say bin Laden could be in Venezuela?

KOPPEL: Not to my knowledge.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):Those are part of the lies that are circulating. So the lies haven't reached that point, but it's absolutely false.

But it's part of the whole chain of rumors in this campaign to even justify my death, because recently Pat Robertson and an ex-CIA agent added that I should already be dead because, since I'm a threat, you have to liquidate the threats, you have to wipe them out, you have to kill them. That would justify any greater (inaudible) aggression against us.

KOPPEL: It was a foolish thing to say, and Pat Robertson admitted later that it was a foolish thing to say. And certainly no one from the government condoned what he said.

Why do you take what a private citizen says, foolish as it may have been, and ascribe it to the U.S. government?

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):Well, take a look at this.

The U.S. administration has to reject -- should have rejected the term of terrorist that Robertson used. The U.S. administration seriously sinned with respect to international and national laws, because the call to murder a chief of state is, in accordance with international law, terrorism.

So this gentleman, Robertson, should be under arrest by the government of the United States -- silence.

Consequently, harboring a terrorist, but not only Robertson -- there have been television channels in Miami, various people, including some Venezuelan terrorists who participated in the coup d'etat and who lived here in the United States freely -- went to request my death, and the government of this country does absolutely nothing.

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