supporting another country, especially one that openly hostile, at the cost of one's own is treason. There is a difference between 1st Amendment criticism of our government and treasonous speech, and Belefonte (and others) have crossed over into the latter.
From an Associated Press dispatch last Monday:
?The American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President George W. Bush ?the greatest terrorist in the world? yesterday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.?
The report noted that ?Belafonte led a delegation of Americans, including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West, that met with the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday.? At the meeting, Belafonte referred to the U.S. President as the ?greatest tyrant in the world.?
Chavez is viewed in Venezuela as an enemy of the middle class, who have tried to remove him from office by coup and election and failed each time. Many view his authoritarianism as akin to that of the late Juan Peron of Argentina. Chavez actively supports the governments of Iran, North Korea and Cuba, and he has made it clear that he is extremely hostile to the U.S. government and particularly toward President George W. Bush. He has said, ?Iran and Venezuela, these two brothers, are and will be together forever. Iran, confronted by the United States, has our solidarity.?
Belafonte has every right to support Chavez. He also has every right to denounce and demean President Bush. But our country is currently at war with international terrorism, and self-restraint is in order. Belafonte and other critics of the president and U.S. policy have obligations as U.S. citizens receiving its protection