Commentary: Poking fun at president no laughing matter

As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was boarding his flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after attending the annual United Nations General Assembly, he heard some interesting news: his foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, was given a second screening. The screening, conducted by both U.S. and UN officials, has been justified multiple ways by the country and the organization. Whatever reasons may exist, it could be understood and assumed that any head of state or foreign minister would feel threatened if detained at an airport by a foreign body.

Maduro claims his rights were violated by the search, and has threatened legal action through international law. Homeland security denies allegations of wrongdoing and have said there is no evidence of abnormal behavior of any type by U.N. officials who were just doing their jobs. Earlier in the day, while Chavez was giving his speech, he referred to President Bush as “the devil,” “a madman” and “a donkey.” He also branded the White House as a terrorist administration and Bush as a murderer.

After hearing Bush being criticized by a foreign leader, was it wrong for that leader’s minister to be stopped for more than an hour at JFK airport? Obviously there is meaning to Chavez’s words that anyone could understand. They are self-explanatory and, needless to say, cause for a confrontation. After realizing how things are done in the United States, Chavez may feel he jeopardized his life by making the remarks, and may assume Bush will retaliate and bring him bodily harm. His comments, even though they were only a few words, meant a lot to U.S. citizens.

President Bush is our leader and should be respected as such. Out of all that was said, Bush refuses to comment. The U.S. is so serious about not having any ties to Venezuela that some politicians want businesses to boycott Venezuelan- owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. They are one of the top five crude oil providers to the U.S., so this means business.

– Charity Watkins is a sophomore criminal justice major.

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