Miami, September 22, 2005

Honorable Dennis J. Hastert
Speaker US House of Representatives
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2369
Washington DC 20515

Venezuela Awareness Foundation is an organization integrated by Venezuelan-American citizens, Venezuelan citizens and citizens from other countries in Latin America residing in the United States, and, we promote education of democracy and human rights.

We have concentrated our efforts to educate the international community, the American public and the authorities about the high risk, that represent the Hugo Chavez regimen in the region, who, in combination with Fidel Castro and under his advisory, represent the biggest threat for the peace, stability and security for the region.

With great concern we have listened to the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ pronouncements during an interview hosted by anchor Ted Koppel, this past Friday, September 17, on the ABC news program NIGHTLINE.

 In this interview Mr. Koppel calls President Chavez’ attention on the fact that a large number of the USA population considers his discourse not very friendly towards the Americans.

 I’d like to translate a specific part of this interview: 

KOPPEL: Can you understand why people think that you’re unfriendly toward the government of the United States? Among your closest friends: Cuba, Syria, Iran, Lybia. These are all countries that the United States regards as unfriendly, if not terrorist countries themselves.

 CHAVEZ (THROUGH A TRANSLATOR): “… I’m very close to the representatives who came here last night, Delahaunt from Massachusetts, Burton, a Republican. Good friends. I’ve a lot of friends (inaudible)”. 

Even though that some days have passed by, since those declarations were made, Dan Burton has not pronounced himself and kept silence about his friendship with President Chavez. Nonetheless the fact that Congressman Burton aspires to preside the US Congress International Relations Committee, this next year of 2006.

 Venezuela, under Chavez’s regime, has never been in friendly terms with the USA. Manifesting publicly its desire to destroy the ‘devilish empire’. Chavez, during his inflamed discourses, doesn’t miss the opportunity to foment the hatred against the American nation. As well as in his literature, revolutionary books and other methods that he uses to spread animosity among the Venezuelans against the US. Even though that through our common history, our friendship and brotherhood has always united us in the past.

President Chavez, who was once elected democratically, has separated himself from its institutions and substituted them for an autocracy. Violating all the rights and existing laws, eliminating the democratic institutions and holding on to power thanks to a victory acquired by questionable and dubious means; in a Recall Referendum held on his mandate.  

President Chavez is not interested to establish a friendship with the USA neither have contact with its democratic institutions. Therefore, we would like to understand what could be the possible interest that Congressman Burton might have by maintaining a friendship with Mr. Chavez?

 Our organization, Venezuela Awareness Foundation, wants to formally state and declare its rejection to the untimely friendship and exchange of pleasantries between Congressman Burton and President Chavez, and precisely under the present circumstances, in which, Mr. Burton aspires to preside the International Relations Committee of the US Congress.

 We consider this situation extremely dangerous, because a position of the kind requires a very moderate and diplomatic attitude.  

Whoever will be voted for, to become the head of the International Relations Committee, he/she will also embody the country’s image towards the world. Having as an antecedent the good friendship between Congressman Burton and President Chavez, who has become a totalitarian and doesn’t respect any democratic institutions of either country, we can predict the nefarious consequences for the USA as a result of this unlikely and most inconvenient relationship.

If you have any question, please, do not hesitate to contact me.


Patricia Andrade

Venezuela Awareness Foundation