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Caracas, Monday August 29 , 2005  
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Jesse Jackson urges Caracas-Washington to overcome tensions

US Reverend Jesse Jackson urged Venezuela and US to sooth political "tensions" and improve diplomatic relations based on "justice" and "respect."

The former US representative delivered the keynote at a special session of the National Assembly in Caracas to pay homage to late Martin Luther King for the 42nd anniversary of the speech for peace and equality the winner of the Peace Nobel Award offered during a march for civil rights over Washington.

"We should get on well. Tensions between Venezuela and the United States should be overcome. We need to turn hatred and fear into energy to build bridges and to put an end to rhetoric. We should seek reconciliation and a good neighbor policy," Jackson stated.

According to the civil right activist, at the present time there is no place for the diplomacy of "canyons," preventive attacks and assassination, but for a "new world order" that is "fairer and is not based on force, but on respect and cooperation."

"We have seen the fall of the Berlin Wall and Nelson Mandela getting out of jail. We saw (Yasser) Arafat in the White House setting the foundations for new diplomacy. One day, we will see President (Hugo) Chávez and (US President George W.) Bush visiting each other. The people deserve it. Venezuela and US should be together. That is the right thing and the morally adequate thing."

He described as "repulsive, immoral, and illegal" US Evangelist preacher Pat Robertson's call to kill Chávez, and called for "a quick rejection" from Bush.

"Venezuela, be strong. Wake up. Eradicate poverty. Venezuela, be strong. Provide free medicine to the people in need. Reduce children mortality rates. Lead the fight against drugs. You have to be morally strong," he claimed.

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