Chavez talks antisemitism and hugs a Jew

By Jennifer Lipman, September 19, 2010
Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez has met representatives of the Venezuelan Jewish community to discuss antisemitism in the national media – and ended the conversation with a hug.

Following the meeting with the Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations, Mr Chavez wrote on Twitter that it had been “an extraordinary meeting”.

He added: “We finished the meeting embracing and praying for peace".

At the talk Jewish leaders presented Mr Chavez with examples of “almost daily” antisemitism in the state media.

Salomon Cohen, president of the confederation, said the meeting was a success and that Mr Chavez had promised to look into the problem.

The confederation also called on Mr Chavez to reestablish diplomatic links with Israel, cut off in January 2009 following the fighting between Israel and Gaza.

In June Mr Chavez accused Mossad of trying to kill him and claimed that Israel financed the Venezuelan opposition.

Last updated: 1:15pm, November 5 2010