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Belafonte on Bush - "the greatest terrorist in the world"


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Belafonte's Bush remarks 'private': UNICEF

Saturday Jan 14 13:47 AEDT

AP - The UN children's agency says singer Harry Belafonte was speaking as a private citizen, not a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, when he called US President George W Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world".

The 79-year-old Belafonte, famous for his calypso-inspired music, made headlines during a trip to Venezuela when he spoke out against Bush.

He also said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, a high profile Bush opponent.

Belafonte was a close collaborator of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

He has been a UNICEF goodwill ambassador since 1987. He also has been an outspoken critic of the US embargo of communist Cuba.

The US Fund for UNICEF said in a statement that Belafonte made the comments about Bush and Chavez "as a private citizen and was not speaking as a UNICEF ambassador, nor acting in an official capacity on behalf of the organisation".

As a goodwill ambassador, UNICEF said, Belafonte has travelled to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa and has promoted the rights of children. He also has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for UNICEF.

Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including actor Danny Glover, Princeton University scholar Cornel West and farm worker advocate Dolores Huerta that met Chavez for more than six hours on Saturday.

Several members, including Belafonte, attended the president's television and radio broadcast on Sunday.

During the broadcast, Belafonte told Chavez, "No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution".

"We respect you, admire you, and we are expressing our full solidarity with the Venezuelan people and your revolution," Belafonte added.


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