Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., Wednesday said Joseph Kennedy should stop praising Hugo Chavez, calling the former Massachusetts Democratic congressman’s ads, promoting Venezuela’s support of his nonprofit group, “despicable” and “not a profile in courage.”
Kennedy’s organization, Citizens Energy, gets oil from Citgo, a Houston-based oil company owned by the Venezuelan government. The nonprofit provides heating oil at a significant discount to the poor.
Mack – who has attacked Kennedy’s pro-Citgo ads for years – told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Kennedy should know better, because, “Chavez is someone who believes in intimidation and manipulation, not in freedom and democracy.”
“So he's running an ad campaign in the United States supporting someone, Hugo Chavez, that is supporting terrorist organizations, buying submarines and aircraft, who's allowing drugs to be shipped through his country, who denounces the United States of America, who is an enemy of the United States of America,” Mack said. “It's despicable. It is not a profile in courage.
“He's part of a PR campaign. Who's paying for those ads?” he asked. “If he is so concerned about the poor, why isn't he taking the money that he's spending on the ads to support Hugo Chavez – why isn't he taking that money – and using it to help people get oil?
“The question is, is why is Joe Kennedy putting his name, his reputation on the ads supporting a dictator who is destroying the hopes and dreams of the people of Venezuela and supporting countries like Iran?” Mack continued. “This is not a friend of the United States. And he's a mouthpiece for Chavez in the United States. It's despicable.”
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