« | »

Chavez FM Complains About Treatment

Now this will break your heart.

From the DNC's Associated Press:

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Alleges Abuse During Airport Detention

Sunday, September 24, 2006

NEW YORK — Venezuela's foreign minister said he was illegally detained for 90 minutes at a New York airport by police, accusing them of treating him abusively and attempting to frisk and handcuff him.

U.S. State Department officials called Saturday's incident regrettable and said they had apologized to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro. But he said that was not enough.

"We were detained during an hour and a half, threatened by police with being beaten," Maduro told reporters at Venezuela's mission to the U.N. "We hold the U.S. government responsible."

Maduro said the authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport at one point ordered him and other members of his delegation to spread their arms and legs and be frisked, but they forcefully refused.

"They tried to put on some handcuffs," he said, describing it as a threat. "They would have had to take us out of that airport dead if they tried to touch us."

Further heart-rending details from another AP dispatch:

Venezuelan Official Detained at JFK

By IAN JAMES

NEW YORK – Venezuela's foreign minister said he was illegally detained for 90 minutes by officials at a New York airport and accused them of treating him abusively by trying to frisk and handcuff him…

"We were detained for an hour and a half, threatened by police with being beaten," Maduro told reporters at Venezuela's mission to the U.N. "We hold the U.S. government responsible."

A U.N. diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said Maduro's trip was delayed because he had showed up late without a ticket, prompting extra screening.

"He began to articulate his frustration with secondary screening right after he went through," a metal detector, Knocke said. "Port Authority officials confronted him when the situation became a ruckus."

Maduro said when one official ordered him to go to another room for a strip-search, he refused. He told CNN en Espanol that the official pushed him and yelled at him.

He told reporters the situation only worsened when he explained he was the Venezuelan foreign minister and showed his diplomatic passport.

Maduro said authorities at one point ordered him and other officials to spread their arms and legs and be frisked, but he said they forcefully refused. He said officers also threatened to handcuff him.

"We responded with the dignity of Venezuelan revolutionaries … with strength," Maduro told reporters at Venezuela's mission to the U.N. "It's a Nazi government, a racist government."

If this is how U.S. authorities treat a foreign minister, he said, "what won't they do to Arab people for wearing a turban?"

He said his passport and ticket were seized and eventually returned, but the incident prevented him from flying home Saturday…

Maduro told reporters that the treatment of him and other Venezuelan officials seemed in part to be an "attempt to provoke us." …

Maduro said Venezuela has lodged a protest with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and that the incident should be investigated so that those responsible are punished. He said those who detained him did not make any particular accusations.

Earlier Saturday, Chavez said on Venezuelan television that U.S. officials had detained Maduro after linking him to a failed coup that Chavez led in 1992.

"They have held him accusing him of participating in terrorist acts," Chavez said in Venezuela. "He didn't even participate in that patriotic rebellion."

Chavez also said Bush may be seeking to kill him for calling him "the devil" at the U.N. …

Mr. Maduro sounds like one tough hombre. Almost as tough as Hugo. And almost as "dignified" a "revolutionary."

Of course it was just the TSA doing their jobs. They must have mistaken him for a seventy year old grandmother.

But boy does Venezuela need another "patriotic rebellion."

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, September 24th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Chavez FM Complains About Treatment”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »